In a previous post we talked about the role hormones play in hair loss and how that affects your ability to have a hair transplant.
Today we’d like to discuss all the other causes of hair loss besides hormones. When you suffer from hair loss, it’s important to know what might cause it before you jump to conclusions. Many types of hair loss are only temporary in nature, and fixing the underlying cause typically solves the problem.
Here are several causes of such temporary hair loss:
Hair loss caused by stress
Working in a stressful environment or dealing with a stressful event in your life can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss has a name: telogen effluvium. If you experience a sudden thinning of your hair across your entire scalp, it could be caused by stress.
Each single hair on your head has a life cycle of about 2-3 months. Telogen effluvium can force your hair into its final phase of its growth cycle without new hair growing in to replace it. This type of hair loss is almost never permanent – once you change your lifestyle to address the stress, your hair typically grows back.
Postpartum hair loss
This shows up for women in very similar ways to stress-induced hair loss, but it’s brought on by something akin to the opposite of stress. During pregnancy, your elevated hormone levels make hair a woman would normally shed stay on her head longer. After childbirth, when hormone levels are back to normally, this hair now catches up with its life cycle and falls out at higher rates until everything is restored to normal. It’s no reason for panic – you might just have to disguise the extra hair loss for a little while.
Hair loss triggered by rapid weight loss
Before you give up on your entire diet, you should know that most dieting does not affect hair growth.
But if you engage in any kind of extreme dieting, causing you to lose weight rapidly, this can cause the same telogen effluvium as stress. Again, it’s no reason to panic if that is what’s causing your hair loss. Restoring your calorie intake to a more reasonable level typically restores your hair to its normal level as well.
Iron deficiency hair loss
Diffuse hair loss, meaning the thinning occurs all over your head, can be caused by simple iron deficiency. It can look very similar to the other forms of hair loss described above. If you suffer any kind of hair loss, having your iron levels tested is a good place to start. Iron deficiencies tend to be more prevalent for women than for men. It can easily be treated by a dietary supplement.
As in the other types of hair loss described above, your hair will resume its normal growth pattern once the iron deficiency has been addressed with a change in diet or a dietary supplement.
Hair loss triggered by thyroid problems
Both under-active and over-active thyroids can cause hair loss. The thyroid plays a role in the production of new hair, and if that is disturbed, the hair that you lose as a result of the natural growth cycle may stop being replaced, causing a thinning of hair. Not only can problems with your thyroid cause a thinning of hair, they may also weaken the hair that you have. If you experience hair loss coupled with brittle or otherwise stressed-out hair, it could be caused by an under- or over-active thyroid.
This type of temporary hair loss can be treated with prescription medication. Once the issue is addressed, your hair will typically regrow to its normal thickness and length.
All of the above types of hair loss are typically temporary in nature. Once the cause has been found, the problem can be addressed and the hair can resume its growth. This is why it’s important to know the various causes for hair loss so that you can identify the symptoms and find a course of action to reverse it.
Hair loss caused by hormones is different in nature. Almost all permanent hair loss can be “blamed” on hormones, for both women and men, and cannot really be “cured” like temporary hair loss. While men experience the onset of baldness at a more steady pace, hair loss in women is sometimes triggered by the change in hormone balances brought on by menopause.
If you are experiencing a sudden onset of female hair loss and the above causes of temporary hair loss have been ruled out, it’s a good idea to have your hormone levels checked. Do not proceed with hair restoration until your hormones have been stabilized.
At this time, Nashville Hair Doctor does not offer any female hair loss treatment options.
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