The Different Causes Of Hair Loss

The Different Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss is common among men. It can be from a variety of reasons, ranging from genetic factors, to environmental and direct causes.

Medical Term for Hair Loss

The medical term for hair loss is “alopecia,” and can be used to describe any bodily hair loss – not just referring to the hair on your head. If there was no hair growth to begin with (on a specific part of the body), then the proper medical term is “hypotrichosis.”

It is estimated that 20 years ago, there were only 100 people worldwide that focused on hair loss research, and that today there may be as many as 500 people that study hair loss. The field is very small, but is slowly expanding. This is good news for those that suffer from alopecia.

Rare hair loss disorders are hard to diagnose, and there is very little monetary incentive for researchers to invest their time in a small niche of hair loss research.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be attributed to:

  • Alopecia areata (AA) – the third most common form of hair loss. The person’s own immune system begins to attack hair follicles instead of bone joints.
  • Loose anagen syndrome – when hair is growing “loose” and pulls out of the hair follicle easily. This is most commonly diagnosed in young children, especially those with blonde hair between the ages of 2 to 5. The back of the head is most affected, mostly occurring during sleep when the back of the head rubs on the pillow.
  • Genetic disposition – The trait of hair loss can be passed down the family tree.
  • Prescription Drug use – Prescription drugs have been known to cause temporary and permanent hair loss as a side effect. The complete list of prescription drugs can be browsed at: americanhairloss.org/drug_induced_hair_loss/
  • Ringworm – a fungal infection that leaves scaly patches, accompanied with temporary baldness. Ringworm gets into the hair fibers, leaving the hair brittle and susceptible to breakage.
  • Scarring Alopecia – this medical term describes a culmination of rare hair loss disorders that make up about 3% of hair loss patients.
  • Telogen Effluvium – noted as the second most common form of hair loss, when hair follicles producing hair significantly drops. Very little research has been done to understand Telogen Effluvium.
  • Traction alopecia – caused by tight hair bands, commonly seen with pony tail wearers. Hair follicles become so damaged, that hair stops growing permanently.

What are Treatments for Hair Loss?

Hair loss treatments range from Over the Counter products, to hair replacement and hair restoration.

Over the Counter and prescription products are available to help restore hair. Rogaine is a popular product found in many pharmacies and grocery stores, which claims to regrow hair. As with all prescriptions, always consult a physician about prescription drugs for hair loss.

Nonsurgical hair replacement would involve selecting an appropriate hairpiece, but be careful. The American Hair Loss Association has found that over 70% of hairpiece buyers feel that they felt overcharged for the quality of the hairpiece options available.

Hair restoration can involve either a surgical or nonsurgical procedure. Surgical hair restoration refers to hair transplants, and is encouraged over nonsurgical alternatives.

Another option is a hair supplement. Click here to see the best one we’ve found. 

Categories: Men's Health