What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can have many causes, from environment to stress and diet, disease or illness or commonly, male pattern hair loss. A certain amount of hair loss occurs naturally as a part of the hair’s life cycle, and noticing a few loose hair on a brush, pillowcase or in the sink is not cause for alarm. People regularly shed up to 100 hairs each day, which are normally replaced with new growth. If you realize that you are losing more than 150 hairs each day, then you should start worrying about that and make an appointment with Dr. Özlem Biçer.

1. Androgenic alopecia

Alopecia is a term that means hair loss. Androgenic alopecia is hair loss caused by hormonal activity, and is the cause of baldness experienced by most men. Some studies suggest that 25% of men will start experiencing Alopecia by age 30 and 66% of men will see hair loss by age 60. This type of hair loss is triggered genetically, and can (occasionally) appear soon after puberty.

Androgenic Alopecia may be instigated by the action of DHT (a form of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone). DHT appears to make the hair follicle deteriorate to the point where it can no longer produce normal hair. Some topical medications and shampoos claim to work by blocking DHT.

2. Other Causes

Hair loss can also be caused by emotional stress, physical trauma, poor nutrition, pregnancy, medications and environmental factors. Medications that impact hormonal levels and medications for blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes can all cause hair loss. Medications used for chemotherapy are often associated with rapid (and temporary) hair loss.

Rapid Hair Loss

If you are experiencing rapid hair loss, or your hair is falling out in clumps, seek professional medical advice. Hair loss can indicate serious underlying health issues.

Women’s Hair Loss

Women are also susceptible to genetic pattern hair loss, although it is less common than in the male population.

What causes female hair loss?

There are a variety of causes of female hair loss, from genetics to pregnancy to traction.

How do I know if I’m losing my hair?

While this seems like a simple question, there are no simple answers. Many methods have been devised and tried, but even counting individual hairs is not reliable, since healthy hair goes through a phase where it falls out then regrows months later. So, just because you see hairs on your pillow or in your sink, it does not mean you are suffering from permanent hair loss.

The truth is, there is no easy, reliable way to monitor your hair loss. All you can do is be aware of your overall density, how easy or difficult it is to see your scalp through your hair, where your hairline rests and how all of that changes over time. It is too easy to be paranoid and obsessive about hair loss, and all of that stress is surely not helpful.

If you are losing hair due to an illness, stress or disease, you may see rapid hair loss, hair falling out in clumps or bald spots appearing on your head and should consult with a physician. Rapid hair loss can result from serious underlying factors and should always be investigated with your doctor.

Our best suggestion to monitor your hair is to take standardized photos of yourself every 6 to 8 months and compare them. Set up your camera so you can duplicate the same position, lighting and pose when you retake your photos.

Hair Loss: Tips For Managing

  1. Practice good hair care. Many people are surprised to learn that a hairstyle or even the way they wash and dry their hair has contributed to their hair loss.
  2. Do not stop taking a medicine that your doctor prescribed. Some medicines can cause hair loss. Doctors warn that you should not stop taking a medicine that your doctor prescribed if you see hair loss. Immediately stopping some medicines can cause serious side effects.
    If you think a medicine may be causing hair loss, talk with the doctor who prescribed the medicine. Ask if the medicine could be causing your hair loss. If the medicine seems to be the cause, ask your doctor whether you can take another medicine.
  3. Realize that your hair loss may be temporary. Some things in life cause temporary hair loss. These include illness, childbirth, and stress. During a very stressful time, your body may react by causing more hairs than normal to go into resting phase. The medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium. During telogen effluvium, the body sheds a dramatic amount of hair. For most people, the hair will start to grow again without any help.
  4. Make an appointment with Dr. Özlem Biçer, who can find the cause and a treatment for hair loss.

Treatment for hair loss and hair transplant helps many people feel better. Hair loss, both in women and in men, can cause low self-esteem. Many people feel unattractive and embarrassed. Dr. Özlem Biçer can offer solutions to help you feel and look your best.

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