It's normal for hair to fall out. We normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. However, sometimes other causes for losing our hair are at play. Depending on the cause, there may be things we can do about those thinning locks.
Stress may occur in our lives due to unhappy events such as divorce, raising difficult kids or from a prolonged illness such as the flu. This kind of hair loss occurs because hair growth is pushed into the shedding stage early.
This is called telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium typically occurs three to six months after the stressful event but hair should regrow after you have recovered.
Certain conditions where hormone levels are changing or imbalanced can lead to hair loss.
With polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), male hormones called androgens are elevated and can cause hair loss to occur on the scalp but increase hair growth on the body instead. Pregnancy, use of birth control pills and menopause also can also contribute to hair loss.
Hair growth may return after hormones return to normal levels though after menopause, women typically have thinner hair than they did when they were younger.
A number of medications can cause hair to fall out. Examples are blood thinners, blood pressure medications, steroids, antidepressants and cancer treatments. Check with your doctor to determine if any of these drugs could be contributing to your hair loss and whether you can change to other medications if they are.
There are a number of dietary reasons for hair loss. Not getting enough protein or iron can slow hair growth. Make sure you are getting enough of both in your diet.
Weight loss can also cause a period of hair loss, but hair growth will restart three to six months afterward. Recovery from hair loss due to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia may not occur until the person has developed a more healthy diet.
The thyroid produces hormones that are essential to proper growth and development.