Pattern baldness or permanent hair loss is simply the result of genetic programming. Increased hair shedding or temporary hair loss can be caused by a host of different reasons, including poor nutrition, genetics, imbalanced hormones, lack of sleep (maybe that comfy, new king size mattress you were looking at would be worth it after all!), medications such as chemotherapy, radiation treatment, infections, chronic stress, and rapid weight loss, to name a few. Certain illnesses and diseases can also cause hair loss or hair shedding. Examples include anemia, low thyroid hormone levels, lupus, and sometimes cancer. In most of these cases, hair loss is not permanent.
Recommend Blood Tests:
In all cases of hair loss, I think it’s also important to ensure that the following blood tests are completed by your doctor:
• TSH, free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies to assess thyroid gland function. All should be completed to properly diagnose a thyroid condition that may result in excessive hair loss. (Note: Optimally, your TSH should be less than 2.5).
• Ferritin (This is the storage form of iron. Low iron (<70) is a very common cause of hair loss). • Vitamin B12 and folic acid (either of these nutrients in low levels may cause hair loss). • Copper and zinc (excess copper relative to zinc may result in hair loss). • Dihydrotestosterone (high levels of this hormone is related to hair loss in both men and women). • Progesterone and estradiol (low levels of estrogen may cause an increase in hair loss). • DHEAs and cortisol (High levels of cortisol or low DHEAs may contribute to hair loss). • Free and total testosterone (high levels of testosterone in women may accelerate hair loss). • Biotin (a deficiency of biotin can cause progressive hair loss).