Hair loss can be distressing for men and women.
Often the sense is “why me?”. So, here we’ll consider the main 7 reasons for losing hair.
In no particular order:
- Your genetics.
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is the cause of approximately 95% of substantial hair loss, hair thinning and baldness in men around the world.
One of the principal causes of MPB (which can also affect women though rarely to the same degree of severity) arises from the interaction between your hair follicles and a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Basically, your hair follicles are ‘triggered’ to start shrinking by DHT.
What possible evolutionary purpose this serves is unclear but it is understood that how your follicles react to DHT is governed in large part by your genetic ancestry. To put it bluntly, if there are lots of men in your family who have previously suffered hair loss and hair thinning, then there’s a higher chance you will too.
In passing, there are hair loss treatments and hair thinning treatments that can be very effective in slowing down hair loss or even reversing it.
- Your health.
There are many health conditions that can negatively affect your hair, causing loss, thinning and even total baldness.
Just a tiny example of such might include:
- vitamin deficiencies;
- scalp fungal infections;
- some internal organ defects;
- certain blood conditions;
- some genetic conditions (other than a tendency towards MPB).
Of course, some medical treatments may also cause you to lose hair. The best known of these are chemotherapy and radiotherapy but treatments for less serious conditions may also cause hair loss too.
That’s why it’s important not to guess at the cause or to simply ignore hair loss – check with your doctor or another specialist as a first step in diagnosis.
Although some of the exact mechanics are not fully understood, it is now widely accepted that drinking to excess or just about any form of smoking, will increase the tendencies towards hair loss and potentially baldness.
For example, smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and that can impede the flow of needed blood to the scalp.
The moral of the tale is simple, avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices and you will remove some of the potential causes of hair thinning and hair loss.
- Harmful hair fashion schemes
Since at least the 1950s, it has been recognised that certain hairstyling practices were a likely risk to the health of the hair.
Anything that involves applying strong chemicals, bleaches, dyes or heat to the hair and scalp is, at best, likely to be very risky if done regularly.
Many experts argue that even domestic hair driers and heated tongs should only be used occasionally and even then, only if you’re careful and know what you’re doing.
Broadly speaking, purely from a hair health viewpoint, the ‘natural look’ might be preferable.
- Poor domestic hair care practices
As a general rule, you should avoid:
- vigorous brushing regimes – particularly when the hair is wet and at its weakest;
- using shampoos laden with chemicals and other products (including ‘natural’ products) unless you have thoroughly researched them first. Approved hair regrowth or baldness treatments should be fine if used in accordance with their instructions;
- overly-aggressive rubbing of your scalp when washing hair – use gentle finger-tip massages instead;
- over-hot water when shampooing or showering;
- ignoring dry scalp conditions – make sure you use a moisturiser.
- Hair/Scalp vitamin deficiencies
This is a slightly different situation to the overall body vitamin deficiencies mentioned earlier.
There are conditions whereby your hair and scalp are simply not getting the vitamins they require for optimum health.
There are vitamin hair and scalp treatments you can use to address this sort of problem.
- Not taking expert advice
For many years, men particularly, have simply accepted hair loss and baldness as ‘just one of those things!’.
All too often men do not seek expert diagnosis, advice and remedial treatments. This attitude is often explained away as “nothing can be done about it anyway”.
This is often a huge mistake because:
- there are established and successful hair loss treatments that can generate remarkable success;
- if caught early enough and treated, MPB can be slowed down, stopped or even reversed.
There is no longer any reason to assume thinning hair is inevitable for men, so don’t be trapped by inaction.