Hair loss can affect your scalp or your entire body. It can be the result of heredity (thanks Mom & Dad), medical conditions, hormonal changes, diet or a underlying disorder.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
- Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women typically retain a line of hair at the forehead but experience a broadening of the part in their hair.
- Circular or patchy bald spots. Some people experience smooth bald spots, often about an inch (2.6 centimeters) across. This type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but it sometimes also occurs in beards or eyebrows. In some cases, your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.
- Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.
- Full-body hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back after treatment ends.
This is the most common type of hair loss, known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. It is driven by sex hormones and can begin as early as puberty in both men and women.
Hormonal changes and imbalances can also trigger hair loss such as pregnancy, childbirth, medications, even birth control pills or the onset of menopause.
I would advise you to get a hormone panel if you think this may be contributing to your problem. You can mail order a hormone panel which uses a swab of saliva as a sample. You could also visit a local Naturopathic physician or your general physician.
- Thyroid Conditions: If this gland isn't working properly hair loss can result
- Alopecia Areata: This occurs when the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles, typically causing round patches of hair loss.
- Scalp Infections: Hair regrowth usually resumes when treated. Such infections include ringworm.
- Other Skin Disorders
Hair Loss can also result from:
- Physical or Emotional Shock: This usually occurs several months after the incident. It can include weight loss, death of a friend or family member, even adjusting to the lifestyle a new city or family member (i.e. new baby, family member moving in)
- Hair Pulling Disorder: This is defined as an irresistible urge to pull your hair
- Certain Hairstyles: Tight braids, Tight ponytails or buns, cornrows or heavy extensions
- Hair Treatments: Overuse or improper use of hair color or hair treatments (perms, relaxers)
- Poor Nutrition: This is often accompanied with eating disorders and crash dieting.