8 Potential causes for severe hair loss(alopecia) and baldness

Date :21-Feb-2024

 

Are you losing more hair than usual? Experiencing thinning patches or bald spots? If so, you’re not alone. Hair loss affects millions of people worldwide, causing distress and affecting self-esteem. While many may attribute hair loss to genetic factors or aging, numerous other underlying causes may be responsible for your alopecia or hair thinning. Understanding the root causes of hair loss is essential to finding effective solutions and regaining your confidence. 

Severe hair loss can be attributed to various factors, including hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, medication, autoimmune diseases, physical trauma, stress, nutrient deficiency and external triggers. It is important to note that hair loss is a complex issue, and its causes can vary from person to person. 

 

It is essential to consult our expert dermatologist at vitals skin and hair klinic in Bangalore to determine the underlying cause and develop an individualized treatment plan. Let’s explore each potential cause in more detail to gain a deeper understanding of severe hair loss(alopecia) and baldness

  1. Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can have a significant impact on hair health and can contribute to hair loss. Two specific hormonal factors that are commonly associated with hair loss are excess androgen and underactive thyroid. Excess androgen, which is a male sex hormone, can lead to a condition called androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss is also called as male pattern baldness. It is characterized by a gradual thinning of the hair on the scalp, starting at the temples and crown. In women, this condition can cause overall thinning of the hair. Another hormonal factor that can contribute to hair loss is an underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland will produce hormones that regulate metabolism and growth. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to hair loss.


2. Pregnancy: During pregnancy, many women experience a variety of hormonal changes that can have an impact on their overall health, including their hair. One common issue that some pregnant women face is temporary hair loss. Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through significant hormonal shifts, especially an increase in estrogen levels. This surge in estrogen can prolong the hair’s growth cycle, leading to less shedding and thicker hair during pregnancy. However, after giving birth, hormone levels drastically drop, which can trigger a condition known as postpartum hair loss. This phenomenon, also known as telogen effluvium, is temporary and typically occurs two to four months after delivery. The sudden shift in hormone levels can cause a large number of hair follicles to enter the resting phase at the same time, resulting in increased shedding and noticeable thinning of the hair. It’s important to note that this type of hair loss is usually not a cause for concern and tends to resolve on its own after childbirth.


3. Medications: Hair loss can be a distressing side effect of certain medications. Understanding the types of medications that can contribute to hair loss is crucial for individuals experiencing this issue. Here, we will discuss some common medications known to cause hair loss:


  • Chemotherapy drugs: Chemotherapy drugs, used to treat various types of cancer, often lead to significant hair loss. These drugs target rapidly dividing cells, including hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. However, hair typically starts to regrow after the completion of chemotherapy.
  • Anticoagulants: Certain anticoagulant medications can cause hair thinning or hair loss. These medications are prescribed to prevent blood clots, but hair loss is a potential side effect. 
  • Antidepressants: Some antidepressants, particularly selective, have been associated with hair loss. Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it may be related to the impact of these medications on serotonin levels in the body.
  • Anticonvulsants: Certain anticonvulsant medications used to manage epilepsy, have also been linked to hair loss. 
  • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers, commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions, may have hair loss as a potential side effect.

It is important to note that not everyone who takes these medications will experience hair loss. If you are concerned about hair loss, it is best to consult with our expert dermatologist at vitals skin and hair klinic in bangalore.

  1. Autoimmune diseases: Hair loss can be caused by various autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata, lupus, hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells and tissues. These conditions can have an impact on the hair follicles, leading to severe hair loss.
  2. Physical trauma: Physical trauma, such as severe accidents or injuries, can have a significant impact on the health of your hair. When the body experiences trauma, whether it be from a car accident, a fall, or other types of injury, it can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle. One common form of hair loss associated with trauma is called telogen effluvium. This condition occurs when a significant amount of your hair follicles prematurely enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, known as the telogen phase. As a result, more hairs than usual will shed during the telogen phase, leading to noticeable hair thinning or even bald patches. 
  3. Stress: Stress is a common factor that can contribute to hair loss and thinning. The relationship between stress and hair loss is complex, involving both physical and emotional components. Whether it’s due to serious physical stress, such as a severe illness or surgery, or emotional trauma, the effects on the hair follicles can be significant.
  4. Nutrient deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies play a significant role in the development of severe hair loss. When our bodies lack the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins necessary for healthy hair growth, it can lead to weakened hair follicles and subsequent hair loss. Here are some key nutrients and their impact on hair health:
  • Iron: A lack of iron in the­ body is a frequent reason why many pe­ople notice hair loss. Iron helps in delivering oxygen to the hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth.
  • Biotin: Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is essential for strong and healthy hair. It helps in production of keratin, a protein that forms the structure of hair strands.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats help to promote scalp health and nourish the hair follicles.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Spending time outdoors in the sunlight can help maintain optimal vitamin D levels.
  • Zinc: Zinc is essential for hair tissue repair and growth. It helps keep the oil glands around the hair follicles functioning properly.

Ensuring a well-balanced diet that includes these vital nutrients is essential for promoting hair growth and preventing severe hair loss due to nutrient deficiencies.

  1. External triggers: External triggers like excessive styling, heat, and chemical treatments can have detrimental effects on hair health and lead to hair loss. While these practices may temporarily enhance appearance, they can cause significant damage to the hair follicles and weaken hair strands over time. Taking preventive measures and adopting a less damaging approach to hair care is crucial in maintaining healthy hair and minimizing the risk of hair loss.

If you’re experiencing significant hair loss or have concerns about your hair health, it’s advisable to consult our expert dermatologist at vitals skin and hair klinic in bangalore. Contact us to know more!

Mail us: info.vitalsklinic@gmail.com



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