4 Things That Cause Hair Loss

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Woman looking in mirror wondering why her hair is thin

Genetics is a major factor in hair loss, but it’s not the only factor. [1] [2] Just what can you do to promote healthy hair? While there is no research to suggest that you can reverse hair loss, you may be able to prevent the progression.

4 Factors Associated with Hair Loss

Research is showing that many controllable factors in our lives can actually override genetics, potentially preventing the genetic tendency of hair loss from expressing itself. Here are 4 things you might not have known could cause hair loss.

1. Gravity

Believe it or not, a recent report suggests that gravity could actually be a factor in male hair loss, and that it only gets worse as men age. The young scalp has enough “fat tissue under the skin, and it is capable of keeping itself well-hydrated, buffering the pressure on hair follicles.” [3] As men get older, though, “the skin and underlying fat become thinner, and the pressure on the hair follicles increases.” But, this isn’t an issue for pre-menopausal women since estrogen doesn’t thin out fat tissue like testosterone does. More so than anything, it’s a game of hormonal imbalance, as well.

2. Stress

Not that surprising, stress makes our list as one of the causes of hair loss. When you’re stressed out, hair can go into what’s called the telogen phase—basically, it falls out. [4] This process can even happen as much as 3 months after the stressful event! Luckily, that hair can grow back in 6 to 9 months time. But, sometimes, due to things like childbirth or surgery, the body needs a “time-out” from hair growth in order to focus its efforts on recovery. Everyone reacts differently to stress, and, for some of us, hair loss is just one of those things.

3. Smoking

One recent study from the Archives of Dermatology even suggests that age-related hair loss in Asian men could be connected to smoking. [5] Though it’s unknown what exactly could lead to hair loss, one theory is that smoking might damage the hair follicles. While the study only looked at smoking among Asian men, quitting smoking might be a great idea for anyone facing hair loss!

4. Dental Infections

That bald patch on your head could even be an unfortunate side effect of poor dental health. Infectious outbreaks on the teeth have been linked to a localized hair loss called alopecia areata. Any unexplained hair loss isolated to one area of the scalp should be cause for concern and could mean you might want to make a trip to the dentist to get those teeth checked out. [6]

Are There Natural Solutions for Hair Loss?

So, what’s the solution to hair loss? Well, you don’t really have to look that hard to realize the baldness cure marketplace is filled with shysters. Is there any research to back up anything at all? There may be a connection between nutrition and hair loss, particularly with iodine. Researchers seem to believe that hair loss is caused by the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, and inhibiting this enzyme responsible for conversion may halt hair loss. This is only a theory, but some research supports it. Also, it seems hair loss could begin and end in the human body. Recently, researchers were able to use human stem cells to grow new hair. [7] This marks a huge step in “the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss.”

Are you experiencing hair loss? If so, what do you think about this latest research for a treatment? Tell us about it in the comments.

References (7)
  1. Hillmer, A. M. et al. Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene Is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia. American Journal of Human Genetics. 77 (1).
  2. Shimomura, Y. et al. APCDD1 is a novel Wnt inhibitor mutated in hereditary hypotrichosis simplex. Nature. 464 (7291).
  3. Ustuner, E. T. Cause of Androgenic Alopecia. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 1 (7).
  4. American Academy of Dermatology. Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It. ScienceDaily.
  5. Su, L. & Chen, T. H. Association of Androgenetic Alopecia With Smoking and Its Prevalence Among Asian Men. JAMA Dermatology. 143 (11).
  6. University of Granada. Developing A Bald Patch? It Could Be A Hidden Tooth Infection. ScienceDaily.
  7. Gnedeva, K. et al. Derivation of Hair-Inducing Cell from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. PLOS ONE. 10 (1).

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