7 Things That Might Be Causing Your Hair Loss

Woman looking at hair clogging up hairbrush

Everyday you lose about 50 to 100 hairs from your scalp – but there’s no need to worry because new hairs do grow back as it’s all a part of the process of your hair’s programmed life cycle: the growth phase, the shedding phase and the resting phase. Hair shedding can be nuisance as it clogs up your shower drain and can cause a build up over your carpet. There are different types of hair loss; genetic – which means you’re genetically exposed to hair thinning – or reactive – which means your loss of hair is the result of a trigger.
The experts at wigs.com talk us through 7 things that may be contributing factors to the loss of your hair.

1 Over-styling

Your hair can fall out due to the stress caused by vigorous over-styling and application of hair treatments. Traction alopecia is caused by hairstyles that pull your hair tight, styles such as braids, cornrows, pigtails and hot oil treatments. They put the hair under constant strain – with frequent use affecting the hair follicles so much that the hair may never grow back. It is worth wearing your hair down, changing your hairstyle every couple of weeks and avoiding chemical processing if you wear your hair in weaves or braids. Scalp massages are an effective method for hair regrowth: olive, castor and coconut oil make for rigorous massage agents.

Woman washing her hair in shower

Pic: iStockphoto

2 Hereditary

If hair loss runs in the family, there’s a good chance you may be subject to it too. Androgentic alopecia causes thinning on all areas of the scalp which includes the widening of your parting. This inevitably leads to hair shedding and a reduction of hair volume as it’s the most common form of hair loss – affecting 40% of women by age 50. Female pattern hair loss is hereditary, meaning you inherit the genes from either parent or both. However, there are multiple genes that contribute to FPHL genes. Hormones can also play a pivotal role, so FPHL can also occur after menopause or pregnancy.

Woman using hairdryer motion blur

Pic: iStockphoto

3 Hormonal Imbalance

A hormonal imbalance can lead to a multitude of things such as unwanted weight gain and adult acne. The effects of overactive hormones will radiate through the entire body which includes your hair. Hormones play a large role in regulating the hair growth cycle. Oestrogen (female hormones) are ‘hair friendly’ and help to keep hairs in their growth phase for the correct length of time. Androgens (male hormones) are not very hair friendly so they can shorten the hair growth cycle. The extent to which these affect you is down to genes. If you have a genetic predisposition to follicle sensitivity, then a hormonal imbalance can affect your hair a lot more than someone who doesn’t have it.

Woman running hands through hair with her back to camera

4 Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A lack of vitamin B12 can leave you feeling like you’re low on energy and very tired, which can ultimately affect your hair. Vitamin B12 deficiency often causes hair loss as it can affect the health of red blood cells which carry oxygen to your tissues. It is most common in vegans as you can only obtain B12 through animal proteins. You should always try to get vitamins from your food – whole grains, eggs, nuts and avocados to name a few.

B12 Oral Spray

Vitamin B12 Blackcurrant Oral Spray – www.healthspan.co.uk

5 Iron deficiency

Iron is an essential component in an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase that helps cell growth. When the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce hemoglobin, a deficiency results and oxygen cannot be transferred to the bodily cells for growth and repair. Hair follicles are made up of cells that require hemoglobin, which means that low iron levels often result in hair falling out and slow hair growth.

6 Lack of nutrient rich food

Sometimes hair loss is triggered by what you eat, or what you don’t eat. Like cells which could be found in your body, hair works on a diet which is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Without any necessary nutrients your hair would feel damaging effects. To prevent your hair from ‘starving out’ it is best to start eating foods that contain vital nutrients. Oranges, mangoes, cauliflower and tomatoes all contain Vitamin C, whilst protein can be found in meats, eggs, fish, yogurt and beans. Dark green leafy vegetables are vital for providing you with iron alongside food such as chickpeas and sweet potatoes which are zinc-rich.

Green vegetables in a heart shape on an old wood background. Vegetables include various lettuce, kale, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and broccoli.

Pic: iStockphoto

7 Stress

It is no myth that excess stress can literally make your hair fall out. This happens as we raise androgen levels which does cause hair loss. Stress can have an all-round negative impact on hair as it triggers scalp problems such as dandruff, disrupts eating habits and messes with the digestive system. The best ways to deal with stress is to get plenty of sleep (at least 7-8 hours a day), drink lots of water and take up yoga or meditation as this will relax your mind and ease your stress levels.

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Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!