What Really Causes Hair Loss? We Unravel The Truth

What Really Causes Hair Loss? We Unravel The Truth

Hair Loss: What Truly Causes It

Many young people distinctly remember where they were when the realization set in that "Oh crap! I'm starting to lose my hair!"

Hair loss can be a distressing experience, affecting both men and women. It's natural to feel concerned when noticing more hair in the shower drain or on your brush or comb. But what truly causes hair loss? One of the most common answers you'll get is "bad genetics." When a man has hereditary hair loss, the first sign is often a receding hairline or an emerging bald spot on top of the head. However, in this blog, we will explore the factors outside of dad's bad genes contributing to losing one's hair, including stress, hormonal imbalances, scalp infections, medications, and nutritional deficiencies.

Harsh styling products cause hair loss

We will also discuss hair loss symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Additionally, we will provide practical tips on preventing hair loss and explore the different treatment options available, such as hair transplant surgery, minoxidil, finasteride, and natural DHT blockers.

If you've been struggling with thinning up top and are looking for answers, this blog has got you covered. Let's decode the mysteries behind hair loss together and find practical solutions to restore your confidence and promote healthy hair growth.

Hair loss symptoms

Hair loss can be caused by various factors, and one common sign is a receding hairline. In men, hereditary hair loss often begins with a receding hairline or bald spot at the top of the head. The first noticeable sign for women is usually overall thinning or a widening part. While regrowth may be possible through treatment, addressing the underlying causes of hair loss is important for effective management.

What causes hair loss? Here are the 6 leading causes

Stress and hair loss

Stress can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to generalized loss on the scalp area. The release of cortisol, a hormone produced during periods of stress, can inhibit hair follicle growth. Chronic stress can also result in telogen effluvium. Many hairs enter the resting phase in this condition and eventually fall out. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is essential in preventing or reducing stress-related hair loss. If you are experiencing significant thinning, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and explore appropriate treatment options.


Alopecia is an autoimmune disease resulting in hair loss in patches or all over the body. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to the loss of hair. There are different types of alopecia, including alopecia areata (patchy hair loss), alopecia totalis (total scalp hair loss), and alopecia universalis (total body hair loss). Although alopecia's exact cause is not fully understood, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment options for alopecia include topical medications, steroid injections, and immunosuppressive drugs. In some instances, hair may regrow on its own without any treatment.

DHT and hormonal imbalances

DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that can bind to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and resulting in thinning and weakened hair. Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with conditions like PCOS or thyroid disorders, can also contribute to hair loss. Certain medications used for cancer treatment or hormone replacement therapy may have hair loss as a side effect. Nutritional deficiencies, particularly iron, zinc, and B vitamins, can lead to hair loss. Physical or emotional stress can trigger temporary hair loss, known as telogen effluvium. Genetic factors, like male pattern baldness, can also play a role in hair loss.

Too little biotin or iron

A deficiency in biotin or iron can contribute to hair loss. Biotin is an essential vitamin that helps produce keratin (a protein that forms nails, skin, and hair). Biotin helps maintain hair growth and helps with inflammation and studies such as a 2016 research indicate that insufficient biotin levels in the body may contribute to hair loss.

Biotin, a B vitamin, promotes healthy hair growth. At the same time, iron is essential for red blood cell production, which carries oxygen to the follicles. Addressing these nutrient deficiencies through dietary changes or supplementation can often reverse hair loss.

Scalp infection

Scalp infections, such as fungal or bacterial infections, can result in baldness. These infections cause inflammation and damage the hair follicles, hindering healthy hair growth. Common scalp infections that lead to hair loss include ringworm (tinea capitis) and folliculitis. Prompt treatment of scalp infections is crucial to prevent further hair loss and promote healing. Dermatologists typically prescribe antifungal or antibacterial medications to treat the condition and restore hair growth.

Skin infections contribute to hair loss

Maintaining good scalp hygiene, avoiding sharing personal items like combs or hats, and practicing safe behaviors in communal areas can help prevent scalp infections and subsequent hair loss.


Certain medications, such as those used for cancer treatment, high blood pressure, and depression, can lead to hair loss as a side effect. The extent of the loss depends on the type and dosage of the medication. Thankfully, hair loss caused by drugs is usually temporary and will regrow once the medication is adjusted or stopped. It's crucial to consult with your doctor if you notice hair loss while taking medication. They may suggest alternative medications or treatments to minimize hair loss. Remember, your doctor is the best person to guide you.

Photos of hair loss

Each case of thinning hair has its own story. Well... maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but it is true!

These images show the various types of hair loss, each caused by a mix of hereditary, environmental, and medical factors. From the receding hairline at the temple to disproportionate shedding from the crown - which picture tells your "story?"

DHT and hormonal imbalances lead to hair lossAlopecia affects both men and womenTypical male pattern baldness

How is hair loss diagnosed?

Despite how common it may seem, hair loss is still very much a medical issue. A qualified medical professional should diagnose and treat it. Hair loss is diagnosed by examining the scalp, discussing medical and family history, and assessing any underlying health conditions. Additional tests like scalp biopsy or blood tests may be needed. Consulting with a dermatologist (AAD) or trichologist is recommended for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Can baldness be prevented?

Hair loss can be prevented or minimized by adopting lifestyle changes and specific hair care practices. Firstly, maintaining a healthy diet that includes essential nutrients like vitamins, proteins, and minerals is crucial for promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss. Regular exercise helps improve blood circulation to the scalp, providing essential nutrients to the hair follicles. Avoiding excessive heat styling and harsh chemical treatments can minimize damage to the hair shafts. Reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help prevent hair loss. Using gentle hair care products (especially shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products) suitable for your hair type and avoiding tight hairstyles that pull on the hair can also prevent unnecessary breakage and hair loss. Suppose you experience persistent or severe hair loss. In that case, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for further evaluation and personalized treatment options.

What are the treatment options for hair loss?

There are several treatment options for hair loss. Medications like minoxidil and finasteride can help, while hair transplant surgery offers a permanent solution. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) stimulates hair growth, and other options include PRP therapy, scalp micro pigmentation, and lifestyle changes like a balanced diet and stress reduction. The following treatments are the most common.

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplant surgery is a popular treatment option for many, especially for individuals with pattern baldness. It involves transplanting hair follicles from a donor area, typically the back of the head, to the areas experiencing baldness. Two main techniques are used in hair transplant surgery: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). FUT involves removing a strip of the scalp and dissecting it into individual grafts. In contrast, FUE involves extracting individual follicles directly from the scalp. The transplanted follicles usually start growing new hair within a few months of the surgery, with continued improvement. Choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon for the best results is essential.

Minoxidil and Finasteride

Minoxidil is a topical solution applied directly to the scalp, increasing blood flow to hair follicles and promoting hair growth. Finasteride, an oral medication, blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone contributing to hair loss. Both are FDA-approved, and these options are effective treatments. Alternatives include laser therapy, PRP injections, and hair transplant surgery. Consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for personalized treatment recommendations.

Increasing biotin intake (vitamin b7)

Increasing biotin intake is essential to promote healthy hair growth and reduce thinning up top. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, strengthens the follicles and improves scalp health.

Biotin, or vitamin b7, can help with hair regrowth

You can increase your biotin intake through supplements or by incorporating foods rich in biotin into your diet. Some examples of biotin-rich foods include eggs, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, avocados, and salmon. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or starting new supplements.


Natural DHT blockers

DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that plays a significant role in hair loss. Natural DHT blockers, such as saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil, and green tea extract, help inhibit the production of DHT and potentially slow down hair loss. These natural DHT blockers are often available as supplements and infused in some hair care products. It's important to note that while natural DHT blockers may help with hair loss, they may not be as effective as prescription medications like minoxidil or finasteride. Consulting with a healthcare professional or dermatologist is recommended to determine the best treatment options for individual hair loss cases.

When to see a doctor about your thinning hair

If you notice sudden or excessive hair loss, it may indicate an underlying medical condition. Seeking professional help early on can improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery. Hair loss accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or scalp irritation should also prompt a visit to the doctor. Hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair loss, so it's essential to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect this. A doctor can determine if your hair loss is temporary or permanent and recommend appropriate treatment options.


In conclusion, understanding the causes and symptoms of hair loss is crucial in finding the proper treatment and prevention methods. Whether it's stress, hormonal imbalances, or scalp infections, various factors can contribute to losing one's hair. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose your condition and explore appropriate treatment options such as transplant surgery, medications like minoxidil and finasteride, increasing biotin intake, or using natural DHT blockers. Don't hesitate to seek medical help if you're experiencing significant thinning. Take control of your hair health today and consult a specialist.

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