Why is my hair falling out? A Practical Guide to the Common and Uncommon Reasons You’re Losing Your Hair

Losing your hair can be a shock at first, and with good reason. It changes what you look like in a pretty big way! Don’t worry though, I have some advice for you. First – hair loss is incredibly common in this era. People of all ages and genders experience hair loss, and most of the time their lives turn out fine. Don’t panic! Second – If you really, really don’t want to go bald, there are treatments out there to stop it from happening. When I first started losing my hair, admittedly, I panicked. “Why is my hair falling out? Why me?”, I wondered. As it turns out, there are actually many different reasons your hair could be falling out besides male pattern baldness. That’s what this guide is for – to help you identify both the common and uncommon causes of hair loss.

Why is my hair falling out?

The most common cause of hair loss is, by far, male pattern baldness. However, there are other situations at play that can cause your hair to fall out. Things like hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, life events, and so on can all cause you to lose your hair. This guide will break down each cause to help you figure out why you’re hair is falling out and what you can do about it.

Disclaimer: If your hair is falling out, it’s important that you go to your primary care provider or doctor. Hair loss is commonly caused by harmless conditions like male pattern baldness, but in some cases can be caused by dangerous conditions such as iron deficiency anemia.  Only your doctor will be able to diagnose the root cause of your hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss

Male Pattern Baldness/ Genetics

Male Pattern Baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. If you’re over the age of 25 and have family members that are bald, this is probably the cause. Male pattern baldness is genetic, nothing you did in your life caused it.

First off – I went bald when I was 20 years old. It was genetic, male pattern baldness. I buzz my head down to a zero every few days, my life is fine, I still meet girls, and it’s been a huge stress off my back since I started buzzing it. I recommend doing the same if you’re facing male pattern baldness.

However, if you really cannot stomach buzzing your head, there are treatments out there to deal with hair loss caused by male pattern baldness. The most effective, by far, is a combination of treatments called “The Big Three”.

What You Can Do About it – The Big Three:

  • Minoxidil (Get it on amazon)
  • Finasteride (A prescription drug that stops the hormonal mechanism behind MPB)
  • Nizoral (Get it on amazon)

The treatment is cheap, between the three you’ll probably spend between 20-30 dollars a month. It’s also extremely effective – most people don’t lose any more hair after beginning the big 3 and many of them have significant regrowth.

While it is extremely effective and cheap, it isn’t all roses. The overwhelming majority of people use the big 3 and experience no side effects, but there are some side effects to be aware of. Minoxidil can cause wrinkles, facial bloating, and dark eye circles (see more on that here). Finasteride is a prescription strength drug and one of the potential side effects is sexual dysfunction, even after discontinuing use. It’s incredibly uncommon, but it’s certainly worth noting. There are alternatives of finasteride though that don’t have known sexual side effects.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies cause all sorts of health problems, most of them are pretty subtle and people spend years before realizing they have any sort of deficiency. If you’re looking around at your family and they all have full heads of hair, it’s likely that it isn’t male pattern baldness. If you’re sitting in that situation like, “why is my hair falling out?”, then it’s possible this is why.

The two most common nutrient deficiencies that cause hair loss are Iron and Zinc. You can read more about it in a research study here, but basically – Iron and Zinc deficiencies are both very common causes of hair loss and once corrected, hair generally grows back as the body normalizes.

Symptoms of a Zinc deficiency are thinning hair, brain fog / reduced cognitive function, and diarrhea more than usual.

Symptoms of an Iron deficiency are thinning hair, fatigue, depression, headaches, and shortness of breath.

What you can do about it – Supplement

If you think you’re nutrient deficient, get on a daily multivitamin that addresses the most common deficiencies. I have used this multivitamin daily for the past 3 years. A third party research lab analyzed each of the top multivitamins on the market, and it scored very high on purity and safety. Safety is #1 for me personally, so that’s why I recommend the Rainbow Light brand.

If you don’t want to go the multivitamin route and would prefer to just get iron alone, we like Garden of Life – Iron. At time of this post, it’s 11 bucks on amazon.

For Zinc, we also like Garden of Life. At time of writing, the zinc is 9 dollars.

Telogen Effluvium

This condition is typically not permanent, and is typical caused by some sort of trauma to the body. Forms of trauma can be weight loss, surgery, massive injury, and so on. The most common cause of Telogen Effluvium is simply a large and stressful life event, causing excess levels of cortisol in the body. The excess cortisol can have all sorts of negative effects on the body, one of which is temporary hair loss.

If you have Telogen Effluvium, consider yourself lucky – when most people seek their diagnosis, they’re hoping it’s only a temporary condition like TE.

What you can do about it – Relax & Rest

There is no quick fix for TE, it seems like the best treatment is to simply just recover from the event that caused it. If it was caused by stress, try reducing stress with activities like the following:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Weight or Cardio training
Overuse of Styling Products

Are you somebody that styles your hair multiple times a day and spends hundreds on products each month? It could be causing your hair loss. Cosmetic hair products notoriously clog the pores of the scalp, cause chemical imbalances, and generally seem to be damaging to the scalp. Excessive combing can put stress on the hair follicles, and other products can dry the skin creating an unhealthy environment for hair to grow.

If you’re the kind of person that is pumping gallons of product into your hair while staring into the mirror wondering “why is my hair falling out?”, then this might be the cause.

What you can do about it – Don’t Mess With Your Hair So Much!

Try simplifying your routine – most of what you are doing with your hair can be done naturally. In fact, there is evidence that reducing shampoo use actually leads to healthier hair. By not stripping your hair of it’s natural oils on a daily basis, you allow the scalp to normalize and build a natural thriving environment for the hair.

Why is my hair falling out? Conclusion

Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, but we listed a few of the more common causes above. Fortunately, virtually every single listed condition is treatable and the hair loss can be reversed. Instead of worrying and wondering “why is my hair falling out?”, we recommend you get to your primary care provider as soon as possible and start treating whatever the cause of your condition is.

 

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