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Medical Dermatology

Hair Loss

What causes hair loss?

A full 90% of scalp hair is constantly in growth cycle. Loss of 50-100 hairs a day can be part of that cycle. As hair goes into a resting phase followed by shedding, it is replaced with new hair. Individuals who notice their hair becoming noticeably thinner or the shedding of large amounts of hair after brushing, should contact a dermatologist in order to isolate the cause and determine if there is a treatment that will correct the problem.

Causes of excessive hair loss may be due to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Hereditary balding
  • Fungal infections of the scalp (ringworm)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Severe infections with high fever
  • Medications
  • Major surgery
  • Chronic Illness
  • Childbirth
  • Low protein diets
  • Cancer treatments
  • Iron deficiency
  • Improper hair care or using permanent wave or relaxing chemicals too frequently


In several of the conditions mentioned above, normal hair growth will resume once the underlying cause is corrected. Hair loss as a result of childbirth, as an example, will resolve itself completely in most cases. If the cause is an iron or protein deficiency, correction of the condition will also resolve the problem of the hair loss. Independent treatment of ringworm will result in the return of normal hair growth cycles if diagnosed early. Topical medication such a minoxidil creates hair growth in some cases of hair loss. In men with male pattern hair loss, oral propecia may be effective.

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