Surprising reasons why you’re losing hair and what to do about it Surprising reasons why you’re losing hair and what to do about it
Do you find yourself shedding even more hair than usual? Before you splurge excessively on hair products that promise you faster hair growth rates,... Surprising reasons why you’re losing hair and what to do about it

Do you find yourself shedding even more hair than usual? Before you splurge excessively on hair products that promise you faster hair growth rates, it might be helpful and more cost effective for you to properly diagnose the root cause of the problem and so address the issue accordingly.

1. Stress

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High stress levels can lead to hair loss, which can manifest in a few different ways: telogen effluvium, a condition where stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the telogen (resting) stage, and so more hairs than normal prepare to fall out; alopecia areata, a condition which sees the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles, causing sudden loss of large clumps of hair in areas around the scalp; trichotillomania, a habitual condition where the person pulls hairs out without realising.

What can I do?

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Photo: Toutiao

Take up relaxing activities like yoga or meditation. Eat a healthy balanced diet of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Rest assured that stress and hair loss is not permanent. If you get your stress under control, your hair might grow back.

2. Iron deficiency

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Photo: Haikudeck

Without enough iron, the body cannot produce haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells in your body, including the cells that stimulate hair growth.

What can I do?

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To test whether your hair loss is due to iron deficiency, you can consult your doctor to measure your iron levels. The good news is that hair loss caused by iron deficiency is not permanent. Increase iron intake naturally by filling up on iron-rich foods such as spinach, peas, lean proteins like pork and salmon. You should also consider taking daily iron supplements to raise iron levels sufficiently.

3. Pregnancy


Credit: Beeyourself7

Many new mothers find themselves shedding more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth.

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Credit: VisforVirtue

What’s going on? Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent of the hair is in the resting stage. After the resting period is over, the hair falls out, perhaps when brushing or scrubbing your hair. The hair is then replaced by new growth.

During pregnancy, oestrogen levels are raised and this prolongs the growing stage. But once women give birth or stop with breastfeeding, oestrogen levels fall. Many more hair follicles enter the resting stage, which goes to say that more hair than usual will fall out when you pull a comb through your tangles.

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Credit: AlexandrasGirlyTalk

TL;DR, Hormonal changes after delivery often lead to hair loss.

What can I do?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent hair from falling out. But not to worry, this situation is a short-term one, and your hair will go back to your pre-pregnancy thickness about six to twelve months after you give birth. Perhaps take this opportunity to experiment with a short bob or different hairstyles to give your hair a fuller look.

4. Hairstyling practices


Photo: Cometrend

You’re over-styling your hair. Too-tight ponytails, harsh chemicals, and high heat can affect hair at the roots. When you place your hair in traction too often, it can lead to a gradual recession of hairline. Do it over and over for an extended period of time and this damage will become permanent as your hair follicles, pulled out from their roots, have become irreversibly damaged.

What can I do?

The solution is simple enough. Be gentler as you do up your hair, and avoid styles that you realise are causing pain to your scalp. Deep condition your hair regularly so as to help repair and strengthen your hair.

5. Genetics


Photo: Doctorbond

Almost all men and women notice hair loss as they grow older. For up to 40% of these people, this is a natural condition caused by a combination of genetics, changing hormone levels, and the ageing process. Heredity plays a part in both male and female pattern hair loss.

How do you tell whether you are suffering from hereditary-pattern baldness? By looking at the hair loss pattern and checking whether your family has a history of a similar type of hair loss. In women, hair is lost in a “Christmas tree” pattern, from the top of the head down the middle. For women, hair loss is more widespread but slightly better hidden than in men. For men, hair loss typically begins at the temples and crown and proceeds in an M shape, until only a rim of hair along the side and back of the scalp is left.

What can I do?

To slow further hair loss, experts suggest using minoxidil (Rogaine) or finasteride (Propecia). It is best to consult with your family doctor on this matter. Exercise preventive measures, such as avoiding certain hair treatments and hairstyles that cause a rapid rate of hair fall.


Cover image: Dgpforpets

Rachel Tay

Rachel Tay

With a cupcake in one hand, Rachel will ask whether the cup of tea you're proffering her has sugar in it. She tries to be healthy, but this is a world with carbs and chocolate galore, y'know? Ah, as they say...everything in moderation.

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