One of the first question anyone asks when they are told they have alopecia is what causes this?
From talking to the women in our support group that this was the first thing they looked into. There are a few theories as I call them into the causes of Alopecia, but no matter how much your search for the answer no one really and truly knows. Every case is different, you may fall under a certain banner of what kind of Alopecia you suffer from but the main causes, which are documented, are as follows.
There are three main natural causes of alopecia- age, genetics, and disease. As men and women age they usually experience a thinning of the hair on their scalp. This thinning or hair loss is a natural reaction to the slowing down and breaking down of the systems of the body. Older hair follicles will produce less hair at a slower rate.
Genetics can also play a part in natural hair loss. Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is hereditary and causes hair thinning or loss at the crown or towards the front of the scalp. While this type of alopecia can be seen in both males and females it is more common in men. This type of hair loss is passed down through genetics from either side of the family.
Certain diseases or medical conditions can also lead to hair loss. This type of hair loss is a natural side effect of conditions such as high fever, thyroid disorders, certain skin conditions, and nutrition deficiencies. Medically induced hair loss is usually temporary in condition but can become permanent if the illness is prolonged or extremely severe.
Although most types of alopecia or hair loss can be explained by natural or unnatural causes, there are types that as of yet have no known cause. Alopecia areata- a type of patchy hair loss that affects children and young adults- and alopecia universalis- a condition that results in the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body- and to date cannot yet be explained.