Hair loss is a common problem. A normal person loses approximately 50 to 100 hairs per day (this may surprise your). At this rate of hair loss generally there is no thinning of hair or baldness, because similar number of new hairs also grow back in normal individuals. Problem of hair loss arises when the number of hair loss increase to more than normal limit of hair loss. Problem of hair loss may also become clear when hair loss may be within normal limit (50 to 100 hairs per day), but the lost hairs are not replaced by re-growing of new hairs and the hair follicles are destroyed and replaced by scar tissue.
The causes of hair loss is not very clear, however some important factors in hair loss are:
- Hereditary, which runs in families
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications (such as cancer chemotherapy drugs)
- Hormonal changes
This is an important cause of hair loss. If father is bald, son is likely also will be bald. Hereditary of familial type of baldness is usually of male-pattern of baldness and female-pattern of baldness. Familial hair loss is predictable and starts gradually over several years. Some families have baldness at much earlier age than other families and may even start at puberty. For men, usually there is receding hairline over forehead and for females, there is thinning of hair.
Medical conditions for hair loss:
Medical conditions such as scalp infection (such as fungal infection of scalp), hair pulling disorder (a mental health condition known as trichotillomania), and some other skin conditions affecting scalp may lead to hair loss. If infection is cause of hair loss, hair usually re-grows if infection is treated successfully.
Medications that cause hair loss:
Various medications can cause hair loss. Cancer chemotherapy agents are well known for hair loss. However, hair loss due to cancer chemotherapy agents is usually reversible and hair re-grows after treatment is stopped. Drugs used for arthritis, hypertension, heart problem, depression etc. may also cause hair loss.
Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause may lead to hair loss. Thyroid disorder may also lead to hair loss. Hair loss due to hormonal change is generally temporary in nature.
Other causes of hair loss:
Radiation therapy in head to treat medical condition such as cancer may lead to hair loss. Hair loss may sometime occur in individuals undergoing stress/trauma such as a major surgery, very high fever etc. Sometimes hairstyle may also lead to hair loss.