Everyone loses some hair
every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal.
But if hair
loss runs in your family, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may
end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your head is slowly thinning. About half of all
people have this type of hair loss by around age 50.
Although hair loss is fairly common, it can be a tough
thing to live with, especially when it changes how you look. But there are ways
you can treat your hair loss.
Common causes of hair loss
- Family history. In most cases, hair loss is
inherited, which means it's passed down from one or both of your parents. This
is called male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss.
including physical stress from surgery, illness, or high
- Chemotherapy, which is powerful
medicine that destroys cancer cells.
- Damage to your hair from
pulling it back too tightly, wearing tight braids or ponytails, or using
curling irons or dyes.
- Age. You grow less hair as you get
older. Hair also gets thinner and tends to break more easily as you age.
- Poor diet, especially not getting enough protein or
- Thyroid diseases, such as
- Ringworm of the scalp, which is common in
Your symptoms will depend
on what kind of hair loss you have.
If your hair is thinning, it
happens slowly over time, so you may not notice the hairs falling out. If your
hair is shedding, then clumps of hair fall out. You may lose hair all over your
scalp, which is called general hair loss. Or you may lose hair only in one
area, which is called focal hair loss.
With inherited hair loss ,
men usually get bald spots around the forehead or on the top of the head, while
women have some thinning all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head.
Since your hair has a lot to do with your
appearance, losing it may cause you to have lower self-esteem if you don't like
how you look. This is especially true in women and teens.
Your doctor will ask
you some questions, like how much hair you're losing, when it started, and
whether your parents have hair loss. He or she will look closely at your scalp
and hair loss pattern and may gently pull out a few hairs for tests.
If it's not clear what's causing you to lose your hair, your doctor may
do a blood test or look at a sample of your hair or scalp with a