Exploring the Causes of Hair Loss – And What You Can Do About It

The majority of people, both men and women, will experience hair loss at some point in their lifetime. And when hair begins falling out or thinning, it’s common to wonder why. If you find yourself in this boat, it may be helpful to do a bit more research into what’s causing your hair loss, so that the issue may be dealt with safely and naturally.

4 Common Causes of Hair Loss

Millions of people deal with hair loss every year. And though every situation is different, there’s always a cause (or at least a combination of factors) to blame. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons people experience hair loss:

1. Genetics

“When hair loss is caused by your genetics, it occurs in a predictable pattern often referred to as male pattern baldness (MPB) or female pattern baldness (FPB),” Dr. Alana Biggers writes for Healthline. “For men, MPB starts as an m-shaped recession at the front of your scalp and often starts in your 20s or 30s. About 80 percent of men experience MPB by age 80.”

For women, hair loss after menopause is quite common. And while it’s not usually as pronounced as it is in men, female hair loss often presents itself in the “Ludwig pattern.” This is when there’s gradual recession along the hair part. Roughly 50 percent of women will experience FPB by age 80.

2. Poor Diet and Nutrition

Some are surprised to learn that their hair loss is caused and/or exacerbated by poor diet and unbalanced nutrition. But if you don’t prioritize a healthy diet, this could be a factor.

For example, a lack of protein can cause your hair to damage more easily. It may also inhibit your body’s ability to grow new follicles. Likewise, too much consumption of tuna, mackerel, and swordfish – all of which are high in mercury – could cause hair to fall out. Alcohol and sugary foods can also be culprits.

3. Harsh Hair Care

Washing your hair too frequently, using harsh products with chemicals, roughly drying hair, and wearing hair in tight hairstyles can all be contributing factors in hair loss. When combined with other underlying factors, harsh hair care can make the issue worse.

4. Medications

While most people know that chemotherapy causes hair to fall out, there are plenty of other medications that can lead to hair thinning and premature balding. Examples include:

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Beta blockers
  • Antidepressants (like Zoloft and Prozac)
  • Blood thinners (such as warfarin)
  • Acne treatments (like Accutane)

If you believe that one of these prescription drugs is causing hair loss, you should speak with your doctor. Never stop taking medication on your own. Your doctor can advise you on ways to safely reduce the dosage or switch to a different medication.

Can Hair Loss be Reversed?

The answer is, yes. Hair loss can be reversed. However, it’s not always as simple or straightforward as we’d like.

If you know what’s causing your hair loss, addressing it is much easier. But even if you’re unsure of the underlying cause, there are a number of solutions worth trying. Let’s explore a few of them:

  • LLLT. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is one of the most common and effective methods of hair restoration. It works by using low-level lights to stimulate blood flow in the scalp and rejuvenate dormant follicles. This therapy can be performed safely from home.
  • Diet and nutrition. Want to replenish the vitamins and nutrients in your scalp/hair? Enhancing your diet to include more eggs, beans, avocados, fatty fish, berries, and spinach will help. (It won’t magically regrow hair overnight, but can significantly improve your ability to grow healthy hair when used in unison with other methods.)
  • Medication. In situations where hair loss is extreme and/or you want to prevent future hair loss, you may opt for some combination of Rogaine and Propecia. These drugs can be taken separately or, if your doctor recommends, together. Speak with a healthcare professional before starting anything.

Whether it’s LLLT, diet and nutrition, medication, or a combination of the three, it’s possible to reverse hair loss. And the sooner you address it, the better the results will be!