Losing your hair can be an extremely distressing experience – and even more so when you don’t understand why it’s happening. Hair loss is actually a fairly common condition, which can occur for many different reasons. You may find that it happens abruptly or develops gradually over time, and it’s possible to lose your hair either temporarily or permanently.
In the majority of cases, despite being unsettling, losing your hair is fortunately not a sign of a more serious underlying health condition. This post covers the symptoms you should look out for, as well as the main reasons why hair loss happens.
Hair loss symptoms
The symptoms of hair loss are obvious, right? You lose your hair. Well, in reality, it’s not quite as simple as that. It’s actually totally normal for your hair to fall out. On average, people lose anywhere between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day. This is generally when they are at the end of their growth cycle, although sometimes you might pull out strands prematurely by brushing your hair too hard or getting them tangled in a hair accessory.
On the other hand, signs that you are experiencing clinical hair loss include:
- Losing significantly more than 50-100 strands of hair a day
- Your hair is not growing back after falling out
- Bald spots on your head
- Thinning patches of hair
Possible causes of hair loss
So now that you know what to watch out for, let’s move on to some of the main reasons why hair loss happens, it’s important to try and identify the underlying cause because this will impact the type of treatment that’s suitable for you, whether you’re thinking of getting a Hair Transplant in the UK or taking medication for hair loss.
One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics. Some people have an inherited disposition to lose their hair, and this is often why people suffer from male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. In some cases, it can also be a side effect of other medical conditions, for example, thyroid disease or the treatments used to combat them (e.g., chemotherapy for cancer).
Hair loss can additionally occur as a result of changes in the body. Aging is a common example of this, as hair naturally gets thinner and finer as you get older. Similarly, hormonal changes from pregnancy, childbirth, and the menopause can all result in increased hair loss. Even the impact of emotionally stressful events such as divorce and bereavement can cause your hair to fall out at a greater rate.
Some causes of hair loss are more within your control. For instance, both your diet and the way that you treat your hair can have an impact on how much of it falls out. As an example of the former, if you suffer from a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals (like zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and E), then you might be more at risk of hair loss. Finally, if you brush your hair aggressively, wear it in tight hairstyles or use a lot of chemical products on it, this can weaken your hair and make it more likely to fall out.