Revealed: 7 Surprising Causes of Hair Loss

  • surprising causes of hair loss

    Genetics is the primary reason you will either grow old with a full head of hair or start losing it before you hit middle age. Your genes come from both your mom and your dad, and you can't really change them...yet. But there are some other causes of hair loss that you might find surprising, many of which are 100 percent treatable.

  • No. 1: The Economy

    surprising causes - economy

    Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

    Believe it or not, the economy can cause hair loss. The stresses that come with tough economic times, such as paying bills and providing for your family, can manifest physically. And while we may not literally be pulling out our hair (that's called trichotillomania, and it's a different bird), stress-induced hair loss (telogen effluvium) is a reality for many.

    Treatment: The hair loss will reverse itself over time, as the stress dissipates. In the meantime, yoga, massage and deep breathing exercises can help you cope with stress and its effects. Namaste.

  • No. 2: Your Little Bundle of Joy

    surprising causes - bundle of joy

    Many women notice that their hair starts to thin or fall out after pregnancy. The culprit? The same hormonal fluctuations that make you cry because The View is preempted or your favorite contestant gets booted off of Dancing with the Stars can also trigger hair loss. Menopause and an underactive thyroid gland also may cause hormone-related hair loss. Hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and if yours is producing abnormal levels of thyroid hormone, you may start to lose your hair.

    Treatment: Don't panic. If hormones are causing your hair loss, it's reversible. As your hormone levels return to normal, so too will your hair. If your thyroid is out of whack, treatment will help with all of the symptoms, including hair loss.

  • No. 3: Acne Medicine

    surprising causes - acne medicine

    Yes it's true, some medications used to combat zits can actually cause hair loss. So which would you prefer, a clear complexion or a full head of hair? Don't fret, as hair loss is a rare complication of acne medication. In fact, many medications can cause hair loss. Don't believe us? Just read those drug labels. The list includes antibiotics, anti-fungals, antidepressants, birth control pills, anti-clotting drugs, cholesterol medications, immunosuppressants, cancer treatments, epilepsy drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, hormone replacement therapy, mood stabilizers, Parkinson's disease medications, and steroids.

    Treatment: The good news here is that changing medication may reverse or halt hair loss. But don't change anything without first discussing it with your doctor.

  • No. 4: Severe Dandruff

    surprising causes - dandruff

    Certain fungal infections on the scalp, including seborrheic dermatitis (aka dandruff) may cause hair loss. Others include ringworm, folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) or Piedra (trichomycosis nodularis), which happens when the hair fibers are infected by a fungus.

    Treatment: Once your doctor examines your scalp and determines that a fungal infection is causing hair loss, he or she can prescribe an anti-fungal medication. (Hopefully it won't be one that causes hair loss.)

  • No. 5: Your Flare for Fashion

    surprising causes - fashion

    By JDPublic [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Common

    Whether weaves or clip-ons, hair extensions are in vogue. As a result of this trend, many women in their 20s and 30s are developing hair loss from all the tugging and pulling associated with extensions. (The tighter the weave or clip-on, the greater the risk, especially in women who already have thinning hair.) Other culprits related to style and panache include frequent blow drying or flat-ironing, chemical relaxers or straighteners, highlights, low lights and hair dyes.

    Treatment: Change your ways ASAP or you may find yourself contemplating a hair transplant at a very young age. Today's hair transplants look a lot more natural than ever before, but they can cost as much as $15,000 and come with their share of risks, including bleeding and infection. As such, hair transplants are best reserved for those who have lost their hair naturally.

  • No. 6: Your Figure

    surprising causes - figure

    You have been working hard to get back into your college jeans, and it worked, only now your traffic-stopping figure is marred by hair loss. Diets as well as the nutritional shortfalls that they may trigger (not to mention eating disorders) can all play a role in hair loss.

    Treatment: Discuss your eating habits with your doctor if you are experiencing hair loss. We are all for losing weight and feeling great, but do it safely and healthfully.

  • No. 7: Your Immune System

    surprising causes - immune system

    Hair loss may be an early warning sign of an underlying autoimmune disease like lupus or diabetes. Some women with hair loss may have antibodies at the hair follicle level. This means that their hair follicles are literally attacking themselves, causing autoimmune hair loss.

    Treatment: Treating the underlying disease can improve all symptoms. Topical and oral anti-inflammatory drugs can slow down hair loss in women if it is caused by an immune system malfunction.


 

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