What Causes Diffuse Hair Loss
in Men and Women?
Diffuse hair loss, which is also known as male or female-pattern hair loss, can affect both men and women at age, but it’s not considered normal. What it does indicate is often an underlying nutritional deficiency or significant medical condition. There are other triggers of diffuse hair loss as well. Endocrine imbalances and a wide range of stresses can cause temporary hair loss.
Finding the cause, or trigger, of the hair loss will often require an examination by a doctor who can do a thorough history.
The Hair Growth Cycle and What Hair Loss Means
Your hair grows around half an inch a month. Usually it will grow faster in the summer than in the winter. The growth phase, also known as anagen phase, lasts an average of 3-5 years. Once this phase has ended, your hair enters the catagen phase, a short phase that lasts about ten days.
Finally, your hair enters the telogen phase. It’s during this phase, considered a resting phase, that hair is released and falls out. The follicle rests for three months and then the whole process is repeated.
Your hair follicles are each independent and go through the growth cycle at different time. This is what prevents you from going bald each time the end of the cycle approaches.
When you experience hair loss, especially alopecia, which is characterized as losing hair in clumps, this means that your hair growth cycle has been interrupted. Often, you’ll find that a medical condition is the cause. Fixing the medical disorder can help you restore the health of your hair and return to a natural cycle again.
Medical Conditions that Cause Diffuse Hair Loss
Nutritional deficiencies can cause male or female-pattern baldness, especially if you don’t consume enough protein or red meat. This should be the first thing to investigate if you’re experiencing hair loss and you don’t eat meat. If you have been taking a supplement that includes vitamin A, however, you may want to speak with your doctor. Hair loss has been known to happen to people who overdose on Vitamin A.
Other disorders that interrupt the hair growth cycle often involve the endocrine system. If you have a thyroid nodule or low thyroid hormone levels, your body will often stop growing hairs. This will happen not only on your head, but also on other body parts, such as arms, legs, and even your pubic region.
Pregnancy is one known condition that is accompanied by hair loss, usually a few months after the baby has been delivered. Anemia, which can be caused by a number of diseases but is primarily an iron deficiency, can also cause diffuse hair loss in men or women.
Trauma, Stress and Alopecia
Physical trauma, such as recovering from a car accident or major surgery, often stresses the body system. Many people who experience both physical trauma and emotional distress may find that their hair literally falls out from the stress. This is a common and unpredictable situation, but it is almost always temporary. After a few months of recovery, the hair will begin growing back.
Getting Help for Diffuse Hair Loss
If you suspect that your hair loss or thinning is due to a medical condition, the first thing you should do is schedule a checkup with your doctor. Let them know about the hair loss and any other symptoms you may be experiencing.
If your hair loss is likely due to a nutritional imbalance, consider drinking protein shakes, and taking a multivitamin that has iron, vitamin D, and other daily essentials.
Healthy hair and a healthy body are both possible if you pay attention to your symptoms and get medical help when something doesn’t seem right. When in doubt, see a doctor.