In another DermTV episode I discussed how it’s perfectly normal to lose 100 hairs a day, to grow 100 hairs a day, and that this results in no balding and no change in the density of hair on your scalp. But what happens if you’re losing more hairs each day than you’re growing? Then you have “real” hair loss and in that case, you need to see a dermatologist to have the diagnosis made so you can be treated. But the good news is, most cases of hair loss can be treated and you can get your full head of hair restored. Today, I’d like to discuss the three most common cause of diffuse hair loss in women in their 20’s and 30’s. In another episode I’ll discuss hair loss from sex hormones and also from side effects from medications. And when I say diffuse hair loss, I mean a general thinning throughout the scalp, not a bald patch in one place. So the first most common cause is an abnormal thyroid. The thyroid can be overactive or underactive, but it’s easily diagnosed with a simple blood test and easily fixed and your hair re-grows. The second most common cause? Iron deficiency - anemia - usually caused by excessive menstrual flow, but even in women with normal menstrual flow, it can occur in when they don’t eat enough meat, chicken, fish and certain fruits and vegetables which are the highest source of iron. It’s easily diagnosed with a blood test and easily fixed with iron supplements. The third cause has to do with extreme shock to the system and when that happens, it’s very scary because you can lose up to 50% of your scalp hair in 3 months. This usually occurs when there’s an extreme stress on the system. That stress can be physical, it can be emotional. Physical stresses are high fevers, temperatures of over 105 or 106, general anesthesia, childbirth, a serious automobile accident, and emotional stress could be the death of a loved one. In all of these cases, the hair cycle becomes more synchronic, that means instead of 90% of the hairs growing at one time, 95 or 98% grow at the same time which means more of them enter the resting phase at the same time so there’s much more fallout synchronously and that’s why you lose so much in such a short period of time. The good news is, 3 to 6 months later all of those follicles wake up, all of your hair re-grows and you get a full head of hair and your happy ever after.