It’s not always easy to answer the question “why is my hair falling out?”, but we’ll explore the most common reasons why you may be losing more hair than usual below.
You may panic if you find more hairs tangled in your comb or in the shower drain than usual. Losing hair as part of the natural growth cycle usually doesn’t make much of an impact on your appearance, as new hairs will replace those that fall out, but more extensive shedding can cause bald spots or a receding hairline.
Increased hair loss may be due to genetics (e.g. male pattern baldness) but other issues can contribute too.
1. Hormonal Fluctuations
Men can lose their hair with age as their hormonal makeup changes. Similarly, women can experience hair loss after giving birth, when menopausal, or if affected by a hormonal imbalance.
It’s common for the sex hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to trigger hair loss by shrinking the follicles on the scalp and preventing them from growing new hair.
2. Thyroid Issues
A problem with the thyroid is one hormone-related cause of hair loss: hyperthyroidism occurs when a body has more thyroid hormone than necessary, and hypothyroidism becomes an issue when there’s too little of it.
Both can cause hair loss, but hair growth should return to normal when the disorder is treated.
Medications can trigger many side effects, and hair loss is just one of them. Examples include:
- Beta blockers
- Certain oral contraceptives
- Treatments for thyroid issues
However, not everyone will experience hair loss when taking one or more of these medication types.
4. High Stress Levels
One potential answer to “why is my hair falling out?” is stress. High levels of psychological stress can trigger hair loss, which can make stress worse. Physical stress, such as undergoing surgery, giving birth, or losing blood, can also contribute to more shedding than usual.
Research shows that work stress is one of the most common forms of stress in the UK, affecting 79% of people surveyed. Family stress (48%), health stress (45%), and monetary stress (60%) were frequently to blame too.
Fortunately, though, hair growth may return to normal after reducing stress. Try the following tips to bring your stress levels down:
- Exercise each day
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and proteins
- Meditate and practice mindfulness
- Cut stressors out of your life (when possible)
Speak to your doctor if stress regularly interferes with your quality of life.
According to the NHS website, menopause, viral infections, and childbirth may cause lupus. This autoimmune disease causes the immune system to incorrectly identify healthy areas of the body as threats and attack them.
Lupus can trigger patchy hair loss and scalp lesions, while medications for it can also contribute.
6. Nutrition Deficiencies
Missing out on important nutrients (such as iron and zinc) can lead to hair loss. However, a deficiency in the following vitamins and nutrients can result in more shedding than usual too:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Alternatively, vitamin and mineral supplements can provide you with the recommended daily amount in tablet form.
7. Why is My Hair Falling Out? Other Health Issues
The following conditions may lead to unusual hair loss:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Renal failure
- Liver disease
Dermatitis, psoriasis, and other skin conditions may all affect hair growth. Infections like folliculitis and ringworm can be to blame too.
What Treatments are Available?
If you’re concerned about your hair loss and want to explore treatments, visit your doctor. They may be able to discuss your options, the stress you experience due to your hair loss, and any other issues related to your unusual shedding.
One of the most popular ways to combat hair loss is hair transplantation. Specialist surgeons can transplant healthy hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another to restore your growth.
Try the following tips to keep your hair healthy and help reduce your risk of losing it:
● Use heated styling tools less often (or stop using them altogether).
● Don’t wear your hair in a tight style that will put constant strain on the follicles.
● Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo that suits your hair type.
● Avoid chemical treatments and bleaching.
● Explore low-level light therapy designed to promote hair growth.
● Use a soft hair brush featuring natural fibres.
Your hair loss may be due to a number of reasons, such as a nutritional deficiency, underlying medical issues, or stress. Some hair loss is natural: most of us shed from 50 to 100 hairs each day, and more when shampooing.
Here are five signs that may indicate you’re losing too much hair:
● You find more hairs on your pillow than usual in the morning.
● You can see more of your scalp through your hair than you normally can.
● Your part appears to be getting wider.
● You find more and more hair in your shower or bath after shampooing.
● You find several hairs on your hands after you run your fingers through your hair.
Hairs will NOT grow back if follicles have vanished, closed, become scarred, or been inactive for a long time. However, follicles that remain intact can regrow hair. You may also be able to enhance the health of your remaining hair even as it continues to get thinner.