5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Hair

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Why you’re Losing Hair?

It’s true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness (more on that later).

But thinning hair and losing hair are also common in women, and no less demoralizing. Reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition.

In many cases, there are ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It all depends on the cause. Here are some common and not-so-common reasons why you might be seeing less hair on your head.

1. Too much Vitamin A

Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.

What to do: This is a reversible cause of hair loss and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should grow normally.

2. Vitamin B deficiency

Although relatively uncommon in the U.S., low levels of vitamin B are another correctable cause of hair loss.

What to do: Like anemia, simple supplementation should help the problem. So can dietary changes. Find natural vitamin B in fish, meat, starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruits. As always, eating a balanced diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein and “good” fats such as avocado and nuts will be good for your hair and your overall health.

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3. Dramatic weight loss

Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you. It’s possible that the weight loss itself is stressing your body or that not eating right can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Loss of hair along with noticeable weight loss may also be a sign of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

What to do: “Sudden weight loss seems to shock the system and you’ll have a six-month period of hair loss and then it corrects itself,” says Hammonds.

4. Anabolic steroids

If you take anabolic steroids—the type abused by some athletes to bulk up muscle—you could lose your hair, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Anabolic steroids can have the same impact on the body as polycystic ovary disease (PCOS), as the mechanism is the same, says Hammonds.

What to do: This should improve after going off the drug.

5. Lack of Protein

If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake, they say.

What to do: There are many great sources of protein, including fish, meat, and eggs. If you don’t eat meat or animal products, here are the 14 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources.

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