The ROOT cause of hair loss – What the balding pattern is telling you
Most men and women who experience hair loss often attribute it to ageing. However, there are several reasons why someone might experience hair loss that has nothing to do with getting older. The pattern in which the hair is lost also speaks volumes about the root cause. What are some of the causes of hair loss? Let’s find out:
Pattern: Hair loss that happens gradually starting at the top and front of the head. Thinner hair remains on the sides of the head in men. Women commonly have a widow’s peak with random patches of hair loss.
Potential Cause: Hormonal imbalance, particularly high testosterone
What can be done: Hormonal testing and balancing the hormones to prevent further hair loss
While applying ointments and oils to our hair can help in the short-term management of hair loss, it is important to find and treat the root cause of the condition.
Pattern: Starts abruptly with clumps of hair falling during showering or brushing your hair. Typically, 3 to 5 months after a stressful or traumatic event.
Potential Cause: Stress
What can be done: Implementing stress management techniques and removing the underlying stress can help prevent hair loss. Stressful events range from stress in the workplace/home to constantly being sick.
Pattern: Hair loss happens in patches or in oval shapes, also associated with hair loss on other parts of the body. The scalp can have yellow or black dots.
Potential Cause: Autoimmune disease – the body is attacking the hair follicles.
What can be done: Test and treat for underlying autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to help.
Pattern: Thinning of hair followed by constant loss of hair along with brittle nails. May or may not have thinning eyebrows
Potential Cause: Thyroid condition or nutritional deficiency
What can be done: Testing thyroid hormone levels and common nutritional deficiencies such as Iron, Vitamin B12, Folate and Vitamin D.
While applying ointments and oils to our hair can help in the short-term management of hair loss, it is important to find and treat the root cause of the condition. This applies to graying and thinning of hair as well.
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Am Fam Physician. 2017 Sep 15;96(6):371-378 – Hair loss: Common Causes and Treatments