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Why you lose your hairs: 10 Reasons for hair loss

It's true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness (more on that later).But thinning hair and hair loss are also common in women, and no less demoralizing. Reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition.

In many cases, there are ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It all depends on the cause. Here are some common and not-so-common reasons why you might be seeing less hair on your head.

1. Overstyling
Vigorous styling and hair treatments over the years can cause your hair to fall out. Examples of extreme styling include tight braids, hair weaves or corn rows as well as chemical relaxers to straighten your hair, hot-oil treatments or any kind of harsh chemical or high heat. Because these practices can actually affect the hair root, your hair might not grow back.

What to do: 
In addition to avoiding these styles and treatments, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using conditioner after every shampoo, letting your hair air dry, limiting the amount of time the curling iron comes in contact with your hair and using heat-driven products no more than once a week.

2. Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the medical term for having an underactive thyroid gland. This little gland located in your neck produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development and, when it’s not pumping out enough hormones, can contribute to hair loss. Your doctor can do tests to determine the real cause

What to do: 
Synthetic thyroid medication will take care of the problem. Once your thyroid levels return to normal, so should your hair.

3. Anemia
Almost one in 10 women aged 20 through 49 suffers from anemia due to an iron deficiency (the most common type of anemia), which is an easily fixable cause of hair loss. You doctor will have to do a blood test to determine for sure if you have this type of anemia.

What to do: 
A simple iron supplement should correct the problem. In addition to hair loss, other symptoms of anemia include fatigue, headache, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet.

4. Lack of protein
If you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake, they say.

What to do: 
There are many great sources of protein, including fish, meat, and eggs. If you don't eat meat or animal products, here are the 14 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources.

5. Physical stress
Any kind of physical trauma—surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flu—can cause temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair has a programmed life cycle: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. “When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase,” explains Dr. Marc Glashofer, a dermatologist in New York City. Hair loss often becomes noticeable three-to-six months after the trauma.

What to do: 

The good news is that hair will start growing back as your body recovers.

6. Aging
It’s not uncommon to see hair loss or thinning of the hair in women as they enter their 50s and 60s, says Glashofer. Experts aren’t sure why this happens.

What to do: 
Experts don't recommend that this condition be treated, says Hammonds. That leaves women with cosmetic approaches such as scarves, wigs and hair styled so as to cover up thin spots. That said, there are also plenty of tricks to prevent hair breakage and ways to keep your hair looking shiny and healthy in your 50s and above.

7. Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one example of the type of physical stress that can cause hair loss (that and hormones). Pregnancy-related hair loss is seen more commonly after your baby has been delivered rather than actually during pregnancy. “Giving birth is pretty traumatic,” says Glashofer.

What to do: 

If you do experience hair loss, rest assured that your hair will grow back in a couple of months. “It’s a normal thing and it will work its way out,” Glashofer says.

8.Too much vitamin A
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.

What to do: 

This is a reversible cause of hair loss and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should grow normally.

9. Male pattern baldness
About two out of three men experience hair loss by age 60, and most of the time it's due to male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follows a classic pattern in which the hair recedes at the temples, leaving an M-shaped hairline.

What to do:

There are topical creams like minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral medications such as finasteride (Propecia) that can halt hair loss or even cause some to grow; surgery to transplant or graft hair is also an option.

Female-pattern hair loss, called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. “If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Glashofer. Unlike men, women don't tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.

What to do: 

Like men, women may benefit from minoxidil (Rogaine) to help grow hair, or at least, maintain the hair you have, Glashofer says. Rogaine is available over-the-counter and is approved for women with this type of hair loss.

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