The causes of hair loss (alopecia) in men and women

Hair loss can happen to men and women and for a variety of reasons

Male pattern baldness: Hair loss is often hereditary, so if your father lost his hair, the chances are, for men at least, that you will too. However, everyone’s hair growth declines with age, because the follicles do not work as efficiently. Eighty percent of men will suffer some thinning hair by the time they reach their 60s

Female pattern baldness: This is less well understood, but may well be related to the menopause

Menopause: Women also lose hair post menopause, although not usually enough to make it noticeable

Medication:  This can cause hair loss and can be a side effect of blood pressure pills or beta blockers is hair loss.

Iron Deficiency: This can cause hair loss, so taking iron supplements may help

Hypothyroidism: This can cause hair loss, as it slows the metabolism. When it is controlled with medicine, the hair loss usually stops.

Diabetes: Type 2, in particular, can cause hair loss

Types of alopecia

  • Alopecia Areata : an autoimmune condition causing patchy hair loss, either as a single bald patch or as general patchy hair loss.
  • Alopecia Totalis : total loss of all hair on scalp
  • Alopecia Universalis: loss of all hair all over the face
  • Alopecia Barbae: loss of beard
  • Androgenetic Alopecia : male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, where hair thins, often hereditary
  • Scarring Alopecias , rare and casuing permanent hair loss
  • Traction Alopecia: caused by pulling the hair shafts and more often seen in women of  Indian and Afro-Caribbean origin
  • Anagen Effluvium: caused by chemicals, such as those used in chemotherapy. Hair normally grows back after treatment
  • Telogen Effluvium: temporary loss of hair, due to hormonal changes, stress, childbirth, illness poor diet or medication

Looking after your hair

  • A good diet is essential to keep your hair strong and in good condition. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly foods rich in Vitamins A and C , which help your body produce sebum to keep hair in good condition.
  • Eat enough protein, as a lack of protein causes hair to become brittle
  • Eat enough fat, as it’s important for all bodily functions, including hair
  • Biotin is a vital nutrient for promoting hair growth and can be bought form health shops

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