Hair loss – Its symptoms and causes

Hair loss is a result of problems related to the scalp. However, sometimes, it could be due to other underlying conditions as well. At times, it is temporary, but, in most cases, it is permanent. It could be a result of normal aging, hormonal changes, family history, or medical conditions. When there is excessive hair loss, it leads to baldness. In general, heredity hair loss is the prime cause of baldness.


Usually, hair loss can occur in a multitude of forms and would depend on the underlying cause. Moreover, it might either occur gradually or suddenly and can hamper either the scalp or the entire body.

Some common signs of this condition include:

  • Patchy or circular bald spots
    In some people, hair loss occurs as a patchy or a circular bald spot either in the eyebrows, beard, or scalp. It might lead to painful or itchy skin before hair fall actually occurs.
  • Slow thinning on the top of the head

This is the most prominent category of hair loss and occurs in people as they get older. It has been seen that there is a receding hairline or a loss of hair in men as they grow older. On the other hand, women tend to have a broadening of the centerline in the hair. In women, the receding hairline is believed to be quite a common pattern of hair loss.

  • Hair loss on the entire body

There are certain medical treatments or conditions that can cause hair loss across the body. This is primarily noted during the chemotherapy treatment for cancer. In this type of hair loss, the hair tends to grow back gradually.

  • Abrupt hair loss

Sometimes, an emotional or physical shock can lead to sudden hair loss. In this case, you’ll see a handful of hair falling out during showers, while combing, or even after tugging the hair gently. It is only temporary and might lead to hair thinning.

  • Scaly patches that spread across the scalp
    It primarily happens because of ringworm. It might be followed by redness, broken hair, oozing, and swelling.

Causes of hair loss
It is normal for people to lose anything between 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. This hair loss mostly goes unnoticed because there’s new hair growth happening simultaneously. It is labeled as hair loss only when the hair that breaks or falls out is not replaced by new hair.

In general, hair is related to a bunch of factors. These include:

  • Radiation therapy

If the hair is lost by radiation therapy, it might not grow back like before.

  • Stress
    Some people experience temporary hair loss as a result of a shock or due to some stressful event.
  • Heredity

It is certainly the most common reason for hair loss and happens as you age.

  • Medications

Hair loss might occur as a side-effect of some medicines or supplements that are meant for depression, gout, blood pressure, cancer, heart problems, and arthritis.

  • Medical conditions or hormonal changes

Sometimes hormonal changes that occur due to thyroid, childbirth, menopause, or pregnancy can also lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. Scalp infections like ringworm and trichotillomania may also cause hair loss.

Risk factors

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Lack of proper nutrition
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Lupus