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Why does our hair fall out?

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Hair is one of our physical features that reflects personality, youth and pleasantness. The loss of hair affects our image and creates significant mental tension. There are many types and causes of hair loss. We can encounter different types of hair loss in all ages and genders. Treatment of hair loss; however, it is possible when its type and cause can be accurately determined.

Hereditary hair loss: It is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. It is also called “androgenetic” hair loss. It is formed by the effect of the androgen hormone. The genes that cause this shedding can be passed on by the mother or the father. Androgenetic hair loss is more common in men. This type of shedding is present in 50% of men around the age of 50. It increases with menopause in women. It occurs in different forms in men and women. Typically in men, the hair in the forehead corners and/or the peak area thins and falls out. The forehead-scalp line is pulled back. In women, the hair is partially thinned and shed in the apex without retraction in the forehead-scalp line. In women with androgenetic hair loss, if there are symptoms such as menstrual irregularity, acne, excessive hair growth and obesity, hormonal diseases such as “polycytic ovarian disease” should be investigated.

Reactive hair loss: It is one of the common types of hair loss. This type of shedding is especially common in women. It is considered normal to lose an average of 100-150 hair strands per day. In reactive hair loss, the amount of hair shedding daily is 150-400. There is widespread hair loss from both the apex and the nape area. There may be no obvious hair thinning. However, if more than 25% of the hair is lost, sparseness begins to draw attention. In this type of hair loss, there is no thinning of the hair. The forehead-scalp line is not retracted. The scalp has a normal appearance and no skin disease or scar tissue is encountered. Reactive hair loss is mostly caused by a physiological, metabolic or spiritual tension 1-6 months ago. It naturally and usually recovers within 6 months. Hair continues to grow again in the place of the lost hair.

* A febrile illness, a severe infection, a major surgical operation, rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies can be triggering factors such as pregnancy and childbirth.

* Iron deficiency is a common cause of reactive hair loss, especially in women.

It may develop due to thyroid diseases, advanced cancers, rheumatological diseases, kidney and liver failures.

*The use of some drugs (such as epilepsy drugs, birth control pills, thyroid drugs, blood thinners, fat-lowering drugs and isotretinoin) can cause reactive hair loss.

* A heavy mental tension (such as loss of a family member, divorce and dismissal) experienced a few months ago may be responsible.

Ringworm: It is a disease that causes hair loss and/or body hair. It is called “Alopecia areata”. In this disease, hair loss is seen in a finite area, usually in the form of money. Sometimes there may also be a more widespread spill. Factors such as heredity, autoimmunity and mental tension are responsible for the development of ringworm.

Scar tissue (cicatricial) hair loss: In this type of hair loss, scar tissue is seen in the area with hair loss. In some chronic skin diseases of the scalp, permanent damage and scar tissue develop in the hair follicles. In addition, burns, traumas, previous surgical processes may result in scar tissue on the scalp. Causes such as obsessive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and too tight collection of hair (ponytail, braid adjacent to the hair) can cause cicatricial hair loss. When the skin disease causing cicatricial hair loss can be seen effectively, a skin biopsy may be diagnostic. Treatment of this disease at an early stage will positively affect the course of hair loss.

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