Countless Health Issues Cause Hair Loss
Many different health issues cause hair loss. There are a number of different reasons why hair loss occurs, sometimes there can be several contributing factors. Sometimes the problem will remedy itself without any medical intervention, while other times seeking medical attention is the best plan. In this article, we will explore some of the health issues that cause hair loss, and what treatments are available. Understanding the root causes behind hair loss is essential for regenerating her hair.
Chemical Imbalance Health Issues Cause Hair Loss
Thyroid imbalances can contribute to hair loss, either in the form of an underactive thyroid known as hypothyroidism or an overactive thyroid known as hyperthyroidism. Hair loss can result from either condition as both cause hormone imbalances. Hormones are responsible for regulating nearly every bodily function, including hair growth. In addition to thinning hair symptoms of an overactive thyroid include racing heart, trouble sleeping, anxiety, sudden unexplained weight loss, and fragile skin.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid will also include thinning hair as well as depression, fatigue, slow heart rate, weight gain or trouble losing weight, muscle aches, dry skin, heavy periods, constipation, and underactive sweat glands. If you suspect that thyroid imbalances could be the cause of your thinning hair, talking to a doctor is the best next step. They order tests to determine whether there are any hormonal imbalances to address. As your hormones come back into balance, your hair growth should return to a more normal state.
Hormonal Change Health Issues Cause Hair Loss
Changes in hormones during major life events such as pregnancy or menopause can also be a cause of hair loss. For example, hormones fluctuate a lot during pregnancy and afterward in the postpartum period. During pregnancy hair growth will often accelerate, due to the increased levels of estrogen which assist with hair growth. Then about 3 months after the baby’s birth, hormone levels change, resulting in increased shedding and thinning hair.
As a woman continues to recover from childbirth, her hair will regrow. Incorporating proper nutrition and keeping stress levels low can be helpful in reducing the severity of this hair thinning, but rest assured it’s completely normal. Hair loss supplement company Nutrafol makes a supplement formulated especially to help reduce postpartum hair loss in new moms.
Hormone changes that occur during menopause can also contribute to hair loss. Research suggests that lowered rates of estrogen and progesterone production could be to blame. These hormones are responsible for helping the hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods of time. When these hormone levels drop, hair starts to grow more slowly and appear thinner. This decrease of hormones will also trigger an increase in the production of a group of male hormones, known as androgens. Androgens will cause the hair follicles to shrink, and eventually stop producing hair altogether.
At the same time, some women may experience increased hair growth on the face, displaying a peach fuzz appearance. Your doctor can order tests to see where your hormone levels are at, and make recommendations for treatments accordingly. Some women respond well to hormone replacement therapy, while others may prefer to work with more natural remedies such as dietary adjustments and herbs.
Other Reasons You Might Experience Hairloss
Hair loss can also occur as a side effect of certain medications. Blood thinners, certain types of birth control pills, depression medications, NSAIDs, beta and calcium channel blockers can all lead to thinning hair and baldness. Taking excessive amounts of vitamin A or retinoid drugs that are vitamin-A-based can also lead to hair loss.
Some chemotherapy drugs that are used for cancer treatments also cause hair to fall out, though this is not permanent. Hair will usually grow back after chemotherapy. However, if you suspect a medication may be the cause of your hair loss, you will need to discuss with your doctor whether adjusting the dosage or seeking an alternative medication or treatment is possible.
Stress & Emotional Instability
Hair loss can also occur as a response to a serious physical or emotional shock. When the body is under serious stress, the natural hair growth cycle can be disrupted. A physical shock to the system such as a severe accident, intensive surgery, burns, or serious illness can cause a shock to the hair follicles, causing up to 75% of hair to fall out at once. Often this event will occur months after the incident.
Stressful life events such as grieving the loss of a loved one, bankruptcy, divorce, or some other type of significant emotional stress can also cause temporary hair loss. Once stress levels return to normal, the normal hair growth cycle will usually resume as well. Incorporating stress reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, reiki, or massage can be helpful. Being sure to include plenty of B vitamins and Omega 3’s in the diet can also help to support the body’s nervous system when you are going through a high-stress situation.
Dietary deficiencies can contribute to hair loss as well. Poor nutrition can contribute to thinning hair and balding. Particularly deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc, fatty acids, niacin, vitamin D, vitamin E, and folic acid. Be sure to follow a well-balanced diet, and steer clear of any extreme diet trends that encourage you to overly restrict the types of foods you eat. These can result in major nutritional deficiencies that can impact your overall health in addition to your hair growth.
Another factor that can imitate nutrient deficiency is heavy metal toxicity. Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead can block the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, causing hair loss, even when a person is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Your doctor can order tests if you suspect you have nutritional deficiencies, or if you suspect that you may be been exposed to toxic heavy metals. Symptoms of heavy metal exposure are similar to those of several other illnesses and can be difficult to spot. If you’ve been struggling with hair loss and have struggled to spot a cause, this could very well be something to ask your doctor about.
Be Careful Styling Your Hair
Sometimes the instead of an internal health issue causing hair loss, it is an external cause. Harsh hairstyling practices and overuse of hair products can cause significant damage to hair. Heavy braids, tight ponytails, overuse of heat styling tools, and other styling methods that involve lots of pulling on the hair will cause stress at the hair follicle, making the hair more likely to fall out.
Bleaching the hair, especially if you are starting from a naturally darker hue and making a drastic change to a lighter shade can cause of damage as well. It weakens and dries out the strands of hair, making them more susceptible to breakage, and having a dull, dry, straw-like appearance. Using blow dryers, straightening irons, and electric curlers on high heat settings can dry out the hair from the inside out. There’s even a term for this phenomenon: traction alopecia. This condition occurs where so much stress is placed on the hair follicles, that over time they cease to produce hair for good. Traction alopecia can usually be reversed by adopting gentle, more natural hairstyles that do not require heat.
Use of protective styling methods, such as wrapping your hair in a silk scarf, bonnet, or do-rag, can also help to protect your hair as you sleep at night. In more extreme cases of traction alopecia, a patient might respond well to topical medications such as minoxidil, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), or hair transplantation. We’ll cover these treatments in greater detail, a little further on.
In addition to harsh styling methods, some everyday hair care products like shampoo can contain ingredients that have been shown to cause hair loss. Certain ingredients like formaldehyde have been linked to hair loss, although there isn’t definitive evidence to prove this yet. Some keratin hair-smoothing salon treatments sometimes known as “Brazilian blowouts” contain either formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers. You’ll find these under the ingredient “DMDM hydantoin”. There have been many reports of consumers experiencing hair loss or scalp irritation after getting these salon treatments, or using a product that contains these ingredients. The FDA has yet to ban these products, but they have issued consumer updates about DMDM.
Lawsuits and Regulation
Class action lawsuits have been filed against the makers of hair products that include DMDM hydantoin for causing hair loss and scalp irritation. These products include Unilever TRESesmme keratin shampoo and conditioners, johnson & johnson OGX shampoo, and Straight Arrow Products Mane ‘n Tail shampoo and conditioners. An article on Good RX reports: “The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has stated that formaldehyde is safe to use as a preservative in cosmetic products at low concentrations, but not in hair straighteners since more chemical is released into the air. Despite this, California recently banned several chemicals from cosmetic products, including some types of formaldehyde. These have also been banned by the European Union, and they are starting to be prohibited by some major U.S. retailers.” It is a good idea to stay far, far away from this ingredient.
Formaldehyde is not the only ingredient that causes hair loss. Other major hair products such as WEN and Deva Curl have also been the subjects of class action lawsuits. The FDA had previously launched an investigation into these products and issued a consumer information notice about them. It’s not known what specific ingredients potentially caused these reactions. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can cause significant scalp irritation, especially in people who are prone to sensitive skin. Many people see a reduction in hair loss when they switch to natural products that are free of these irritating ingredients.
Infections & Illnesses
There are a number of infections and illnesses that can lead to hair loss too. High fevers from an infection, fungal infections of the skin or scalp, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection will make it possible to restore lost hair and prevent any further loss. It is important to seek medical attention right away if you suspect an illness or infection could be the health issue causing your hair loss.
Ways to Treat or Stop Hair Loss
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, and there are two main types: alopecia areata and androgenic (androgenetic) alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is a genetic predisposition to being sensitive to the androgenic hormones that cause the hair follicles to shrink. It is thought that there are multiple genes that contribute to this condition and that it can be inherited from either side of the family.
Alopecia areata is often associated with an autoimmune disease, so it’s thought that some forms of hair loss can be caused by one of these medical conditions or is at least somehow related to it. Diabetes and lupus are two autoimmune diseases that can also result in hair loss. This type of hair loss may not always be reversible — it may sometimes be permanent. But medications and hair restoration surgeries may help compensate for any hair loss.
Topicals & Consumables
The most effective medications for hair loss are topical treatments like minoxidil, also known as Rogaine. For men, finasteride is also an option, which is both a topical and oral medication that blocks DHT. These treatments work best if started early, and must be used continuously in order to be effective. If you stop taking these medications your hair loss will continue as before. Some men report undesirable sexual side effects, such as impotency and lack of sexual desire from the oral medication of finasteride, as a result of its DHT blocking action. These treatments may also not be effective if your hair loss is in the advanced stages.
LLLT Laser Hair Therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the form of laser cap devices is a gentle, non-invasive treatment with no known side effects. Though not all laser cap products are created equally. Be sure to choose a product that is FDA cleared. The CapillusRX 312 is a top-of-the-line product with the highest concentration of prescription-grade laser diodes of any laser cap available. It has been clinically shown to both improve hair growth as well as prevent hair loss. You can read more about it at clincaltrials.gov.
Hair Transplant Surgeries Fight Hair Loss
Hair transplantation surgery is an effective and permanent way to restore thinning hair and reverse the appearance of hair loss. There are two main ways of performing hair transplantation surgery. They differ according to the method used to harvest the donor hair follicles. Most often, donor hairs come from the back of the head, where the hair tends to be thicker. Additionally, these follicles are less vulnerable to DHT. With FUT the surgeon harvests the follicular grafts by cutting small vertical incisions to remove small strips of the scalp along with hair follicles, before transplanting the grafts. With FUE the doctor uses a small micropunch tool to remove the follicles individually.
Both surgeries are very effective and have comparable success rates. There are pros and cons to both procedures which you can discuss with your doctor. FUE tends to be more time-consuming and expensive, but also has a reduced risk of visible scarring, and is less invasive, resulting in a faster and less painful recovery. FUT is less expensive and less time-consuming, but is also more invasive, and may involve a bit more discomfort in the early recovery stages.
Both procedures involve the transplantation of your own natural hair. As a result, there’s a very low risk of side effects, especially with proper after-care measures. It takes about a year for the newly transplanted hair follicles to heal, become well established, and grow. However, once that year passes, you will see significantly fuller hair. Hair transplantation is a process that requires a lot of patience. However, for those who’ve struggled with hair loss, seeing their hair restored is well worth the wait. While there is no sure-fire way to stop male pattern baldness, hair transplantation is a long-term solution. Furthermore, it’s an extremely effective way to restore your natural hair.
SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS?
As you can see, many health issues cause hair loss. As such, there are as many different ways to treat these various conditions. The first step is to determine the root cause of your hair loss. From there you and your doctor can discuss the best options for treatment. Depending on the cause and severity of your hair loss your doctor may recommend more than one approach for restoring your hair. Thankfully we live in an age where lots of effective treatments and solutions are available.
Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.
At Best Hair Transplant, we’re proud of our results and happy to provide hair restoration services. Additionally, we’re proud to make hair transplants affordable and help you save money on a variety of hair transplants. To ensure your ease of mind, you can view our customer recommendations HERE. Furthermore, you can also see our Google reviews and Yelp reviews. We can’t wait to help you start restoring your lost hair.
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