Hair loss can range from mild hair thinning to total baldness. Hair can fall out for many different reasons. Medically, hair loss falls into several categories, including:
A common form of hair loss happens two to three months after a major body stress, such as a prolonged illness, major surgery or serious infection. It also can happen after a sudden change in hormone levels, especially in women after childbirth. Moderate amounts of hair fall out but it is rare to see large bald spots.
Drug side effects — Hair loss can be a side effect of certain medications and cause sudden hair loss affecting the entire head.
Symptom of a medical illness — Hair loss can be one of the symptoms of a medical illness, such as thyroid disorder (such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism), a sex-hormone imbalance or a serious nutritional problem, especially a deficiency of protein, iron, zinc or biotin. These deficiencies are most common in people on restrictive diets and women who have very heavy menstrual flow.
Fungal infection of the scalp - This form of patchy hair loss happens when certain types of fungi infect the scalp. It is a common form of patchy hair loss in children.
Hereditary pattern baldness — In men, hair loss may follow the typical male pattern (receding front hairline and/or thinning hair at the top of the head). This is the most common type of hair loss, and it can begin at any time in a man's life, even during his teen years. It usually is caused by the interaction of three factors: an inherited tendency toward baldness, male hormones and increasing age. In women, thinning occurs over the entire top or crown of the scalp, sparing the front of the scalp.
We normally lose approximately 50 to 100 scalp hairs each day. If more than this is falling out it is a cause of concern. One may also notice that the hair is generally thinner and that one or more bald patches have appeared.
Some forms of hair loss can be prevented by minimizing stress, eating a healthy diet and using sensible hairdressing techniques, and, if possible, switching to medications that do not cause hair loss. Hair loss from fungal infections can be prevented by keeping hair clean and by never sharing hats, combs or brushes with other people. Hair loss from hereditary-pattern baldness can sometimes be prevented by medication.
Source: Portal Content Team
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