An increase in hair loss may result from a health-related issue, such as alopecia, a nutrient deficiency, pregnancy, or medication use. Treatment will depend on the cause, but avoiding heat treatment and other lifestyle tips may help manage it.
While male and female pattern baldness is a primary cause of hair loss, there is a range of other reasons.
In this article, we look at the leading causes of hair loss, the treatment available, and home care tips for preventing further loss.
Androgenetic alopecia is another term for male or female pattern baldness. It is a very common cause of hair loss.
Both male and female pattern baldness is genetic. Males tend to lose hair from the temples and crown of the head. In females, hair usually becomes thinner all over the head.
Androgenetic alopecia is more likely to happen as a person ages but can start at any point after puberty. Many females who experience androgenetic alopecia develop it after going through the menopause. This means that hormones may have something to do with it.
It is possible to treat this condition with minoxidil, a medication for hair growth.
Some women may experience excessive hair loss shortly after giving birth. This is due to a decrease in estrogen levels. This type of hair loss is a temporary condition and usually resolves within a year or sooner.
To help hair return to its normal condition, try:
using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner
using products designed for fine hair
avoiding intensive conditioners or conditioning shampoos as these can be too heavy for fine hair
applying conditioner to the ends of the hair, rather than the scalp, to avoid weighing hair down
Telogen effluvium is a condition where the hair remains in the telogen (natural shedding) phase of the growth cycle. This causes more hair to fall out, sometimes in handfuls.
Telogen effluvium is usually a temporary condition that resolves over time. It is advisable to see a doctor to find out the cause.
Some possible causes include:
rapid weight loss
Traction alopecia is hair loss due to pulling hair into tight hairstyles, which causes it to break and come loose. Hairstyles associated with this condition include:
tight buns or ponytails
If traction alopecia continues, a person may develop bald spots and thinning of the hair.
In terms of self-care, avoiding tight hairstyles will usually prevent further damage.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause hair to fall out. Extreme diets that are too low in protein and certain vitamins, such as iron, can sometimes cause excessive hair shedding.
A person should see a doctor for a blood test to check if they have a nutritional deficiency that could be causing their hair to fall out.