Hair Loss: The Whats and the Causes
Home » Hair Loss: The Whats and the Causes

Hair loss, also called alopecia, is a common dermatological disorder.  It may be temporary or permanent depending on the cause.  The condition may come either suddenly or gradually and affect the scalp or even the whole body. 
Signs of alopecia can appear in different ways.  It can present itself with a gradual thinning of the hair, slowly getting a bald spot, observing a receding hairline that becomes evident as the years pass by, or having a thinner ponytail. 
The condition is not contagious and may be due to several factors.  It is important to know the root cause as it will determine whether the hair can regrow on its own; will fall gradually or abruptly; requires treatment to regrow or needs immediate care to prevent permanent hair loss. 

Causes of Hair Loss


Hereditary hair loss, both in men and women, is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide.  The condition is medically termed as Androgenic alopecia. 

This is due to inherited genes that cause the shrinkage of the hair follicles, which eventually leads to the stopping of hair growth.  This can begin as early as the teen years, but it usually starts later in life.


As people age, hair growth becomes noticeably slowed down. This is because hair follicles cease growing hair, thus thinning down the hair on the scalp. Along with this, hair starts to lose its color.

Medical Treatment

As featured on TV shows and movies, chemotherapy and other radiation treatments to the areas above your neck will lead to alopecia during the first few weeks. This, unlike most of the other factors listed, is only temporary.


Stress can cause alopecia. Telogen effluvium (follicles do not produce new hair) and Alopecia Areata (when the immune system attacks the follicles) are conditions associated with alopeica that is brought about by significant stress. Once the stress stops, excessive hair loss stops. Most hair regain its normal fullness within 6 to 9 months.

Hair Treatments

Different hair treatments like perms, coloring, or even relaxing can damage your hair follicles over time, which eventually leads to hair loss.   

In addition to treatments, traction alopecia can cause hair loss.  With your hair tightly tied back, the continual pull of the hair may damage the follicles, which can lead to permanent hair loss.   

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) commonly leads to alopecia. Additionally, the hormonal imbalance brought on by the cease of usage of certain birth medication can also lead to the same outcome. 

Scalp Infection

Ever see black spots on your scalp? Those are stunted hair growths. Scalp infections can lead to scaly and inflamed parts of the scalp.

Scalp Psoriasis

People who suffer from plaque psoriasis can also develop the condition on the scalp, leading to hair loss.

Scarring Alopecia

This condition happens when hair follicles are destroyed due to inflammation.  Diverse conditions can cause this.  Collectively, the medical name for this group of conditions is Cicatricial alopecia.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

If left untreated, STIs such as syphilis can cause alopecia in patcIf left untreated, STIs such as syphilis can cause patchy hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows, beard and elsewhere.  Other STIs can also cause hair loss. 


Low nutrition levels, particularly in biotin, iron, protein, or zinc can wither out your hair.


Medically categorized as frictional alopecia, it is caused due to repetitive friction on the hair-bearing sites. 

It pays to be informed.  

At any rate, an increased rate of hair loss is something you would want to call your dermatologist about. With a few lifestyle changes, you can still turn things around and face the future with a headful of hair.

Do you have other medical concerns or questions you would like to know more about? Call us! With voice and video consultations, a record of your consultations, and more, the Medgate app is here to make you worry less.

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2023 | Hair Care | Hair Loss | Lifestyle