Men that possess it love it and those that don’t have it miss it. For those currently in the process of losing it, they’ll do anything to keep it. Of course we’re talking about hair. It’s easy to point the fingers at your parents for your thin hair or balding scalp but not all causes of hair loss are attached to genetics. You’ll be surprised to learn that there are dozens of reasons for it. It’s best to understand the cause of hair loss so that you’ll know how to prevent it. We’ve narrowed down the top 10 causes of hair loss. 1. Tight braids or pulled-back hair Although women experience this more than men, both sexes should know that wearing hair in tight braids or having hair tightly pulled back (ponytail) can lead to hair loss or what is medically known as traction alopecia. This leads to gradual hair loss mostly at the hairline. 2. Trichotillomania Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder characterized by the habitual plucking or pulling of the hair from the head or other parts of the body. It can be triggered by depression or stress and over time, a bald spot will develop. 3. Hypothyroidism The thyroid, a small gland located in front of the neck, below the voice box; functions as a regulator of the body’s metabolism through the release of various hormones. Underproduction of certain hormones leads to Hypothyroidism which is the most common cause of patchy hair loss known as alopecia areata. 4. Autoimmune disease When the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues then you’re dealing with autoimmune diseases, for example, diabetes or arthritis. If it attacks the hair follicles or other cells or tissues that is crucial for hair growth and maintenance, it can result in various kinds of hair loss, including cicatricial alopecia (permanent hair loss) and telogen effluvium (disruption of hair growth cycle). 5. Infection One of the most common infection that affects the scalp and hair is Ringworm and although the name suggests otherwise, Ringworm is actually caused by a fungus. Scientifically known as tinea capitis, it is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that thrive in warm, moist conditions and sometimes due to poor hygiene. Mostly children get affected but it can be caught at any age. 6. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is effective at stopping cancer cells from multiplying faster than the body’s healthy cells but unfortunately it also stops other cells in the body that grow rapidly as well, like hair follicles. Hair loss could be gradual or dramatic depending on the drug used but in the end, it could lead to total hair loss. 7. Medication Although chemotherapy drugs can lead to hair loss, there are, in fact, dozens of other drugs that might cause hair loss and these include medications for anti-thyroid, hormone therapy such as birth control, anti-covulsants for epilepsy, anti-coagulants, beta-blockers, and many others. These medications causes telogen effluvium, a rapid shedding of the hair caused when a large number of hairs suddenly shift from a growth phase (known as anagen) to a resting phase (known as telogen), and then fall out when new hairs begin to grow. 8. Nutrient deficiency Deficiencies in certain nutrients due to general malnutrition, genetic or biological defect or crash diet can cause hair loss. The most common fault is lack of iron as it can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, a condition that causes the body to have insufficient red blood cells which are vital as they carry oxygen to nearly every cell in the body, helping those cells maintain normal function. Deficiencies in other nutrients such as vitamin B, specifically B12, and protein are thought to contribute to hair loss as well. 9. Stress Severe psychological and physical stress can have strange effects on the body. Severe stress typically sends the body into a state of shock, flooding it with various hormones and metabolites that may lead to telogen effluvium, a type of hair shedding which we have mentioned above. 10. Male pattern baldness Despite all the different causes of hair loss, there is one leading cause that we can’t do much about. Male pattern baldness, medically known as androgenetic alopecia, refers to hair thinning in an “M-shaped” pattern that is typically mentioned when men discuss about balding. Over time, hair follicles change and shrink, leading to thinning hair. While many treatments are available, there are no success guarantees and are not permanent solutions for hair loss. In the end, we’re all victims of our genes and that’s something that we cannot ever change. Seek Help Should you fall into one or more of the ten categories mentioned above, you should immediately seek help from professionals to avoid total hair loss or maybe even consider hair transplant option as it is known to be more efficient in addressing this problem.