Hair Loss: Causes, How To Stop It Naturally, And More

Date
June
22
2022
Compiled By Louise Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed By Dr. P Stein, MD FACT CHECKED

Hair loss is a common issue experienced by the majority of the population worldwide. Generally, the older crowd faces the problem compared to the younger ones, but children may experience hair falling under a few circumstances like chronic disorders, etc.

Hair loss occurs naturally but may worsen due to several underlying issues. But, depending on the issue, the hair loss could be temporary or permanent[1].

So, knowing the problems causing hair loss may help you determine the longevity of the condition. Hence, this article will discuss all the information and facts about hair loss to understand the situation better.

What Causes Hair Loss In Women?

Hair loss in women may occur due to multiple reasons. It may occur due to medical conditions, environmental factors, genetics, etc. But, some of the common reasons for hair fall in women are as follows:

  1. Postpartum Hair Loss

    Generally, women lose maximum hair after delivering the baby.

    After childbirth, a woman experiences sudden hormonal changes.

    Multiple hormones in the body, especially estrogen levels, drop drastically after birth, causing a massive hair loss.

    The excessive shedding of hair after the baby’s birth is termed postpartum hair loss. Most ladies find their hair to be thick and lustrous, with minimum hair fall during pregnancy.

    But, as soon as they give birth, the hair fall rate increases by many folds. Several researchers[2] have mentioned that the sudden difference in hair loss patterns could be due to the sudden drop in hormonal levels.

    The estrogen level in women is significantly higher during the pregnancy period. Moreover, with greater estrogen concentration, the increased blood volume and circulation may help keep the hair strong and thick.

    But, after the birth, the estrogen level drops below average, resulting in hair loss in clumps. Postpartum hair loss may occur anytime after the baby’s birth and could continue for up to a year.

    Usually, the hair loss intensity peaks after the 4th month of delivery. If the loss continues for a more extended period, you should talk to a doctor for treatment.

    Haiving said all that, postpartum hair loss in women is temporary and may continue up to a few months until the estrogen level gets balanced.

  2. Nutritional Deficiency

    Nutritional deficiency causes multiple health conditions, including hair loss in women.

    Several nutrients like iron, zinc, protein, vitamin B3, etc., are essential to keep the hair strong and healthy.

    But, the deficiency of these nutrients may lead[3] to hair loss in women.

    You may consult doctors or dieticians to get the essential supplements to keep the hair healthy.

  3. Dandruff

    Unhealthy and dried scalp conditions could be a significant cause of hair loss in women.

    Several conditions[4] like scalp flaking, itchiness, seborrheic dermatitis, and scalp psoriasis cause a sensation of itching and scratching the scalp.

    Hence, continuous scratching enhances the intensity of hair fall in women.

    But, certain medications could help control the itchiness to avoid excessive hair loss.

  4. Regular Hairstyling

    Regular hairstyling could be another potential reason for a weak hair shaft.

    Using heat or bleach for hair styling may damage the hair shaft causing the breakage of hair follicles easily.

    Moreover, some women prefer trying tight braids or ponytails, which creates stress on the hair.

    The stress may lead to thinning of the hairline and weakening of the hair roots causing hair loss.

    The chemical products to straighten, soften, or detangle the hairs could also damage the products, as seen in many observational studies[5].

  5. Autoimmune Diseases

    Autoimmune diseases could be a cause of reducing hair strength.

    Any woman with an autoimmune disease fails to recognize her hair follicles and attacks them, causing the hair to fall out.

    These conditions may lead[6] to permanent hair loss, hence, you must consult a doctor to get the necessary treatments.

  6. Overprocessing

    Several women undergo special chemical treatments[7] for straightening or relaxing their hair, but these treatments harm the overall health of the hair.

    Hair follicles are susceptible to harsh chemicals, and overexposure to these chemicals may cause permanent hair loss in women.

    Hence, you should prefer hydrating and healing products to protect your hair from falling.

  7. Could Be Due To Other Hormonal Issues

    If a female has a higher level of testosterone in her body, then it could also be one of the causes of her hair fall. This is because higher levels of testosterone may get converted to DHT, and this DHT may ultimately harm hair follicles.

    As a result, it is generally recommended to get the blood work done as soon as possible to know about the exact issue of hair fall.

What Causes Hair Loss In Men?

Hair loss in men is quite common and may have similar reasons to women.

Some of the observed reasons for hair loss in men are as follows:

  1. Hereditary

    Hereditary hair loss is a significant cause[8] of hair fall in men.

    The condition begins slowly after the teenage period but worsens as an individual starts aging.

    Generally, the hairline moves back slowly and causes baldness in men.

    Sometimes, you may observe bald spots in different areas of the scalp due to hair loss.

  2. Medications And Supplements

    Several medications and supplements may contribute to hair loss in men.

    Medications for chronic conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, etc., may cause severe hair loss.

    Moreover, several bodybuilding supplements may have harsh effects[9] on hair health, leading to hair fall.

  3. Stress

    It is believed that regular physical and emotional shock or stress over an individual may cause thinning of hair.

    Moreover, it may impact[10] the density of the hair resulting in excessive hair fall in men.

  4. Scalp Infections

    Scalp infection may initiate[11] hair fall in an individual.

    Several microbes or worms like ringworm create scaly patches on the scalp that may lead to hair fall.

    It could be treated by using several medications to reduce the infections.

  5. Impulse Control Disorder

    Impulse control disorder, also known as trichotillomania, is a chronic condition[12] that you may see in 1-2% of teenagers and adults worldwide.

    In a chronic illness, an individual knowingly pulls their hair from different areas of the body like the scalp, eyelids, eyebrows, etc.

    The urge to pull hair regularly may loosen the root hair leading to hair loss.

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

It is believed that creatine isn’t directly linked to hair loss. However, the hormonal changes caused by creatine consumption may lead to hair loss.

DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone derived from testosterone that may bind to specific hormone receptors in hair strands.

The binding significantly affects the hair growth cycle resulting in slow hair growth. Moreover, the falling and growing hair ratio gets unbalanced, which may lead to baldness.

Creatine is a dietary supplement that could enhance the DHT level in the body, which may be responsible for hair loss. 

Several studies have mentioned that creatine consumption could potentially increase the DHT level by 50% during the loading period.

Hence, a significant increase in DHT level may induce excessive hair loss in an individual.

Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?

Several studies have mentioned that Vitamin D deficiency could potentially cause hair loss. Therefore, you could link Vitamin D deficiency to several health conditions, but it may interrupt hair growth in an individual.

Vitamin D may stimulate the growth and generation of new hair follicles. These new follicles may help maintain the hair’s thickness and prevent premature fall of existing hair.

Hence, the decline in Vitamin D concentration in the body may result[13] in hair loss. In addition, vitamin D deficiency may connect with the alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that may cause patchy baldness.

Hence, a lower level of Vitamin D may lead to temporary or permanent hair loss in an individual.

On the other hand, if you are following intermittent fasting, hair fall could be one of the side effects of intermittent fasting.

As a result, you might want to include nutritional foods and fruits in your regular diet so that your body does not face a deficiency of any particular vitamin or mineral.

How To Stop Hair Loss Naturally?

It may be possible to stop hair loss by using natural methods. Several natural supplements and procedures may reduce hair loss and promote the growth of new hair follicles.

Some of the natural remedies to hair loss are as follows:

  • Massaging the scalp could be an effective way to induce hair growth. Moreover, massaging makes the hair thick, which reduces hair fall.
  • Aloe Vera may help to reduce[14] dandruff and unblock the hair follicles to allow passage of essential nutrition.
  • Coconut oil could effectively[15] strengthen the hair shaft by reducing protein loss.
  • You may consume omega-fatty acids found in fish oil to nourish the hair from the inside. Moreover, it improves the hair density resulting in reduced hair loss.
  • You may apply onion juice directly to the scalp to improve the circulation of essential nutrients. It may also mediate hair growth and development simultaneously.
  • Lemon juice could be great to treat the dried or flaky scalp, dandruff, etc. Moreover, lemon juice or oil may help improve hair quality and reduce hair loss.
  • Rosemary oil could be effective in treating hair fall naturally. The oil helps to stimulate new hair growth and may treat androgenetic alopecia.

How Much Hair Loss Is Natural?

A human contains around one lakh hair follicles on average. Hence, losing 50-100 hair strands regularly won’t be a matter of concern.

Generally, people assume a normal hair fall to be alarming. But, it is not the case, as several hair follicles or hair roots get disconnected or loosened with time and fall naturally.

Moreover, several new hair follicles develop in place of fallen hair to balance the overall number of hair. Hence, if you experience a loss of 50-100 hairs a day, you may consider that normal.

Conclusion

Hair loss could be highly stressful and demotivating for an individual. But, with proper knowledge of the cause and appropriate remedies, you may be able to counter the hair loss effectively.

Hence, go through all the details related to hair loss to get a better hold of the situation.

Sources

  1. T Grant Phillips, W Paul Slomiany, Robert Allison. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Sep 15;96(6):371-378. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28925637/
  2. Claudine Piérard-Franchimont, Gérald E. Piérard. Alterations in Hair Follicle Dynamics in Women. Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013: 957432.
    Published online 2013 Dec 24. doi: 10.1155/2013/957432.
  3. Emily L. Guo, Rajani Katta. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Jan; 7(1): 1–10. Published online 2017 Jan 31. doi: 10.5826/dpc.0701a01.
  4. Yvonne M DeAngelis 1, Christina M Gemmer, Joseph R Kaczvinsky, et al. Three etiologic facets of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis: Malassezia fungi, sebaceous lipids, and individual sensitivity. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec;10(3):295-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1087-0024.2005.10119.x. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16382685/.
  5. A G Nicholson, C C Harland, R H Bull, et al. Chemically induced cosmetic alopecia. Br J Dermatol. 1993 May;128(5):537-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1993.tb00231.x. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8504045/.
  6. Emy Abi Thomas, R S Kadyan. ALOPECIA AREATA AND AUTOIMMUNITY: A CLINICAL STUDY. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(2): 70–74. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.41650.
  7. Yuchen Zhang, Richard J Alsop, Asfia Soomro. Effect of shampoo, conditioner and permanent waving on the molecular structure of human hair. PeerJ. 2015 Oct 1;3:e1296. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1296. eCollection 2015. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26557428/.
  8. Saskia P. Hagenaars, W. David Hill, Sarah E. Harris, et al. Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness. PLoS Genet. 2017 Feb; 13(2): e1006594. Published online 2017 Feb 14. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006594.
  9. Sarah J Martin, Sexual health physician and Senior lecturer, Miranda Sherley, Sexual health registrar1, Lecturer and General practitioner, and Malcolm McLeod, Associate professor. Adverse effects of sports supplements in men. Aust Prescr. 2018 Feb; 41(1): 10–13. Published online 2018 Feb 1. doi: 10.18773/austprescr.2018.003.
  10. Erin Bryant. How stress causes hair loss. April 13, 2021. Available from: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-stress-causes-hair-loss.
  11. Ralph M Trüeb, Jim P Henry, Mike G Davis, et al. Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress. Int J Trichology. 2018 Nov-Dec; 10(6): 262–270. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_57_18.
  12. Liana Schreiber, Brian L. Odlaug, and Jon E. Grant. Impulse Control Disorders: Updated Review of Clinical Characteristics and Pharmacological Management. Front Psychiatry. 2011; 2: 1. Published online 2011 Feb 21. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00001.
  13. Kriteeka Saini, Venkataram Mysore. Role of vitamin D in hair loss: A short review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Nov;20(11):3407-3414. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14421. Epub 2021 Sep 22. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34553483/.
  14. Mahsa Tarameshloo, Mohsen Norouzian, Saeed Zarein-Dolab, et al. A comparative study of the effects of topical application of Aloe vera, thyroid hormone and silver sulfadiazine on skin wounds in Wistar rats. Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar; 28(1): 17–21. Published online 2012 Mar 21. doi: 10.5625/lar.2012.28.1.17.
  15. Aarti S Rele, R B Mohile. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. Mar-Apr 2003;54(2):175-92. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/.

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