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No one in my family is bald. Why am I losing hair

Posted by
 Dr Batra’s™  July 7, 2020

You might have seen this in many cases and also several research studies have indicated that men who have a bald father are more likely to lose hair than those who don't. Baldness can also occur if it runs in your mother’s family. In fact, the key baldness gene is on the X chromosome, which men inherit only from their mothers. Women too are more likely to lose hair if they have a family history of hair loss. Female pattern hair loss, the most common type of hair loss in women is a hereditary condition. However, in many cases, it has been observed that people lose hair even if baldness doesn’t run in either side of the family. Are you one of them too? If so, you should know that baldness is not caused only due to hereditary reasons.

Hair loss can be due to over 40 different causes

There are several other causes of hair loss including medical illnesses like thyroid, or diabetes; stress, certain medications can cause it too like anti-coagulants, blood thinners, etc, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, crash dieting, and oral contraceptives. Here are top 5 causes for hair loss that you should know. 

1. Hormonal imbalance

When your hormones are out of whack, the effects are seen throughout your body including hair. This happens because hormones play an important role in regulating the hair growth cycle. Excess of androgens (male hormones) in the body can cause hair fall. Therefore, in hormonal problems like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), when body produces excess of androgens, hair loss occurs.

2. Iron & Vitamin B12 deficiency

One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is iron deficiency. This is because iron is essential for producing hair cell protein. Obviously, without it, the strands suffer. It has been observed that 60 per cent of women in India, who complain of hair loss, suffer from iron-deficiency anaemia.

Vitamin B12 affects the health of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all the tissues in your body. Its deficiency therefore leads to a lot of health problems like low energy leading to tiredness and also hair loss.

3. Medical illnesses

If has been observed that medical illnesses like thyroid and diabetes cause hair loss. Thyroid imbalance affects hair follicles that lead to hair loss. Also, hypothyroidism if left untreated may result in anaemia, which as discussed before is one of the main causes of hair loss.      

4. Stress

Prolonged stress can affect your hair. Why? Because excess stress raises the levels of androgens in our body, causing hair loss. Stress can also trigger scalp problems like dandruff, and can also disrupt eating habits. It can mess with our digestive system as well and all of this can have negative impact on hair.

5. Crash dieting

The pressure to look a certain way makes people do a lot of things to get the desired look but unfortunately, it has a negative impact on their health. For example, to lose weight, many people, especially youngsters go on a crash diet. It deprives them of essential nutrients. Lack of enough proteins, iron and other important nutrients cause damage to the body and hair too. Inadequacy of such nutrients makes hair deprived of desired nourishment, which eventually makes them fall.

Now that you know the reasons for hair loss, let us also see the possible self-care that you can take to prevent your hair from falling.

  • Include proteins in your diet. Eat a lot of eggs, fish, beans and legumes
  • Eat spinach, citrus fruits, nuts, avocado, whole grains and carrots. 
  • Take medical help if you have excess hair loss to rule out the possibility of any medical problem causing hair loss
  • Manage your stress well. Exercise, meditation, yoga and massages can help
  • Use minimum hair styling products as chemicals in these products might harm your hair causing hair loss
  • Shampoo and condition your hair well.
  • Oiling helps improve blood circulation and nourish the roots. So once a week oil massage is recommended.