Losing your hair is terrifying, especially for a woman: your mane is often a symbol of your femininity, and a sign of your beauty, so losing your hair can be incredibly stressful. The good news is that you may be able to reverse, or at least slow down the process by finding the cause of your hair loss. Here are some surprising reasons why hair falls out.
1. You abuse of styling products
Overstyling, whether it’s excessive brushing, overuse of heated tools, or even excessive use of certain long-lasting products, can damage your hair. This may give the impression that you are losing them, but in fact, they are simply detaching from their ends. “Hair myths, like brushing them a hundred times a day, can cause split ends,” says Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist certified by the American Academy of Dermatology. “Healthy hair is possible if you know how to take care of it before and after styling.” Dr. Mirmirani recommends drying them with a towel or hair dryer, brushing as little as possible, avoiding long-lasting styling products and setting styling tools at low to medium temperatures.
2. You always do your hair the same way
Do you constantly wear hair extensions, a bun or a ponytail Ariana Grande style? If this is the case, you may have “traction alopecia”, a condition that occurs after “persistent soft traction on the roots over several hours or days,” reports The Independent. Hair loss depends on the style you have chosen: if you apply too tight rollers, you may get a somewhat irregular traction alopecia pattern. Women who prefer ponytails may have losses on the sides of their foreheads. If this is the cause of your hair loss, the remedy is simple and gradual: Dr. Bauer. Mirmirani suggests taking breaks from braids, extensions or any other tight styles to allow them to grow back.
3. You are experiencing a hormonal change
A hormonal imbalance can result in lower levels of hormones that promote hair growth (like estrogen and progesterone) and increased hair loss hormones (like androgen and testosterone), reports Women’s Health. What is important here is to determine the cause of the hormonal imbalance itself: you may have a thyroid problem or polycystic ovary syndrome. Once your doctor has determined the cause of this hormonal change, they can develop an action plan to correct (or at least minimize) this problem.
4. You are taking a birth control pill that is not adapted to your body
The contraceptive pill can solve many problems when it is adapted to your body: your cramps are reduced, your mood swings are not as intense, etc. Stopping or starting a birth control pill can sometimes cause hormonal fluctuations that can trigger hair loss, and endocrinologist Dr. Geoffrey Redmond told The Daily Beast that some contraceptive formulas are more likely to cause this than others.
5. You have experienced a physical trauma
A traumatic physical event, such as childbirth or injury, can disrupt its growth cycle. Dermatologist Marc Glashofer explains: “When you experience a really stressful event, it can disrupt the cycle, bringing more hair into the excretion phase. The good news, notes Dr. Glashofer, is that once your body recovers, so does the growth cycle, so be patient!
6. You are stressed
Severe emotional stress can occasionally trigger hair loss, and can often accelerate the loss that is already occurring, notes Dr. Glashofer. This can create a pretty brutal cycle because it causes you even more stress. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist, told Women’s Health that meditation, exercise and healthy lifestyle habits can help you resume your growth cycle quickly.
7. You don’t eat well
You need to have just enough vitamin A. Too little vitamin A can lead to dry, brittle hair that can come off your scalp, but too much vitamin A can also do damages. Fortunately, the American Academy of Dermatology notes that once you consume a healthy level of vitamin A, regular growth can resume. Talk to your doctor about how much of this vitamin you should take, especially if you are currently taking medication. Too much vitamin A is not good, but too few of other vitamins is just as bad. If your eating habits are not the best, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends some improvements: more protein and iron, which you can get in meat, eggs, fish and seafood. Are you a vegetarian? Don’t worry, you have options too! Beans, nuts, fortified cereals, seeds, lentils and spinach can provide the nutrients your body needs.
8. You have an autoimmune disease
Autoimmune diseases, including alopecia, can cause hair loss. These conditions occur when “the body becomes confused,” according to Dr. Glashofer. “The immune system sees hair as foreign and then targets it by mistake.” Alopecia areata is treatable with steroid injections and medication, but you may lose them again. If you have another autoimmune disease, like lupus, which also causes this, it can become permanent. If you think you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to see a doctor immediately!
9. You take certain medications
If you are being treated for another disease and notice that you are losing them, talk to your doctor. This may be a side effect of a medication you are taking. Some anticoagulants, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, gout medications, beta-blockers, anabolic steroids and blood pressure medications can cause this. Talk to your doctor to see if there are other options for your health and treatment.
10. You don’t use enough shampoo
If you don’t wash your hair every day, but notice giant hairballs in the drain of your shower when you do shower, you may need to wash them more often. “When you don’t shampoo – which would cause you to lose hair naturally as you wash – it means that the hair stays on the scalp,” dermatologist Francesca Fusco tells Shape. “You’ll see an accumulation of hair when you wash them.” To eliminate any build-up on your scalp, Dr. Fusco suggests reducing the use of dry shampoo and doing a weekly scalp exfoliation, which is simpler than it may seem. Just mix an exfoliant like sea salt, or even sugar, directly into your daily shampoo!