Did you know that we usually shed between 50 and 100 strands of hair every day? This occurrence forms a part of our body’s natural renewal cycle, and these hairs typically replace themselves over time. However, it can be troubling when our hair doesn’t grow back, or we notice thinning areas.
There are many reasons for this, from genetic makeup to medication side-effects to reasons yet to be discovered. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the common reasons for hair loss, including one that may take you by surprise.
Let’s look at some of the common reasons for hair loss.
Hereditary Hair Loss (Androgenic Alopecia)
This form of hair loss is pretty common and can be developed by both men and women. Androgenic alopecia is the inheritance of the genes that cause hair follicles to stop growing hair eventually.
There are treatments available to help slow or stop hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia and even help regrow the hair.
Alopecia areata develops when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes the hair to fall out. Not only does it occur on your scalp, but anywhere on your body. The hair does tend to grow back on its own or with treatment to help stimulate regrowth.
How you treat your hair over time may be causing it to fall out. Chemical treatments such as color or perms cause damage. Lots of damaged hair follicles create permanent bald spots. Also, hairstyles that continuously pull the hair tightly can result in permanent hair loss: a process called “traction alopecia.”
Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI)
An untreated STI like Syphilis can lead to hair loss. Syphilis sometimes causes loss of hair in patches all over your body. Once the STI is treated, the hair generally starts to regrow.
Other causes include age, illness, stress, medication side effects, hormone imbalance, and more.
But there’s one reason for hair loss that may shock you, and it all comes down to the butterfly-shaped gland in the lower-front part of your neck: the thyroid.
The thyroid is essential to our body’s natural function. It makes hormones that we use for energy, keeps our muscles and organs working correctly, and develops and maintains the hair follicles. When this gland is not working correctly, it affects the hair root and can cause hair thinning or baldness.
Thyroid dysfunction can also affect hair growth on other parts of your body, like your eyebrows (known as diffuse hair loss, a common symptom of hypothyroidism). Thyroid dysfunction can go unnoticed when it’s not developed enough to alert you or your doctor. Therefore, you could ask your doctor to check for signs of hypothyroidism when searching for the root cause of your hair loss.
Fortunately, thyroid-related hair shedding is generally temporary and curable after stabilizing your thyroid hormone levels.
To prevent it from getting to the hair loss stage, get your thyroid levels checked every year to quickly catch and deal with any irregularities.
Investigating Your Hair Loss
It can take you by surprise when you notice that an area of your hair is thinning. Hair loss is common and has many causes, from genes to stress to medication side effects. A dysfunctional thyroid gland is another common cause that many people may not be aware of.
If you’re worried about hair thinning, speak to your doctor about possible medication side effects or hypothyroidism.