WebMD Logo Icon
WebMD Connect to Care helps you find services to manage your health. When you purchase any of these services, WebMD may receive a fee. WebMD does not endorse any product, service or treatment referred to on this page. X

5 Reasons for Sudden Hair Loss, and How You Can Get Help

By  WebMD Connect to Care Staff
Possible causes of hair loss include stress, poor diet, and underlying medical conditions.

Everyone experiences hair shedding, and it happens to each of us every day. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle, more on days you wash your hair. But what if you check your pillow, shower drain, or comb and it looks like you’re suddenly losing much more than that? 

The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They’ll get to the bottom of why you’re losing hair, and they’ll make sure you get the right treatment in case a medical condition is to blame.

Here are just some of the reasons you could have sudden hair loss.

Possible Causes

Telogen effluvium. This type of hair loss can happen about three to six months after you go through something stressful. The American Academy of Dermatology says these stressors can include:

  • Surgery
  • Giving birth
  • Getting a divorce or losing a job
  • Having a high fever
  • Recovering from an illness

Mayo Clinic says abrupt hair loss due to telogen effluvium could even happen a few months after the stressful event. 

Alopecia areata. This kind of hair loss often shows up as round bald patches. It can make you lose hair suddenly and seemingly out of the blue, according to NYU Langone Health. The condition happens when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles. Your hair may grow back on its own or with treatment, the American Academy of Dermatology says.

Other medical problems. Yale professor of dermatology David J. Leffell, MD, writes that ailments including thyroid conditions and bowel diseases could be to blame.

Certain medications. Blood thinners or chemotherapy drugs could be the reason for your sudden hair loss.

Nutrition problems. These can include getting too little iron or too much vitamin A.

Get Help Now

There are many treatments for hair loss. Some can even help reverse it. The right treatment for you depends on the cause of your hair loss, which is why it’s important to see a doctor and get diagnosed.

Don’t wait. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.