Hair loss is a part of nature, something that everyone experiences on an ongoing basis. Some individuals, however, are plagued by excessive hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, falling hair is not only a problem for men. Women and children can also experience excessive hair loss. Falling hair does not have to ruin your life, as there are various treatments, such as medications and artificial hair replacement, that can give you a head full of gorgeous, flowing locks.
Male pattern baldness is a type of hereditary baldness that you can inherit from either side of your family. It is a myth that male pattern baldness comes only from your mother's side. This condition happens gradually, and men will usually notice their hair thinning but not completely falling out. There are myths about poor circulation, shampooing, hats and long hair causing male pattern baldness, but they are just that--myths.
Stress can make you want to pull your hair out, but did you know that it can actually cause falling hair? There are two types of hair loss associated with stress, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. Telogen effluvium is where hair stops growing completely before falling out two or three months later. The hair usually grows back after about six months. Alopecia areata is a condition where white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out in patches. The hair usually grows back on its own, but professional treatments may be necessary.
Hormones are another factor in falling hair. Women with thyroid problems, either overactive or under active, can experience hair loss. Pregnancy and the birth of a baby can both cause women to lose excessive hair. In all of these cases, hair growth returns to normal after the hormonal imbalance has been corrected.
Certain medications can cause falling hair. Such medications include cancer-fighting medications, gout medication, blood thinners, anti-depressants, oral contraceptives and large quantities of Vitamin A. This type of hair loss usually stops as soon as you stop taking the offending medication.
Scalp infections caused by bacteria, parasites, fungus and viruses can contribute to hair loss. Demodex folliculorum, folliculitus and peidra are all types of scalp infections that are associated with falling hair. Sebhorreic dermatitis is a condition that makes the skin more suceptible to fungal infections. This is a double-edged sword, because the fungal infections often make the sebhorreic dermatitis worse.
Certain diseases, such as lupus and diabetes, can contribute to excessive hair loss. People with diabetes may lose hair because of their weakened immune systems, compromised circulatory systems, hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems and skin rashes. Those suffering from lupus lose hair because of skin diseases that negatively affect the hair follicles and also from the medications used to treat the disease.