The reasons for hair loss or alopecia include health problems, nutritional deficiencies, psychological disturbances, stress, traction (pulling), drug use, chemotherapy, fungal infection and genetic sensitivity to androgens (male hormones). Male hormones are produced by both men and women, so androgenic alopecia can occur in both sexes.
Health problems that can cause alopecia include hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland needs to be in good health in order for the body to produce new hairs.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, anxiety, depression, weakness, intolerance to heat and irritability. Those of hypothyroidism include poor muscle tone, fatigue, depression, brittle fingernails, dry skin, weight gain, constipation and intolerance to cold. If you think that you may be suffering from either condition, see your doctor. A simple laboratory test will confirm or refute your suspicions. Syphilis and lupus are other health problems that can cause alopecia.
Although it is not a cause of alopecia, per se, male and female pattern baldness is known to accompany type II diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. It is still assumed that the male hormones are the reasons for hair loss, in this case, but it is believed that inflammation and other hormones play a role, too.
Iron deficiency will cause alopecia, but low intake of other nutrients can contribute to the problem. Some of the nutrients that may be beneficial for regrowth include vitamin B6, biotin and magnesium. Men should also consider taking a zinc supplement. Women should take PABA.
If the alopecia is caused by a fungal infection, there will be other symptoms, such as severe itching and patchy, not pattern baldness. Fungal infections are rarely the reasons for hair loss in adults.