Hair loss: All you need to know about this common hair concern

Leona | 02 January 2018
Blonde woman with itchy scalp

If hair loss is your biggest hair woe, you need to read this guide!

Hair loss is one of the unforeseeable conditions that can affect both men and women, and contrary to believe is more common than you might think.

Often the most annoying thing about it is the fact that you might not fully understand why it’s happening. And there are a lot of misconceived ideas and myths surrounding hair loss and what actually causes it. Sounds stressful, right?

Editor’s note: If you are concerned about your hair or currently struggling with hair loss, we always recommend consulting a health professional or GP for medical advice.

The hair loss guide: Key things to know

 

Hair loss: Brunette woman combing her hair and looking down
Do you know what the common causes of hair loss are?

Knowing the difference between ‘hair fall’ and ‘hair loss’

Confused by the terms hair loss and hair fall? Well, typically, hair fall/shedding is used to describe when a hair follicle has reached the end of its life cycle. On average, we lose between 50- 100 hairs a day, which totally normal.

However, the hair loss is a generalised term used for when there is a noticeable loss of hair, which could be due to varying elements.

Common causes of hair loss

There are many types of hair loss can be the result of several different physical and emotional factors. Curious? Then see below to discover some of the most common ones.

1. Genetics

Have you heard of genetic or pattern baldness? You’d be surprised, but this predisposition is the result of a mixture of things like hormones, ageing and, of course, genetics. And is one of the most common causes of hair loss.

However, if you’re concerned that your genetics could be playing a part in your thinning hair, best to arrange a chat with your doctor to discuss the best options.

2. Diet

A balanced diet is important to hair growth, so it makes sense that a poor diet can be a contributing factor to hair loss.

Try to steer clear of crash diets or faddy regimes that exclude whole food groups to help avoid any deficiencies.

3. Scalp conditions

Be on guard for common conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and, even a dry scalp, excessive scratching can weaken the roots and, indirectly, cause hair fall.

Itchiness and irritation can also be soothed by anti-dandruff shampoos or milder formulations for less serious conditions. But main solution? Visit a medical professional and tackle the source by treating the scalp condition.

Types of hair loss: Close up of the top of a woman's head, parting her hair to show her scalp
Could scalp problems be a factor?

4. Hormones

Hormonal fluctuations can have an effect on hair and even play a part in the loss of it.

So, what makes our hormones rise and fall? Well, in the same way that pregnancy can wreak havoc with your hormone levels, so can menopause. But don’t worry if you think your hair loss is hormonal, as typically this can be easily addressed.

Consult your doctor and talk through any concerns you may have to help resolve any extreme changes in your hormones.

5. Ageing (sorry!)…

Not something that any of us like hearing, but as we get older our hair follicle health declines, and this can also result in hair fall.

But before you start to panic, do keep in mind that it might not all be actual hair loss; it could just be your hair changing. Growth, density, as well as the texture of our hair will all naturally alter as we advance.

6. Stress

Emotional factors like stress can affect us in many different ways and in some cases, it can result in physical reactions like hair loss.

There is no one cause of stress and, unfortunately, no quick fix. Anything from pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss or a bereavement can cause anxiety and hair loss.

But the good news? Patience is all you need. Given time, your body will recover from the stressful event or period, and extreme amounts of hair fall should eventually cease.

side view of model with dirty blonde shoulder length hair running hand through hair
Discover the cause of your hair loss. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Next steps…

Concerned by hair loss? Unfortunately, there are no quick-fixes or miracle cures when it comes to hair loss. But just remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and bear in mind that there are various ways to cope with losing hair.

Start by discussing your hair loss with a GP to get more information and advice about causes and medical treatment.

It also helps to know that you are not alone. There are plenty of support groups, so why not try reaching out to some of them in your local community or online? Not to mention, talking to sympathetic friends, family and other loved ones.

 

For more hair advice, head on over to our Hair Care page, which is packed full of hair guides and expert info.