Hair loss due to medications

Hair loss can be a side effect of many different medications. Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer are known to cause total hair loss as they work to destroy cancer cells. Blood-thinning medications, oral contraceptives, drugs for depression, NSAIDs, and beta and calcium channel blockers can all lead to thinning hair or baldness. Too much vitamin A and vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids can cause hair loss as well. The hair cycle should regulate once you stop taking these medications.

Different types of Alopecia

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia may cause hair loss as thinning hair, hair loss in patches on the scalp, over the entire scalp, or all over the body. Alopecia can also be permanent or temporary. Alopecia is generally diagnosed by a dermatologist, who can help you understand your treatment options depending on your condition.

Thyroid Problems

Thyroid conditions can cause hormonal imbalances that result in hair loss. Hormones help to regulate nearly every function in the body, including the hair cycle.

Autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss

Alopecia areata, diabetes and lupus are autoimmune diseases that can result in hair loss. This type of hair loss may not always be reversible — it may sometimes be permanent. But medications and hair restoration options may help compensate for any hair loss.

Physical Trauma

When your body is under serious physical stress, the natural cycle of hair growth can be disrupted, resulting in hair loss. Any shock to the system, such as being in a severe accident, undergoing surgery, experiencing burns, or becoming very ill, can also shock the hair follicles. In these cases, people might not experience hair loss immediately, but months after the trauma.

Thinning Hair following Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes within the body, which affect the hair cycle. It takes time after pregnancy for hormone levels to return to normal, so it's not at all uncommon for post-partum moms to notice thinning hair or even patches of baldness. This often occurs about three months after giving birth. This is most often a temporary condition, and as the body recovers from these changes, the hair will also normalize.

Emotional Stress and Your Hair

Significant emotional stress can also disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth. You might be dealing with a life-altering event, like a divorce or break-up, bankruptcy or other financial problems. Significant emotional stressors can cause temporary hair loss, but once stress is brought under control, normal hair growth is usually restored.


Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder that is characterized by the urge to pull hair. People who have trich will pull hair out of the scalp, brows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body. This can lead to significant bald patches in the area a person is pulling hair. Trich is often managed by a health care professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

To learn more about trichotillomania, visit

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