8 Potential Causes of Hair Loss and Baldness

Often used as a misnomer for hair fall, hair loss is completely different. It is natural to lose a few 100 strands of hair but in the case of hair loss, the story is much more tragic. Hair loss is a common condition that affects many people at some point in their lives.

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, stress, malnutrition, and certain medical conditions. Hair loss can lead to baldness or other medical conditions. This is commonly referred to as alopecia.

Potential Causes of Hair Loss and Baldness

Many factors can contribute to this condition. We bring you 8 potential causes of hair loss and baldness −

Genetics Play an Important Role

Family history can determine the cause of hair loss and baldness as hereditary plays a huge role apart from the regular lifestyle. Many conditions associated with hereditary balding are male pattern baldness which is also known as androgenic alopecia.

In males, as they age, the hairline starts to recede and as the hair is lost, balding occurs from front to back. More than 50% of men have higher chances of male pattern baldness when aging over 50 years as reported by the U.S National Library of Medicine (NLM).

In female pattern baldness, hair loss starts from the crown area of the scalp which leaves bald patches and this causes a wider hair parting from the back rather than thinning from the front.

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can occur due to many reasons, for example, menopause, pregnancy, stress, parturition, etc. When the levels of the female hormones, namely, estrogen and progesterone are lower in the female body, this slows the process of hair growth and hair thinning occurs at a faster rate. Also, when this happens, the levels of the male hormones or androgens rise in the female system. Androgens reduce the size of hair follicles and eventually cause hair loss.

Unhealthy Diet

80% of the body's functioning is governed by our diet. Having an unhealthy diet or an imbalanced diet can be one of the major reasons for hair loss. Hair requires a diet rich in protein, low fats, and some essential nutrients.

Lacking a nutrient-rich diet can affect the body functioning by triggering hormones or other organs. Certain types of foods should be avoided to combat hair loss such as dairy, greasy food, alcohol, and sugars.

External Applications

Using too many products and regular heat styling can cause a lot of damage too. Heat denatures the proteins of the hair strands. Hair products containing harsh chemicals like parabens and sulphates are the worse choices to opt for hair. Also, using too many products can cause chemical reactions that can have adverse effects like allergies on the scalp which irritates the hair follicles.

Wearing tight hairstyles or ones that pull hair a lot can cause a condition called traction alopecia in women. Chemical treatments can cause temporary or permanent hair damage. The type of water used to wash hair also affects it significantly. Hard water causes tremendous hair loss due to the minerals in it.

Medications and Treatments

People undergoing certain treatments or consuming medications can suffer from hair loss and balding. Radiation and chemical treatments used in chemotherapy for cancer patients or medications for conditions like arthritis, anxiety, or depression contain drugs that cause hair loss or balding due to their side effects. Sometimes, a combination of medications can have an antagonistic effect and be the reason for balding.

Not Drinking Enough Water

Deficiency of water in the body leads to dehydration resulting in hair loss. the body needs to be hydrated enough to support hair growth. The human body constitutes 80% water.

Water acts as a transporter for the nutrients to get absorbed and delivered by the organs. This will help in the strengthening of the hair follicles which will support healthy hair strands. Adequate water also keeps the scalp hydrated. A dry scalp prevents hair growth.

Suffering from Any Kind of Medical Condition

People having thyroid, diabetes, PCOD or any other disease can have hair loss as a symptom. This is due to the disease that causes internal body malfunctioning. Fungal infections like ringworm or conditions like trichotillomania, which is the habit of hair pulling, highly contribute to balding.

Certain autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s disease and lupus have been known to cause balding. Other reasons could be any physical injury such as accidents, burns, surgeries, etc that can have a damaging effect on the hair follicles.

Regular Movement

Regular exercise is necessary for the blood to circulate throughout the body. Blood circulation is linked with the stimulation of hair follicles. Being overweight or obese has balding as a symptom. It is also observed that too much workout isn’t beneficial for hair growth because stressing the body beyond its level will cause hormonal imbalance and this will lead to permanent hair loss. Too much and too less of exercise wouldn’t be effective enough.


It can be annoying to find out how you have been losing hair gradually. Consider understanding what leads you to the condition and if you can stop the hair from falling and avoid balding. Experiencing balding or hair loss? Keep stress at a bay or the risk may increase all the more.

Updated on: 27-Feb-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started