At any time, it may be normal for a person to shed as many as 50 hairs a day. Hair loss becomes abnormal when more than 100 hairs are lost a day. There are many different kinds of hair loss which include:
Androgenetic alopecia is also known as male pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness. This is the commonest cause of hair loss in both men and women. It is caused by a combination of 3 factors – advancing age, genetics and the male hormone testosterone. It can occur as early as after 20 years, but usually affects women later in life than men.
Alopecia areata is a condition that usually affects children and young adults. It results in round patches of hair loss over the scalp, but can also affect other hair-bearing areas such as the eyebrows. The exact cause is unknown.
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that occurs after any form of stress to the body, such as high fever, acute illness, crash dieting or emotional stress. It may also occur 2 to 4 months following childbirth. This type of hair loss is diffuse, affecting all parts of the head.
Traction alopecia occurs when there is excessive pulling or tugging on the hair, such as with tight perming or certain hair styles (corn-braiding, pony-tails).
Other conditions can lead to hair loss, including vitamin deficiencies, long-standing illness or scalp infections with bacteria or fungus. Certain drugs such as chemotherapy drugs or blood thinners may also cause hair loss.
It is important to seek the advice of a dermatologist to correctly diagnose the type of hair loss and the appropriate treatment needed. Be wary of what others may offer in terms of hair treatment and cure as these may not be effective and may lead to unwanted side effects.