It’s a fact of life that some of us are going to grow older and lose our hair. It’s a numbers game, really. So many of us are at the mercy of our heredity when it comes to our ability to grow a thick, full mane of hair. But, putting heredity aside for a moment, are there other factors that contribute to hair loss? Of course there are! There are six main causes of hair loss, and if you’re experiencing thinning hair, it’s important to determine the possible cause, so as to find a good solution.
Depression as a driver of hair loss
Depression is a contributing factor to hair loss. Severe depression can cause extreme mental distress, which can lead to brain inflammation and a disruption of the chemical processes that go on within the brain.
Certain drugs used to treat depression are also known to cause hair loss, so if you feel you’re experiencing this particular side effect, perhaps it is time for a conversation with your health care provider. In particular, tranquilizers used to calm extreme anxiety are known to cause hair loss. Most dosages are perfectly safe, but higher dosage can cause concern for some.
Hormonal hair loss as a result of DHT
Hormones have such a profound influence on the function of our bodies; it should be no surprise that hormones can affect the growth of our hair. A change in the way the body metabolizes a substance called androgen is a chief cause of hair loss. Through a complex series of interactions, DHT can reach the hair follicles, preventing the ability of the follicle to absorb the needed vitamins and minerals to sustain life.
DHT is also known to shrink the hair follicle, which causes hair to grow in thinner and finer. DHT is a major driver of hair loss in men and women. Some studies claim the figure is as high as 95% of hair loss is due to DHT. Most topical hair loss treatments on the market today are designed to interfere with the progression of DHT to damage the hair follicles.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that stress can drive hair loss. Those experiencing high, sustained levels of stress should be aware that this state of being is a risk factor for producing significant hair loss.
Disease as a cause of hair loss
Some diseases wreak havoc on the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out at an alarming rate. Diseases that affect hormone production, cause anemia, or cause thyroid imbalance are just a few of the maladies that lead to hair loss.
Too many chemicals?
The vast array of products to which we expose our hair has the potential to damage and even kill hair follicles over time. One recent trend among hair enthusiasts is actually to give up shampoo for other methods of cleaning the hair, since shampoo is known to damage and strip hair of essential moisture. That isn’t to say you should follow this trend! But, it is worthwhile to be mindful of what exactly it is you’re putting on your head.
Medications can contribute to hair loss
Some medicines, particularly those for serious diseases, are notorious for causing hair loss. Chemotherapy for cancer treatments may be the most well known medicine with this side effect, but it not the only one. Anabolic steroids and – believe it or not – some types of birth control can also contribute to hair loss.