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Hair Loss – What Causes It?

Hair loss is something that is quite common and can happen to anyone, whether female or male.  People usually lose about 50-100 hairs per day.  Because of the amount of hair on a typical person’s head, most of the time these daily losses go unnoticed.  People can lose hair simply on their head, or from their entire body.  Sometimes losing hair can be temporary, and sometimes it is most definitely permanent.  Sometimes it comes on quite suddenly and other times it is very gradual.

The more gradual loss is the thinning of hair on top of the head.  Of course this is the most common and affects both of the sexes.  The men might see their hairline recede further and further back on the head, which in turn causes the men to sometimes “comb over” the remaining hair to cover the baldness.  It can be the baseline for many jokes, the “comb over” but the men that are affected by baldness and simply are not ready for it, may feel insecure without that hair on the top of their head.

Another sign of hair loss might be bald spots.  Although it is a rare occurrence, other than the head, it can be seen sometimes in facial hair, like a beard, or eyebrows.  This type of baldness may cause the skin to become irritated and sometimes painful.

If someone goes through an extreme emotional shock, they may experience a sudden loosening of hair.  This is fairly traumatic since handfuls of hair come out all at once.  It thins the hair dramatically, even though it might not leave a visible bald spot.  One of the more obvious scenarios of this might be someone who has undergone chemotherapy.  Another less severe instance might be someone who has a thyroid disorder.

Another instance of the body reacting to chemotherapy would be a full-body hair loss.  This is usually a temporary loss and the hair usually grows back after the treatment is completed.

Some causes of hair loss can be hormonal.  While this may be hereditary, such as the typical “male pattern baldness” or “female pattern baldness,” there can also be hormones involved.  Some men start balding as early as their teenage years.

Some imbalances in hormones can cause temporary loss of hair as well.  Those imbalances may be the result of several things, such as:  menopause, the birth of a baby, or if someone quite taking the birth control pill.

Other causes may be various medical conditions.  As mentioned earlier, a thyroid disorder can cause hair loss, as well as certain skin disorders.  There is a disease called Alopecia Areata which literally attacks the hair at its follicle.

Certain medications can be the culprit to hair loss as well.  Meds that are used for arthritis, depression, heart problems as well as high blood pressure and cancer can cause baldness.

Various hair styles can also cause hair loss.  When the hair is pulled back too tightly over long periods of time, the hair will fall out.  This can be from styles like ponytails and even cornrows.

Although there are many possibilities as to why someone may lose hair, there are medical tests that can be done to find out if there is in fact a medical condition behind the cause, or if it simply may be hereditary.


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