The reasons behind hair-fall can be difficult to determine and may have more than one underlying cause.
Here are the most common causes for hair-loss:
1. Growth Cycles: Each hair has a natural growth cycle, a time for growing, a time for resting and a time for falling out, otherwise known as: anagen, catagen and telogen. It is very common to lose at least 100 hundred hairs a day yet, if more hair shafts are in the telogen stage of growth, that number could be considerably higher.
2. Post Pregnancy: During pregnancy the hair does not shed. After the baby is born and the body returns to its normal cycles, it is very common to lose up to 1000 hairs a day. This is simply the hair that would have shed during pregnancy.
3. Thyroid Problems: Both an underactive or overactive thyroid can lead to problems with hair-loss. if you suspect you may have a thyroid problem it is important to get it checked as soon as possible because it can lead to other problems in the body.
4. Chemical Damage: Most chemically damaged hair will not fall out from the bulb of the hair shaft but from the root, mids and ends. Hair that has been over-processed from too harsh chemicals or over colouring can be so weak that it literally snaps off. If this happens, it is imperative to seek professional help. A course of treatments to restore the keratin to the hair will be needed.
5. Traction Damage: Wearing hair in tight ponytails can cause such tension on the hair shaft that it pulls the hair out from the root and leads to bald or thinning patches, especially around the hairline.
6. Iron Deficiency: Studies have shown in many people suffering with hair-loss, their iron levels have been very low. When iron was supplemented into the diet it helped with the growth of new hair.
7. Hormonal Changes: Hair-loss is often linked to hormonal changes such as the menopause. Falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone, means the testosterone has more impact, which can in turn lead to the thinning of hair.
8. Male Pattern Baldness: This is a hereditary condition, where men of a certain age start to lose their hair as the hair follicles die off. It normally begins to recede from the hairline or from the crown of the head, but never tends to go beyond the top of the head. There are treatments available which may help stimulate the dying hair follicle for a time, but the only way to avoid it is a hair transplant.
9. Alopecia Areata: This is a condition where patches of the head go bald. It is thought that it is caused by an autoimmune response, but it has also been linked to highly stressful situations.
10. Alopecia Totalis or Universalis. Both these types of alopecia lead to complete baldness, with totalis being on the head and universalis, the head and all the body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. In all forms of alopecia the hair follicles do not die, they remain in a dormant condition until they get the signal to start growing again. This may take months or even years.