Understanding Hair Loss – Causes and Available Treatments

Hair loss is a very normal process that naturally occurs to continue the body's cyclic process of hair shedding and new hair growth. Every day hundreds of hairs usually fall from our body; however, to replace these lost hairs, new hairs grow as well. But when this balance of hair shedding and hair regrowth is disturbed, we just start losing more hairs than usual.

Causes of Hair Loss

Alopecia in a 33-year-old man
Source: Image by Medical-Reference.net
There is no one single cause of hair loss. There are many different factors that are associated with the excessive hair loss from your scalp. In clinical studies, heredity, age, certain drugs, and some medical conditions are pointed as potential factors for hair loss. Increased dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a sex steroid and androgen hormone made from the male testosterone, and lack of vitamins and minerals in our daily food sources are also evaluated as two important causes for hair shedding.

For the typical male pattern baldness, heredity is a big factor for baldness. Although, there is no specific cause for genetical hair loss, but several researches have shown that high dihydrotestosterone levels are often associated with genetic baldness.

However, except the heredity factor, in many cases of hair loss, the lost hairs just grows back either by continuing vitamin supplements for a few months or without any treatment. So, don’t get too worried for losing hairs from your scalp. Naturally, as you age, your hair will become thinner and the rate of hair regrowth will slow. You need to know that at different stages of our lifetime, we may lose more hairs than usual; anyone — men, women and children — can experience sudden and excessive hair loss without any significant variations in their usual life.

Available Treatments to Halt Your Hair Loss


Roger's Hair Loss

Hair loss often has a very uncomfortable emotional impact; for most people with alopecia (baldness), it becomes the most distressful and embarrassing situation when they find out that they are finally getting bald. However, if you are experiencing the same problem, here are a few points that I believe you need to consider first before using any hair growth product.
  • Visit a dermatologist or skin care expert and ask for opinion and suggestions.
  • Find out the underlying causes of your hair fall.
  • Find out the specific type of alopecia that affected you.
  • Check your dihydrotestosterone (DHT) level.
However, the last three points I have mentioned above is not actually part of your task. Your physician will suggest the necessary steps and tests that you may need to go through. But you need to be concerned about those points, because those are vital points that will eventually determine the fate of your scalp.

If an underlying disease is the cause of your hair loss, no treatment is required for the lost hairs. You only need to continue the medications for the disease, because your hair will naturally grow back when the disease is gone. However, if the test results show that you have high DHT level and a specific type of alopecia affected you, there is a little chance that your hair will grow back. You may need to accept the fate that you are gradually moving towards baldness and there is no such cure to get back all the lost hairs.

Although there is no cure that will repair the natural cyclic process of hair regrowth, but don’t feel so embarrassed. There are a number of treatment options (both surgical and nonsurgical) available today to reduce or slow hair loss, stimulate partial hair regrowth or damage hair replacement. Below is a chart of some proven treatments for hair loss.

A simple chart of hair loss treatments

To know more about these treatments with details, read my next post "Understanding Hair Loss – Treatments and Drugs".

Image source: Roger Mommaerts, CC BY-SA 2.0, via flickr

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Welcome to Medical-Reference. My name is Imtiaz Ibne Alam. I'm a pharmacist and a freelance medical writer with 7+ years of experience in the health care industry.

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