You’ve heard the expression that your hair is your crowning glory. We wash it, dry it, blow it, tease it, style it, and more, because we care about how our hair looks. If your hair starts to fall out for some reason, it can be quite stressful. Here are four general reasons why someone may lose their hair or experience an increase in hair loss.
One of the reasons is genetic. Some people are predisposed to lose their hair as they age. Medications are another cause of hair loss. Even something as simple as an over-the-counter pain reliever can cause thinning hair in some people. Then there are hormonal changes for both men and women that can cause hair loss, as well as medical conditions and diseases.
There are actually a few different thyroid conditions that can result in thinning hair. They include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as well as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small gland near the front of your neck that controls a vast number of metabolic processes, including hair production.
When the thyroid is under performing or it’s not producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolic processes slow down, which means that among many other symptoms you may notice that your hair is thinning and that it’s not growing back.
Your doctor can check your thyroid levels. If they’re low, you can be placed on a synthetic thyroid hormone which brings your metabolic processes back to normal levels. You’ll regrow hair. You’ll also likely have more energy, better skin and you’ll feel better overall.
Scalp Infections and Skin Disorders
Scalp infections and skin disorders can prevent hair from growing and can cause it to fall out. Even something as simple as dandruff can cause your hair to thin. The hair follicles become blocked and hair cannot grow.
Other infections can invade your scalp or cause scarring on the scalp. Scarring alopecia is one type of skin condition; it’s an autoimmune disease that prevents hair from redrawing. Infections and conditions like ringworm and psoriasis, when treated, do allow your hair to grow back.
Other autoimmune disorders that cause the hair to fall out include alopecia areata and lupus. Alopecia areata is a condition where the body attacks the hair follicles. However, with this particular type of alopecia, once the condition has been treated, your hair will grow back – unlike scarring alopecia where it does not grow back. With lupus, the immune system attacks the skin and hair follicles so vigorously that it becomes damaged and cannot grow back.
Men may experience loss of hair if their testosterone levels drop below normal levels. This can be due to age or it can be due to other health concerns. Women too can lose hair as they age due to loss of estrogen in the body. And any condition that causes men and women to have an imbalance of hormones can also impact hair growth and loss.
The bottom line is that if you are losing hair at an unexpected rate, make an appointment with your doctor. There may be an underlying health condition that’s causing the hair loss. Finding out what that condition is can help you treat it quickly so you can regrow your hair and return to good health.