Hair loss for mostly male is mainly due to genetic factors. This is called “Androgenetic or Androgenic Alopecia” or male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss follows a pattern with the hairline receding at the temples and begins to thin over the crown. Eventually, hair is left at the rim and at the nape of the neck and the thinning areas lose hair completely to reveal a bald patch.
Women are also prone to hair loss due to genetic reasons but they have a uniform thinning of hair and seldom develop a bald patch. The reason behind Androgenic Alopecia is that some people have hair follicles that are genetically sensitive to an androgen hormone called DHT or dihydrotestoterone. Any exposure to DHT makes the follicles shrink, reduces their normal life span and even acts as a deterrent for normal hair to grow.
The reason why men are more prone to hair loss is because tests reveal that they have lower total testosterone levels and higher levels of 5-alpha-reductase, free testosterone and total free androgens. Alopecia Areata is also linked to heredity factors.
2. Alopecia Areata
It is the result of an abnormality in the immune system and leads to bald patches. The immune system itself attacks the hair follicles and inhibits normal hair growth. Its cause is considered to be diseases of the autoimmune system like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and so on.
3. Scarring or Cicatricial alopecia
It is caused by an inflammation that scars and damages the hair follicle ands does not allow new hair to grow.
4. Medication Side Effects
Medicine given to treat other diseases often lead to hair loss. These include some drugs given for hypertension, heart problems and even birth control. Medical treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy cause hair loss in both men and women.
5. Hormonal Changes
This affects women and take place during pregnancy and childbirth. It can happen during pregnancy but more often than not, it has a post-natal occurence.
6. Excessive hair treatments
Treatments like coloring, tinting, bleaching and perming hair damages them and causes them to fall before their full cycle is completed.
7. Hair pulling fixation or Trichotillomania
A habit of people to unconsciously keep pulling hair of the scalp and even eyebrows. This leads to hair loss.
8. Diseases and Illness
Many diseases lead to hair loss. This type of hair loss is normally temporary and the hair grows back eventually. Some of the diseases that sometimes lead to hair loss are:
* High fever
* Skin problems like eczema, burns, psoriasis and dermatitis
* Hormonal disorders like thyroid and Pituitary disorders
* Anemia or iron deficiency
* AIDS in later stages
* Bacterial infections
* Adrenal Cancer
* Fungal infections like ringworm
* Thallium poisoning
* Secondary Syphilis
Poor diet or excessive dieting leads to a decline in the nutritional levels of the body including the scalp. Hair growth can be normal only if it gets adequate amounts of nutrients.
Irrespective of the causes, hair loss is often a temporary phase and normal hair growth resumes after sometime. However for Alopecia, if not treated on time, leads to baldness, and the only remedy then is to opt for a hair transplantation.