Hair loss

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Hair loss can be permanent or temporary and affects most people at some stage of life, usually as they get older. When it occurs at a younger age or is severe, it is sometimes quite distressing.


  • Hair may fall out in larger than normal quantities, may generally become thinner, may fall out in patches, or may fall out altogether.
  • When it affects men, male pattern baldness tends to start at the temples and top of the head, and may eventually progress to complete baldness of the scalp.
  • Less frequently, women may also be affected by male pattern baldness, in which case it tends to cause hair thinning, rather than a completely bald scalp.
  • Alopecia areata is a condition characterised by circular patches of hair loss on the scalp or other parts of the body that may be up to 5 centimetres in diameter. In some cases the hair grows back over weeks or months, but in other people the hairless patches persist for longer.
  • Hair loss may cause some people to become very self-conscious, and can damage self-esteem , especially if it occurs early in life or is severe.
  • Some types of hair loss are permanent, while others are temporary.


Common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary factors, which are responsible for many cases of baldness (especially male pattern baldness, in which testosterone affects the hair follicles).
  • Hormone imbalance. For example, female pattern baldness involves various factors, including an excess of the male hormone testosterone, and consequently often develops after menopause. Other hormonal issues that may be involved in hair loss include thyroid hormone irregularities, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Immune system dysfunction. For example, alopecia areata is caused by an autoimmune disorder.
  • Chemotherapy, oral contraceptive pills, corticosteroids and some other medical treatments can the hair or cause to fall out.
  • Trauma to the hair, which may be caused by pulling on it (e.g. as a nervous or absent-minded habit), rubbing or scratching the scalp, vigorous brushing, wearing tight ponytails or buns, or curling the hair tightly in rollers. The use of harsh chemicals may have a similar effect.
  • Ringworm of the scalp may cause the hair to break close to the scalp in the affected area.
  • Poor nutritional status tends to lead to poor hair health, and may cause hair loss in some cases. Inadequate consumption of protein may be a factor, along with low levels of essential fatty acids, vitamin A, iron, zinc, and antioxidants.

Additionally, a certain degree of hair loss is one of the normal consequences of ageing. Temporary hair loss can also occur during pregnancy, or following surgery or a period of ill health.

Diet and lifestyle

  • Treat your hair gently, and avoid using hair dryers and straighteners, harsh chemicals (such as dyes), and heated rollers.
  • Eat a healthy well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and regular serves of protein and carbohydrates. Regular intake of the healthy oils that supply the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (for example nuts, seeds, and fish) are also important.
  • It may be reassuring to remember that many cases of hair loss are temporary.
  • Don’t wear your hair pulled back tightly, and avoid pulling at or twisting your hair.
  • Rosemary is traditionally regarded as a hair and scalp tonic that stimulates hair growth. 

Important notes

  • If you have excessive hair loss, consult your healthcare professional, who can determine whether it is cause for concern and investigate the reasons behind it. 
  • Prescription drugs are available that may promote hair growth on previously bald areas. Talk to your healthcare professional to determine whether they are suitable for you.

Get free personalised advice from our team of qualified naturopaths here

My so has suffered with this since birth, we have tried so many treatment, trying to regrow the hair, with he was able to do for about 3 years. He had it very long and it came out in patches. By the way he is 1/2 black/french and 1/2 Italian/Lebanese, we always thought it was the mixes of the races but my other two sons don’t have it. My youngest s had it for a short time then it went away, we have been attributing it to stress, which to us makes since. We spend over $3000 on removal by laser, my son came home crying after every treatment. He still as small patches here and there he shave and is able to wear a hat at his job as a lead brewing company. I wish he could he hair once again or be able to remove it completely. I will try some of your recommendations below thank you for the article!
Tahamedur 12 Jul 2018
Hi Helen, I’m Danielle, one of the Blackmores Naturopaths. I’m glad to hear that you are having success with this product. It sounds very interesting!
The reasons for hair loss could be different. But in most cases it is the result of some problems with health. Right nutrition is vital to support healthy hair and healthy body. In order to make sure I am providing all the necessary vitamins for my hair I am taking special nutritional supplement, which contains the unique combination of herbs and microelements. This supplement is HairGain Formula (90 capsules) by Military Grade. This product is the only nutraceutical which possesses prostaglandin D2 blocking properties. Awesome nutritional product which defends my hair from falling out and enhances healthy hair growth.
Anonymous 17 Nov 2014
Hi Dianne, There can be many causes for hair loss, which include genetic factors, nutrient deficiencies, fungal conditions, and immune and hormonal conditions. It is best to check with your healthcare professional for an individual assessment so that the appropriate advice can be given. Looking forward to hearing from you at our Naturopathic Advisory Service at or phone 1800 803 760 to speak to one of our naturopaths.
Cheers Jen (Blackmores Naturopath)
i need some advice i louse my hair on the front thank you for you help
Anonymous 12 Jul 2013
Hi Bianco. Chemically treating your hair (such as dyeing) may damage the hair; however it is unclear whether this would cause you to lose your hair. You may like to consider using a dye that has fewer chemicals- these can usually be found in your local health food store. Kind regards, Kate (Blackmores naturopath).
Kate- Blackmores naturopath
Kate- Blackmores naturopath 25 Feb 2013
I am using dye to blackened my hair. As we know it contains chemicals elements in it. Does this chemicals contribute my hai lost?
Thank you for your help.
Anonymous 25 Feb 2013
Hi Deb, Thanks for your post. The herbs withania and vitex , and nutrients of evening primrose oil, dietary fatty acids and a good multivitamin with vitamin B6 may help with your PMS. A wholefood healthy diet with adequate water, rest and exercise is very important also. There is also some information that may be of interest to you on our website in the following articles:
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome:
Natural Ways to beat PMT:
Hair Loss and nail deterioration can be due to various stressors, inadequate nutrients and also a possible link to genetics. Silica is a common nutrient is support hair and nail formation.
Nutrient rich foods important for healthy hair and nails include biotin- bean sprouts, soy beans, wholegrain cereals; B vitamins- legumes, whole grains, green vegetables; essential fatty acids- nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, oily fish, linseed oil, nuts, lentils and seeds; zinc- dairy products, eggs, whole wheat, pumpkin seeds; silica- oats, barley, vegetables. Adequate dietary protein is crucial to the health of all connective tissue. Deb, you may find it helpful to contact the Naturopathic Advisory Service so we can help you in more detail, on or by calling 1800 803 760 from Australia. All the best Gina (Blackmores naturopath)

Anonymous 06 Feb 2013