What Causes Hair Loss?

The primary reason for hair loss in men and women is a condition called Androgenic Alopecia which accounts for approximately 95% of all hair loss.

Over 70% of men and 40% of women will experience this hormonal form of hair loss.

Scientists have identified the hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a derivative of testosterone – as the main culprit in causing hair loss.

DHT binds to receptors within the hair follicle which blocks the follicle and creates shrinkage of the hair shaft and inhibits healthy hair growth.

The Effect Of DHT On Your Hair

What Causes Excess DHT?

Inherited Genes

Men and women are susceptible to inherited genes.If your parents had thin hair, the likelihood is that you will follow in their footsteps. Genetic make up can determine how much free form testosterone is in a person blood supply, and what the concentration of androgen receptors is in their hair follicles. These are the two vital factors that create DHT.

Stress

Stress causes changes to hormones which can shock hair follicles into shedding more hair than normal. However, it’s important to note the stressful event may not cause hair shedding for some months later.

Diet

What we eat can impact negatively hair growth.Lack of protein, lack of vitamin B and too much vitamin A can all have a negative effect on hair production as reported by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Hormones or Pregnancy

Changes in the levels of female hormones can cause hair loss, so switching birth control pills or coming off the pill may have an effect. Pregnancy related hair loss tends to occur post partum and some women experience accelerated hair shedding as the hormones resettle.

Changes in hormones during menopause can also cause hair thinning as oestrogen levels drop more DHT is created. Oestrogen is a natural blocker of DHT.

Illness

There are a number of illnesses and medications which can negatively impact your hair growth, including but not limited to: anemia, thyroid issues, lupus, lichen planus and scalp infections.

Medications can also have a negative effect on hair growth and are too numerous to mention, but can be caused by medications used to treat: fungi, cancer, depression, auto immune disorders and high blood pressure.

Hair Styling

Traction Alopecia is on the rise due to the hair being pulled tightly into pigtails, cornrows or hair extensions which put too much stress on the follicles, eventually causing the follicle to weaken and die.

Psychological

Hair pulling (trichotillomania) is when people have a habit or urge to pull their hair out, this may be from the scalp, eyelashes or brows.