causes of hair loss

Drugs and treatments designed to poison cancer cells also are poison to the hair follicles and will often result in total hair loss. Hair loss from chemotherapy will begin approximately 10-15 days after the first dose of chemotherapy. Hair loss is temporary and hair will be back in about 3-4 months after the last chemotherapy dose. Hair on the head is most commonly affected. The scalp may become tender and hair that is still growing may become dull and dry. The hair may grow back thinner, and even a different colour but will eventually return to its original thickness and shade.

Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common type of hair loss seen in women. The hair is genetically programmed to gradually fall out and occurs to 1 in 4 women. Also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss, the individual will see hair loss happening over the top and sides of the head. Although this condition tends to be more common post menopause, it does sometimes begin as early as puberty.

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune genetically related disease. It often appears as circular patches of hair loss. The hair follicles are attacked by a person’s own immune system, resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. While this can also affect hair on other parts of the body such as legs, eyebrows and eyelashes, the hair may or may not grow back on its own and may require treatment from a dermatologist. This condition will affect about 2% of the population and can have a profound impact on the individual’s life.

Traction Alopecia is where the hair may temporarily or permanently stop growing in certain areas on the head. Traction Alopecia is usually caused by continuous and excessive stress on particular hairs, such as when hair is worn constantly in a bun or ponytail, or braids or cornrows. The hairs with the most tension may gradually stop growing resulting in hair loss. If this type of traction and hair loss continues for an excessive period, then hair loss may become permanent. A change of hairstyle that reduces the traction on the hair is all that is needed to reverse the process.

Another type of Traction Alopecia, which is often referred to as “Hair Pulling Disorder”, an impulse control disorder, when a person compulsively pulls out strands of hair in distinct patches on the scalp. Trichotillomania is often caused by an undue amount of anxiety, stress and depression. It most commonly occurs among young children, adolescents and women. Treatment may involve behavioural therapy or psychiatric help where an antidepressant may be prescribed.

Physical or emotional stress can trigger hair loss whether people are predestined to lose hair or not. The effect of stress induced hair loss is not permanent for women who do not have hereditary loss. Stress can trigger long term hair loss for those women who are pre-disposed to hair loss. Drastic weight loss, severe illness, extreme sports training, loss of a loved one or other emotional stresses can cause hair loss. During periods of severe stress, the body simply shuts down the production of hair, to focus energy on repairing vital organs. Hair loss may occur 1-3 months after an illness or surgery. The hair shifts into a resting phase and the re-growth cycle may be altered for 6 months or longer. Long term health issues such as anemia, low blood counts and thyroid conditions can also contribute to hair loss and should be diagnosed by your physician.

Sage  Hair Solutions, Calgary