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Why Is My Hair Falling Out? Examining 19 Factors

The reason why your hair is falling out depends on your sex, medical conditions, genetic predisposition, aging, and many more variety of reasons.

🖋️ According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, losing from 50 to 100 hairs per day is perfectly normal. Sometimes even up to 200 strands.

If you are losing more than the normal amount, it’s important to be conscious of the reason behind your excessive hair loss and find a solution if possible. 

Here are some interesting key points from the article that will make you want to read on:

  • YOU MIGHT BE FACING ONE OF THE ALOPECIA DISORDERS.
  • YOUR HAIR LOSS MIGHT BE SEASONAL
  • HORMONAL CHANGES, NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY, AND STRESS AFFECT THE HAIR CYCLE.
  • IF YOU HAVE PATTERNED HAIR LOSS, IT’S MOST PROBABLY GENETIC.
  • IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION AND UNDER A TREATMENT, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER IT AS A FACTOR.
  • DAILY HABITS SUCH AS WATER QUALITY, ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, AND SMOKING ARE AMONG THE FACTORS FOR HAIR LOSS. 
  • YOUR SITUATION CAN BE PREVENTABLE, STOPABBLE, AND TREATABLE.
  • CURLY HAIR DO NOT SHED MORE THAN STRAIGHT HAIR. 

 

💡DID YOU KNOW?

Over 70% of men say hair is an important feature of their image. 72% of women state that feeling good about their hair makes them feel empowered.

Why Is My Hair Falling Out So Much? 19 Reasons

The question that comes to mind when you notice your hair thinning or falling out is “Why am I losing a lot of hair?” You should know there are many reasons why you experience hair loss.

  1. ALOPECIA DISEASES
  2. TRICHOTILLOMANIA
  3. TINEA CAPITIS
  4. TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM
  5. IT’S SEASONAL
  6. HAIRSTYLING -TRACTION ALOPECIA
  7. FUNGAL INFECTIONS
  8. STRESS
  9. GENETIC FACTORS
  10. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
  11. NUTRITION DEFICIENCY
  12. SMOKING AND ALCOHOL
  13. LOW WATER QUALITY
  14. LOW-QUALITY HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
  15. EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS
  16. MEDICATION
  17. CANCER TREATMENT
  18. POSTPARTUM AND MENOPAUSE HAIR LOSS
  19. POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS)

1. Alopecia Diseases

Alopecia refers to various hair loss conditions that affect both men and women.

  • ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA (AGA) MALE AND FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS, IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF HAIR LOSS, IS OFTEN GENETIC, AND IS RELATED TO DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE (DHT).
  • ALOPECIA AREATA IS AN AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER THAT CAN HAPPEN SUDDENLY AND CAUSE PATCHES OF BALDNESS ON THE SCALP.
  • ALOPECIA TOTALIS IS A SEVERE FORM OF ALOPECIA AREATA WHEN ALL THE HAIR ON YOUR SCALP IS GONE.
  • ALOPECIA UNIVERSALIS IS AN EVEN MORE DEVELOPED FORM OF ALOPECIA AREATA WHEN ALL BODY HAIR IS LOST.
  • SCARRING ALOPECIA (CICATRICIAL ALOPECIA) OCCURS DUE TO INFLAMMATION, DAMAGES HAIR FOLLICLES, AND REPLACES THEM WITH SCAR TISSUE


⚠️ You need to consult your doctor to determine the cause of your signs of balding and introduce a specific treatment plan.

2. Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a recurrent and compulsive urge to pull out your hair. It is a body-focused repetitive behavior condition (BFRB).

People with this disorder often experience tension or anxiety before pulling and a sense of relief or gratification after pulling. Managing trichotillomania is a complex process.

3. Tinea Capitis

Tinea capitis, also called ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp and hair follicles. It can sometimes lead to hair loss.

Tinea capitis is caused by various types of fungi, which can invade the hair shafts and follicles, leading to inflammation and infection.

4. Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a disruption in the hair growth cycle. Too much hair enters the last hair growth phase (telogen), which leads to shedding and may end in hair thinning or hair loss. 

  • PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL STRESS
  • NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
  • CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
  • HORMONAL CHANGES
  • SOME MEDICAL CONDITIONS


Telogen effluvium usually results in diffuse hair thinning rather than specific bald patches. The shedding typically starts a few months after the triggering event and can last for several months.

In most cases, the condition is reversible once the underlying cause is treated.

5. Seasonal Hair Loss

Seasonal hair loss is common in the fall and sometimes in the spring. It is usually related to changes in daylight, temperature, and humidity. This type of hair loss lasts a few weeks to a couple of months and should decrease as you adjust to the seasonal changes.

In summer your scalp needs to protect itself, so it does not allow the hair to fall out. When autumn, the scalp detects no danger any longer and the hair that needs to fall, falls out immediately. For this reason, you are shedding most of your summer hair. Additionally, fall hair loss is more common because of less sunlight exposure. It can result in lower levels of vitamin D.

6. Hairstyling - Traction Alopecia

Here are some ways in which hairstyling can affect hair loss:

  • TIGHT HAIRSTYLES AND HAIR ACCESSORIES CAN DAMAGE THE HAIR SHAFT AND LEAD TO TRACTION ALOPECIA
  • FREQUENT HEAT STYLING CAN DAMAGE THE HAIR SHAFT AND MAKE IT EASIER TO BREAK
  • CHEMICAL TREATMENTS CAN WEAKEN THE HAIR
  • HAIR EXTENSIONS CAN ADD EXTRA WEIGHT TO YOUR NATURAL HAIR
  • SOME CHEMICAL PRODUCTS CAN DAMAGE THE HAIR AND SCALP
  • CONTINUOUS BRUSHING OR COMBING CAN END IN MECHANICAL DAMAGE AND HAIR LOSS

7. Fungal Infections

Some fungal infections can result in hair loss, and here is how it happens:

  • FUNGAL INFECTIONS CAN CAUSE INFLAMMATION OF THE SCALP, AND RESULT IN HAIR FOLLICLE DAMAGE.
  • FUNGAL INFECTIONS CAN DIRECTLY DAMAGE THE HAIR SHAFT, MAKING IT BRITTLE AND PRONE TO BREAKAGE
  • FUNGAL INFECTIONS DISTURB SCALP MICROBIOME AND MAY CAUSE SCALP ITCHING AND EXCESSIVE SCRATCHING DAMAGES HAIR FOLLICLES
  • FUNGAL INFECTIONS MIGHT LEAD TO FOLLICULITIS, WHICH IS THE INFLAMMATION OF HAIR FOLLICLES

8. Stress

Stress triggers telogen effluvium. Stress-induced hair loss can lead to a disruption in the hair growth cycle. Stress can push a significant number of hair follicles into the telogen phase prematurely.

Hair loss from stress may not become apparent until several weeks or even months after the stressful period. This is because it takes time for the affected hair to reach the shedding phase.

Telogen effluvium caused by stress is reversible. When the stress is managed, the hair growth cycle returns to normal, and the lost hair begins to regrow.

9. Genetic Factors

Genetics is a major factor in hair loss. If your relatives experienced hair loss, you may too, due to the baldness gene that runs in the families. This type of hair loss is also known as androgenetic alopecia

In both men and women, the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is called hair loss hormone, leads to thinner and shorter hair. Genetic factors can influence how sensitive your hair follicles are to DHT.

10. Autoimmune Diseases

Immune-mediated hair loss is a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the body’s own cells and tissues. Autoimmune diseases can cause hair loss as a side effect. Different forms of hair loss related to autoimmune diseases include:

  • RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: IT MAY SOMETIMES LEAD TO HAIR LOSS AS A RESULT OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION.
  • HASHIMOTO THYROIDITIS: THYROID DISORDER THAT CAN LEAD TO AN UNDERACTIVE THYROID GLAND AND THYROID-RELATED HAIR LOSS.
  • GRAVES DISEASE: ASSOCIATED WITH ALOPECIA AREATA, CAN DEVELOP AFTER HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS.
  • CELIAC DISEASE: CONDITION TRIGGERED BY GLUTEN CONSUMPTION, CAN SOMETIMES LEAD TO HAIR LOSS.
  • LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE): AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE RESULTING IN SKIN RASHES AND POTENTIAL HAIR LOSS.
  • CROHN’S DISEASE: RESEARCH SUGGESTS A CONNECTION BETWEEN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE AND ALOPECIA.
  • SCALP PSORIASIS: CAN LEAD TO TEMPORARY HAIR LOSS IF YOU ITCH OR PICK AT AFFECTED AREAS.
  • TYPE 1 DIABETES: MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES IN HORMONES, HAIR LOSS COULD BE A SYMPTOM.

11. Nutrition Deficiency

Certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss.

Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Inadequate protein intake can result in weak and brittle hair, and it may also lead to nutritional deficiency hair loss. Ensure you are getting enough protein from sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and plant-based sources such as beans and legumes.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining scalp health, scalp exfoliation, and promoting hair growth. A deficiency may result in a dry scalp and brittle hair. Sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

There are some vitamins that play an important role in hair health. Vitamin and mineral deficiency and redundancy lead to hair loss. Here are these vitamins and minerals that may lead to hair loss if they are deficient in your body:

VITAMINS:

  • VITAMIN A: EXCESSIVE LEVELS CAN LEAD TO HAIR LOSS, WHILE DEFICIENCY LEADS TO DRY AND BRITTLE HAIR
  • BIOTIN (VITAMIN B7): CRUCIAL FOR PRODUCTION OF KERATIN
  • FOLIC ACID (VITAMIN B9): ESSENTIAL FOR HAIR CELL DIVISION AND GROWTH
  • B VITAMINS (B6, B12, FOLATE): HELP IN RED BLOOD CELL FORMATION
  • VITAMIN C: IMPORTANT FOR COLLAGEN PRODUCTION 
  • VITAMIN D: CRUCIAL FOR HAIR FOLLICLE CYCLING
  • VITAMIN E: AN ANTIOXIDANT THAT HELPS PROTECT HAIR FOLLICLES FROM DAMAGE

MINERALS:

  • IRON: TO AVOID IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA
  • ZINC: ESSENTIAL FOR TISSUE REPAIR AND GROWTH
  • SELENIUM: CRUCIAL FOR KEEPING A HEALTHY SCALP

In case you worry that a deficiency may be the reason for your hair loss, consult with a doctor. They can suggest some dietary changes or supplements.

12. Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking causes hair loss for two reasons: narrowing blood vessels, and accelerating aging. Smoking narrows the blood vessels and reduces blood circulation throughout the body, as well as the scalp. Reduced blood flow can limit the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, causing hair loss. Smoking also speeds up the aging process, and premature aging can affect hair.

Excessive alcohol consumption can indirectly contribute to hair loss too. Chronic alcohol usage can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies, which can weaken hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Dehydration caused by excessive alcohol drinking can affect the overall health of your hair and scalp. Alcohol can also trigger an inflammatory response, and chronic inflammation can damage hair follicles.

13. Low Water Quality

Hard water contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium. When you wash your hair with hard water, it can leave mineral deposits on your scalp and hair. Over time, these deposits can make your hair brittle, dry, and more prone to breakage, which may contribute to hair loss.

Poor water quality can irritate your scalp, leading to conditions such as dandruff and scalp inflammation. Low water quality can also result from contamination with various chemicals, such as chlorine, lead, and heavy metals. These chemicals can have negative effects on your hair and scalp health.

14. Low-Quality Hair Care Products

Low-quality hair care products can contribute to hair loss. They may contain harsh and harmful ingredients that can damage your hair and scalp. These ingredients might strip your hair of its natural oils. Using low-quality products can lead to product buildup. This buildup may clog hair follicles and negatively affect your hair growth. Sulfates, which are common in cheap shampoos, can be harsh on the scalp and hair.

If you are dyeing your hair, the products you choose also affect your hair health. These products contain strong chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide. In particular, bleaching can harm your hair cortex. Bleach can irritate the scalp, leading to inflammation. As a result, it can weaken the hair shaft and make it more prone to breakage, resulting in hair loss. 

That’s why after bleaching or dyeing your hair, you should use special hair care products, such as deep conditioners and hair masks. This way you will help restore moisture and strength to the hair.

15. Extreme Weight Loss

Extreme weight loss and hair loss can be related. Extreme weight loss can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies. As it is a major stress on the body, the result might be excessive hair loss. Extreme weight loss may also be a sign of health issues, so it is best to consult with a doctor and learn more about the details.

16. Medication

Certain medications can sometimes be associated with hair loss as a side effect:

  • TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF HAIR LOSS THAT IS DRUG-INDUCED.
  • TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM MAY OCCUR AS A RESULT OF ACCUTANE DRUG THERAPY OR DUE TO EXCESSIVE WEIGHT LOSS AFTER WEIGHT LOSS PILLS SUCH AS OZEMPIC.
  • SOME MEDICATIONS CAN TRIGGER AUTOIMMUNE REACTIONS THAT LEAD TO HAIR LOSS.
  • BIRTH CONTROL PILLS CAN CHANGE HORMONE LEVELS, WHICH CAN RESULT IN HAIR LOSS.
  • SOME MEDICATIONS MAY INTERFERE WITH THE NUTRITION ABSORPTION NECESSARY FOR YOUR HAIR GROWTH.
  • SOME DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY DRUGS, SUCH AS LEXAPRO, MAY CAUSE HAIR LOSS, YET IT IS NOT A COMMON SIDE EFFECT.


If you suspect that the drugs you are taking are causing medication-induced hair loss, discuss it with your doctor. They can help determine if the drug is the cause and suggest some alternatives.

17. Cancer Treatment

You should know that this type of hair loss is called anagen effluvium and is a common side effect of many cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy. This is because these treatments target rapidly dividing cells, which not only include cancer cells but also hair follicles.

  • CHEMOTHERAPY HAIR LOSS
  • RADIATION THERAPY HAIR LOSS
  • HORMONE THERAPY HAIR LOSS


While chemotherapy-induced hair loss and radiation-induced hair loss can be distressing for many cancer patients, it is often temporary. The hair typically starts to grow back once the treatment is completed.

18. Postpartum and Menopause Hair Loss

Postpartum and menopause are two life moments when hair loss in women may happen. Hormonal changes can lead to hair thinning and shedding.

After pregnancy, women’s hormone levels drop and this may trigger telogen effluvium. Postpartum hair loss generally happens around 2-4 months after giving birth and can last for some months.

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life when estrogen levels decrease. Estrogen has a protective effect on hair, so its drop can lead to hair thinning and loss. Hair loss during menopause may start gradually around the time of menopause and continue into the postmenopausal years.

19. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women. It can lead to a variety of symptoms, including changes in hair growth patterns.

One common symptom of PCOS is excessive hair growth, known as hirsutism, which can occur in areas like the face, chest, and back.

Paradoxically, the condition can also lead to hair thinning or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) hair loss on the scalp.

What Are the Early Signs of Hair Loss?

Signs of hair loss can be different, depending on the underlying cause. Here are potential early signs and symptoms of your hair loss:

  • INCREASED SHEDDING
  • RECEDING HAIRLINE
  • THINNING ON THE TOP OF HEAD
  • WIDENING PART
  • BALD PATCHES IN HAIR
  • ITCHY SCALP
  • CHANGES IN HAIR TEXTURE


⚠️ It is always best to consult a doctor as soon as you notice anything worrying regarding your hair thinning.

Does Curly Hair Fall Out Faster?

No, curly hair does not fall out faster. Hair loss is not related to hair texture or the level of curliness. It can happen to all types of hair textures. They include straight, wavy, or curly hair.

It may seem that curly hair falls more because the texture of curls naturally traps hairs that are shed during the day. They accumulate and when you go to brush or wash them, you can see it all at once.

People also tend to wash and brush their curly hair less than someone with straight hair, so the lost hairs gather.

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We Asked Women Across the Country All About Their Hair. Instyle. 2020.

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