General: Hair is constantly going through cycles of growth,
resting, shedding. When hairs that are lost are not replaced, or
when more hair follicles go into the resting phase, hair loss
becomes noticeable. While there is ongoing debate regarding hair
loss reasons, the list below shows many of the common contibuting
The period for hair loss is between the 20 and 50 years of age.
Some individuals arrive at the advance stages of hair loss sooner
than others although it becomes increasingly evident as people
advance in age.
Particularly bleaching, permanents, coloring.
Included are anticoagulants, antidepressants, contraceptive
pills, amphetamines, some arthritis medications, some
antibiotics, some blood thinners, medicines for gout, drugs
derived from vitamin-A, certain drugs for ulcers, beta blocker
drugs for high blood pressure. Cancer treatments such as
chemotherapy and radiation therapy halt the growth phase of hair
follicles which results in a sudden hair loss as those follicles
all shed their hair at about the same time.
Androgenetic alopecia is the term used to describe a genetic
predisposition in men and women for pattern baldness or pattern
hair loss. Although there is a dominant tendency for male pattern
baldness, female members of a family can be transmitters as well.
If the male and female hormones, androgens and estrogens, are out
of balance, hair loss may result. Also an overactive or
underactive thyroid gland can contribute to hair loss.
Illness and Severe Infections
These can include scalp fungal infections, Thyroid disorders,
Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Lupus.
Immune System Disorder
Alopecia areata is an immune system disorder which causes hair
follicles to stop producing hairs. Advanced forms of the disorder
are identified by the terms alopecia totalis when all head hair
disappears, and alopecia universalis which results in all body
Due to hormonal changes after menopause, some women find their
hair begins to thin. There are a variety of treatments available
involving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There may be side
effects in some cases and experimentation may be necessary under
the guidance of a physician.
Poor Blood Circulation
Poor blood flow to the scalp, insufficient nutrients in the
blood, or poor drainage of waste products through the lymphatic
systems can all contribute.
Three to six months after delivering a child, many women notice a
degree of hair loss as the hair goes into a resting phase because
of the physiological impact of the pregnancy on the body.
Traction alopecia is the term used to describe loss of hair from
constant pulling, as with tightly braided hair styles such as
pony tails. Also the improper use of curling tongs or rollers can
tug the hair so it weakens.
Sebum buildup in the follicles attacks the hair bulb, the rounded
area at the end of a hair strand which is rooted in the follicle.
Sebum causes the hair bulb to shrink so the hair is not as well
rooted. After the hair falls out the new hair strand growing in
that follicle is weaker and thinner and the process is repeated
until the hair follicle is so damaged it dies. (Sebum is a fatty
substance secreted from the sebaceous glands most of which open
into hair follicles.)
Stress and Nervous Disorders
Telogen effluvium is the term used for a slowing down of new hair
growth because of sudden or severe stress. The stress triggers a
large number of hair follicles to enter the resting stage, so a
few months after the stressful event, those follicles shed hair
at about the same time.
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