Common Causes of Hair Loss

Alopecia is referred to as the partial or complete loss/absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows.

The common causes of hair loss include;

  1. Genetics: a family history of baldness.
  2. Stress as a result of childbirth, surgery, illnesses, loss of a loved one.
  3. Poor nutrition.
  4. Medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus or kidney disease
  5. Exposure to allergens, burns, injuries, or infections.
  6. Cancer treatment like radiation and chemotherapy.

Types of Alopecia/hair loss;

  1. Alopecia areata: This happens when one’s immune system attacks the hair follicles by mistake, causing patchy hair loss.  
  2. Alopecia totalis: It is the advanced form of alopecia areata which involves total loss of hair on the scalp.
  3. Alopecia universalis: It is the advanced form of alopecia areata which involves the total loss of all body hair including eyelashes and eyebrows.
  4. Alopecia barbae: The form of alopecia areata which affects the beard area.
  5. Scarring / cicatricial alopecia involves a group of disorders that cause permanent hair loss. It is mostly caused by any inflammatory processes that cause permanent damage to the hair follicles such as burns, deep cuts, and other inflammatory infections.
  6. Traction alopecia: It is caused by putting stress on the hair through repeated pulling or stretching as a result of tight ponytails, dreadlocks, weaves or braids.
  7. Androgenic alopecia:
  • It is also known as the male or female pattern baldness.
  • It is the most common cause of hair loss.
  • Involves thinning of the hairline to an almost transparent state in both male and females.
  • It is hereditary. 
  • Linked to having an excess of having male hormones( androgens) around the hair follicle which can block hair growth.
  • In women common during menopause when fewer female hormones are in production. 

Possible treatments of hair loss.

Note: There has been no universally proven therapy to induce hair growth. Most cases of hair loss are part of ageing and others are temporary like chemotherapy. Treatment for hair loss includes; 

  1. Medical treatment
  2. Surgical treatment includes hair transplants and lap surgeries 
  3. Cosmetic management with wigs and tattoos. 

Why are some men incapable of growing full beards?

This is mainly due to

  • Family genetics
  • Age 
  • Ethnicity 
  • Low testosterone levels 
  • Alopecia barbae

Why does hair turn grey?

Hair turns grey due to the depletion of melanin in the hair follicles as one grows.

Routine hair care tips

  • Wash and moisturise the hair regularly
  • Oil and massage the scalp
  • Trim your hair tips often
  • Avoid tightening your hair
  • Having a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear a hat when you step out on a hot day 
  • Use products that are gentle to your scalp and hair 

For more guidance on how to take care of your hair, consult the doctors at Rocket Health. 

Author: Dr Oscar Jude Lyazzi

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