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Causes of Hair Loss

Causes of hair loss are different in women and men, different races and age groups.  Cause of hair loss in men is typically genetic predisposition to male patterned baldness or typical men baldness.  Causes of female hair loss are generally more diverse and include a range genetic, hormonal and other medical conditions.  Although hair loss in men is usually male patterned baldness, I occasionally see men with other causes of hair loss including alopecia areata, cicatricial alopecia, hair loss due to other medical conditions that if not diagnosed correctly could be problematic.  I have seen patients with other causes of hair loss that instead of medical treatment for hair loss and underlying conditions underwent a hair transplant surgery, which did not produce the best result for this group of patients.

Cause of hair loss in female patients

Hair for women is often a crucial object in personal style. That is why women generally panic at even the slightest signs of losing hair after showering or during styling their hair.  Women hair loss is a growing problem and an increasing cause of concern according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Hair loss in women affects around 30 million women in the United States of America.

Causes of hair loss in younger women and in teens are less known and it does not follow the common pattern of hair loss in adult women.  Cause of hair loss in teen girls could be instrumental and due to hair manipulation, stress related due to Trichotillomania that is a condition that girls pull their hair without being aware of it or autoimmune conditions such as alopecia areata.

What exactly causes a woman to lose her hair? This is a concept that involved understanding of the growth of hair.  Our scalp hair generally grows about one centimeter a month.  Each individual hair grows for 1 to 6 years that is referred as growth phase or anagen.  After the growth phase, each hair enters the resting phase or telogen in which hair shaft falls out and you don’t see a hair for a period of 4 to 6 weeks which is called telogen or rest phase.  After completion of resting phase another growth phase begins that a hair grows from the follicle and the cycle keep repeating as long as we live.

The combination of hair loss gene, hormonal changes and other environmental changes including physical and emotional alterations can cause a variety of hair loss conditions.  Male and female sex hormones are sometimes involved in the process of hair loss.  Male hormones include testosterone, androsteinedione, and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), all of which are made in men's bodies in large amounts, could be detected in women's bodies in small amounts.

In those who are genetically susceptible to hair loss, when testosterone comes in contact with enzymes residing in the hair cell, it is converted into the another androgen DHT, which then binds with receptors on the hair follicle.

Over time the build-up of DHT

"Over time, an excess build-up [of DHT] in hair follicles causes them to become finer and miniaturized to the point that they cannot produce any cosmetic result for patients.  They eventually become not existent in more advanced stages of hair loss.  This condition is called androgenetic alopecia that could be the cause of hair loss in both men and women."

Presence of the DHT and male patterned hair loss is more commonly a cause of hair loss in men that women.  The pattern of hair loss in men and women are also different. Male pattern hair loss is almost always the result a genetic predisposition coupled with age, in women, hair loss can happen at any time.  Also underlying medical conditions such as Iron deficiency and thyroid disorders can also be the cause of hair loss -- even when true androgenic alopecia is the diagnosis.

Medical causes of hair loss in male and female

Conditions that cause imbalance in hormonal equilibrium such as polycystic ovary syndrome which is not rare among women should be evaluated too.   Other hormonal conditions such as thyroid imbalances should also be considered.

Autoimmune disorders such as lupus could cause focal or diffuse hair loss.  Other immunologic conditions may present with patchy hair loss that is called alopecia areata.

Women may experience telogen effluvium, which is a change in the natural hair growth system that often follows childbirth, crash dieting, surgery, or a traumatic emotional event.  The list goes on and on for other medical conditions and medication that have hair loss as one of their side effect.

Causes of hair loss in teens and children

Causes of hair loss in teens and children are generally different from adults.  Teen’s hair loss requires more attention because of the possibility of several treatable conditions that need to be diagnosed and treated promptly with great result.  Trichotillomania is one of the causes of hair loss in children in which affected child or teen manipulates hair in a certain area and pull it before she or he notice it.  Trichotillomania is more common in young women and teens and is easily treated with cure of the underlying stressful situation.

Alopecia areata is another cause of hair loss in teens and children that could be seen in both men and women.

Please contact us today for a free personal hair transplant consultation with Dr. Mohebi, a Orange County hair transplant and Newport Beach hair transplant specialist and take the first step toward a natural looking head of hair. We can be reached online, by email or by calling: Please fill the form below for personal consultation Or call numbers listed below:
After great research into hair restoration, I selected you as the doctor to restore the youthful look that I once had. As a teenager and as a young adult in my 20's, I always had a full head of hair, but was born with a high hairline. This genetic trait I got from my mom's side of the family and therefore, my mother always tried to make me feel better by saying, "...a high forehead is a sign of intelligence". However, as I reached my 30's I noticed my hair thinning at the top of my head. My existing high hairline looked more pronounced.
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