Hair fall is a common problem faced by both men and women. It can be very distressing for those suffering from it. It also varies in severity from being mild to moderate to severe. To understand the causes of hair fall, it’s important to first know the biology of hair and the hair cycle.

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Though protein is a major constituent of the hair shaft, healthy hair growth also requires other nutrients and minerals for its growth. Some of these are sulphur, iron, zinc etc. The hair grows from the hair roots embedded in the scalp. Thus, a healthy and nourished scalp is of utmost importance for the growth of healthy hair. The hair growth cycle has different phases. The growth phase is called anagen. The shedding phase is called telogen, while the resting phase is called catagen. Every hair on the body goes through these phases. The length of the individual phase differs among the different hair from different areas such as scalp, eyebrows and body hair. An understanding of the growth phases of the hair helps us to know why we shed a few hairs daily.


  1. STRESS:
    Stress either in physical or emotional form can be a major reason for hair fall. Sudden stressful events at work, personal life, major surgery, illness, trauma etc can cause hairfall. Stress causes the hair cycle to abruptly shift to telogen (shedding phase).
  2. Nutritional deficiency:
    Since normal hair growth requires proteins and other nutrients, the role of a healthy balanced diet cannot be overlooked when discussing hair loss. Due to the poor lifestyle and eating habits, in today’s world, nutrient deficiency contributes as a major cause of hair fall both in children and adults. Common tests that your doctor may advise you to undergo for nutrient deficiency includes vitamin B12, D3, iron levels etc.
  3. Post pregnancy hair loss:
    This Is the most commonly noted cause in females. Major cause of this is hormonal changes that occur in the body following childbirth. The hair fall is sudden in onset and is often massive. It however settles on its own following normalization of the hormonal profile. This may take 6-8 months. It is important to maintain optimal nutrition during this time to nourish the hair roots.
  4. Medications:
    Many medications such as those for acne, depression, anxiety, seizures etc can cause hair fall as a common side effect. The hair fall however is completely reversible following the stoppage of medications.
  5. Hormonal
    Hormonal causes constitute the major common cause of hair fall. Polycystic ovaries, thyroid problems, hyperandrogenism etc contribute to hair loss. It causes hair thinning along with active loss. It is thus important that one undergoes through laboratory examination to identify any such causes.

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