Unexpected Ways You Could Be Losing Your Hair & What To Do About It
Discovering hair in your brush or shower drain can be alarming. Hair loss affects millions and is not always due to genetics. Our guide dives into less-known reasons for shedding strands and offers proven solutions.
Keep reading; healthier hair awaits!
- Hair loss can be caused by many things like stress, not eating right, tight hairstyles, and even some medicines or birth control pills.
- If your hair is falling out a lot, it might be because of conditions like telogen effluvium or alopecia areata. These can make your hair thinner or fall out in patches.
- To help stop hair loss, eat foods with vitamins and protein, don’t pull on your hair too hard when brushing or styling it, and try to keep stress low.
- Sometimes doctors give medicine for hair loss. They might use treatments that put special blood parts called platelets into your scalp to help new hair grow.
- When you lose a lot of hair after stopping birth control pills or having weight loss surgery, this is common but usually gets better with time as the body adjusts.
Types of Hair Loss
Androgenetic Alopecia, pregnancy, telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium, alopecia areata, traction alopecia, medications, birth control pills, nutritional deficiencies and ringworm are just a few of the various types of hair loss that people can experience.
This type of hair loss happens in both men and women. It’s known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. Family history plays a big part in this condition, which leads to hair thinning on the scalp.
Many people face it at some point in their lives.
Men may notice a receding hairline and bald spots, while women might see their hair part getting wider. You can go to a doctor for help, and they might suggest using minoxidil to get your hair growing again.
There are also surgeries and ways of styling your hair that can make it look fuller.
Pregnancy can change a lot about your body, including your hair. Some women find their hair grows faster and looks fuller when they’re pregnant. This is because high estrogen levels keep hairs in the growing phase longer.
But not everyone has this experience. After having a baby, you might see a lot of hair falling out. This happens when estrogen levels drop and all that hair that was growing so well during pregnancy starts to fall out.
If you notice thinning or shedding while you’re pregnant, it’s often due to stress or changes going on inside your body. Don’t worry too much – it’s common for new moms to lose some hair after childbirth as hormone levels balance out again.
If bald patches appear though, check with your doctor since it may point to other conditions related to pregnancy hormones or health issues causing telogen effluvium which leads to more shedding than usual.
Moving from hair loss during pregnancy, let’s talk about telogen effluvium. This condition is a big reason some people find more hairs in their brush or on the floor. It happens when lots of hair moves to the resting phase of growth at once.
Then after a few months, those hairs fall out.
You might see your hair get thin if you have telogen effluvium. It can start because of stress, sickness, not eating right, or hormone changes. For many women, it’s common and happens even with small day-to-day stresses.
But don’t worry too much—this type isn’t permanent and your hair can grow back once the stress goes away or you eat better again.
Now let’s talk about Anagen Effluvium, which is another type of hair loss. Anagen effluvium leads to a sudden and rapid hair loss that can make someone lose all their hair. This condition typically occurs when something affects the growth phase of the hair, leading to abnormal and diffuse shedding.
It’s often associated with chemotherapy and other events that disrupt the normal mitotic activity of the hair, causing it to fall out during its growth stage rather than at its usual time.
Anyone, regardless of age or gender, can experience anagen effluvium as a reason for unexpected and abrupt hair loss.
Remember nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair follicles and supporting optimal regrowth, especially during times of vulnerability like chemotherapy or other medical treatments.
Alopecia areata is a condition where your immune system attacks the hair follicles, leading to sudden hair loss. It can occur on any part of the body and may result in unpredictable patches of hair loss on the scalp.
This autoimmune disorder is believed to be genetic and is often associated with other immune-related medical conditions. Treatment options such as medication, therapy, or lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and promote hair regrowth for individuals experiencing alopecia areata.
Moving from the discussion of Alopecia Areata to exploring Traction Alopecia, it’s important to understand that this type of hair loss is caused by repeatedly pulling on the hair. This can happen due to tight hairstyles or certain hair care practices.
For instance, using hot combs, tightly woven and pulled hair, rapid dieting, or specific social and cultural practices can contribute to traction alopecia. It’s noteworthy that these actions can lead to permanent damage to the hair follicles, resulting in irreversible hair loss.
To prevent this condition, individuals should avoid hairstyles that pull on their hair and be conscious of reducing tension on the scalp.
Treatment for traction alopecia involves avoiding tight hairstyles and reducing any unnecessary stress on the hair. Seeking professional help for potential restoration could also be beneficial in addressing this issue.
Certain medications, including vitamin A supplements, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs, can lead to temporary hair loss. This is an unexpected side effect that may surprise many people experiencing hair loss.
It’s important to be aware of the potential impact of prescription drugs on your hair health. For instance, beta-blockers, blood thinners, and antidepressants are among the medications that can have rare side effects such as hair loss.
Some prescription medications could even trigger male or female pattern baldness or cause temporary hair loss. Gout medication allopurinol and arthritis medications like penicillamine and indomethacin are known for causing such effects too.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills, including popular brands like Microgynon and Loestrin, can lead to hair thinning. This effect is particularly linked to hormonal birth control methods such as oral pills, skin patches, hormone injections, and implants.
After stopping hormonal birth control, it’s uncommon but possible to experience temporary hair loss as the body adjusts to the changes in hormones. The adjustment period can sometimes result in excess hair shedding due to the shifts caused by various forms of birth control.
Hormonal fluctuations triggered by different types of birth control medications may contribute to unexpected hair loss for individuals experiencing this issue. Thus, understanding these potential effects is crucial for anyone considering or using hormonal contraceptives.
Nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss. Iron deficiency, which is a common nutrient shortage, can cause hair thinning and shedding. Inadequate levels of vitamin E can also result in increased daily hair shedding and gradual scalp hair thinning.
Furthermore, deficiencies in iron, zinc, protein, selenium, and essential fatty acids have been associated with hair loss. Malnutrition, low protein levels, and vitamin deficiencies pose an increased risk of losing hair.
Addressing nutritional needs through a well-balanced diet or supplements could aid in preventing or reducing the impact of these deficiencies on your hair health. Ensuring adequate consumption of iron-rich foods like nuts and beans while incorporating vitamins such as vitamin E and B into your diet may help promote healthy hair growth.
Transitioning from nutritional deficiencies to unexpected causes of hair loss, it’s crucial to be aware of ringworm, also known as tinea capitis. This infectious fungal condition is a potential culprit for unexpected hair loss.
Caused by dermatophytes that invade and multiply in the hair follicle, ringworm leads to breakage and hair loss. Typically, symptoms include dryness, flakiness, redness, pus, and fragile hair prone to breaking.
If you notice these signs along with unexplained hair thinning or bald patches on the scalp, consult a healthcare professional promptly. Treatment for ringworm often involves antifungal medications to eliminate the infection and promote healthy regrowth.
Unexpected Causes of Hair Loss
Certain medications, weight loss surgery, stress, smoking, and using hot tools on hair can all contribute to unexpected hair loss. To learn about the surprising ways you could be losing your hair and how to address each cause, keep reading.
Some medications, like statins for high cholesterol and drugs for gout or arthritis, could lead to hair loss. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also cause sudden hair loss in women.
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you think your medication might be causing hair loss. They might be able to adjust it or suggest alternatives.
Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, such as bariatric surgery, some people may experience a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium. This happens because the body goes through significant changes after the surgery, and one of the effects can be temporary hair shedding.
Insufficient protein intake following weight loss surgery can also contribute to this type of hair loss. In addition to protein deficiency, deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals due to malabsorption are common culprits for post-surgery hair loss.
It’s essential to work closely with healthcare providers and nutritionists to ensure adequate nutrient intake after weight loss surgery, which can help support healthy hair growth.
Chronic stress is a known culprit in hair loss. It can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, which causes excessive shedding of hair. A Harvard study has even confirmed the link between stress and hair loss.
So, if you’re experiencing unexpected hair fall, make sure to address any chronic stress in your life and seek ways to manage it effectively.
Smoking can contribute to hair loss due to various harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Research shows that smoking damages DNA, affecting the hair follicles and growth cycle. It is also linked to male-pattern baldness, with studies indicating a potential impact on hair loss for men.
The 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes can damage hair follicles and enhance senescence, potentially increasing the risk of developing hair loss.
These findings emphasize the importance of understanding how smoking can negatively affect hair health. Now let’s explore another unexpected cause of hair loss: “Eating Disorders.”.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are often linked to hair loss, thinning, and shedding. Hair loss can be distressing for someone with an eating disorder. Proper treatment and care for eating disorders, as well as addressing nutrient deficiencies, can help prevent and reverse hair loss associated with these conditions.
If you’re experiencing hair loss due to an eating disorder, seeking professional help for the underlying issues is crucial. Nutrient-rich foods that support healthy hair growth, such as those containing vitamins C and B, can also aid in addressing this concern.
Remember that taking steps to improve your overall health will not only benefit your hair but also contribute to your overall well-being.
Using Hot Tools on Hair
Transitioning from the potential impact of eating disorders on hair health, it’s important to recognize another unsuspected contributor to hair loss – the use of hot tools. Excessive heat exposure from straighteners and curling irons can actually cause damage and contribute to hair loss by stripping moisture from the strands, leaving them prone to breakage.
The high temperatures involved in styling can leave hair cuticles open, making them more susceptible to harm and weakening the overall structure of your hair. For individuals experiencing hair loss or aiming for optimal hair care, it is crucial to be mindful of the damaging effects that hot tools can have.
It’s essential for those dealing with hair loss to understand that avoiding hot tools like straighteners and curling irons can play a significant role in maintaining healthy locks.
Lack of Protein
Using hot tools on your hair can lead to damage and breakage, but another unexpected cause of hair loss is the lack of protein in your diet. When you don’t consume enough protein, your body may prioritize its use for essential functions over maintaining healthy hair.
This can result in hair thinning and eventually hair loss. It’s important to be aware that crash diets, unhealthy eating habits, sudden weight loss, or eating disorders can all contribute to a lack of protein in your body and subsequently impact the health of your hair.
In addition, while it’s crucial to have adequate protein intake for healthy hair maintenance, excessive amounts of protein can lead to biotin deficiency which can also cause hair loss.
Going off Birth Control
When it comes to going off birth control, it’s essential to be aware that this transition may lead to an increase in hair shedding as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes. This is most likely temporary and primarily caused by a hormonal imbalance post-discontinuation.
It’s worth noting that various forms of contraception, such as pills, hormone injections, and implants, can potentially trigger hair loss due to their influence on hormone levels. When switching birth control methods or ceasing its use altogether, there is a possibility of experiencing telogen effluvium – a short-term condition resulting in excess hair shedding before new growth begins.
Many people experience increased hair shedding when they stop using hormonal contraceptives – this should eventually resolve itself.
Ways to Prevent and Treat Hair Loss
To prevent and treat hair loss, it’s important to practice proper hair care, make dietary changes, consider medical treatments, and explore the use of supplements and essential oils.
Want to learn more about unexpected causes of hair loss and how to address them? Keep reading for valuable insights!
Proper Hair Care
To take care of your hair properly and prevent further hair loss, follow these tips:
- Use a mild shampoo and wash your hair gently to avoid damaging the hair follicles.
- Brush or comb your hair with a soft touch to prevent pulling and breaking of hair strands.
- Choose scalp treatments and shampoos containing antioxidants to promote a healthier scalp and reduce hair loss.
- Include biotin – rich foods in your diet, such as eggs, almonds, and sweet potatoes, to support healthy hair growth.
- Avoid harsh chemicals in hair care products; opt for gentle shampoos suitable for your specific needs.
- Consider using essential oils like rosemary or lavender for scalp massages to stimulate hair growth and improve circulation.
- Protect your hair from excessive heat by minimizing the use of hot styling tools or using heat protectant products when styling.
- Ensure you are consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins C and B, as well as protein for healthier and stronger hair.
To improve your hair health, consider making these dietary changes:
- Increase Protein Intake: Opt for lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts to support healthy hair growth and prevent loss.
- Embrace the Mediterranean Diet: Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil to provide essential nutrients for your hair.
- Consume Vitamin A-Rich Foods: Include spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, and Swiss chard in your diet to promote hair health and minimize the risk of hair loss due to vitamin deficiency.
- Prioritize Vitamin C: Integrate citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and tomatoes into your meals as they contain vitamin C which aids in collagen production for strong hair.
- Add B Vitamins: Consume foods such as whole grains, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, leafy greens, and other vegetables rich in B vitamins to foster healthy hair growth.
- Avoid Restrictive Diets: Steer clear of extreme diets that eliminate entire food groups as they can lead to nutrient deficiencies causing hair thinning and loss.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water daily to maintain overall scalp and hair health.
To complement dietary changes, explore the following medical treatments to address hair loss:
- Topical Medications: Consider using minoxidil, a topical solution approved by the FDA for both men and women. It can help stimulate hair growth and slow down hair loss.
- Oral Medications: Your healthcare provider might recommend finasteride, an oral medication for men that effectively slows down hair loss by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: This treatment involves withdrawing your blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting this plasma into areas of the scalp affected by hair loss to stimulate natural hair growth.
- Hair Transplant Surgery: If other treatments are not effective, you may consider transplanting small plugs of skin with active hair follicles from one part of the scalp to bald or thinning areas.
- Laser Therapy: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices emit cool red light that can mitigate inflammation and increase blood flow in the scalp, promoting a conducive environment for healthy hair growth.
- Steroid Injections: For individuals with alopecia areata, steroid injections into the scalp can help suppress the immune system’s attack on hair follicles and stimulate regrowth.
If you are experiencing hair loss, adding certain supplements to your daily routine may help. Here are some supplements that can be beneficial, supported by scientific evidence and research:
- Biotin: Also known as vitamin H, biotin is essential for the production of keratin, a protein that makes up hair.
- Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to hair loss, so ensure you’re getting enough sunlight or consider taking a supplement.
- Zinc: A deficiency in zinc can lead to hair shedding, making it an important mineral for maintaining healthy hair growth.
- Iron: Iron-deficiency anemia is a common cause of hair loss, especially in women, so consider iron supplementation if needed.
- Saw Palmetto: This herb has been shown to improve hair quality and density in some individuals with androgenetic alopecia.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats help nourish the hair follicles and promote overall scalp health.
- Vitamin E: While too much vitamin E can contribute to hair loss, at appropriate levels it acts as an antioxidant that supports scalp circulation.
Essential oils can be beneficial in promoting hair growth and reducing hair loss. They work by stimulating scalp blood vessels, reducing inflammation in hair follicles, and enhancing scalp massages for hair growth. Here are some essential oils to consider:
- Peppermint oil: Promotes hair growth and benefits alopecia. Its cooling effect also helps improve scalp health.
- Cedarwood oil: Balances oil-producing glands in the scalp to reduce hair loss. It can also help with dandruff.
- Rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, and lavender oils: These oils promote hair growth and reduce hair loss by stimulating the scalp and improving circulation.
- Lavender and peppermint oils: Enhance scalp massages for better absorption and effectiveness of other essential oils.
- Thyme oil: Reduces inflammation in hair follicles and stimulates hair growth without causing irritation.
In conclusion, knowing the unexpected causes of hair loss is crucial for taking appropriate action. Identifying and addressing underlying factors such as medication side effects, stress, and nutritional deficiencies can help prevent further hair loss.
By adopting proper hair care practices, making dietary adjustments, and seeking medical guidance when necessary, individuals experiencing hair loss can take proactive steps towards maintaining healthy hair.
It’s important to seek professional advice if experiencing persistent or severe hair loss in order to explore suitable treatments tailored to individual needs.
1. Can wearing ponytails make my hair fall out?
Yes, tight ponytails can pull your hair too much and lead to a type of loss called traction alopecia.
2. What is trichotillomania and how does it affect my hair?
Trichotillomania is a disorder where people feel the need to pull out their own hair, which can cause balding over time.
3. Does thyroid disease relate to losing hair?
Yes, both an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause your hair to fall out.
4. Can treatments for other health issues cause my hair to thin or fall out?
5. What’s this thing called ‘cooling cap’ I heard about for saving my hair during treatment?
A cooling cap slows down damage by cooling the scalp during cancer treatment, potentially saving your natural locks from falling out.
6. If my parents are balding, will I lose my hair too?
Hereditary conditions such as female pattern or male pattern baldness mean you might have genes that make you more likely than others to experience thinning or loss of your mane.