Reasons for Hair loss in Men and Women

Hair loss is a common problem or condition, and affects people of different ages at some point of time in their lives. There may be one to several reasons leading to Hair loss.

Hair Loss due to Nutritional Deficiencies

Deficiency in Nutrients may affect the growth and quality of hair. Deficiency of vitamin B group, vitamin A , Minerals , Iron (ferritin present in blood) and Zinc and the restricted intake, mal absorption or mal assimilation of nutrients may lead to hair thinning and Hair loss.

Hair Loss due to Hormonal Imbalance

Androgen, Estrogen, Progesterone are the hormones that vary in one’s lifetime according to age and health of a person. Variation or imbalance in their activity may lead to subsequent hair fall. Thyroid is another important gland, the faulty secretion of hormones from it leads to Hypothyroidism and Hypothyroidism may result in excessive hair loss. Menopause is another condition, which leads to Hair Loss.

The Genetics of Hair Loss

To lose hair at young age may be due to hereditary factors and genetics play a major role in determining the quality and strength of hair. Mainly in Men, baldness is genetic. Baldness mostly happens because of the genes people inherit from both their parents. Studies show that 80% of balding is genetic. People are more likely to be bald if their dad or their maternal grandfather is bald.

Two new studies have found a small region on chromosome 20 called 20p11 which is said to be associated with balding. This shows people are bald even though their maternal grandfather still has a full head of hair. Scientists have no clue on how this DNA is involved, but they concluded the people who are bald tend to have a certain version of 20p111)

Another study2) found a different bit of 20p11, and it was found that the risk of becoming bald was as high as 3 times.

Factors affecting Hair loss

Local factors affecting Hair Loss

Fungal infections (tinea capitis) , Pyoderma, secondary Syphilis, infectious conditions such as dandruff, skin diseases like Psoriasis, lichen plants, eczema etc can cause significant hair loss. Prolonged or acute illness like Liver diseases, kidney malfunction, viral infections, typhoid etc, and drugs like beta blockers for High blood pressure, chemotherapy, anti cholesterol drugs may lead to hair loss.

Other factors affecting Hair Loss

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Unexpected grief
  • Aggressive and impatient behavior
  • Too much exposure to toxins like using harsh chemical based shampoos, gels, soaps etc
  • Infrequent hair wash
  • Unhygienic measures
  • All these factors contribute to thinning of hair and leads to Hair fall

Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness

Mainly Genetic and can be due to Auto immune diseases. Losing patches of hair apparently in an random manner (this may be Alopecia ). Alopecia is a condition where person (male/ female) loses patches of hair from parts of their body but this happens in extreme cases, Hair loss can be caused by various factors as listed above, particularly in Males, the genetics play a major role and is associated with level of circulating testosterone hormone which gets converted into Dehydrotestosterone (DHT) which binds with the root of hair follicles and triggers hair loss. If your hair loss is regular, receding pattern usually temples and crown lose maximum of its hair then you have male pattern baldness

Female pattern Baldness

Female pattern baldness

There could be several reasons for hair loss in a woman, like Child birth , Starting and stopping oral contraceptives, Pregnancy termination, Diet pills, Other medications, Post menopausal, and too much stress that can lead to hair loss. Thinning of hair is around the top/crown whilst density of hair from sides and back of scalp will remain unaffected and receding hair lines around temples is a significant feature to be observed and needs your attention.

There is nothing to be afraid, ashamed or embarrassed about your hair loss. There are several measures which can help you gaining your confidence back. We will discuss the ways to limit hair loss and regain your natural hair in the next topic.

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