Reasons for Hair Loss or Hair Shedding

Hair loss is a normal part of everyday life and everyone experiences it to varying degrees depending on numerous possible physical and psychological factors. Some people are naturally prone to losing excessive amounts of hair at a young age, while others are lucky enough to live their entire lives with a thick and healthy head of hair. On average, most people lose approximately 50-100 strands of hair per day as a result of normal practices such as showering, brushing, and the cycle that hair follicles endure. However, if you notice sudden excessive hair shedding, then it might be time to seek out hair loss treatment options in Toronto or the GTA. Luckily, there are talented and skilled hair restoration surgeons in Toronto who can help you throughout the process.

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What’s the Difference Between Hair Shedding and Hair Loss?

From a medical standpoint, there’s a major difference between hair shedding and hair loss. The latter is a more extreme progression of the former. As mentioned, it’s normal to shed anywhere around 50-100 strands of hair on a daily basis. However, if you notice closer to 200 strands of hair falling out per day with noticeable bald patches forming on your head for seemingly no reason, then it may be time to seek medical treatment as this is what’s considered hair loss. There are countless possible reasons why you may be experiencing excessive hair loss. Let’s explore some of them below.

Common Reasons for Hair Loss in Men and Women

It’s been said that hair loss in men is a far more common phenomenon than hair loss in women, but that doesn’t make the prospect of it any less devastating. Here are some of the reasons why you may experience hair loss.

Too Much Vitamin A

Moderation is the key to leading a happy and healthy life and consuming too much vitamin A on a daily basis either directly from your food or as a supplement can cause a great deal of hair loss. Vitamin A is fat-soluble which means that your body automatically stores any unused portions of it for later use. The good news is that this problem is completely reversible. All you have to do is reduce your daily vitamin A intake and control it according to your doctor’s recommendations.

Physical Trauma

It’s no secret that any type of major physical trauma, stress, injury, illness, or surgery can cause either mild or temporary hair loss. Many times, hair loss can even be a side effect of certain medications that are used to treat injuries or illnesses. Chemotherapy during cancer treatment is a prime example of this. These incidents can cause the hair follicles to prematurely enter the telogen effluvium or resting phase of their lifecycle and this can sometimes be overextended much longer than it would normally last due to the trauma suffered by the body.

Tight Hairstyles, Over-Styling, and Harsh Hair Products

Constantly pulling your hair back in tight ponytails, braids, or buns can be detrimental to its survival. Over-styling your hair and using hair products that contain an abundance of harsh chemicals can also cause irreparable damage over time, making it extremely dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. If you find your hair is falling out in large chunks more and more frequently, it may be time to start re-evaluating your styling habits. You can start by reducing your use of curling irons, straighteners, blow dryers, and other heat producing styling products.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a serious psychological and physical compulsive disorder in which people are strongly compelled to pull out hair from various parts of their bodies, most commonly the scalp. This is often triggered by extremely emotionally and physically stressful situations and it’s used as a coping mechanism. With proper psychological treatment, however, this habit can be effectively remedied, and patients can find other more conducive and productive ways of coping with stressful situations.

Hormonal Changes

Men and women are both prone to experiencing vast hormonal changes throughout their lives for one reason or another. They can be triggered by naturally occurring phenomena, illnesses, certain medications, as well as pregnancy and the aftermath of pregnancy. In fact, expecting women might notice an influx of hair growth throughout their pregnancies and a mild or significant loss of hair in their post-pregnancy months. This is all very normal and shouldn’t be worrisome unless it lasts for more than a few months.

Reasons for Hair Shedding

There are also plenty of reasons as to why you might temporarily experience more hair shedding than normal throughout your life. Sudden significant physical and emotional triggers are usually the primary culprits, so it’s important to take the time to explore what they could be and the toll they can have on the health and regeneration of your hair.

Drastic Weight Changes

Whether you’ve recently lost or gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, this can have a negative impact on your hair. Dramatic changes to your weight can cause a great deal of bodily trauma, especially since you’re changing your overall eating and exercise habits, whether it’s for better or worse. Of course, the opposite is also true in a lot of cases. For instance, if you’re someone who only just recently started practicing healthy lifestyle habits, this can also have a positive effect on the growth and health of your hair.

Overwhelming Mental Stress

Mental stress disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. can all take a huge toll on your physical well being. The more stress you experience, the more your body produces and releases the stress hormone known as coritisol into your system. This is a form of adrenaline and it negatively affects all of your bodily functions by sending them into hyper-overdrive for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, untreated or neglected mental stress disorders usually also have physical manifestations. Trichotillomania can also be triggered by severe mental stress as a form of physical self harm.

High Fever or Prolonged Physical Illness

Fevers and other types of illnesses also fall under the category of physical trauma and can cause the body to release stress hormones as it struggles to fight off viruses and other harmful foreign elements. Even the common cold or flu can force healthy hair follicles to prematurely enter into the resting phase for a time while the body works hard to eradicate unwelcome bacteria.

Hair Loss Specialists in Toronto

Through the use of innovative hair replacement procedures such as FUE and FUT, The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists has been helping patients regain their self confidence by giving them a brand-new lease on life. Over the past 30+ years, we’ve gained a well-deserved reputation as one of Canada’s leading hair loss treatment clinics thanks to our state-of-the-art technology and use of modern techniques. For more information about the treatments we offer or to schedule a consultation, please contact us!

by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.