Men are generally more likely to lose their hair than women due to male pattern baldness. However, hair loss and thinning hair are also common in women. Before you prep your locks for every season, read these ten causes of hair loss in men and women and how to treat or prevent the condition, based on cause.
Physical and emotional stress
While physical stress, caused by a car accident, surgery or serious illness, can cause short term hair loss, physical and emotional stress can also trigger the condition telogen effluvium, in which hair loss is apparent three to six months after the trauma.
While emotional stress is less likely to cause hair loss, it can occur after the death of a family member, while caring for an aging parent or during the divorce process. However, emotional stress tends to only exacerbate preexisting hair loss rather than cause the condition.
Commonly known as female-pattern hair loss, androgenetic or androgenetic alopecia occurs in women as they age. If the women in your family lose their hair at a certain age, you are more prone to the condition.
Caused by the physical stress of carrying and delivering a child, pregnancy-related hair loss is more common after the birth of the baby than during pregnancy, because child delivery can cause trauma.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a drop in protein intake can cause the body to ration protein and shut down hair growth. Hair loss typically happens about two to three months after a decrease in protein intake.
Changes in birth control or other hormonal changes can cause hair loss conditions like telogen effluvium, especially if women have a family history of hair loss. A change in hormonal balance at menopause can also cause hair loss.
Nearly one in ten women between 20 and 49 experience anemia due to iron deficiency, which can lead to hair loss. A blood test can detect the condition, so that it can be treated and prevented.
Located in the neck, the thyroid gland emits hormones, dangerous to metabolism, development and growth. When the gland does not produce enough hormones, hair loss can occur.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Another imbalance in male and female sex hormones, an excess of androgens can lead to thinning, higher risk of diabetes, ovarian cysts, changes in menstruation and weight gain. Since women with polycystic ovary syndrome have more male hormones, they can also grow more hair on the face and body.
Sudden weight loss
Dramatic weight loss is another kind of physical trauma that can lead to thinning or hair loss. Weight loss in itself causes physical stress, but not eating a sufficient diet can also cause mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Hair loss and sudden weight loss can be signs of an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia.
Dynamic or excessive hair styling and treatments over the years can cause hair loss. These styles or treatments can include hair weaves, cornrows or tight braids, hot-oil treatments, chemical relaxers, high heat or any harsh chemical.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!