Why me? That’s a question most men and women ask themselves when faced with alopecia, the clinical term for hair loss.
Depending on the cause, hair loss can manifest itself in many different ways. It can occur gradually over time or all of a sudden. Just your scalp may be affected or your entire body. Also, some types of hair loss are only temporary, while others are permanent.
There are many reasons why you might be losing some or a significant portion of hair on your scalp or elsewhere on your body. Knowing the main causes of alopecia can be useful in choosing the right treatment to reverse the trend – and even regrow your lost hair. Let’s talk about what those causes might be.
What Causes Alopecia?
Before you and your hair restoration doctor can treat your alopecia, it helps to know the exact cause of your hair loss. Typically, alopecia is caused by one or more of these factors:
- Heredity – A family history of male or female pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. This usually develops over time and in a predictable pattern, such as a receding hairline or bald spots in men, and thinning hair or a receding/widening “part” in women.
- Medical conditions – Among these that cause hair loss is alopecia areata, scalp infections such as ringworm, or even significant weight loss due to a medical condition/disease. Hair loss can also occur when one purposefully loses a lot of weight via diet, exercise, or a gastric sleeve procedure. Also, there are specific diseases that cause damage to the scalp, such as scarring alopecia, which destroys the hair follicle, replaces it with scar tissue, and thus causes permanent hair loss.
- Hormonal changes – There are a variety of hormonal conditions that can cause temporary hair loss, mostly in women. These include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems.
- Medications and supplements – Certain drugs used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart disease, gout, diabetes, lupus, or high blood pressure may have side effects that include hair loss. The most commonly known medication to cause hair loss is chemotherapy.
- Radiotherapy – Hair loss is a common side effect of radiation therapy treatment. The good news is that your hair will grow back after treatment, but it may grow back with a different color and texture than it was before.
- Stress or trauma – It is not uncommon for those who experience a physical or emotional shock to also experience a temporary thinning or loss of hair, even several months later.
- Excessive hairstyling and treatments – Any hairstyle that pulls your hair tightly, such as ponytails, barrettes, or cornrows, can cause traction alopecia. Also, hot oil hair treatments and permanents can trigger inflammation of hair follicles and lead to hair loss that could be permanent if scarring occurs.
Symptoms and Types of Hair Loss
Given the fact that everyone loses a certain amount of hair each and every day – hair that is replaced with new-grown hair – it’s important to know what constitutes true hair loss.
Some of the most common types and causes of hair loss include:
- Male pattern baldness
- Female pattern baldness
- Alopecia areata (circular bald patches)
- Traction alopecia (gradual hair loss due to pulling)
- Alopecia totalis (loss of all scalp hair)
- Alopecia universalis (loss of all body hair)
- Scarring alopecia such as Lichen Plano Pilaris, Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, and Discoid Lupus
Treatment for Alopecia
An accurate diagnosis is needed to provide the proper treatment for alopecia. That can only happen when a qualified doctor assesses you during a consultation – not just a salesperson. Unfortunately, most people never meet with a doctor during a consultation for hair restoration. That’s never the case at Northwest Hair Restoration.
Whatever the cause, you don’t have to accept hair loss as the “new normal” in your life. At Northwest Hair Restoration in Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane, our board-certified hair restoration specialist Dr. Robert Niedbalski and his team offer many cutting-edge solutions and can provide an effective treatment that is specifically tailored to your situation.
To find the right solution for you, contact Northwest Hair Restoration today at (253) 572-2949 and arrange a private complimentary consultation with Dr. Niedbalski, or use our convenient online request form to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you and helping you restore your hair to its natural glory.