Hair Loss Causes

In Men

Although there are many reasons why men may have hair loss, the overwhelming majority of cases are due to Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB).  This is a hereditary condition in which suffers have hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  This causes the affected hair follicle to shrink, leading to shortened follicle lifespan and the eventual ceased production of hair.

In Women

Unlike in the case of men, where thinning and hair loss can often be attributed to MPB, women suffer hair loss for more varied reasons, many of which can be applied to men’s loss, as well.    Although hair loss is perceived to be suffered exclusively by men, nearly the same percentage of women will experience thinning of the hair.

Common Causes

Medical Conditions

Thyroid problems - the thyroid is responsible for hormone regulation. Disruption in its function can result in hair loss

Androgenetic alopecia or MPB -  the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles  causing patchy hair loss.

Scalp infections - infections can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to hair loss.  Loss can be reversed by treatment of the infection itself

Other skin disorders - especially those that can cause scarring, can result in permanent hair loss

Genetic Predisposition and Hormonal Changes

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Menopause


  • Hair loss can be caused by medications used to treat:
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Birth Control
  • Weight Loss
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure

Other Causes

Tricotillomania or Hair-pulling disorder –  this causes recurrent,  irresistible urges to pull out hair, from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body.

Physical trauma – from extreme stress, dramatic weight loss; and poor nutrition. Can also result from surgery or intense illness.  These can push hair into a shedding phase and loss becomes noticeable 3-6 months after the event

Self-inflicted – severe styling of the hair, such as too-tight braids, can cause traction alopecia. Styling habits such as aggressive towel-drying, brushing, and use of heat-based styling tools can lead to breakage.

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