Hair loss can be devastating. No matter if you want to grow long hair or simply wish for healthy locks – no one wants to experience that feeling when your hair comes out by the clumpful!

Unfortunately, many of the so-called “hair loss cures” you will find when looking for treatments belong into the kingdom of hair myths, and will not help stop the hair fall. Even less with growing back your hair.

So before you start wildly experimenting with suspicious tinctures and hair masks, it might be a good idea to look at actual, scientifically proven reasons for hair loss.

Related: Hair loss dream: How to interpret it!

What can cause hair loss?

So what can cause hair loss? Is it the wrong shampoo?

Everyone knows about the type of hair loss some men experience, where they get a receding hairline.

Not so much common knowledge are the causes of hair loss in females. Yet, there are quite a few, and up to 40% of Americans who suffer from hair loss are female!

As we will see, there are a few occasions in a women’s life where hair loss is expected and will stop by itself.

But many other of the hair loss causes in females are not so harmless. In those cases, hair loss is way more than a cosmetic problem. Instead, it is the symptom of various medical problems.

Image of a medical professional in a white suit writing something on a clipboard

And as with any medical problem, your first step should be to visit a doctor. A qualified medical professional will be able to help you determine the exact cause of your hair loss. Only then can you find a remedy that can help you.

Do not try to self-medicate with random hair growth vitamins! In some cases, hair vitamins can even cause hair loss!

Think back a few months!

Before we go into the different causes of hair loss there is one important bit of knowledge I want to equip you with: in most cases, hair loss starts a few weeks or months AFTER the reason for it appeared.

So, for example, if you’re really deficient in iron in January, you might get hair loss in March, even though your iron levels are already fixed by now.

Your hair follicles and their signaling follow their own rhythm. So always think back a little and show patience when trying to fix things!

Hair loss in women – often caused by hormones

As with so many things in our bodies, our hair is greatly affected by our hormonal balance.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that many hormonal issues can cause hair loss in women.

Thyroid

If your thyroid gets sick, this can cause hair loss. Both an overactive and underactive thyroid can lead to this symptom.

Hair loss due to thyroid problems is usually distributed over the entire scalp rather than appearing in certain spots. This leads to an appearance of thinning hair and can make it difficult to notice the change right away.

Then again, for a thyroid imbalance to cause hair loss, it needs to be more than a slight disturbance. Usually, you’ll experience quite a few other symptoms as well that will make you aware of the problem.

If you lose hair because of your thyroid, dealing with the underlying issue will also deal with your hair problems.

Hair loss birth control

Image of pink birth control pills - a possible cause for hair loss

Another typical reason for losing hair is changing something about your birth control method. And this doesn’t only apply to birth control pills!

Birth control pills can speed up hair loss because they change how quickly your hair goes into the resting phase. This is the phase where the hair falls out eventually.

But skin patches, hormone injections, implants, and rings can also cause hair loss because they impact your hormones in a similar way.

PCOS

Yet another hormone hormonal condition known to cause hair loss is PCOS. This condition causes you to produce more androgen than you usually would as a female.

And this leads to you becoming “more male” to say it in simple terms.

You might get extra hair on your face, or on your chest or abdomen. PCOS can lead to hormonal acne. And unfortunately, it can also cause the hair on your head to start thinning out.

Hair loss caused by PCOS is also known as the female pattern hair loss. We all know the male pattern hair loss with a receding hair line. And this is the “female equivalent”.

When it comes to PCOS related hair loss, there isn’t much you can do directly to help your hair other than to treat your hormonal condition.

Talk to your doctor about regulating your hormones, and maybe try some way to balance your hormones naturally.

Hair loss postpartum

Image of a hand holding baby feet - the cute reason for post partum hair loss

Believe it or not, there is one reason for hair loss that’s actually a happy occasion.

I’m talking about giving birth.

During pregnancy, your hair gets the best of all the pregnancy hormones. You might notice your hair being fuller, shinier and growing faster than ever before.

But, unfortunately, there will be a rude awakening, usually around three months after giving birth.

That is when postpartum hair loss starts.

It will usually stop by itself about six to 12 months after giving birth so don’t worry about it too much. If it really still doesn’t stop then, make sure to get checked again by your doctor. 

Menopause

Menopause is another natural occurring transformation in a woman’s life where hair loss may occur.

Usually, at this age, your hair will thin out a little bit by itself without you necessarily having proper hair loss.

But due to the hormonal changes in this phase, you might also experience stronger hair loss. In that case, it’s a good idea to go see a doctor to rule out any thyroid or other problems.

Hair loss because of vitamin deficiency

It’s common knowledge that not having proper nutrition or a vitamin deficiency can be a cause of hair loss.

Hair loss & vitamin D

One vitamin that has been linked to hair health is vitamin D. And it’s been shown that low levels of vitamin D are linked to some forms of hair loss.

We don’t really know yet how exactly vitamin D affects hair health. But there is a connection. And for your general health, it’s a good idea anyway to make sure that you have healthy vitamin D levels!

Hair loss & iron

If you ask around about reasons for hair loss, most people will immediately suggest that you get your iron levels checked. We still don’t really have good scientific evidence how iron deficiency and hair loss are related.

But we know they are connected somehow. And many people see great improvements as soon as they get their iron deficiency fixed.

Hair loss from stress

Image of a red crayon and the written word "Stress"

Stress is like the gift that keeps on giving. Just in a negative way.

One of the things that it can give is hair loss. Because hair is a luxury product of your body. When it experiences stressful situations, your body will signal to your follicles to go into the resting phase, because it will need it’s resources somewhere else to fight the stress. Your hair being in the resting phase means it’ll fall out soon.

Related: 13 super effective stress relief activities (no gadgets)

Then there’s even a more severe variation of this where your immune system will even start attacking the hair follicles. Obviously, this will also cause hair loss.

In both cases, you will need to address the stress and this will also stop the hair loss.

Related: 10 practical things to put in a Stress Relief Goodie Bag

Hair loss from illnesses

Hormonal imbalances aren’t the only reason for hair loss. There are also other illnesses that can cause it.

One of them is, for example, lupus. And we all know how chemotherapy for cancer will cause your hair to fall out.

Like I said, hair is a luxury product of the body. So in many cases, if there’s an illness to fight, your hair will need to take a step back and wait for you to get better.

Hair loss due to skin conditions

Image of a woman looking at her dandruff in the mirror

Some causes for hair loss can also come directly from the skin of his scalp.

One of the most common causes of hair loss are very tight hairstyles like cornrows, for example. Basically, any super tight hairstyle that pulls on your roots can cause a receding hairline.

Another skin condition that will cause hair loss is ringworm. It’s a fungus that causes round bald patches that get extremely itchy and red. If you notice something like that, immediately go see a doctor! Ringworm is contagious and you don’t want to spread this to your family.

Hair loss prevention

As you can see, the underlying issue when it comes to hair loss is always your health. So the best thing you can do to prevent hair loss is to live a healthy lifestyle.

A fundamental part of that is your diet. A generally healthy and balanced meal plan can protect you from malnutrition. And you can even optimize your hair growth with your diet!

And, you know the drill: make sure you move regularly, de-stress, maybe pick up a sport like Yoga that combines both.

Hair loss – what to do?

If you already suffer from hair loss, you’re past the point of prevention.

Now it’s time for the real action. First, make sure that it’s really hair loss and not just an increased amount of shedding. So watch for a few days how much hair you lose. A general rule of thumb is that everything over 100 hairs a day counts as “proper” hair loss.

Then think back if you’ve had any health issues in the last months.

Armed with that knowledge, go see a doctor! Tell them what you figured out, and if you have any hunches about what might be the cause.

In the meantime, as hard as it sounds: Try not to stress too much about it because that might just make things worse.

Hair loss home remedies

As much as I wished they worked: Do not instantly trust any hair loss treatments or essential oils you find on Pinterest or wherever. Don’t try random things without talking to a doctor first!

Hair loss really is a sign that something’s wrong IN your body and you can’t simply fix it by rubbing something on your scalp. Only use hair loss shampoos or treatments if your doctor prescribed it to you.

Good luck!

No matter if you were here because you are suffering from hair loss right now, or if you’re simply researching about healthy hair: I hope you get or stay healthy!

If this was helpful to you, make sure to share it!