May be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or a normal part of aging. Anyone can lose hair on the head, but it's more common in men. Baldness generally refers to excessive loss of scalp hair. Hereditary hair loss with age is the most common cause of baldness.
Poisoning slowly can cause hair loss. Poisons that can cause hair loss include arsenic, thallium, mercury and lithium. If you ingest a large amount of warfarin, which is found in rat poisons, it can also cause hair loss. Taking large amounts of vitamin A or selenium is also toxic and can cause hair loss.
Hair loss related to androgenic alopecia tends to occur gradually. While some people may experience hair loss as early as puberty, others may not notice symptoms until middle age, which is between 6 and 11 years old. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles, resulting in bald spots that can range from small to large. In some cases, it can cause total hair loss.
In addition to losing hair on the scalp, some people with alopecia areata lose hair on their eyebrows, eyelashes, or other parts of the body. Anagen effluvium involves rapid hair loss. This usually happens because of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Telogen effluvium is a type of sudden hair loss that results from emotional or physical shock, such as a traumatic event, a period of extreme stress, or serious illness.
Ringworm of the head, also called ringworm of the scalp, is a fungal infection that can affect the scalp and hair shaft. Causes small areas of baldness that are scaly and itchy. Over time, the size of these patches increases. Traction alopecia is the result of too much pressure and tension on the hair, often from wearing it in tight styles, such as braids, pigtails, or bows.
Physical and psychological stress can cause hair loss. Surgery, high fevers, and blood loss can cause enough stress to cause excessive shedding. Childbirth can cause hair loss for several months after delivery. Extreme diets that are too low in protein and certain vitamins, such as iron, can sometimes lead to excessive hair loss.
While male and female pattern baldness is the primary cause of hair loss, there are a variety of other reasons. Thinning hair occurs gradually, which means you have time to identify the causes and determine the best treatment measures. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and too little (hypothyroidism) can cause hair loss. In a scalp reduction, the surgeon removes a part of the scalp that lacks hair and closes the area with a part of the scalp that has hair.
Traction alopecia is hair loss due to hair being pulled in tight hairstyles, causing it to break and come loose. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is produced in the hair follicles in the outer layer of the skin. Alopecia areata is a disease that develops when the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles (which keeps the hair in place) and causes them to fall out. Regardless of the term you use, it means that you have inherited genes that cause hair follicles (where each hair grows from) to shrink and eventually stop growing hair.
The American Hair Loss Association recommends that people who are at increased risk of genetic hair loss opt for a non-hormonal method of birth control. The average head of an adult has between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day; finding some loose hairs on the brush is not necessarily cause for alarm. If you think a medication is causing hair loss, ask the doctor who prescribed it for you if hair loss is a possible side effect. Anagen effluvium causes large amounts of hair to fall out rapidly during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle.