What Causes Hair Loss?
You discover hair collecting in your brush or loosening from your hair during a shower. What could be causing you to lose your hair? Our hair restoration experts at MAXIM Hair Restoration can help you understand the causes of hair loss so that you can better determine how different treatment options might be suitable for you.
Hair loss occurs when a hair follicle loses its ability to cycle through the hair growth phases correctly. If left untreated, this cycle disruption can result in the death of the hair follicle. Indeed, hair loss can be stressful. Several hair restoration treatments can help you restore lost hair and preserve existing hair so that you no longer have to stress about how you look and feel.
At MAXIM Hair Restoration, we offer hair restoration treatments and surgical options to help you look and feel good. Your condition, age of hair loss onset, progression of loss, and your gender impact what treatments might be best for you.
Autoimmune diseases, such as alopecia areata or lichen planopilaris (LPP), result from a misdirected response from your immune system. Individuals who have this condition find that their skin or hair gets attacked by mechanisms intended for healing within the body. When your immune system attacks hair follicles and other healthy parts of your body, the condition can cause hair to fall out suddenly. If you have one of these diseases, you may notice one or many patches of baldness, general thinning of the hair, redness, or itchiness of your scalp.
Mental and Physical Health
Mental and physical stress can trigger some forms of hair loss. Telogen effluvium, a condition that occurs when the hair enters the resting stage prematurely, is a type of hair loss often associated with high stress levels. Hair follicles remain in this stage for a long time, causing the appearance of thinning. This condition typically resolves itself with lifestyle changes that reduce stressors. In some cases, people can experience chronic telogen effluvium, in which the issue does not resolve on its own.
Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder in which individuals may experience impulse control resulting in compulsive hair pulling, which causes continuous physical stress through tension. While the cause is unclear, researchers believe that frustration or a lack of stimulation can lead to this impulse. This condition is common in patients who have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Medication-Induced Hair Loss
Certain drugs can contribute to hair loss. Drug-induced hair loss is typically reversible if you discontinue the medication before the damage becomes permanent. If you’re someone who experiences drug-induced alopecia, you may notice global thinning on the scalp as opposed to patchy hair loss. Chemotherapy is one of the best-known causes of drug-induced hair loss.
However, some medications can cause hair loss at different stages of the hair growth cycle:
- Anticonvulsants (epilepsy drugs).
- Antihypertensives (beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics).
- Antimetabolite antineoplastic agents.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Ringworm is a fungal infection that can appear anywhere on the skin. If it develops on the scalp, it can cause itchiness and patches of hair loss known as tinea capitis. Typically, ringworm begins as a tiny blister that slowly expands in size, leaving behind scaly spots of temporary baldness. The fungus enters the hair fibers of the affected area; the hair then becomes brittle and breaks off. Affected regions bear itchy, red inflammation. Scaly patches caused by this infection are usually redder around the exterior, with a more normal skin tone in the center. This effect creates the appearance of a ring, hence the name ringworm.
Bacterial infections can also cause chronic folliculitis, leading to excessive inflammation of the scalp and hair follicles. If left untreated, chronic folliculitis can cause permanent hair loss. In rare cases, one may experience dissecting folliculitis, also known as dissecting cellulitis or perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens (PCAS). Patients who have this condition experience chronic inflammation as it spreads through the follicles, resulting in scarring alopecia. This scarring is often a secondary symptom of an infection, typically treated with long-term antibiotics.
Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss in men resulting from genetics. Androgenetic alopecia can skip generations. For example, your father may not have this condition, but he could carry the genetic information that you inherited for male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is closely related to the male sex hormone testosterone, which has many functions in the body, including regulating hair growth. With male pattern baldness, your hair is susceptible to absorbing significant amounts of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which disrupts the signaling ability of the dermal papilla. It also causes imbalances in calcification regulators. These imbalances can cause damaging inflammation, tissue fibrosis, excessive calcification, and loss of blood flow. As a result, your hair growth cycle will suffer from the loss of proper signaling for both stages of growth and self-repair.
Additionally, the calcification, fibrosis, and loss of blood flow create an environment where hair follicles do not receive nutrients and oxygen and fail to thrive. In short, the follicles begin to die slowly.
With excess calcification and fibrosis, the tissue hardens and creates a claustrophobic environment for the hair follicles. Think of weeds in your garden. If you let them grow uncontrollably, all the surrounding plants and the weeds themselves eat up the nutrient supply. As a result, not enough nutrients are available for all plants to survive, and many begin to die off.
The best way to determine what is causing hair loss is to consult a hair restoration expert. At MAXIM Hair Restoration, you can schedule a complimentary consultation where experts in hair loss can perform an assessment and help determine the cause and solution to your hair loss. Don’t delay; all types of hair loss are progressive conditions. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prevent future hair loss and restore existing hair loss. Visit the hair restoration experts at MAXIM Hair Restoration and let us help your hair.
Contact us at 802-370-3227 today, or complete the contact form to book your complimentary consultation.