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What are the causes of hair loss?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5618 Questions
loosing hair
Posted Mon, 25 Mar 2013 in Hair Loss
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 37 minutes later
Thanks for your query.

The most common cause of losing hair, or baldness in males is male pattern balding.
Pattern balding is distinct from alopecia areata, which commonly involves patchy hair loss.

More than 95% of hair thinning in men is male pattern baldness,or androgenic alopecia. Herein, hair recedes from the lateral sides of the forehead and/or a thinning crown . Both become more pronounced until they eventually XXXXXXX leaving a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the back of the head.

Genetic reasons are the main key for such type of hair loss, and is directly corelated with increasing age. Approximately 25 percent of men begin balding by age 30; two-thirds begin balding by age 60.

Besides the most common cause, there are several other causes of hair thinning or loss, however these are rare.
Traction alopecia is most commonly found in people who pull on their hair with excessive force. In addition, rigorous brushing and heat styling, rough scalp massage can damage the cuticle, the hard outer casing of the hair.

Trichotillomania is the loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs.

Stress, major surgery, poisoning, etc. may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Temporary or permanent hair loss can be caused by several medications, including those for blood pressure problems, diabetes, heart disease and cholesterol.

Studies have shown that poor nutrition, limited food intake, and deficiencies in certain nutrients can cause thinning. These include deficiencies of biotin, protein and zinc.

Air and water pollutants as well as minerals in water and the phototoxic effects of sunlight can cause thinning by aging the scalp skin and damaging hair. Excessive use of hair styling products, artificial gels and perfumed cosmetics on the scalp can result in hair loss.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can result in hair loss ranging from just one location to every hair on the entire body . Several localized skin conditions can cause focal hair loss.

Thyroid hormone dysfunction, syphilis, rare parasitic infections are remote causes.

I advise you to consult a Dermatologist at the earliest, to arrive at a specific cause for the hair loss, as there are various reasons as I listed above.

Only two drugs are scientifically proven to be helpful in male pattern baldness - Finasteride and Minoxidil. Treatments for the various forms of alopecia have limited success. As a general rule, it is easier to maintain remaining hair than it is to regrow. Hair weaving and hair transplants now offer newer and promising treatment modalities for the correct type of baldness.

Have a nutritious diet, take B complex and zinc supplements, adequate protein intake and reduce stress levels .

Take care, and feel free to ask for further clarifications.

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