No matter why you're experiencing hair loss, the odds are that you're looking for ways to stop or prevent it from getting worse. Of course, some men choose to embrace the bald look, but having a full head of hair has been known to boost confidence in all types of social situations.
Persistent hair loss in men is usually a sign of an underlying health issue. To find the root cause of your hair loss, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist. They will give a diagnosis after asking about your medical history and a physical examination. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, you might need medication or simple adjustments in your lifestyle.
However, prevention is always easier than treatment, and sometimes small preventive methods can do wonders. Therefore, in this article, you will find 20 common causes of hair loss and how to prevent or treat them.
Prevention is always easier than treatment
Before diving in, we seriously want you to promise not to self-diagnose yourself with any of the hair loss causes listed below. If you find yourself in the middle of reading a section and thinking, "MAN, THIS IS WHAT I HAVE!" We want you to step away; take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you are not a doctor (well unless you are!). Even your doctor can't tell the difference between many hair loss types without running some tests.
- 20 hair loss causes and what you can do about them
1- Hereditary hair loss
2- Age-related hair loss
3- Alopecia Areata
4- Cancer treatment
5- All stressors (Covid-19, surgery, trauma, and more)
8- Scalp infection
9- Scalp Psoriasis
10- Hormonal imbalance
12- Hair pulling
13- Scarring Alopecia
14- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs)
15- Thyroid Disease
16- Being very low on biotin, iron, protein, or zinc
17- Frictional Alopecia
19- Extreme weight loss
20- Bad diet
- Key takeaways
Hair loss can happen due to several reasons. Hair loss usually indicates another problem in the body, such as hormonal problems, thyroid disease, malnutrition, or even mental health issues. To treat hair loss, you should first identify its cause and treat the root problem as well.
Read more: Signs Of Balding And How To Fix Them
Various causes of hair loss
Hereditary hair loss, also known as genetic hair loss, is the most common cause of hair loss, in both men and women, worldwide.
When men experience this type of hair loss, it's called male pattern hair loss, and when women experience it, it's called female pattern hair loss. Although, regardless of gender, the medical term for this condition is Androgenic Alopecia.
In simple terms, you have inherited genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink and stop growing. Hair loss usually starts in the late 20s or beginning of the 30s, but it can begin as early as your teenage years.
You can inherit hair loss from both your mother's and father's side if the family
How to prevent hereditary hair loss: Unfortunately, genetic hair loss is not preventable.
How to treat hereditary hair loss: Although you can't prevent hair loss in males altogether, you may be able to slow the process by using prescription and non-prescription medications.
Most people notice some hair loss with age as hair growth slows. Your hair follicles stop growing hair at some point in your life, resulting in hair loss or thinning.
How to prevent age-related hair loss: If genetic causes do not accompany your age-related hair loss, you can likely prevent it from happening. It would be best if you visited your dermatologist for tips on how to stop your hair loss.
How to treat age-related hair loss: Visit a doctor to determine the root cause of your hair loss; there are hair loss medications available that can help you regrow your hair.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease in which your body's immune system attacks your hair follicles. With Alopecia Areata, you may lose hair all over your body, including your head, eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.
How to prevent Alopecia Areata: Unfortunately, we do not know the cause of Alopecia Areata and therefore can't prevent it from happening.
How to treat Alopecia Areata: While currently there is no cure for Alopecia Areata, there are treatments available. Your doctor may suggest using anti-inflammatory drugs to suppress your immune system or other medications to help you regrow your hair faster. Note that while these treatments can help with the regrowth of the hair, they can't prevent your body from forming new bald patches.
Whether you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment to your head, there is a good chance that you lose all or most of your hair within a matter of weeks.
How to prevent hair loss in men due to cancer treatment: Wearing a cooling cap before, during, and after each chemotherapy session may help prevent hair loss.
How to treat hair loss due to cancer treatment: Hair usually starts to regrow within 3 to 6 months after finishing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Your dermatologists can offer you medication for faster hair growth.
Cooling cap before, during, and after each chemotherapy session is effective
If you are recovering from an illness or just had a major operation, you may start losing hair. Hair loss can also happen after a traumatic event in your life, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one.
How to prevent hair loss due to trauma: Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation (guided or unguided), and deep breathing can help you manage your stress better and, as a result, prevent your hair from falling out.
How to treat hair loss due to trauma: Relax! When you stop stressing, your body will readjust, and your hair loss will stop. Within 6 to 9 months, you will have your regular hair again.
Read more: Can Covid Cause Hair Loss?
Colouring (de-colour and re-colour) and perming can potentially damage your hair and lead to hair loss. Chemicals in hair colours and fixators can essentially burn your hair follicles and prevent you from growing hair ever again. Overusing these products (or using low-quality products) can create permanent bald patches.
Surprising fact: your hair care routine can actually damage your hair
How to prevent hair loss due to hair care: Do not exhaust your hair. After each hair colour, give your head time to rest, and if you can, get your hair done by professionals who use good products.
How to treat hair loss due to hair care: Wait 72 hours after colouring to shampoo your hair and use hair protectors to style your hair, especially when you use hot irons. Other treatments like Keratin therapy may help you to restore your hair vitality.
If you use hair bands too much or pull your hair tightly, it can cause permanent hair loss. This condition is called Traction Alopecia.
How to prevent hair loss due to hairstyles: Do not wear too tight hairstyles for long periods. Let your hair rest and avoid wearing the same hairstyle for too long. You should admit that changing your hairstyle to prevent hair loss is a fun method!
How to treat hair loss due to hairstyles: If you haven't permanently damaged your hair, massaging your scalp can help you regrow your hair faster.
Read more: Five Tips For Grooming Thin Hair
Scaly and inflamed areas on your scalp are signs of scalp infection, and scalp infections can cause hair loss. You may also see small itchy bumps on your scalp.
How to prevent scalp infection: To prevent scalp infection, keep it dry and clean. Keep on top of your scalp hygiene issue and eat healthy meals. Also, avoid overusing antibiotics and steroids.
How to treat hair loss due to scalp infection: Treatment can get rid of the infection. After treating the scalp and clearing it from infection, your hair will start to grow on its own.
Many people with plaque psoriasis develop psoriasis on their scalp too, which can cause hair loss.
Scalp Psoriasis could lead to hair loss
How to prevent scalp psoriasis: Unfortunately, there is no method to prevent scalp psoriasis, as it is an autoimmune disease. Ask your doctor about treatments and remedies that can help you to avoid flare-ups or manage their symptoms.
How to treat hair loss due to scalp psoriasis: Hair tends to regrow once the scalp psoriasis clears, but you should be patient as it may take time.
How to prevent hormonal hair loss: By blocking DHT, you can prevent hair loss or at least slow it down.
How to treat hormonal hair loss: Hormonal treatment may help. Your doctor may recommend that you start using drugs which prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, or use hair thickening shampoo or spray to keep DHT off your scalp.
Hair loss can be a possible side effect of some medications. If you experience noticeable hair loss after using a specific drug, you should ask the doctor who prescribed it if hair loss is a possible side effect. You mustn't stop using the medication without consulting your doctor. Suddenly stopping your medicine may cause you serious harm (and you can never know for sure that your hair loss is caused by that drug either).
How to prevent drug-induced hair loss: If your doctor prescribes a new medication, ask them beforehand about its possible side effects. If hair loss is a possible side effect, your doctor will advise you about how you should proceed.
How to treat drug-induced hair loss: If you have hair loss as a side effect of a medication, you can rest easy, as usual; after 1 to 2 months of stopping, hair starts to grow back on its own.
Are you one of those people who pull on their hair when they're stressed? If your answer is NO, we urge you to think again and ask a close friend or a family member about this behaviour, as you may be unaware of doing so. The medical term for this condition is trichotillomania.
Hair pulling could weaken the hair roots and cause hair loss
How to prevent hair pulling: As hair pulling is a sign of anxiety and stress, we highly recommend that you practice mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing. Talking to a therapist to get to the root of your anxiety is always a good idea.
How to treat hair loss due to hair pulling: If you haven't destroyed your hair follicles by pulling them too much, your hair can regrow. You have to stop pulling it!
Scarring Alopecia, also called Cicatricial Alopecia, refers to a collection of hair loss disorders that may be diagnosed in up to 3% of hair loss. This condition happens when inflammation destroys hair follicles and leaves a scar in its place so hair won't regrow.
How to prevent scarring alopecia: if you catch Scarring Alopecia at early stages, you may be able to regrow hair. So, be vigilant about the health of your scalp; if you feel any inflammation, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
How to treat scarring Alopecia: Sadly, once a hair follicle is destroyed, it cannot regrow hair. However, the goal of treating Scarring Alopecia is to prevent further hair loss, so don't lose hope and speak to a dermatologist.
If you leave a sexually transmitted infection (STI) untreated, it can lead to hair loss. For example, if you leave Syphilis (a bacterial infection) untreated, it can cause patchy hair loss on your scalp, eyebrows, beard, or elsewhere. Other sexually transmitted infections can also cause hair loss.
How to prevent STIs: Practice safe sex, and if you suspect you have a sexually transmitted infection, visit your doctor and get treatment immediately. You should also notify your sexual partner/s of your condition.
How to treat hair loss due to STIs: After treating the STI, hair often starts to regrow without any problems.
It is usual for people with thyroid problems to experience hair loss. You may find that you are shedding more than you did before, your hair is thinning, or they come out in clumps when you brush them.
How to prevent hair loss due to thyroid disease: Adding anti-inflammatory foods, treating any nutritional deficiencies, and watching your iodine intake can help you to prevent hair loss.
How to treat hair loss due to thyroid disease: Treating thyroid disease can reverse hair loss.
Not getting enough of one or more of these nutrients can lead to noticeable hair loss.
How to prevent malnutrition-related hair loss: You need nutrients and vitamins to prevent hair loss, so having a rich-nutrient diet is highly recommended.
How to treat malnutrition-related hair loss: Hair can regrow when your body gets enough of the missing nutrients.
You can develop hair loss in places where your boots, socks, or tight clothing frequently rubs against your skin.
Frictional Alopecia is a hair loss condition mostly for body hair
How to prevent frictional Alopecia: Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes all the time, and give your hair and skin room to breathe.
How to treat frictional Alopecia: Hair tends to regrow when the rubbing stops.
Let's not get paranoid, BUT being slowly poisoned can also lead to hair loss. Poisons like Arsenic, Mercury, Lithium, and Thallium can cause you to lose hair. It is not very unlikely that you might be poisoning yourself!
There are many Warfarin rat poisons, so if you have worked with rat poison and accidentally ingested some, you might be losing hair.
Taking too much Vitamin A and Selenium is also toxic and can cause hair loss.
How to prevent hair loss due to poisoning: Use Vitamins (or any supplement for that matter) with the recommended dosage, be alert of toxic materials in your workplace and home, and don't befriend shady people who might poison you.
How to treat hair loss due to poisoning: Inspect your environment and check if you have been exposed to any poisons lately. Your hair will regrow when you are no longer exposed to the poison.
Harmful chemicals for hair
Strict weight-loss diets can cause noticeable hair loss, which generally occurs about three months after losing about 7 Kg (15 pounds) or more body weight. If your BMI (Body Mass Index) fluctuates, it causes physical stress and signals your hair follicles to move into an inactive stage. This condition is called Telogen Effluvium.
How to prevent hair loss after weight loss: If you are planning for weight loss, do it gradually. Any diet you might be on, or any surgery you might undergo for weight loss, stresses your body, giving it enough time to heal.
How to treat hair loss after weight loss: Hair loss from weight loss is usually temporary. Typically, it will regrow when you resume eating a sufficient amount of protein.
When your diet doesn't include the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs, it can cause hair loss. Not getting enough protein in your diet can damage healthy hair and limit your body's ability to build new hair follicles. After about two to three months on a low-protein diet, you might see noticeable hair loss.
How to prevent diet-related hair loss: Fatty fish, eggs, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds are among foods that prevent hair loss.
How to treat diet-related hair loss: This condition is generally reversible, so adopting healthier, less restrictive eating habits will allow your hair to grow back.
Read more: The 20 Best Foods For Hair Growth
If you are looking for ways to prevent losing hair, first, you need to understand the reasons behind hair loss. If your hair loss is not hereditary and not caused by some rare conditions listed above, chances are you can prevent it from happening and even reverse its course.
Non-hereditary hair loss usually signifies an underlying health issue in your body that you need to check out.
A good lifestyle, a good hair care routine, a good diet, and taking your scalp hygiene seriously are good recipes to prevent hair loss.
- Hair Loss can happen at any stage of life, either abruptly or slowly.
- Persistent hair loss may signal an underlying health condition.
- Many factors, such as genetics, age, diet, and lifestyle, can cause hair loss.
- Most forms of hair loss either can be treated or prevented.
- Hair loss prevention needs commitment to a good diet and a healthy lifestyle.
- It's always a good idea to talk to a professional about your hair loss problem.