What Causes Hair Loss in Men and Women?

What Causes Hair Loss in Men and Women?

There can be many potential causes for hair loss and not all of them are fully understood yet. Apart from genetic causes, which are actually the least understood, most causes of hair loss are associated with imbalances within the body. However, illness and injury can also be potential causes.

Whatever the cause may be, hair loss can be distressing. Unfortunately, as contrary as this may sound, stress and worry may also accelerate the rate of hair loss. The good news is that hair loss can be treated, and in some cases, it can even be reversed.

If you are suffering from hair loss, seeking treatment as early as possible will give you the best chance of symptom reversal.

Because knowing what caused your hair loss can be a significant factor in treating it, what follows is a comprehensive list of the most common causes of hair loss. From this you should be able to identify what might be the most likely cause in your case which you can then discuss with your local doctor or aesthetician.



There are a few different possible genetic causes, but the most common one is known as “pattern baldness” and “alopecia”. While it’s true that men are much more likely to be affected by pattern baldness than women, it is still possible for women to have the condition. Women are likely to be even more distressed about hair loss than men, and having their condition referred to as “male pattern baldness” could make them feel worse.

In fortunate cases, the symptoms can be reversed with medicated treatments which may be in the form of pills, hair loss treatment injections, or chemical treatments applied to the scalp. However, these treatments don’t work for everyone. The more commonly recommended treatment is hair transplanting, which is effective for many people. Although the result is not instant, your hair will look and feel like it’s growing back again.

Various other treatments may also be available for genetic hair loss but it’s best to consult a professional to determine which treatments are most likely to be effective for your particular situation.


Anabolic steroids (and possibly aromatase inhibitors) can provoke a wide range of responses in the body; both desirable and undesirable. Desirable responses include increases in muscle growth, strength, and stamina. On the other hand, undesirable responses attributed to steroid use can include sexual dysfunction, acne, hair loss, and many other conditions. The conditions affect different individuals to different degrees, and not everyone experiences undesired side effects.

The best way to treat this type of hair loss is to stop using steroids but if it’s already too late then treatments include those used for genetic causes. Having said this; some people find that their hair grows back naturally after discontinuing steroid use for a few months.

Radiation and Chemotherapy

These treatments obviously cause some severe toxic reactions in the body and hair loss is to be expected. The hair loss experienced is not normally permanent, and most survivors can expect natural regrowth of hair.

It can be quite upsetting when natural regrowth does not occur, but this may still be treatable. However, before any treatment begins, it’s important to make sure you are physically well enough if you have recently been treated with radiation and/or chemotherapy.


Taking too many nutrients, especially vitamin A, zinc and copper, is likely to result in hair loss and other unpleasant side effects. This type of hair loss is usually temporary and can be reversed when the overdose situation is corrected. In the case of vitamin A poisoning, it will take a little longer due to the toxin being stored in the liver.

Malnutrition can also result in hair loss. For example, those with a diet which is low in protein may experience hair loss as the body requires this type of nutrient to grow and repair hair cells. Restoring the diet back to healthy levels does not always result in hair regrowth, so if this is the case then additional treatments may be required.


When any part of the head is subjected to repeated rubbing such as from an ill-fitting helmet or hard object, the hair at the site may be lost. This type of loss may be compared to the hair of a Monk whereby they use stones to grind their hair off intentionally. 

If you become aware of hair loss due to friction, it is best to remove or avoid the source of friction. Hair will normally grow back provided there is no damage to the scalp. Natural regrowth is not guaranteed however, so it is best to act quickly upon discovering the problem.


Drug abuse, alcohol abuse & smoking

Each of these substance abuses results in the build-up of toxins in the body that can cause hair loss. Interfering with DNA synthesis, the toxic effect of the substance is similar to the effects of chemotherapy, with the severity depending on the type of drug and how long it has been used for. Discontinuing the use of intoxicants will usually have multiple health benefits, including the possibility of hair regeneration.


It’s evident from the above that there are many possible causes for hair loss, but the majority of them have simple remedies and can be easily prevented. However, in more complex situations such as genetic hair loss, you may require more than just home remedies as professional treatment is often needed.