Updated: Dec 18, 2018
We all know going through chemotherapy or experiencing an undue amount of emotional stress can leave us with thinning tresses. But what else may cause us to lose more than our fair share of hair? On average, you should be shedding around 50-100 strands a day, and to the upwards of 250 strands when you wash it. If you notice your hair is shedding above average, here are five surprising culprits that could explain the extra scalp you're seeing.
For women, hormone imbalance can wreak havoc on their body, and usually the first reaction is hair loss. There are several reasons for hormone imbalance, including:
- Change in birth control
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
The good news is that with treatment, hormones will once again find their equilibrium. As a result, hair loss will either slow down, stop, or regenerate lost hair.
As anyone who has passed a middle school health class knows, what you consume (or what you do not) is one of the driving factors in how our bodies look and function. Too much of one thing, and too little of others, can turn into more hair in your brush and less on your head. For example, you can have too much Vitamin A and not enough protein or Vitamin B.
If you have recently changed your diet, for example, you became a vegan or started taking supplements, if you're not doing it properly, your body will react. As with hormones, once you've reestablished a balanced intake of nutrients, your healthy hair is bound to return.
Think about when you watch a commercial for a new prescription drug. It seems like twenty seconds of the commercial is explaining the drug's side effects. Although most aren't life threatening, medication can be a contributing factor to hair loss. Included in the hair-loss hit list are:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
If you experience hair loss and you think it's a result of your medication, talk to your doctor. A simple change in the dosage or switching medications may be what you need to return to normal hair growth.
We are familiar with deadlines at work (the end of the school semester, visiting in-laws over the holidays, etc) causing thinning hair, but emotional stress is not the only cause. Some physical stress or trauma that can cause hair loss include:
Sudden weight loss
Since giving birth and weight loss links with other hair loss offenders, there could be other factors. This may require more time to resolve the hair thinning issues.
Underlying Health Issues
One of the first things your doctor will do if you visit them about hair loss is blood work. This is because hair loss can sometimes be a symptom of a larger, underlying health problem which requires medical attention. Here's a look at common health issues that can cause sudden hair loss.
An underactive thyroid gland triggers hormones in the body. As a result, the hormones begin to impact your body. Hypothyroidism can cause things such as rapid weight gain, irritability, and dry skin - these side effects can cause hair loss.
Lupus and alopecia areata are among the more common of these. Essentially, the body has trouble distinguishing between what is foreign and dangerous, from what is normal and healthy.
Anemia is when your body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells. Usually, this directly results from you lacking enough iron. Those who suffer from anemia tend to experience hair loss or thinning.
Sometimes skin conditions, like psoriasis, will occur on the scalp and cause hair loss.
The more troublesome thing about hair loss, especially with autoimmune disorders, is that the unpredictable nature of them can make it difficult to maintain healthy hair.
Finding a Hair Loss Solution
If you are experienced thinning hair and you want a boost in confidence that full-bodied hair can bring, consider investing in hair extensions or a customized hair system. They’ll give you the volume, length, and styling versatility while your natural hair recovers - but they will also give your normal look an extra boost.
Investing in a new look is a wonderful thing, and you need to do it right. Speak to a professional stylist and get their input. They'll look at your natural hair, determine its pattern, and help you find hair integration solutions that will work for you.