7 Surprising Things You Don’t Realize Can Cause Your Hair To Fall Out
If you ever notice that more hair is gathering in your drain, or your hair brush, it can seem like cause for concern. After all, how can you tell if you're just losing a few strands, or your hair is falling out because of an underlying health issue? Turns out, there are tons of surprising things you don't realize that can cause your hair to fall out, but not all of them are things to worry about. Perhaps it's just time to put the elastic bands away.
Also it can be helpful to know you're not alone when it comes to hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women make up 40 percent of American hair loss sufferers.
"Women typically experience some degree of hair loss in their lifetime, which can begin in their early twenties," Dr. Ken L. Williams Jr., D.O., FISHRS of Orange County Hair Restoration tells Bustle. "Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) accounts for more than percent of hair loss in women." And the reasons for this hair loss is uniquely varied. For some women, hair loss could be a genetic predisposition. But for others, certain environmental factors could be reason to point fingers. Here are seven reasons you may be losing some of your hair, according to experts.
1. It's Summer
Ah, summer. A stress free season of living — unless your hair is falling out. As your closet sheds your winter wear, your scalp may be also shedding some extra padding. According to Dr. Williams, "Summertime hair loss is real, and research suggests that women experience elevated rates of hair shedding due to hair follicles entering a resting phase, known as Telogen Effluvium (TE). When hair is subjected to more extreme weather, perhaps as much as 70 percent of hair follicles can prematurely enter this resting phase, leading to more hair shedding than usual."
Don't worry. This is just seasonal shedding, which you're likely to endure more in July and August when temperatures rise.
2. Vitamin A And D Deficiency
Your vitamins are important — besides keeping your body healthy, they could also be taking care of the health of your hair. If you have no idea where your hair loss is coming from, it could be from a "nutritional deficiency of Vitamins A and D, iron, and other essential nutrients," Dr. Williams says. Make sure you're getting your vitamins to stay healthy from hair to toe.
Yes, stress can contribute to the loss of hair. Dr. Williams explains, "Telogen effluvium (TE) [when stress causes hair follicles to go into the resting state] is probably the second most common form of hair loss." He continues, "Telogen Effluvium can begin about six weeks to three months after a stressful or traumatic event. It is not uncommon for hair to come out in large clumps." If you've recently undergone an unusually heavy dose of emotional stress and are noticing more hair in your brush, don't worry. TE is considered to be temporary hair loss. If you are still concerned, speaking with a doctor or therapist can help.
4. Tight Ponytails
As much as you may love a tight ballerina bun, it may be time to let your hair down more often. If you're noticing hair thinning and loss after having your hair pulled back tightly, it might be a condition called traction alopecia. This, Dr. Williams says, "is a type of hair loss that occurs when the hair follicles are traumatized by hair being pulled tight by hairstyles. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails, and hair extensions often cause this type of alopecia."
5. Birth Control
It's no surprise that hormones lead to body changes. But, surprisingly, your birth control could be leading to hair loss. "Oral contraceptives can be a cause of hair loss in women who are predisposed to hormonal related hair loss," Dr. Williams says. "The hair loss can occur during or after the use of the oral contraceptive. It is important to note that any medication or therapy that alters a woman's hormones, including but not limited to, contraceptives, can trigger hair loss." It could be worth speaking with your health care provider about finding a contraceptive that works best for you and your body.
6. Giving Birth
Hormonal changes are real when it comes to giving birth. Many women have reported postpartum hair loss after delivering their little one. But your luscious locks will return. Similar to hair loss related to stress, this temporary hair loss is considered telogen effluvium.
Hormones are back at it again with the shift in your hair production. Dr. Williams says, "Accelerated hair loss and thinning is common in women during menopause and perimenopause secondary to changing hormone levels. When estrogen and testosterone levels change during this time period, the imbalance causes hair thinning."
If you're hair is surprising you with sudden hair loss, don't worry. There is likely a reason that your doctor can help you find out. The great news: once you know what's causing your hair to fall out, you can take care of your hair to curb the loss.