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Loss of hair due to unkown causes.
Persons most commonly affected: All age groups after adolescence and both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Hair
Symptoms and indications: A receding hairline and thinning around the crown with eventual bald spots.
Causes and risk factors: A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment of the thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.
Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they\'ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.
Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, medicines used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants.
Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children. The infection is easily treated with antifungal medicines.
Finally, hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Since hair loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.
Prevention: Most hair loss and baldness is hereditary and there really isnít any way to prevent it. Other things, however, can cause you to lose hair and if you donít have baldness in your family, you could find yourself getting a little light on top if you donít prevent it. If youíre one of the lucky ones that donít have a family history of needing a toupee, then take some simple precautions and be sure to take good care of your hair.
Hair can be lost to improper care and damage. If you over color your hair, over style it, or abuse it with irons and blow dryers too often, you could be in line for some major fall out. Hair shouldnít be colored any more often than every six to eight weeks and you should avoid it altogether if possible. While hair coloring doesnít make everyoneís hair fall out, it does do damage and you will have healthier hair if you donít color it. Try not to stretch your hair into styles that require a lot of pulling like ponytails and braids and donít pull on it when you brush it.
Proper nutrition is essential to good hair as is proper rest. Eat well, be sure to drink plenty of water and get enough calcium, which is important for healthy hair. Getting enough sleep is also important a to help your body function properly and maintain your hairís normal facilities. Being ill can cause hair loss so if you keep your body tuned up and take good care of yourself to stay strong against illnesses, your hair will have a better chance.
Use a good conditioner each time you wash your hair and be sure to keep the split ends of your hair trimmed. Whenever possible, you should let your hair dry naturally instead of using a hairdryer, and try to find a style that does not require an iron Avoid wearing hats that can rub on your scalp causing bald patches.