Wake up to find too many strands of hair on your pillow can be a nightmare for anyone. Losing an average of 50 strands of hair a day is a normal part of the hair cycle. However, losing more hair than that could be a problem. Hair fall can be caused by a number of reasons including old age, hormonal imbalances, stress etc. Hair fall can be treated in most cases as long as the trigger has first been identified. This can be done with the help of lab tests. Some of the common reasons for hair fall are:
- Hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia: Inheriting this gene from either parent can cause hair loss but the risk of hair loss is much higher if you have inherited the gene from both parents. This type of hair loss is marked by thinning that begins in the forehead region and gradually spreads across the scalp. Examining the pattern of hair loss is the first step to determining whether your hair loss is caused by genetic reasons. A biopsy of the scalp may also be required.
- Thyroid irregularities: The underproduction or overproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland can affect the rate at which the body metabolises oxygen and energy for the growth of skin cells, nails and hair leading to hair loss and other problems. In the case of hypothyroidism, hair loss is likely to be accompanied by weight gain, constipation, tiredness and depression. On the other hand, hair loss that is accompanied by drastic weight loss, nervousness, diarrhoea and weakened muscles is likely to be caused by hyperthyroidism. Between the two, hypothyroidism is more commonly responsible for hair loss. A simple blood test that measures the levels of thyroid stimulating hormones in your body can be used to determine whether your hair loss is caused by thyroid irregularities.
- Anaemia: A deficiency of iron in the body can result in inadequate red blood cells to transport oxygen through the body. This lack of oxygen translates to a lack of nutrients for hair growth and can result in brittle hair and hair fall. A deficiency of iron in the body can be tested with a blood test.
- Telogen effluvium: Hair fall that is experienced 2 to 3 months after a stressful event is likely to have been caused by telogen effluvium. This is a phenomenon that causes hair to move faster than normal from the growing phase to the resting and shedding phase. There are no specific tests that can be used to determine this phenomenon. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.