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Hair loss

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Hair Loss - Causes

Heredity is known to be the cause in most of the hair loss cases. Dihydrotestosterone the male sex hormone is the primary trigger in case of male- and female-pattern baldness.

  • Poor nutrition: Iron deficiency (anaemia) followed by protein deficiency is one of the topmost reasons for hair loss. Improper absorption of nutrients can also lead to poor nutrition.
  • Crash dieting: Excessive dieting, especially mono dieting, which involves completely avoiding a particular type of food group, disturbs the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, leading to hair loss. Sometimes, hair loss does not reverse, even after the patient gets back on a normal diet.
  • Oral contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptives using synthetic progesterone can lead to female-pattern baldness. Then again, stopping oral contraceptives is also known to be associated with generalised hair loss for some time.
  • Poor circulation: Follicles that are constantly deprived of blood (and therefore nutrients) cannot produce hair properly.
  • Smoking: Nicotine (tobacco) negatively influences the micro-circulation of the scalp, leading to increased hair loss.
  • Mental stress: There can be an increased hair loss when an individual is highly stressed, though the exact mechanism of this is not known.
  • Dandruff: Dandruff is inflamed, flaky skin on the scalp, which hinders proper circulation and nutrition to the hair, thereby causing increased hair loss.
  • Medications: Drugs used in the treatment of gout, depression, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart problems can lead to increased hair loss. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment are other common causes.
  • Presence of systemic illnesses: Diabetes, lupus, scleroderma, etc., can cause hair loss. 
  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, etc., can all lead to significant hair loss.
  • Hair treatments: Chemical treatment of hair, especially with ammonia-based products, perming, straightening, ironing, etc., can lead to damage and hair loss.
  • Infection of the scalp: Scalp infections, especially ringworm, can lead to hair-loss problems.
  • Local diseases: Scalp diseases such as psoriasis, lichen planus, etc., can cause hair loss.
  • Recuperating from serious illness: Illnesses such as high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss or even post-surgery conditions and metabolic disturbances can lead to significant hair loss.