Why am I losing hair? 11 reasons you could be experiencing hair loss.
Hair loss and hair shedding (aka hair fall) can be alarming, and the causes can vary from person to person. Hair loss and shedding can occur over time or suddenly, depending on the cause. It can start with a few more strands coming out as you brush your hair, or may come out in clumps in the shower. Oftentimes, identifying the reason for your hair loss is key to treating the problem.
We know it sounds scary, but many who experience hair loss do resume normal hair growth once their health concern is addressed and/or treated. Hair loss is most often not permanent, and sometimes it can be caused by something unexpected like a virus. In fact, over the last few years, hair loss has affected many more people due to COVID19 - but we'll get into that more later on.
How much hair is normal to lose per day?
On average, people lose approximately 50-100 strands per day. This average changes slightly depending on where your hair is in its growth cycle. Every 3 or so months, your hair enters a resting phase, and during this time you may experience slightly more hair loss as new hairs replace the resting hairs.
Excessive hair loss, thinning, and shedding affect many millions of people around the world and can be caused by a number of reasons. While some individuals may experience temporary stress-induced hair loss, others may experience hormonal hair loss, medical treatment-related hair loss, or genetic hair loss. By identifying the cause of your hair loss you will have greater success with treating it. So, let's get into the 11 possible reasons that you may be experiencing hair loss, thinning, or shedding!
11 reasons why you may be experiencing hair loss.
COVID-19 has spread around the world, causing much destruction to human life. While COVID-19 has many long-term issues associated with it, such as brain fog, fatigue, and loss of smell, one surprising health-related issue noted has been hair loss. Many doctors believe that the hair loss experienced by COVID-19 is Telogen Effluvium.
Telogen Effluvium is a stress-related hair loss condition. It often occurs after a stressful or traumatic event, though it can be caused by stress put on the body due to medical issues such as high fever. Telogen Effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss. Most individuals will find that their hair resumes its normal growth cycle after 3 to 6 months.
Hereditary/Genetic Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss is the most common type of hair loss. It is known as Androgenic Alopecia which includes male-pattern baldness, and female-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is experienced by both men and women. The primary cause of Androgenic Alopecia is dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Dihydrotestosterone attacks the hair follicles, and this causes the hair to fall out and stop growing. Dihydrotestosterone comes from testosterone which is why this type of hair loss more commonly affects men -- this is commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. The exact root cause of Alopecia Areata is not known, though some doctors believe that genetics play a key role. The amount of hair loss experienced will be unique to each individual as well as the area of hair loss. Alopecia areata hair loss can affect parts of the body, the head, or both.
Chemotherapy or Radiation Treatments
Chemotherapy and radiation treatments on the head or neck can cause hair loss. This hair loss is usually experienced within the first few weeks following treatment. This is a temporary form of hair loss, and hair should resume a normal growth cycle once radiation and chemotherapy treatments are completed.
Hormonal Hair Loss
Hormonal imbalances can cause a number of symptoms, one of them being hair loss. Hormonal imbalances can be a result of Cushing disease, thyroid disease, PCOS, menopause, postpartum, certain medications, or other underlying health issue. It is important to visit your doctor regularly to check for any imbalances. Many health issues that cause hormonal imbalances can be treated and that will often resolve the hair loss experienced. Other signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include:
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Fatigue, exhaustion, and lethargy
- Heavy, irregular, or missed menstrual cycle
- Hair growth on face, chin, and other body parts
- Hair loss
- Night Sweats
As we age, our bodies experience many changes. Visually, our hair changes color and becomes more white or grey, but it can also become thinner. While hair changes are a natural part of aging, there are a number of best practices you can implement to help support your hair health and hair growth. You can read about those hair care practices here:
- 5 Daily Hair Care Tips for Healthy Feeling hair
- How to Nourish Your Hair from the Inside-Out
- How to Improve Hair Fall and Shedding Instantly
Stress-Related Hair Loss
Stress-induced hair loss, also known as Telogen Effluvium, is a common form of hair loss. It often occurs following a traumatic or stressful event such as surgery, high fever, prolonged periods of stress, poor diet, and chronic systemic illness. Telogen Effluvium usually does resolve itself within 3-6 months, after which the hair resumes its normal growth cycle.
Trichotillomania is an impulsive disorder that causes an individual to pull at their hair. This disorder is also often linked to stress as well as anxiety. This disorder creates a compulsive urge to pull at hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other parts of the body. If left untreated, trichotillomania compulsions can become severe and lead to permanent hair loss due to follicle damage.
Many new mothers experience postpartum hair loss. While this process is normal, it can be alarming to see this temporary excessive hair shedding. Over a few months, many women begin to see their normal growth cycle resume and during this time they may notice an abundance of baby hairs and flyaways.
If you are experiencing new growth and aren't sure how to manage your new baby hairs, we have a quick tip for you:
Spray a bit of our Mermaid Mist Hair Thickening Spray onto your flyaways and gently brush them into place with a small comb. This will help your hair set in place and tame flyaways. The Mermaid Mist also encourages new hair growth! It's a win-win!
Hair Treatments and Styling
Hair styles that tug or pull on the hair, as well as harsh hair treatments such as bleaching, perming or permanent hair straightening, can cause hair loss and hair thinning over time.
The best way to avoid these kinds of hair loss is by changing the way you style or treat your hair. Try more gentle protective hair styling methods, and limit the amount of damaging treatments you apply to your hair.
Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that causes raised, red, and sometimes scaly patches on the scalp. While it often appears in patches, it can progress and affect the entire scalp and even spread around the ears, neck, and forehead. The silvery scales caused by scalp psoriasis can flake and look similar to dandruff.
This condition can be quite sore, itchy, and uncomfortable feeling. The hair loss caused by scalp psoriasis is often temporary and hair growth typically resumes once the scales have cleared. Permanent hair loss from scalp psoriasis is most typically caused by excessive scratching or picking at the scales which can cause scar tissue to form.
Underlying Health Conditions or Vitamin Deficiency
If you have begun to notice an increase in hair shedding or thinning then it may be time to visit your doctor. These symptoms can be a sign of an underlying health issue or vitamin deficiency that needs to be addressed. The sooner an underlying condition or deficiency is identified and treated, the sooner your hair loss can begin recovering and natural growth cycle resumed. Vitamin deficiencies that have been related to hair loss include:
- riboflavin (B2)
- biotin (B7)
- folate (B9)
- vitamin B12
If you are concerned, visit your doctor.
There are a number of health conditions (some of which we mentioned above) that can cause hair loss. Untreated health conditions often progress and become worse over time if they are not addressed and treated.
As we've discussed today, hair loss can be caused by viruses, as we've seen with COVID-19 and even the flu. It can also be caused by autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, blood pressure issues, fungus, and more. The best way to find the root cause of your hair loss is to see your doctor so they can begin testing.
We recommend writing down the symptoms you are experiencing and bringing them to your doctor so they can determine the tests required to find the root cause of your hair loss and any other accompanying symptoms.
There are ways to support your hair health!
In addition to identifying the cause of any hair loss experienced, you can also support your hair health and growth with a few best practices and products. It is important to support your overall well-being in order to support your hair health.
1. Eating a full and nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, avoiding damaging hair styles, and using hair growth products, are a few ways to help your hair health.
2. One thing you can incorporate into your daily diet are the Tru Bloom Vitamins. Simply take one a day and join thousands of people around the world who have seen great results!
3. Prioritize self-care and set aside time once a week to deeply nourish your hair and scalp with the Beach Goddess Hot Oil Hair Mask.