Why Am I Losing Hair? 8 Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women and Men


It’s true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women are. But in fact hair loss occurs in both sexes. If you shed hairs once in a while, that’s perfectly normal. Hair shedding is a necessary part of the hair growth cycle. But what if you start shedding unusually much and you lose more hair than you usually do?

Mariell Bråten

Digital Marketing Assistant, HairLust

Mariell has a Master in Marketing Management and spends every day at HairLust studying the latest trends in natural hair care. She cares deeply about the natural and organic values she shares with HairLust, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge about hair care with others every day. She has battled problems with sensitive skin and fragile hair her whole life, which has sparked her passion for helping and guiding others to great and healthy hair routines. Read more.

It’s normal to lose between 30 to 150 hairs each day. But if you’re losing more hair than that, you may have hair loss. There are many reasons for hair loss, and we’ll explore many of them in this post. So if you’re wondering, “Why am I losing hair?”, keep reading!

Understanding The 4 Stages of Hair Growth

Before we can answer the question “Why am I losing hair?”, we first need to talk about the hair growth cycle. All hair grows in a cycle of four phases that include:

  • The Anagen Phase, in which hair growth occurs.
  • The Catagen Phase, a transitional phase where the hair strand detaches from the blood supply in the hair follicle.
  • The Telogen Phase, where the hair rests while a new hair begins to grow in the follicle beneath it.
  • The Exogen Phase, in which the old hair sheds and a new hair takes its place.

The various hair loss causes disrupt the hair growth cycle. Most hair loss causes either shorten the anagen phase or disrupt the quality of hair growth, but some reasons for hair loss happen when more hairs than usual are shed at once.

Why Am I Losing Hair?

There are many causes of hair loss in men and women. Some – like vitamin deficiencies – are easily managed by making simple lifestyle changes like taking a hair growth supplement. Others – like androgenetic alopecia – are genetic in root and thus more difficult to treat.

Only a doctor can diagnose your reason for hair loss. So if you notice that your hair is thinning, make an appointment with your GP right away.

If you’re wondering “Why am I losing hair?”, keep reading to learn the most common causes of hair loss in men and women!

8 Common Causes of Hair Loss in Men and Women

1. You Inherited It

You Inherited It

If your mom or dad has experienced hair thinning, you’re more likely to experience it too. This type of hair loss – called androgenetic alopecia – is also known as male or female pattern baldness.

The reasons for this type of hair loss are complicated, but in a nutshell, androgenetic alopecia happens when the hair follicles are extra sensitive to a hormone called DHT. The hair follicles shrink, growing thinner and thinner hair until they stop growing hair altogether.

While there is no cure for androgenetic alopecia, certain medications and products may help to counteract the hair loss or make hair appear thicker and fuller. For example, mint oil has been shown to enhance hair growth without the side effects associated with medications like minoxidil and finasteride.

That’s why we included mint oil in our formulation for Scalp Follicle Treatment & Volumizer. This hair growth treatment fights against the various hair loss causes by encouraging hair growth from the scalp while also adding volume and body to hair at the roots. The result? Hair that looks thicker now, and is actually thicker later.

Hint: try our Scalp Massage Brush to enhance your results by improving blood circulation to the hair follicles!

2. You’re Experiencing Extreme Stress

You’re Experiencing Extreme Stress

Believe it or not, stress is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men and women. Extreme stress can lead to telogen effluvium, a condition where more hairs than usual enter the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. This can lead to hair falling out in clumps.

Some examples of extremely stressful situation that may lead to this reason for hair loss include:

  • Surgery
  • Rapid weight loss
  • High fever or other illness
  • Major psychological stress, like from a divorce or loss of job
  • An extreme change in diet

While telogen effluvium can be frightening, it is usually temporary and will resolve on its own once the stressor has been removed. Practicing stress-relieving techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and journaling can help to prevent or reduce telogen effluvium.

3. You Have an Autoimmune Condition

You Have an Autoimmune Condition

Some autoimmune conditions, particularly alopecia areata, can cause hair to fall out. It’s estimated that alopecia areata affects nearly 2% of the general population at some point during their lifetime.

4. You’re Overstyling Your Hair

You’re Overstyling Your Hair

Traction alopecia is defined as hair loss caused by too-tight hairstyles like braids or ponytails. This is one of the more common causes of hair loss in women, but men can also experience traction alopecia if they often wear their hair in braids. Keep your braids loose and use hair-friendly hair ties like our Hair Rings to prevent traction alopecia.

5. Your Diet Lacks Necessary Nutrients

Your Diet Lacks Necessary Nutrients

Your hair follicles need a certain mix of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy hair. And if you’re not eating all those nutrients, your hair growth may suffer. That’s one reason why Hair Growth Formula Gummies are so popular! They’re formulated with all the hair-loving nutrients your follicles need for healthy hair growth, including silica, biotin, folic acid, vitamin C, and zinc.

Hint: our Hair Growth Gummies also come in a formula just for men!

6. You’re Experiencing a Side Effect of Medication

You’re Experiencing a Side Effect of Medication

Another reason for hair loss could be the medications that you’re taking. If you suspect your medication is causing hair loss, speak to your GP about your options.

7. You’re Using the Wrong Products

You’re Using the Wrong Products

The shampoo and conditioner you choose – as well as how often you use them – can be another reason for hair loss in women and men.

First, make sure that you’re using a high-quality shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. We recommend Hair Growth & Repair Shampoo for women and Hair Growth & Repair Shampoo for Men. Thanks to the addition of vegan micro-proteins and natural moisturising ingredients like organic aloe leaf juice, these shampoos actually improve the condition of your hair as they cleanse.

Then make sure to always follow your shampoo with a conditioner! Shampoos and conditioners are usually formulated to work together with their partner shampoo, so we recommend using Hair Growth & Repair Conditioner. Using a conditioner works to strengthen the hair shaft, preventing breakage and split ends! This is especially important if you have longer hair!

8. You’re Not Washing Your Hair Enough

You’re Not Washing Your Hair Enough

Washing your hair too little is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men and women. When you wash your hair too little, dead skin, hair products, and sebum can build up on the scalp, clogging hair follicles and preventing hair growth. Besides hair loss, other symptoms of scalp build-up are dandruff and having an itching scalp.

To treat this hair loss cause, make sure that you wash and condition your hair two to three times per week. And give your hair growth a boost with Hair & Scalp Detox Scrub! This detoxifying scrub uses natural ingredients like rosemary leaf and blueberry extract to refresh and reinvigorate your scalp for healthier hair growth. Using this product once per week will help to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.

Remember, these are just some of the most common causes of hair loss. There are many more reasons for hair loss. Oftentimes, hair loss is the symptom of an underlying medical issue, which is why it’s so important to talk to your GP if you’re experiencing hair thinning.

What Causes Hair Loss in Men?

Are there any hair loss causes that are specific to men? By far, androgenetic alopecia AKA male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. According to this study, around 30-50% of men will experience hair loss by the time they’re 50 thanks to androgenetic alopecia. In men, this androgenetic hair loss typically appears as thinning at the crown and the temples. When left untreated, the hairline continues to recede until eventually only a horseshoe-shaped band of hair is left.

However, there are other causes of hair loss in men, which is why we have dedicated a full article for reasons for hair loss in men.

Reasons for Hair Loss in Women

If you’re a woman wondering, “Why am I losing hair?” you may be experiencing one of the reasons for hair thinning in women. Hair loss looks different in women than it does in men. Whereas men typically lose hair along the hairline or at the crown, women experience diffuse thinning all over their head. This diffuse thinning can show up as a widened part or a smaller ponytail.

Women can experience hair loss as a result of any of the common hair loss causes we mentioned above. However, there are few additional reasons for hair loss in women that are less common in men.

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Additional Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women:

What Causes Hair Loss in Women: Having a Baby

Many women experience excessive hair shedding after giving birth. This type of hair loss is telogen effluvium, and it happens thanks to changing hormone levels after giving birth. Luckily, the hair will usually regain its fullness within six months to a year.

What Causes Hair Loss in Women: Birth Control Pills

Whether you’ve recently started or stopped taking birth control pills, that change in hormonal levels can also be one of the reasons for hair loss in women.

What Causes Hair Loss in Women: Thyroid Issues

Women are five to eight times more likely than men to experience thyroid problems. One of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease is hair loss.

What Causes Hair Loss in Women: Menopause

Going through “The Change” is another one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. During menopause, hormone levels change drastically, which can trigger hair loss.

(Read more about the link between menopause and hair loss.)

What Causes Hair Loss in Women: Hair Damage

Damaged hair is brittle and prone to breakage, which can look a whole lot like thinning hair. Hair loss causes of this type include bleaching, colouring, and chemical treatments like perms and relaxers.

To treat this reason for hair loss in women, use a protein-rich deep conditioning treatment like Protein Reconstructor Hair Mask. This strengthening hair mask is formulated with vegan micro-proteins that work to repair damaged hair strands for stronger, healthier hair that resists breakage.

Hint: only a qualified GP can diagnose you with one of the causes of hair loss for women. Since hair loss can be a symptom of an underlying health issue, it’s important to seek the help of a medical professional.

(Read more about female hair thinning in this article where we share 8 common triggers of loss in women.)

We hope this post helped to answer the question “Why am I losing hair?” for you! Though there are many different causes of hair loss, taking care of your hair and using products formulated specifically for thinning hair can help your hair to look thicker and healthier.

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