Hair Restoration 101: Understanding the Causes of Hair Loss

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Hair loss is a complicated problem that can be caused by a number of factors. Hormonal imbalances, medications, supplements and herbs, skin conditions affecting the scalp like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, diseases affecting the body’s immune system like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are some of the main causes of hair loss. Say’s Dr. Nadine Haddad suggests, hair restoration techniques are effective in treating most types of hair loss due to these causes.

What is hair loss?

Hair loss is the progressive thinning of hair. It can be temporary or permanent, total or partial.

Hair loss can occur in several forms:

The main causes of hair loss

Hair loss is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition. The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hormonal imbalances (such as thyroid disease)
  • Medical conditions (such as lupus, diabetes and nutritional deficiencies)
  • Medications and supplements (steroids, birth control pills)
  • Skin conditions like psoriasis or alopecia areata

1. Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance is a common cause of hair loss. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate the body’s function and growth. When these hormones become imbalanced, it can lead to changes in the way your body works, including causing hair loss.

Hair loss caused by hormonal imbalance may be temporary or permanent depending on how quickly you get treatment for it. If you’re experiencing sudden or unexplained baldness at any age, see a doctor right away because this could be a sign of something more serious like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

2. Medical conditions

Medical conditions can cause hair loss, especially if the illness is not treated. For example, your doctor might prescribe medication for an infection that also causes hair loss. If you have symptoms of a medical condition and your doctor has ruled out other possible causes of your hair loss (such as stress), then it’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment before deciding on a course of action such as undergoing a hair transplant procedure.

Some common medical conditions associated with balding include:

3. Medications, supplements and herbs that can cause hair loss

The most common causes of hair loss are:

  • Medications, supplements and herbs. Some medications can cause hair loss. These include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy drugs (including Premarin).
  • Thyroid hormones. If you have an overactive thyroid gland, your body may produce too much of the hormone thyroxine which can lead to hair loss in men as well as women. Thyroid disorders are more common among women than men so if you’re experiencing this type of hair loss it’s important to see your doctor right away so that they can check for any underlying medical conditions causing it (and get them treated).

4. Skin conditions affecting the scalp, like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis

Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are two skin conditions that can cause hair loss. Both are chronic conditions that affect the scalp, but they have different causes and treatments.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes scaly patches on the skin, especially on elbows and knees. It’s also known as psoriatic arthritis because it may be accompanied by joint pain in addition to redness in your skin or scalp. If you have psoriasis, you might notice flakes of skin (sometimes called scales) when you comb your hair–and these flakes can get caught in your brush! The good news is that there are many treatments available now: topical medications like corticosteroids; oral medications such as methotrexate; light therapy using ultraviolet B (UVB) rays; injections with vitamin D3 into affected areas of skin; or even surgery if other methods fail.*

5. Diseases affecting the body’s immune system, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Many diseases that affect the body’s immune system can cause hair loss. These include lupus, RA, and polymyositis.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects more than 1 million Americans each year. In addition to causing inflammation in various parts of your body, lupus can cause hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on your body as well as facial sores or rashes.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints throughout the body; it affects about 1 percent of adults worldwide each year and is more common among women than men by a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 depending on age groups studied.[i] Like lupus symptoms often include fatigue along with pain in other parts such as fingers or wrists; but unlike lupus there are no specific symptoms related specifically towards hair growth patterns unless they are caused directly by medications used during treatment such as methotrexate which causes alopecia (baldness).

Hair loss due to an underlying medical condition is usually reversible if the underlying problem is addressed.

There are many causes of hair loss. The most common types are:

  • Androgenetic alopecia (also known as “male pattern baldness” or MPB)
  • Telogen effluvium, which can be caused by stress, hormonal changes and some medications

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to see a healthcare professional who can make an accurate diagnosis and determine whether the problem is reversible.


If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to consult with a doctor who can assess your condition and determine the cause. In some cases, the problem may be reversible if the underlying cause is identified and treated. The good news is that there are many different treatments available for hair restoration today–some of which are even non-invasive!

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