Yes, it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. That’s because our bodies continually grow new hair and shed old hair. This shedding is not a sign of hair loss. A receding hairline, bald spot, widening hair part or overall thinning is a sign of hair loss. Hair loss can also show up in some surprising ways.
Millions of people develop these signs of hair loss, which tend to appear gradually. These signs can be subtle, so you may have hair loss for months or years before you notice it.
We lose our hair for many (with emphasis on many) reasons.
Ringworm is one. A more common cause is hereditary hair loss. If you recently had an operation, high fever, or chemotherapy for cancer, it’s natural to shed lots of hair. A few months after giving birth, most women shed noticeable amounts of hair. Your hair care or too-tight hairstyle could also be causing your hair loss. Some people who are otherwise healthy develop alopecia areata, a disease that can cause hair loss anywhere on their body. These are some the many reasons we see our hair fall out.
With so many causes, it can be challenging to figure out why your hair is falling out. If you want to do something about it, though, knowing the cause is important. In many cases, hair loss can be successfully treated, or action taken to prevent further hair loss. The key to getting results is knowing the true cause of your hair loss.
Board-certified dermatologists successfully diagnose the cause of hair loss for many people.
Dermatologist specialize in treating the skin, hair, and nails. They have the expertise and tools to help them get to the root cause of a person’s hair loss.
The sooner you find the cause, the better your outcome. The less hair you lose, the more successful treatment (or prevention) tends to be.
Hair loss can appear suddenly and dramatically. While hair loss often occurs gradually, it’s possible to see a bald patch or strip appear within 1 or 2 days, clumps of hair fall out when you comb or brush your hair, or all (or most of) the hair on your head fall out.
Hair loss can develop elsewhere on the body, aside from your scalp, due to some conditions. Alopecia areata is a disease that can cause hair loss anywhere on the body where hair grows. People who have alopecia areata often have hair loss on their scalp, but they can also lose part (or all) of their eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, nose hairs or pubic hair. A few people who have alopecia areata lose all the hair on their body. When this happens, the disease is called alopecia universalis. Frontal fibrosing alopecia is another disease that causes hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. Some people lose their eyebrows, eyelashes, or hair on other areas of the body.
It’s also possible to keep the hair on your head and lose it elsewhere. The friction from wearing tight clothing, shoes, or socks can cause hair loss where you have continual rubbing.
While less hair is often the only sign of hair loss, some people develop symptoms and other signs. You may have hair loss along with:
- Burning or stinging before sudden hair loss - Some people who have alopecia areata experience this.
- Intense itching, burning, and tenderness where you have hair loss - If these occur, it’s possible that you have an infection.
- Scaly bald patches, often with sores or blisters that open and ooze pus - This often mean you have a fungal infection on your scalp.
- Redness, swelling, and sores that may itch and leak pus - A condition called folliculitis decal vans can cause this.
- Scaly patches of psoriasis on your scalp - Most people who have psoriasis get it on their scalp at some time, and this can cause temporary hair loss.
The signs and symptoms that you develop depend on what’s causing your hair loss. Consult with a provider at our office to help you understand what’s causing your hair loss and allow us to create a treatment plan to slow or prevent hair loss while improving thickness.