More often than not, hair loss is a sign of an underlying health problem you ignored inadvertently or due to lack of time. From micronutrient deficiencies to using the wrong shampoo to lack of sound sleep, hair has a way of getting affected by things you would never associate with hair loss.
Aside from hereditary factors and side effects of certain medication, hair loss is frequently caused by factors that are well within your control. If you’ve been losing hair or are worried about its diminishing quality, take a look at these six common causes of hair fall in both men and women.
It is well known to most people that stress affects not just the mind but also the body. Chronic stress derails the body’s natural defense system and affects your day-to-day life, causing loss of appetite, constant tiredness and lethargy, and hair and skin problems.
If you feel stressed out from life’s everyday challenges, seek the support of a loved one, a friend or a mental health professional. Ignoring the causes of your stress can make things worse, so accept the problem and work to resolve it one step at a time—the physical symptoms will eventually wane away with time.
Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are essential to your physical as well as mental wellbeing. Any disturbances in the functioning of the thyroid gland can lead to a number of telltale signs, including dry and thin hair accompanied by rapid hair loss.
Thyroid malfunction causes uniform hair loss throughout the scalp. If you’ve experienced rapid weight gain or weight loss along with other symptoms such as loss of hair, dry skin, constipation and muscle weakness, consult an endocrinologist at the earliest.
An unhealthy lifestyle manifests sooner or later in the form of frequent infections, dull skin and nails, hair breakage, lack of energy, and sleepiness, among other symptoms.
If you consume processed and unhealthy foods frequently, your body is deprived of essential nutrients, which weakens your body and also affects cell renewal and other critical body functions.
In addition, if you feel constantly low on energy without reason, you may be living with a parasite infection in your gut. To flush out harmful microbes from your body, you may want to think about a parasite cleanse with nature-based ingredients that will preserve the good fauna in your digestive system while flushing out the bad guys.
Iron or B12 deficiency
Hair fall is a well-known symptom of iron-deficiency anemia, that is, anemia caused by low levels of iron in the body. While women who get heavy periods are more prone to developing this form of anemia, it can also affect men, leading to symptoms such as pale skin, unexplained fatigue, cold hands and feet, headaches, lethargy, weakness, and hair fall.
If you can’t find a plausible cause of your thinning hair, consult your physician, who will order a simple blood test to diagnose nutritional deficiency. Depending on the results, you’ll be put on an iron-rich diet and a supplement if required.
Another, often overlooked cause of hair fall is low levels of Vitamin B12, which can be easily fixed with B12 supplementation.
Excessive use of hair products and treatments
Whether it’s frequent shampooing, coloring your hair every other month or using chemical-based salon treatments, your hair is bound to suffer from the constant onslaught of harmful chemicals. Add to this environmental pollution and lifestyle factors, and you have the perfect recipe for a dull, damaged and lack-luster mane that can’t even withstand gentle brushing.
To bring your hair back to life, take a sabbatical from using hair dryers and harsh treatments, and switch to a mild, chemical-free hair cleanser. Use a hair-strengthening natural formula once or twice a week and nourish your scalp from the inside out with a protein-rich diet.
A common cause of hair fall in men, alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that causes bald patches throughout the scalp and also on other parts of the body. This occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles.
While alopecia is currently not treatable through conventional medicine, some herb-based cures are believed to be effective for some people. For others, there are solutions such as hair transplantation, steroid injections, UV light treatment and immunotherapy.
Aside from this, fungal infections of the scalp can also cause loss of hair. Seek medical advice if you’re experiencing rapid hair fall or find that your scalp has become unusually flaky or itchy.