What causes excessive hair loss?

Are you constantly finding yourself shedding more hair than your dog during springtime? Are your once luscious locks falling out at an alarming rate? Fear not, dear reader, for we have got to the root of the problem. Hair loss is a common issue, affecting both men and women of all ages across the globe. In this article, we will investigate what causes excessive hair loss so that you can finally get to the bottom of why your scalp seems to be turning into a mini golf course.

The Biology Behind Balding

Before delving into the numerous reasons behind hair loss, it’s essential first to understand how hair grows – or in this case, stops growing. A single strand of human hair has three layers: the medulla (innermost layer), cortex (middle layer), and cuticle (outer covering). Each strand sprouts from a follicle located under our skin’s surface and begins its growth phase in response to chemical signals produced by our body.

During each growth cycle called “anagen,” our hairs grow approximately half an inch per month for two to six years before entering their resting phase called “telogen.” At this stage, new hairs begin pushing old ones out as they enter their final stage referred to as “exogen.”

However, starting around 30 years old, many individuals experience reduced hormone production leading them down a path towards male/female pattern baldness – technically known as Androgenetic Alopecia (yes I just used big words because I wanted too).

Male Pattern Baldness vs Female Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness brings about receding hairlines that eventually spread over most areas on top of one’s head resembling George Costanza from Seinfeld while female pattern baldness often results in thinning throughout one’s entire scalp leaving them looking like an ostrich – only less fluffy but with quite likely better legs.

Both male and female pattern baldness are hereditary conditions caused indirectly by hormonal changes in your body. Specifically, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone derived from testosterone, causes hair follicles to shrink over time leading to thinner hairs or gosh darn worse – complete baldness.

The Culprits Behind Hair Loss

While genetics undoubtedly play a significant role in many cases of hair loss (sorry Granny), like most things in life, there is no single explanation for this condition. Let’s take a closer look into some well-known culprits behind hair loss:

Hormonal Controls Gone Wild

Hormones do provide essential signals that direct much of our bodies’ activities. However, as with everything else in life – sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for us! One example of this phenomenon occurs when thyroid hormones fluctuate erratically instead of keeping regulated levels balanced- resulting in Telogen Effluvium which sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Telogen effluvium happens when the anagen phase shortens due to any physical/ psychological trauma within the body, such as nutritional deficiencies, post pregnancy or sudden weight change (scratching your head because you’re not sure what mental trauma could result in losing hair yeah we made that up). In these instances, telogen phase increases significantly,causing increased shedding across multiple areas on the scalp typically taking around 3-6 months before calming down again until another onslaught comes.

Stressing Out Your Follicles?

Perhaps the greatest culprit out there contributing towards excessive shedding holds stress responsible overall, particularly throughout prolonged periods where consistent cortisol production takes place at high levels adding pressure onto one’s entire system enhancing chances for alopecia areata (always wanted to include Alopecia Areata somewhere).

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease whereby an individual’s immune system confuses its own healthy cells with pathogenic cells, leading to hair loss localized symmetrically (cue biologists nodding with profound insight). In advanced cases of Alopecia Areata complete hair loss may develop known as alopecia totalis or potentially over the entire body in what’s called Alopecia Universalis – but lets all hope it doesn’t come to that.

Not Quite Enough Iron Man

Ladies this one is particularly for you – because y’all get abundant monthly opportunities via our blood drainage gift from god himself. Menstruating women (or anyone else with anaemia) should be aware that iron deficiencies can cause their bodies to create fewer red blood cells overall hence a lower capacity to maintain healthy circulation hence possible scalp-based implications (scientific guff).

In essence, not consuming enough food packed with iron usually means depriving your follicles of essential vitamins and minerals required for growing long beautiful strands. If you’re consistently experiencing headaches , fatigue, weakness and achy joints alongside losing strands left right & centre– it may be time for a health check-up ASAP.


While genetics plays an influential role in many instances behind excessive shedding by no means does equivalent reflection apply universally across every case; whether it’s hormones gone wild or directing poor dietary choices, there are plenty and varied causes out there contributing towards struggling scalps looking less like Audrey Hepburn’s classic hairstyle more akin towards George Costanza type mullets.

If reasonable hair thinning rates persist regardless of adjustments made consistent flaking / itching appears on top…call Danny DeVito pronto!

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