Understanding the Causes of Hair Loss

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the thinning of hair. Some can be treated and some can be unstoppable.
25th January 2022

By Vanessa B

Hair loss is a very common condition that affects self-esteem and daily routine, perhaps especially when it comes to women. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the thinning of hair. Some can be treated and some can be unstoppable, depending on the level of hair shedding and the contributing factors. Hair Loss is sometimes not just hair loss. It can be associated with different health conditions or diseases. Micropigmentation North Carolina can help those who are experiencing different types of hair loss. Read on to know more about the contributing conditions and how they are associated with hair loss.

Factors associated with Hair Loss

Hormonal Changes

  • Pregnancy- Hair loss that is associated with pregnancy usually occurs after delivery. An increased number of hairs go into the resting phase during pregnancy, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle. Some hair loss conditions during pregnancy may be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiency.
  • Birth Control- Birth control pills can cause hair loss due to hormonal changes. Birth control pills contain progestin that causes hair loss. Unlike natural progesterone, this synthetic form of hormone has an androgenic activity that has the same effects as male hormones.
  • Menopausal- hair loss during the menopausal stage is the result of hormonal imbalance. It both lowered the production of progesterone and estrogen. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. Most women, who notice hair loss around the time of menopause, do not have anything medically wrong.

Medical Conditions

  • Thyroid- Thyroid conditions can cause hair loss if they are severe and go untreated. Hair loss can occur as a result of severe and long-term hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The loss is diffuse, affecting the entire scalp rather than isolated areas. The hair appears sparse all over. Regrowth is common after successful thyroid disorder treatment, though it may take several months and may be incomplete. Hair loss from mild (e.g., subclinical) hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or short-term thyroid problems, is unusual.

Some types of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism appear suddenly and are diagnosed early, whereas others may be present for months or years before diagnosis. Hair loss caused by thyroid disease appears several months after the disease’s onset.

  • Alopecia Areata- Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that is related to thyroid diseases. Autoimmune conditions can also cause hair loss.
  • Scalp Infection- A number of infectious agents and infection-related conditions can contribute to hair loss. Some of these scalp infections are ringworm, folliculitis, piedra, Demodex folliculorum, and seborrheic dermatitis. An infection that causes a high fever, a fungal skin infection, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection can restore hair growth and prevent future hair loss.
  • Cancer- Hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Hair loss can happen after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell or bone marrow transplant. These cancer treatments can harm the cells that help the hair to grow.
  • High Blood Pressure- High blood pressure restricts blood supply to the hair roots. High blood pressure is difficult to detect. This occurs because it has common side effects that are not taken seriously. One example is hair loss. We experience hair loss as a result of a variety of factors, including a poor diet and a poor hair care routine. Hair loss is another side effect of excessive stress. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is now linked to hair loss and other issues. According to studies, people with high blood pressure can also experience hair loss. Though the findings of these studies do not clearly state whether hair loss can occur as a result of high blood pressure or the medications used to treat high blood pressure,
  • Arthritis- People with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatic arthritis and lupus can experience hair loss as a troubling symptom of their disease.  Sometimes, the cause of hair shedding locks could be the medication used to treat the disease.
  • Depression- Experts haven’t found evidence to suggest that depression directly causes hair loss, depression may have a more indirect role in thinning hair. The physiological states of depression such as low mood, discouragement, low self-esteem, and sometimes feeling of being drained can be a factor in reducing the hair growth phase that leads to hair loss.
  • Heart Problems- Patients with Heart disease can have significantly higher chances of facing baldness. If the men were also bald, high blood pressure was associated with an 80 percent increase in the risk of heart disease. Mild to moderate vertex baldness was also linked to an increased risk of heart disease, albeit to a lesser extent. Frontal baldness, or a receding hairline, had no link to heart disease. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large-scale study to show a link between a specific pattern of baldness and the risk of heart disease,” Manson says. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that men with more severe hair loss developed more heart disease over the course of 11 years than men with only mild to moderate hair loss, implying a link between the degree of hair loss and the risk of heart disease.

According to Manson, an endocrinologist and chief of preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the biological link between hair loss and heart disease could involve elevated levels of male hormones. The scalp contains a higher density of male-hormone receptors, and high levels of hormones like testosterone are linked to an increased risk of artery hardening and blood clotting. Although women were not included in this study, Manson claims that true male-pattern baldness in women, which is caused by an increase in male hormones, has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol, all of which increase the risk of heart disease. She does warn, however, that this finding has not been thoroughly researched.

  • Weight Loss- Fluctuation of the body mass index causes physical stress, which signals the hair follicles to move into an inactive stage.

Bottom Line

Many underlying conditions can be associated with hair loss. These are some of the conditions that cause hair loss. These factors can be treated well when monitored and checked by professionals that specialize in different conditions. Consult with your doctor and ask for advice before taking and undergoing treatments.