What can be behind a hair loss?

If suffering from alopecia is irritating to a man, it is even more so for a woman because it is more difficult to assimilate. Faced with excessive hair loss, there is almost always a reason and the best remedy is to know it. On the comb, on the pillow, in the shower. Do you think you lose more hair than usual? 100 hairs a day is the figure that marks the difference between a normal fall and a hair problem.

Keep in mind that hair loss is more abundant in winter but, sometimes, there are other factors that make it worse related to your health.


Hair loss is one of the most common complaints about dermatologists. The first thing that assesses the specialist is if we are facing a physiological hair loss (healthy, so to speak) or it is something pathological, that is to say, it is a symptom of some disease or disorder.

How the dermatologist measures it

There are several maneuvers, commonly used by doctors, to know if hair loss is excessive or if, on the contrary, it is a normal hair loss:

Sign of pulling: It consists of pulling the hair from different areas of the scalp (frontal, parietal, occipital and crown or vertex). If we start more than one of each strand of 10 hairs, the maneuver is positive. That is to say, we would consider the excessive fall and we should study what causes it.

Counting sign: Requires some more patience. The patient is asked to wash his head two days in a row. The hairs that have been detached after combing are counted. If there are more than 80, it is considered positive proof. To finish defining it, we must assess which territories it affects, and whether it is reversible or not.

When there is an excessive hair loss, in order to rule out secondary causes, an analytical test is usually performed.

It assesses the possible existence of anemia or a thyroid problem (frequent causes of alopecia). And according to the patient, and what he relates, some other test is done to rule out other reasons.


When it is genetic it is called androgenic alopecia and it can be due to both hereditary and hormonal factors. It usually starts early, at 20-30 years, the hair becomes thinner and scarcer and the fall is especially noticeable at the top of the head. We are talking about universal alopecia when it does not affect a defined area, but any part of the scalp. On the contrary, alopecia aerate is the one located in a single area (or several, but always isolated, not contiguous with each other).


If the alopecia is genetic and is incipient, cosmetic surgery or use cosmetic lotions with assets those slow down the hormones (sabal, hops, pumpkin, and zinc).

If it is advanced you can apply lotion to 2% minoxidil. It is a local vasodilator sold in pharmacies that prolongs the growth phase of hair. Use it every 3 months to observe the first results and a year to achieve maximum efficiency.

Extra help: If in addition to the topical treatment you take a nutritional supplement that has the same assets as the lotions, they will improve results. They take 3 months and then stop for the next 3 months. Check with your doctor.

When the loss is caused by stress, medication or lack of certain nutrients, the first thing is to suppress the causative factor. Anti-hair loss lotions and nutricosmetics with sulfur amino acids, vitamins and minerals can help.

If your hair falls off with the change of season or after delivery, the hair recovers itself and does not need treatment. But if you see that it lasts for months or you notice that the capillary density has decreased, visit the dermatologist.

What can your appearance indicate?

Anemia. The intense fall of the hair, especially when washing or styling it, is, along with fatigue, one of the main symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia. The cause may be a low iron diet or significant menstrual losses.

Diabetes. In diabetes when blood sugar levels are not well controlled, the skin tends to dry out and increases the risk of ulcers and infections, and itching may also appear on various parts of the body, such as the scalp. In severe cases, hair may also fall off a lot (diffuse alopecia).

Thyroid. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have effects on the dermis and hair. Those who suffer from excessive thyroid function often notice that their hair is thinner, more fragile and that they fall more than normal. Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is usually noticed with dry and brittle hair, which falls mainly in the frontal area of the skull.

Lupus. This autoimmune disorder caused by a malfunction of the defenses lung cancer, kidney, skin and, often, the hair weakens and falls. There is also redness and peeling.

Cancer. In addition to the fall caused by chemotherapy, the disease itself can weaken the hair.

Poisoning The presence in the body of metals such as mercury can be discovered because more hair is lost. It also happens with drugs such as anticoagulants, some antihypertensive and medication for cholesterol.

When to see the doctor

If you have any doubt, if you notice weakened hair, changes in the scalp or suffer the discomfort of some kind, it is best to go to the specialist. If pruritus, stinging, scaling or intense fall appears, ask the dermatologist to diagnose the cause of these symptoms and prescribe a treatment.

Doctors have tests such as the trichogram (allows them to observe the characteristics of the hair under the microscope) or trichoscopy (analyzes different parts of a hair without removing it). According to the results, you will be referred to a specialist or another.


Sometimes, behind weak hair, rough or matte, and brittle nails hide a diet with some deficiency.

For example, insufficient protein intake will manifest with brittle hair. And the deficit of vitamins such as biotin or trace elements such as zinc and copper can end in alopecia. Both things usually occur in unbalanced weight loss diets.

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