Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Hair Disorders

There are many causes of hair loss, each resulting in a different pattern and causing different symptoms. Causes may include:

  • Aging
  • Heredity (family history of baldness)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Severe illness
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Infections, such as ringworm
  • Medications, including anabolic steroids and birth control pills
  • Chemotherapy
  • Burns and trauma
  • Eating disorder or other nutritional deficiency
  • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
  • Tight hairstyles
  • Shock
  • Stress

Diagnosing hair disorders

Diagnosing your hair loss begins with a physical examination of your scalp and a complete medical history, including family history of hair loss, diet, hairstyles and medications. Tests may include:

  • Hair analysis: This test checks for dietary deficiencies or chemical imbalances.
  • Scalp biopsy: A small sample of the skin on your scalp can be tested for underlying autoimmune disease or infections.
  • Blood test: A sample of your blood will be analyzed in a lab for thyroid disease, hormonal imbalances and other causes of hair loss.

Diagnostic Tests