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Hair Loss Causes & Risks

Causes

Many things can cause alopecia, including:

  • Stress that prompts growing hairs to rest and shed
    • Illness or surgery
    • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies
    • Prolonged fever
    • Childbirth
    • Emotional/psychological stress
    • Crash dieting
  • Hormonal problems
    • Overactive or underactive thyroid gland
  • Medications
    • Blood thinners
    • Drugs for gout
    • Chemotherapy for cancer treatment
    • Vitamin A
    • Birth control pills
    • Antidepressants
    • Blood pressure and heart medications
  • Allergic reaction to medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Systemic and discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Anemia
  • Hair pulled too tightly by:
    • Hair rollers
    • Pigtails
    • Cornrows
  • Hot comb and oil treatments (can inflame the hair follicle and cause scarring)
  • Twisting and pulling hair out due to psychiatric problems
  • Genes
    • Male and female-pattern baldness—usually inherited
    • Congenital disorders—can include problems with the hair shaft

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of alopecia include:

  • Family history of baldness or hair loss
  • Advancing age (for male and female-pattern baldness only)
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2017 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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