10 Reasons You May Be Losing Hair

Deficiencies in iron, protein and zinc can particularly lead to hair fall, warns dermatologist Dr Abhishek Pilani.

Hair loss is a common problem among people of all ages. They are caused due to reasons which may be around us but we may not be paid heed to them.

Let us look at some of the reasons why hair loss actually happens.

1. Stress

Hair loss due to stress and anxiety can be attributed to a condition called telogen effluvium in which hair follicles enter the resting phase at the same time. This affects the entire scalp and results in a great amount of hair fall.

Hair fall due to stress is not concentrated in a single area. Once the stress is managed, the hair grows back too.

Note that hair loss due to stress is reversible and hence one should follow ways to maintain stress. However, if the stress is not managed and unfinished, owing to telogen effluvium, hair fall can become incessant.

2. Poor diet

If the body lacks essential nutrients, then hair fall is the first indication.

Deficiencies in iron, protein and zinc can particularly lead to hair fall. A deficiency in iron means that hair follicles don’t have enough oxygen to maintain a healthy growth.

Lack of proteins will result in thin, weak and brittle hair which will in the course of time result in hair fall.

Zinc has an important role to play in the repair and cell growth and lack of this will lead to hair loss.

When the body lacks these nutrients, distributing them to important organs like the brain, heart etc. take precedence. Thus, hair follicles shrink and stop producing new hair.

3. Crash diets

These diets are designed such that there is a great amount of calorie restriction in them leading to hair loss.

Owing to calorie restriction, the body doesn’t get proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Crash diets are unsustainable and in addition to affecting the hair, they will also affect one’s health in the long run.

4. Tight hairstyles

Tight hairstyles, like braids and ponytails can lead to hair loss known as traction alopecia. The hair loss is owing to the hair being pulled time and again.

A stress is created and the hair follicles get damaged and results in permanent hair loss.

Hair loss because of tight hairstyles is fixated around where the hair is pulled frequently. This may be gradual, but a significant amount of hair will be lost in the long run.

Avoid tight hairstyles so that the hair is not pulled and this can be prevented.

Also, frequently change your hair styles so that the hair gets respite. Also note that using harsh chemical treatments or heat-styling tools can cause hair loss.

5. Hormonal issues

Hair loss can be a problem in both men and women because of hormonal imbalances.

Androgenetic alopecia is a hormonal condition that causes hair loss in both male and females.

Excess of androgens like testosterone in the body can lead hair follicles to shrink resulting in hair loss on the scalp.

Most commonly it is known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. Note that this condition is genetically linked.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition where too much androgen is produced in the body leading to hair loss. Also, pregnancy can result in hair loss as the body experiences a lot of hormonal changes.

6. Thyroid issues

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to hair loss.

With the metabolism slow in hypothyroidism and metabolism high in hyperthyroidism, hair loss is the first noticeable change.

7. Medications

Specific medicines like chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, birth control pills, antidepressants etc. result in hair loss. This is a temporary condition and may reverse once medicines for the same stop.

8. Disorders

Autoimmune disorder known as Alopecia areata causes hair loss on the scalp.

Also, fungal infections on the scalp can result in hair loss. It’s recommended to consult a specialist to take timely medication for this issue.

9. Exposure to pollution

Pollution can cause hair damage extensively thus leading to hair fall.

Toxins such as chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides etc. also impact hair growth. They damage the hair follicles and disrupt the hair growth.

Cover your hair with a scarf when you venture out to places with heavy pollution.

10. Scalp conditions

If you have scalp conditions that result in dryness, then it can directly have an impact on the condition of the hair. For instance, Psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis etc. can all result in hair loss.


Finally, take good care of your hair by oiling it regularly and cleaning it with a good shampoo and conditioner.

Do not ignore hair fall as this is always a significant indication of a problem ahead. Consult a specialist in case of heavy hair fall, so that it is addressed at the earliest.

Dr Abhishek Pilani — founder, Assure Clinic — holds an MD in dermatology.
An aesthetic and pediatric dermatologist, dermatosurgeon, trichologist, and hair transplant surgeon, he is a member of the Indian Association Of Dermatologists, Venereologists And Leprologists and the Association Of Cosmetic Surgeons Of India.

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If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

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Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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