Are you noticing a lot of hair fall off late? Do you find loose strands flying everywhere in your room? Wondering what is making you lose so much hair suddenly? Well, there are many reasons for sudden hair loss, which can range from weather changes to stress and even underlying medical issues. Instead of trying out the so-called “magical” potions which claim to end your hair loss woes, you must identify the root cause and seek the right course of treatment.
In this article, we shall look into some of the main causes behind excessive hair fall.
10 Main Reasons For Sudden Hair Loss
It’s normal for humans to lose around 50-100 strands per day. However, many of us experience a sudden decrease in the density of hair, which can expose the scalp. As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that lead to this condition, some of which can be temporary and some may lead to permanent hair loss.
Let us now look into the main causes for sudden hair loss in men and women:
1. Hereditary Hair Loss:
One of the most common causes of a sudden increase in hair fall is hereditary hair loss, also called Androgenetic Alopecia. It is a condition in which the active hair growth period in a person is reduced and the hairline at the temples and crown starts receding. Although this is a genetic condition where the person inherits the hair loss gene from either side of the family, hormones also may play a role in triggering the hair loss cycle.
Many women experience heavy hair fall after childbirth, which is also called hair shedding. It can be extremely worrisome to notice bunches of strands falling off suddenly after experiencing luscious locks during pregnancy. This temporary hair loss is caused when the estrogen levels are coming back to their normal levels and the hair growing phase slowly moves to the resting phase. Usually, the problem subsides within 6 months to 1 year of childbirth.
3. Birth Control Pills:
Oral contraceptive pills may cause two types of hair loss – hair thinning and hair shedding. If you have hair follicles that are sensitive to the hormones induced by these pills, then you may experience mild to severe hair loss all of a sudden. Also, pills that contain higher amounts of progesterone than oestrogen are likely to reduce your hair growth period and move it to the resting phase. This is why some experts recommend choosing pills that are high in Oesterogen to combat this problem.*
*it is not a generic treatment for everyone and one must consult a doctor before using or stopping birth control pills.
4. Nutritional Deficiencies:
Nutritional deficiencies are certainly linked to sudden hair loss in men and women. Our hair requires essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. Low levels of iron, vitamin D, Zinc, Selenium, Folate and other nutrients can cause thinning of hair, stunted hair growth, hair breakages and hair loss. In extreme cases, people may even have baldness and loss of hair on the eyebrows as well. You can combat this issue at the starting stages by identifying the deficiencies and taking the right supplements and pills.
5. Hormonal Imbalance:
Your hormones can play havoc on the health of your hair. In women, low Oestrogen levels due to pregnancy, menopause, childbirth etc. may trigger sudden thinning or hair loss. In Men, high levels of DHT can shorten the hair growth cycle and even damage the structure of your strands. There are plenty of prescription medications to correct the hormonal imbalance which can reverse the damage and regain your lost volume.
You may experience sudden hair loss as a side effect of certain medications you take. Medicines like Vitamin A supplements, antibiotics, anti-fungal drugs, hormonal pills, immunosuppressants, anti-depressants etc. may cause temporary hair fall or Telegon Effluvium or permanent hair loss like pattern baldness. If you notice unusually heavy hair fall within a few days of taking these drugs, you can speak to your doctor and ask for a safer alternative instead.
7. Scalp Infections:
Scalp infections may cause sudden hair to fall beyond the normal range. The scalp disorders like dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, alopecia areata etc. can cause itching and irritation, followed by hair loss. The hair follicles get weakened and damaged by pathogens like bacteria, fungi etc. that invade the scalp. A contagious fungal problem called tinea capitis (ringworm) can destroy the hair shafts and cause hair loss in children. Neglecting these issues can lead to permanent baldness.
8. Allergic Reactions:
Allergic Dermatitis is a common problem experienced by people after the scalp reacts violently to hair dyes and other hair-related products. Hair dyes can trigger sudden hair loss due to the presence of strong chemicals like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and PPD. Discontinuing the product immediately and seeking medical help can minimize the loss to an extent. However, prolonged usage of these products may cause irreversible damage in the future.
9. Tight Hair Styles:
Many young girls and ladies experience a type of sudden hair loss called Traction Alopecia due to wearing tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, extensions, cornrows etc. By pulling the strands tightly, the roots get severely damaged and make the strands fall out. While the problem can be reversed in the early stages, repeated tension or pulling can lead to permanent bald patches on the scalp.
Many studies show that there is a definite link between stress and hair fall. Physical or mental stress can push the hair follicles into a dormant state where they fail to grow as expected and stop producing new strands. In this stage, even a simple activity like touching or brushing your hair can make the follicles fall out in bunches. However, stress-related hair loss can be managed well by taking certain medications or therapies.
Now that you have learnt the main reasons for hair loss, it gets easy for you to identify the root cause behind your problem. Along with seeking timely medical help, following a hair care routine, eating nutritious food and minimizing heat and chemical damage to hair can bring back the lost glory to your mane.
1. Can sudden hair loss indicate a serious problem?
If you are experiencing sudden hair loss on other areas of your body like skin, eyebrows and eyelashes, chances of a serious medical problem cannot be ruled out. It could range from autoimmune disease to thyroid imbalance or other serious conditions. Instead of using home remedies or self-prescription, you must check with a doctor to identify the problem.
2. Will my hair grow back after the sudden loss?
It depends on the root cause of hair loss and the amount of damage occurred. If the damage is minimal, your hair may grow back on its own after a certain period. However, in most cases, a corrective treatment like medication or therapy might be required.
3. Which doctor should I consult for treating sudden hair loss?
A dermatologist or more specifically a trichologist can help you deal with hair loss issues. In case, the doctor suspects an underlying medical condition, they will refer you to the concerned specialist. Else, you will be given some prescription medicines, topical creams or lotions to deal with the problem.