I often write articles about moving past and fixing hair loss and shedding. Probably one of the most common questions that I'm asked is "why is my hair falling out?" In truth, there are many possible reasons, depending upon your personal situation, your age, your health, and your genetics. In the following article, I'll go over many possible causes of hair loss to help you determine which may be applicable to you.
Telogen Effluvium (TE) Due To A Change In Your Life, Your Body, Or Your Habits: The scientific or medical word for hair shedding is telogen effluvium, which basically means that you are shedding over 100 hairs per day for an extended period of time . But, please do not count your hairs. If you have TE, you generally know it because you see hair every where – on your clothing, on your pillow case, in the shower drain, etc.
This type of hair loss is generally caused by a change somewhere in your life, like giving birth or starting and stopping medications like birth control pills, antidepressants, heart medications, etc. Sometimes, herbs that change your hormones (saw palmetto, soy, menopause supplements, etc.) can kick off a TE as well.
Sometimes declining hormones that come with aging can cause hair loss. This includes thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones. Some believe believe that stress or a poor diet can cause shedding, but many people in the medical establishment do not buy this. However, as someone who has been through many sheds, I can tell you my shedding did seem to worsen during times of high stress. I believe that excess cortisol released during these periods can contribute to shedding, but this is just my opinion.
This type of run of the mill shedding generally lasts a few months or until the trigger that caused it is removed. Shedding that lasts for longer than this is called CTE (chronic telogen effluvium). This usually plagues women who are hormonally sensitive or people who can not remove or keep reintroducing the same trigger.
Hair Loss That Is Caused By Inflammation And / Or Scalp Or Dermatological Issues: Sometimes, a scalp that is damaged can manifest itself in hair loss. To have healthy hair that is deeply embedded in your scalp and properly nourished, you must have a scalp that is conducive to this. There are many dermatological issues that can cause shedding including ringworm, severe dandruff, yeast infections, candida, or irritation that causes inflammation.
It's also quite common that hair follicles get clogged, inflamed or compromised and this in turn can choke off the nourishment to your hair and can cause it to fall. Worse, when the hair starts to grow back, it will come in thinner and miniaturized due to this process.
AGA And DHT Induced Hair Loss: Androgenic Alopecia is the scientific name for patterned, genetic hair loss also known as male or female patterned thinning or baldness. Many people mistakenly believe that you need a bald or thinning relative to have AGA or androgen related loss, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, you'll see changes to your skin and body when this type of shedding starts (oilier skin, acne, stronger body odor, oily hair, chin hairs on women, etc.)
Sometimes, the only indication of this is that your hair begins to thin or shed. The main culprit in this cycle is a substance called DHT which as explained earlier chokes out your hair follicles. There are many ways to slow or stop this process, even in women. Sometimes, this presents themselves as patterned loss (temples, the top, and the crown) but other times, you'll get more diffuse, all over loss.
AA or Alopecia Areata: I will mention this one because it can present itself with shedding at first. But, this type of loss will usually present as loss in circular patches. Or, the shedding is so severe that all of the hair is lost. This type of hair loss is extremely rare and the regrowth sometimes comes in white.