Hair loss, which can be caused by a number of genetic or environmental factors, refers to hair follicles that have died and may not regrow without treatment. When loss of hair is a cosmetic concern, this tends to refer to loss of hair on the head, but hair may be lost anywhere on the body and could be indicative of a more serious health condition.
The Loss of Hair
Most people shed between 50 and 100 hairs from their head a day, but since hair regrows, the loss is not noticed. Hair loss can refer to an excessive amount of hair falling out (more than one hundred hairs a day) and/or to hair no longer growing back because the hair follicles have shrunken and/or died.
Potential Hair Loss Causes
Clumps of hair falling out are usually indicative of a medical problem, a reaction to an allergen or a fungal infection. Hair that falls out at a usual rate but does not grow back may be indicative of a natural genetic tendency for balding, but may also be a symptom of insufficient vitamins or some medical condition.
If you notice hair loss, you should make an appointment with a physician or dermatologist to rule out serious medical conditions and to start treatment if need be. If your doctor determines that the loss is natural, you can see a cosmetic specialist about treatment.