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What Causes Hair Loss

Stress, Medication, What Really Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss affects millions if not billions of people all around the world, both men and women suffer from this terrible condition. Since the beginning of time, there have been a variety of so-called hair loss treatments, but really what causes this condition? Well, in this article, we will be exploring the possible causes for hair loss.

Medications

There are several medications that have been linked with hair loss, especially some cancer treatments and high-blood pressure medications. Unfortunately, a lot of the medications that are supposedly causing hair loss have no real evidence to support those claims. You can find virtually every confirmation bias on the internet. In some cases, the hair loss has nothing to do with the medication itself and may be cause for other reasons such as surgery, major weight loss, child birth, or a severe illness. In these instances, the hair loss is generally temporary and resolves on it's own without treatment.

Daily Stress

Stressful events can trigger what is referred to as telogen effluvium or shock loss. There are three phases to a hair follicles life cycle. The anagen (growth) phase, catagen (transitional) phase, and the telogen (resting) phase. When someone is suffering from telogen effluvium a large amount of hair follicles enter the telogen (resting) phase all at once. This causes a massive shed that is constant and can be easily mistaken as genetic hair loss. However, the difference is that telogen effluvium is for the most part a temporary condition, while genetic hair loss is not. That said, stress can exacerbate androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). Therefore, it is important to visit a qualified hair restoration physician who can properly diagnose the cause of the hair loss.

Poor-Diets and Eating Habits

We all know that having a poor diet and terrible eating habits can lead to a variety of ailments and health-related conditions. In fact, obesity is spreading worldwide at an alarming rate. However, that cheeseburger and fries is not the cause of hair loss. There are some vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can certainly cause hair loss, but this is extremely rare and usually due to malnourishment; the opposite of obesity.

So What's The Cause?

There are several forms of hair loss that are caused for different reasons, some hormonal and others caused by an auto-immune disorders. The most common form of hair loss is androgenic alopecia otherwise known as hereditary hair loss. Genetic hair loss is caused by a genetic vulnerability to the hormone called DHT. DHT is produced in the body by both men and women and is a by-product of testosterone. DHT attaches to the androgen receptor sites in these vulnerable hair follicles and slowly and gradually begins to shrink the hair follicle and shorten the anagen (growth) phase. This process is called miniaturization, more commonly referred to as thinning.

Conclusion

While stress, diet, and certain medications can technically cause hair loss, it is very rare. In fact, most hair loss sufferers are completely healthy and suffer from hair loss due to their genetics and hormones. Luckily, there are treatments available that can prevent, slow, and even stop genetic hair loss. The first medication is called Propecia (finasteride) this medication can only be taken by men and is taken orally and daily. The second medication is called Rogaine (minoxidil) this medication is a topical ointment that can be used by both men and women. However, women must use a lower dose of the medication. Both of these products are FDA approved and have been proven to be effective at treating hair loss.