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Why am I losing so much hair? Here are common causes and conditions

Why am I losing so much hair? Here are common causes and conditions

Hair loss is a common concern that many people face, but why do you actually lose so much hair? It is normal to lose some hair every day as the hair goes through a natural growth cycle. But if you notice that you are losing more hair than usual, there may be various factors such as hormonal changes and medical conditions that may be the underlying causes.

How much hair is it normal to lose each day?

It is normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day. This may vary slightly depending on the length and thickness of the hair, as well as the person's age and gender. People with longer and thicker hair can expect to lose a little more hair, while people with shorter and thinner hair may lose slightly fewer strands of hair.

Causes of hair loss

Aging, genetics, hair care routines and climate and environmental changes can sometimes be the cause of hair loss. Other factors and conditions that can also cause hair loss can be:

  • Stress – high levels of stress can disrupt the hair cycle and lead to temporary hair loss, such as telogen effluvium. Stress can also aggravate certain autoimmune diseases that lead to hair loss.
  • Nutritional deficiency – insufficient nutrition, especially lack of iron, zinc, Cobalamin and biotin, can affect hair health and cause hair loss.
  • Rapid weight loss – extreme diets and rapid weight loss can affect the body's metabolism and cause hair loss, especially telogen effluvium.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth - during pregnancy, many women experience increased hair growth, but after childbirth, hormonal changes can lead to temporary hair loss.
  • Hormonal changes – in addition to pregnancy and childbirth, other hormonal changes can affect the hair, such as during puberty or menopause, which can cause temporary hair loss.
  • Medications – some medicines, such as some antidepressants, anticoagulants and some medicines to treat cancer, can affect hair growth and cause hair loss as a side effect.

Common diseases that can cause hair loss:

There are a number of diseases and medical conditions that can cause hair loss. Here we list some common diseases and conditions that can affect the hair and lead to hair loss.

Iron deficiency

A lack of iron in the body can affect the health of the hair and lead to hair loss. Iron is an important component in the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body's tissues, including the hair follicles. Iron deficiency can cause hair to become dry, brittle and fall out.

Alopecia areata

This is an autoimmune disease where the body's own immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in patchy hair loss on the scalp and sometimes also on the eyebrows and eyelashes.

Androgenic alopecia (hereditary hair loss)

This is the most common form of hereditary hair loss and affects both men and women, for some men it can start as early as their 20s and for women affected it usually starts later in menopause. It is due to hereditary factors and hormonal changes that affect the hair follicles, leading to thinning hair and gradual hair loss.

Thyroid diseases

Both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can affect the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss. Thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating metabolism, including hair growth. Here you can read more about hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Cushing's disease

An excess of cortisol in the body due to an overactive adrenal gland can affect the hair follicles and lead to hair loss.

Scalp infections

Scalp infections, such as fungal or bacterial infections, can affect the hair follicles and cause hair loss.

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia

Eating disorders can cause nutritional deficiencies and change the hormonal balance in the body, which can affect the health of the hair and lead to hair loss.

Diabetes

Long-term untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can affect blood circulation and the nervous system, which can affect hair follicles and cause hair loss.

What can you do yourself if you feel that you are losing a lot of hair?

If you notice that you are losing a lot of hair and there is no underlying medical cause, you can try the following measures:

  • Make sure you have a balanced diet with enough nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and biotin, which are important for hair health.
  • Avoid aggressive hair care products and use caution with hair styling that can damage the hair, such as heat from curling irons and flat irons.
  • Manage stress levels through relaxation techniques, exercise or other stress-reducing activities.

If you suspect that weight loss or crash diets are affecting your hair loss, consider consulting a dietitian for a balanced weight loss plan.

When should you seek treatment if you are losing hair?

If you are experiencing significant hair loss, patchy hair loss, symptoms of iron deficiency, thyroid problems, or other worrisome symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. A dermatologist or hair care specialist can help you identify the underlying cause of your hair loss and recommend appropriate treatments. Remember that early detection and treatment can help preserve hair health and prevent further hair loss.

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