It is firstly important to note that hair fall may be of two broad types, i.e. natural and excessive or unnatural. Within the natural cycle of hair growth and fall, at any given point, approximately ten percent of the hair present on ones scalp is in ‘telogen’ or resting phase which means that this hair is about to shed naturally and give way to others in its place (in about a two to three month period). The remaining ninety percent of hair is in different stages of growth phases and remains intact. Hence, if some of your hair seems to be falling daily you have nothing to worry about, all you are undergoing is an absolutely healthy cycle and natural loss of telogen hair.
Nevertheless, some, in fact many individuals suffer from hair fall which exceeds these normal natural levels and such a scenario may be attributed to varied causes. ‘What causes hair fall?’ is a common query with a number of common as well as uncommon answers. Some such causes of hair fall are as follows :-
Illness : About a quarter post a period of illness or a hefty operation one may experience excessive hair fall which is stress related and of a short-term nature.
Hormone Imbalances : Over of under secretion of hormones of the thyroid gland, imbalanced production or androgens (male reproductive hormones) or estrogens (female reproductive hormones) may also lead to hair fall which can be controlled by treating the concerned hormonal imbalance at the root.
Pregnancy : This is another type of hormonal imbalance related hair fall commonly seen in women after delivery. Hormones that cause extra hair growth or rather avoid hair loss during a pregnancy return to their standard levels after delivery and this cause the excess hair which is maintained during the pregnancy to be lost on resuming the normal cycle.
Medication : Certain medication may be what causes hair fall (e.g. Anti depressants, chemotherapy, excess vitamin A, blood thinners, birth control pills etc) and such hair fall returns to normal levels when medication is withdrawn.
Infection : When the scalp is infected by fungi it may lead to hair fall which can be treated by antifungal medication.
Improper hair maintenance : Traction alopecia caused by rough handling (pulling, tying too tight) of hair and swelling or inflammation of hair follicles due to treatments with hot oil, hair perming and straightening chemicals not only cause hair fall but may also lead to scarring of the scalp in turn making the phenomenon of hair fall permanent. Hence if hair handling is improved in good time (before scalp scarring occurs) permanent hair fall can be avoided and present hair fall can be eliminated.
An innate tendency towards baldness : More commonly seen in men who start balding at an early age, common baldness, also known as male pattern baldness in men and female pattern baldness in women in essentially a hereditary phenomenon.