Medically reviewed by Mat Rezaei
Pharm.D., RPH, CEO-UPHEALTH
Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on October 03, 2021
Some shedding of hair is a part of the natural hair growth cycle: rest, shedding, and replacement. An average person sheds about 50 – 100 hair strands every day, but new ones typically grow back to replace them. When a person loses more hair than they replace, this results in bald patches or thinning of hair.
Hair loss may seem like a cosmetic issue, yet it may have adverse psychological effects. Both male and female pattern baldness, for example, is associated with low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation.
Hair loss typically occurs with aging and is slightly more common in men than in women. However, it can happen for other reasons, such as after major surgery or due to other forms of physical or psychological stress.
It can also be attributed to underlying health issues such as lupus and iron deficiency or happen because of a hormonal imbalance or certain medications.
In this article, you will find:
- Hair loss symptoms: How much hair loss is too much?
-- A noticeable scalp
-- Lots of hair on your pillow
-- Seeing hair strands when you run your fingers through your hair
-- Hair all over the shower
-- Hair all over the floor and in your comb
-- Longer forehead
-- Thinning on top of your head
- Hair loss diagnosis
-- Medical history
-- Physical examination
--- Pull and tug test
--- Card test
--- Fungal culture
--- Punch biopsy
--- Blood Tests
- Hair loss treatments for men
-- PRP therapy
-- Laser combs
-- Hair transplant surgery
-- Wigs and hairpieces
- UPGUYS products
- Hair loss types
-- Androgenetic Alopecia
-- Telogen Effluvium
-- Anagen Effluvium
-- Alopecia Areata
-- Tinea Capitis
-- Cicatricial Alopecia
-- Hair shaft abnormalities
- Risk factors of hair loss
- FAQ in hair loss
- Hair loss treatment in a glance
- Key takeaways
You are probably asking yourself that if shedding is natural, how should you know when you need to take action?
The reality is that increased hair loss can be subtle. Unfortunately, by the time most people realize they have excessive hair loss, they have lost about 50 percent of their hair.
Here are 7 telling hair loss symptoms that you need to watch out for:
First signs of hair loss
If you see more of your scalp than you did before, especially if you can see into your scalp easier and the follicles seem more individualized, that might be your first sign.
Seeing hair on your pillow is no reason for being alarmed. Still, if you consistently see a lot more hair strands on your pillow than you are used to, that could potentially be a sign that you are losing more hair than you should be.
If you have tangled hair, you have probably tried to straighten them up by running your finger through them, and you have also probably seen a few strands coming out. But if your hair is not tangled and you still catch strands running your finger through them, It is another sign.
A significant sign of hair loss is increased shedding in the shower. While it is normal to find some hair strands on the shower floor, a consistently increased amount may be problematic.
Pay attention to the amount of shedding when you style your hair; it is a good idea to begin brushing your hair with a clean comb to have a better idea about how much you actually shed. Check where you usually sit at home to see if there are lots of hair strands there.
If you are convinced that your forehead has somehow become longer, and people keep asking you if you have done anything new to your hair (and you have not!), it might be a sign of a receding hairline.
Thinning on top is the most common type of hair loss, especially in aging men. If you see your hair falling out at the top of your head, this might be another sign.
Read more: How To Fix New Signs Of Balding
If you are experiencing some or all of these hair loss symptoms, it might be wise to talk to a doctor to see why this is happening. Hair loss may be the symptom of other underlying conditions such as iron or zinc deficiencies.
Hair loss is a natural process in the hair growth cycle, yet if you are experiencing excessive hair loss and are concerned about it, you might need to see a doctor and get a professional diagnosis.
When a doctor or dermatologist wants to form a professional opinion, they try to get to the cause of your hair loss, whether it is genetic, medical, or environmental. They may visually assess your hair loss pattern to ascertain the type of hair loss and then confirm their diagnosis by using advanced techniques.
2 ways of hair loss medical diagnosis
If your doctor suspects that your hair loss may be a symptom of another underlying medical condition, they might run a blood test and scalp biopsy.
Read more: How Do I Know If I Am Going Bald?
Your doctor will ask you a variety of questions to determine the cause of your hair loss. Questions like:
- When did your hair loss first begin?
- What are the patterns of your hair loss?
- What is your usual hairstyle?
- Do you have a history of hair loss in your family?
- Are you on a diet?
And other questions that will help your doctor form a diagnosis. Answering these questions truthfully helps your doctor to know how to treat hair loss in your specific case.
Your doctor will check your scalp for signs of:
He might also look very closely at your hair to see how much you have lost, recognize the pattern and check for hair breakage.
During these examinations, your doctor may also perform some simple tests.
Different types of physical examination for hair loss
Your doctor will grasp small sections of your hair from different parts of your scalp, each about 40 strands, and pull them gently to see how many will fall out. If six or more strands fall out, you have an active hair loss. An active hair loss simply means that you have one of the types of hair loss.
Your doctor will hold a small rectangular card covered in felt against a section of your scalp. The colour of the felt should contrast with the colour of your hair. Then your doctor will be able to see new hair strands, even small and broken ones, count them and examine them.
Thin hair strands may signal that you have telogen effluvium, while short hair strands with broken tips may signal a hair shaft abnormality.
Your doctor may ask you for a fungal culture to determine if a fungal infection is the cause of your hair loss.
A fungal culture is a simple lab test to confirm the presence of fungus in your hair or scalp cells. Your doctor may scrape or swab your scalp, take a small skin sample or a few hair strands, and send them to the laboratory.
If your doctor needs further analysis to form his expert diagnosis, he might order you to have a punch biopsy, removing a small tissue sample by puncturing the scalp.
After that, your sample will be sent to a laboratory, and your incision will be closed with a few stitches.
Punch biopsy test for hair loss diagnosis
If your doctor suspects your hair loss might be due to an underlying medical condition, a hormonal imbalance, or a mineral or vitamin deficiency, he might recommend you to have a blood test.
Your doctor may also check for an iron deficiency which is a common reason for hair loss, especially for those with strict diets like vegans and vegetarians.
Adding iron-rich foods like leafy greens, red meat, and whole grains to your diet may help your hair regrow.
Thyroid disease is another cause of hair loss. The link between hair loss and thyroid disease is still unknown. Still, evidence suggests thyroid disease may cause the body to produce hormones that destroy hair follicles.
After completing tests and examinations, your doctor will tell you his official diagnosis.
Depending on the type of hair loss, there are effective treatments available. Some types of hair loss, such as alopecia areata, will resolve even without any treatment. Yet other forms may need medication, therapies, or surgeries.
Read more: Five Common Types Of Hair Loss
Effective hair loss treatments
If an underlying medical condition causes your hair loss, you should start treating that condition first. If a specific medication is causing your hair loss, your doctor might prescribe you a similar drug or ask you to stop taking it for a short time.
Available medications to treat hereditary hair loss include:
- Minoxidil: Also known as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter drug in the form of shampoo, foam, and liquid. You should apply this twice a day to your scalp.
- Finasteride: Also known as Propecia, is a prescription drug for men in the form of a tablet. Many men report slowing of their hair loss or even new hair growth after using it.
Read more: Minoxidil, Finasteride Or Both?
Other Medication: other oral medications include spironolactone and dutasteride.
PRP or platelet-rich plasma therapy is a three-step medical treatment in which they use your own blood, process it, and then inject it back into your scalp. This method has been used for quite a long time, yet there has not been enough research to prove its effectiveness.
This type of therapy is relatively expensive and needs periodic maintenance.
A laser comb is a handheld, battery-powered device equipped with laser diodes and is intended to treat hereditary types of hair loss. Laser comb devices use low-level laser therapy technology to stimulate hair follicles to help grow denser and thicker hair.
A laser comb's efficiency is greatly determined by the number of laser diodes it has.
A hair transplant is a procedure in which your plastic or dermatological surgeon moves hair to a bald area of your head. They usually move hair from the back or side of your head to the front or top of it.
There are two types of transplant procedures:
1- Slit grafts
Slit graft contains 4 to 10 hair strands per graft, while micro-grafts only have 1 to 2 strands per graft.
Men who suffer from hair loss related to cancer, chemotherapy, alopecia, or inherited baldness, may choose natural-looking hairpieces or wigs instead of other options or in the absence of them.
Full wigs can cover your entire head, and there are hairpieces curated to cover baldness on the forehead or behind the ears.
Wigs could be the final solution for some cases
A top piece or toupee is a good choice for men with thinning or balding on top and allows the scalp to breathe.
The price of these hairpieces and wigs vary wildly depending on their quality and how long they will last.
Read more: Five Natural Hair Loss Remedies
UPGUYS offers three types of effective oral medications (hair loss treatment tablets) and solutions, and you can order these packages online and receive them at the comfort of your own home.
-- Finasteride + Minoxidil (Tablets and solutions): 28 daily tablets of 1 mg finasteride plus 30 ml of minoxidil AM extra strength and 30 ml of minoxidil PM extra strength in a package.
-- Finasteride (Generic Propecia): 28 daily tablets of 1 mg finasteride in a package.
-- Minoxidil AM/PM (Generic Rogaine): 30 ml of minoxidil AM extra strength and 30 ml of minoxidil PM extra strength in one package.
If you are not sure which package is best suited for you, we highly recommend you let our professionals help you.
UPGUYS delivers all its products all over Canada.
No matter where you are, whether it’s Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, or Mississauga, UPGUYS is at your service.
There are many types of hair loss, each one different in nature and cause. Here are some types of hair loss.
Various types of hair loss
The most common type of hair loss is Androgenetic Alopecia, better known as male pattern hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary disease, yet it can be managed with medication or surgery.
Telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss, occurs when large numbers of follicles on the scalp enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, called telogen, but the next growth phase doesn’t begin. This causes hair to fall out all over the scalp without new hair growth.
Anagen Effluvium is when some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, result in rapid hair loss. Fast-acting medications that kill cancer cells may also shut down the production of hair follicles all over the body, including the head. After the end of treatment, hair usually grows back on its own, and there are medications that can help to regrow hair faster.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles, among other healthy tissues.
In this situation, hair all over the body falls out and cannot grow back.
Alopecia Areata can happen suddenly and with no warnings to both adults and children. This type of hair loss happens in patches and is painless; however, over time, it can lead to complete hair loss.
Tinea Capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is when a fungal infection of the scalp causes hair loss. It is a common cause of hair loss in children. With ringworm, hair falls out in patches, sometimes circular, leading to bald spots that may even get bigger over time.
The bald areas often look red or scaly, and the scalp also itches. Sores or blisters that ooze pus on the scalp are also common with Tinea Capitis.
Cicatricial alopecia, also called scarring alopecia, is a rare type of hair loss in which inflammation destroys hair follicles and causes scar tissue to form in their place. After scar tissue forms, hair cannot regrow.
Hair loss may begin slowly, and symptoms go unnoticed, or hair may start to fall out all at once. Severe itching, swelling, and white and red lesions on the scalp that look like a rash are other symptoms of Cicatricial Alopecia. This type of hair loss can affect adults and children, both male and female.
There are several types of hair shaft abnormalities that can lead to hair loss. These abnormalities cause strands of hair to thin and weaken, making them vulnerable to breakage. The hair loss does not happen in the follicle but is due to a break somewhere along the hair shaft. These breakages can result in overall thinning, as well as many small, brittle hairs.
Making simple changes to your hairstyle and hair care can reverse some hair shaft abnormalities. Other conditions may require medical intervention.
Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic condition. People with Hypotrichosis have very little hair growth on their scalp or body. Newborns with this condition may have typical hair growth initially; However, their hair starts falling out a few months later and is replaced with sparse hair.
Most people with Hypotrichosis are completely bald by the age of 25. While there are few treatment options for treating Hypotrichosis, some medications may help thicken or regrow hair.
Read more: The Seven Stages Of Hair Loss
There are several factors that will increase the risk of hair loss, including:
Some examples of hair loss risk factors
- A family history of balding on your mother's or father's side
- Significant weight loss
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus
- Poor nutrition
Read more: Can Covid Cause Hair Loss?
- Is hair loss treatable?
Depending on the type of hair loss, it can be highly treatable.
- What is causing my hair loss?
Your hair loss may be caused by an underlying medical condition, as a side effect of certain drugs, genetics, or any number of things. It is only by visiting a specialist that you can get to the real cause of your hair loss.
- What kinds of tests do I need?
Usually, your doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss by a physical examination and asking you some questions about your medical history.
Still, suppose they suspect that your hair is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. In that case, you might need to take some tests, including blood samples, scalp samples, or other physical examinations.
- Is my hair loss permanent, or will it grow back?
You will know this answer only after determining the type of hair loss.
- Will my hair has a different texture after it grows back?
It just might. It may grow back thicker or thinner, curlier or straighter, all over, or just in some spots. Depending on your type of hair loss and the treatment you choose, you will have different results.
- What is the best course of action?
Step 1: Look for signs of hair loss to see if you are shedding more than usual.
Step 2: See a doctor.
Step 3: Take some tests.
Step 4: Choose a treatment recommended by your doctor.
- Should I change my diet or hair care routine?
Your diet and hair care routine can have a significant effect on your hair loss. Yet if you are experiencing hair loss because of your genetics, changing your diet and conditioner would not be enough.
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
Dietary restrictions, a change in your shampoo and conditioner, and the frequency you wash your hair may be necessary to avoid hair loss or increase your treatment's effectiveness.
Hair loss can be a symptom of many underlying medical conditions resulting from a sudden event, due to genetic reasons, or simply because of age. Most types of hair loss can be treated with oral medications, therapies, or surgeries.
You must find out the reason behind your shedding and treat any underlying condition that you may have. To this end, a doctor's visit can be beneficial.
Talk to our doctors about your condition
- Hair loss is a natural hair growth process, but if you are shedding more than 100 strands a day, that might classify as excessive hair loss and needs your attention.
- Hair loss happens for several reasons, including physical, mental, and genetics. Determining the cause of your hair loss is a job for your doctor.
- You can choose a treatment based on the type of hair loss.
Several treatments are available for hair loss, such as hair transplants, laser combs, therapies, and oral medications.
- Oral medications for hair loss have proven to be effective on most men.
There are some risk factors for hair loss: severe stress, lousy diet, weight loss, age, and family history of baldness.
Your healthcare provider is the best source of health and medical information. Articles written by UPGUYS are informed by peer-reviewed studies and research, as well as governmental health authorities and agencies—but they cannot replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns you might have.