Table of Contents

Signs of Hair Loss: 9 Must-Know Symptoms for Men and Women

There are quite a few hair loss signs, so it is also important to know the differences between hair shedding and hair loss. Some signs of hair loss such as slow hair growth, excessive hair shedding, itching or burning, and pus might have different reasons and different treatments.

To get the optimal result out of your efforts, you need to know about the symptoms and their possible reasons.

By the end of this article, you will learn about these key points:

  • THERE ARE 9 POSSIBLE SIGNS OF HAIR LOSS
  • ALL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HAIR LOSS MIGHT HAVE VARIOUS REASONS
  • MEN AND WOMEN CAN EXPERIENCE SPECIFIC SIGNS OF HAIR LOSS
  • NOT ALL SYMPTOMS ARE THE SAME
  • YOU CAN EXPERIENCE HAIR LOSS ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY
  • IF THE HAIR DOES NOT GROW BACK IN 6-9 MONTHS, IT IS TIME TO ACT

 

You can see and address almost all of the signs of hair loss. It is important to know the reasons behind them to treat them accordingly. 

The 9 Possible Symptoms of Hair Loss

hair loss signs

The 9 hair loss signs and symptoms are:

  • INCREASED HAIR SHEDDING
  • THINNING HAIR
  • EXCESSIVE HAIR DURING SHOWER AND/OR AFTER BRUSHING
  • VERY SLOW HAIR GROWTH
  • RECEDING HAIRLINE
  • BALD SPOTS
  • ITCHING AND BURNING
  • REDNESS, SWELLING, AND SORENESS
  • PUS

 

⚠️ If you are observing one of them, it can mean that you are experiencing hair loss. It is important to address them and the reason behind these balding symptoms. This way, it can be possible to get ahead of that type of hair loss.

Increased Hair Shedding

If you are experiencing more than 100 strands of hair on a daily basis, you might be experiencing hair loss. 

Increased hair shedding can occur due to various reasons. These can be:

  • MALNUTRITION AND NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
  • MEDICATION SIDE EFFECT
  • EMOTIONAL STRESS
  • HORMONAL CHANGES
  • RAPID OR SUDDEN WEIGHT LOSS

 

It is important to address the issue behind it to stop or slow the hair-shedding process to prevent it from developing into hair loss. Usually, after taking care of the cause, the hair starts growing back in 6-9 months.

Thinning Hair

Hair thinning happens respectively slowly. It could be a bit hard to detect your hair thinning unless thinning hair shows itself distinctively. 

You can notice your hair thinning by how lighter it feels or by noticing that you can see more of your scalp. It can even make your hair harder to style, or it may just not style like it used to. If you are noticing these changes, it is possible that your hair is thinning

Hair thinning might happen because of:

  • WRONG HAIR PRODUCTS FOR YOUR HAIR
  • PUTTING TOO MUCH PRODUCTS ON YOUR HAIR
  • EXCESSIVE TRACTION ON YOUR HAIR
  • LACK OF MINERALS OR VITAMINS
  • STRESS
  • ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA (GENETIC HAIR LOSS)

Excessive Hair Loss After Brushing or During Shower

As you are shampooing, conditioning, and rinsing, you probably notice some of your hair falling out. And the amount of hair that falls out is usually the same each time, provided the time between your showers is consistent. For instance, if you wash your hair once a week, you might see more hair falling out (around 700) than when you wash your hair every other day (around 100-200).

If you notice that there are more than the usual amount of hair has fallen out and it feels like it’s a never-ending cycle of pull tests, this can mean that you are losing hair on your scalp.

Very Slow Hair Growth

In the hair cycle, there are four stages: anagen (growing phase), catagen (transition phase), telogen (resting phase), and exogen (shedding phase).

The anagen phase can last about 3 to 5 years. If your hair gets stuck in the anagen phase, it means your hair is growing very slowly. 

Slow hair growth can also contribute to hair thinning. This can happen for various reasons, such as:

  • OLD AGE
  • HORMONES
  • STRESS
  • GENETICS

 

Slow hair growth can also inhibit itself as balding at the top of the head. You can also notice this when you grab your hair to do a ponytail, the volume is way less than it used to be.

Receding Hairline

When you look in the mirror, you might notice that your forehead is getting wider and higher. That is a sign of receding hairline, and indirectly, a sign of hair loss.

The hairline starts to recede when the hair growth cycle starts to weaken. This causes hair follicles to shrink and that will lead hair to grow thinner, weaker, and shorter. Eventually, it can stop hair growth.

This can happen because of:

  • GENETICS
  • HORMONAL CHANGES
  • OLD AGE

 

This can require certain treatments to stop hairline receding or help hair regrowth, depending on the situation of the hair follicles.

Bald Spots

You might see patches of hair loss around your scalp instead of the entire scalp. This type of patchy hair loss can be a sign of hair loss, or other medical issues. The reasons behind bald spots can be:

  • GENETICS
  • HORMONAL CHANGES
  • ALOPECIA AREATA
  • STRESS
  • TRACTION

If you are also seeing bald spots on your eyebrows or beard, it is most likely a condition called Alopecia Areata (an autoimmune disease). Depending on the type of alopecia areata one may have, you may observe the complete or partial loss of hair.

Itching and Burning

If you feel your scalp itching and/or burning, that might be because your hair in that area will fall out. In most cases, it happens because of Vitamin B7 (biotin) deficiency, Alopecia Areata, or other autoimmune conditions.

You may even consider it a warning sign of your hair falling out.

Redness, Swelling, and Soreness

If there is redness, swelling, and soreness on your scalp, it can mean that your hair is going to fall out. A condition called folliculitis decalvans can cause this occurrence. It is a type of scarring alopecia. You can see scaly patches of psoriasis on your scalp. These can affect the hair follicles, and cause hair loss.

This symptom can also be a sign of an infection on your scalp. So, it is important to consult a dermatologist about the matter.

Pus

Pus on the scalp can present itself as small, fluid-filled lesions and can be one of the fungal infection hair loss symptoms. Pus can happen because of fungal infections on the scalp as well as viruses, parasites, or medications.

Pus can also happen because of sunburn. The hair follicles around the pus can get harmed, causing the hairs they hold to fall out.

Are All The Hair Loss Symptoms the Same?

It does not always have to be hair loss on the scalp. In some cases, you may exhibit hair loss in your eyebrows, beard, eyelashes… You can even lose body hair wherever they are located. These can be in patches or slowly simultaneously. It all depends on the underlying cause of falling hair.

Other than that, some of the signs of balding can differ in men and women depending on the reason for their hair loss. They usually differ because of hormonal hair loss symptoms.

Hormones in men and women are different, causing them to exhibit different signs of hair loss.

Are There Specific Symptoms of Hair Loss for Women?

Approximately 40% of women go through hair loss after the age of 50. Women go through lots of hormonal stages throughout their lives, causing them to go through hair loss.

The most common cause of female hair loss is genetics. Hair loss in women can also occur because of some conditions such as PCOS or aging and menopause.

Unless it is a specific type of hair loss like female-pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), specific symptoms of hair loss in women can be observed due to styling of the hair.

Symptoms of hair loss in women include:

  • EXCESS HAIR LOSS AFTER SHOWERING AND/OR COMBING
  • FOREHEAD GETTING WIDER
  • HAIR BREAKING OFF
  • THE PARTING LOOKS WIDER
  • PONYTAILS GETTING THINNER

 

The reasons behind these signs of losing hair can vary. It is important to address the causes of the symptoms to apply the appropriate treatment.

Are There Specific Symptoms of Hair Loss for Men?

Around 75% of men experience hair loss starting from their 30’s. Men are more prone to experience hair loss because of the high amounts of testosterone in their bodies.

Testosterone can convert to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and men are prone to inherit a sensitivity to this hormone, which can cause male-pattern baldness.

Possible male hair loss symptoms are:

  • “M” SHAPED RECEDING HAIRLINE
  • BALDING ON TOP OF HEAD

Are There Specific Symptoms of Hair Loss for Children?

There aren’t many specific symptoms of hair loss in children. Because it is usually abnormal for children to lose hair without a certain condition.

These conditions are extremely rare among children. So, unless they have a condition that causes hair loss or affects hair health indirectly, they do not exhibit specific hair loss signs.

Children usually experience traction alopecia because of hair pulling, twirling, high and tight ponytails, etc. You can say children are being children in this case. This usually does not cause a long-term and excessive amount of hair loss unless the traction is severe on their hair. 

Hair loss in children is typically temporary, whether it’s caused by telogen effluvium or another medical condition. Of course, this is provided the underlying causes for telogen effluvium either subside or vanish, or the medical condition does not affect the hair growth greatly.

When to Take Hair Loss Symptoms Seriously

If not treated, or the symptoms get severe, you might get stuck with permanent hair loss. You should start taking hair loss symptoms seriously when:

  • YOU ARE EXPERIENCING MAJOR HAIR LOSS
  • HAIR LOSS SYMPTOMS GET SEVERE
  • THE HAIR YOU LOST IS NOT GROWING BACK

Hair usually starts to regrow after 6-9 months after hair loss stops.

⚠️ If you notice that your hair is not growing back still, that might mean it is time to seek help. That might mean that the hair follicle is damaged, and has stopped producing hair. Therefore, it might need further intervention, such as hair transplantation surgery.

Miguel-Gómez L, Saceda-Corralo D, Rodrigues-Barata R, Vañó-Galván S. Chapter 14 – Folliculitis Decalvans

Winters RD, Mitchell M. Folliculitis

Gan, D. C., & Sinclair, R. D. (2005). Prevalence of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss in Maryborough. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings

Salman, K. E., Altunay, I. K., Kucukunal, N. A., & Cerman, A. A. (2017). Frequency, severity and related factors of androgenetic alopecia in dermatology outpatient clinic: hospital-based cross-sectional study in Turkey. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia