Hair Loss

Our doctors can treat hair loss. Book your appointment now and speak with a doctor in minutes.

Alternatively you can refer yourself to a specialist Doctor without seeing a GP first.

Written by Medical Professional

Can be Treated Online

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Why hair falls out

It’s normal for some hair to fall out and on average we lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day which are usually replaced with new hairs. 

As we age, this regrowth can slow, causing our hair to become thinner. 

The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss, also known as male or female pattern baldness. This condition runs in families and is usually permanent. 

Other causes of hair loss include: 

  • illness
  • stress 
  • weight loss
  • iron deficiency
  • cancer treatment

Make an appointment with a doctor if: 

  • your hair is falling out in clumps
  • you have sudden hair loss
  • you develop bald patches
  • your scalp itches or burns 
  • you are worried about your hair loss

Why am I losing so much hair?

There are many causes of abnormal hair loss including medical conditions, stress, damage to your hair or scalp, and nutritional deficiencies.

 Some common causes of hair loss include: 

  • alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out in small patches. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be treated with steroids or medications that suppress the immune system.
  • illness, stress, or childbirth can trigger an increase in hair loss up to a few months after the event. It normally stops when the source of the stress is resolved, but takes time for the hair to regrow. 
  • hair damage caused by bleaching, perming, or relaxing can lead to hair loss. If there is damage to a hair follicle, it can result in permanent hair loss. 
  • hairstyles, where the hair is pulled tightly off the face, can lead to traction alopecia, a type of permanent hair loss
  • hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can lead to thinning hair or hair loss
  • cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may lead to partial or total hair loss. Hair normally grows back when the treatment is stopped. 
  • some medications like blood thinners, anti-depressants, and hormonal medications can cause hair loss as a side effect
  • scalp infections cause scaling and inflammation of the scalp and may lead to bald patches
  • psoriasis is a skin condition that causes raised, inflamed, scaly patches of skin that may be itchy and painful. It commonly affects the scalp which can cause hair loss
  • scarring alopecia is a condition where inflammation of the scalp destroys hair follicles making them unable to grow hair 
  • trichotillomania is a condition where people pull at their hair. It is often an unconscious habit to relieve stress. If the hair follicles are not destroyed, the hair will grow back when the habit stops. 
  • sexually transmitted infections like syphilis and HIV can cause hair loss. Hair normally grows back when the infection is treated
  • thyroid disease can cause thinning hair or hair loss. It normally resolves when the thyroid problem is treated. 
  • lack of vitamins and minerals like biotin, iron, and zinc, or too little protein in your diet can cause hair loss
  • friction alopecia occurs when clothing such as boots or socks repeatedly rub against an area of skin causing permanent hair loss
  • poisons like thallium, mercury, lithium, and arsenic can cause hair loss if ingested slowly over time. Taking large amounts of warfarin, selenium, and vitamin A is also toxic to the body and can cause hair loss.

How to stop hair loss

Treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. Most hair loss is temporary and resolves when you treat the underlying cause. No treatment for hair loss is 100% effective, and in some cases, hair loss may be permanent. 

Treatments for hair loss

  • finasteride and minoxidil —these are the most common treatments for male pattern baldness. They work well when used together. Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. 
  • steroid injections and creams —are injected or applied to the scalp
  • contact immunotherapy —a medication is painted onto the scalp to treat alopecia areata 
  • ultraviolet light treatment —an ultraviolet light is shone onto bald patches to stimulate hair follicles
  • tattooing —can be used to give the appearance of short hair or eyebrows
  • scalp reduction therapy —sections of the scalp that have hair are stretched and stitched together
  • hair transplant —surgery to implant your own hair from other parts of your head, or artificial hairs



If hair loss treatment hasn’t worked, and you are unhappy or self-conscious about your hair loss, a wig can be a great choice. Wigs can be made from real or artificial hair and vary a lot in price and quality. 


Many people find losing their hair emotionally upsetting. If you are finding it hard to cope with hair loss, ask your GP to refer you for counselling, find a private therapist, or join a support group for help.

Get help from an online doctor

An online doctor can help with hair loss by asking about your symptoms, suggesting probable causes, and recommending further tests or treatments. They can also provide emotional support and advice on coping with hair loss. 

It’s easy to book an appointment with an NHS-trained GP at Medicspot. Simply click the link and select an appointment at a time and day that suits you. Appointments are often available the same day. 

Your consultation will be held via video link from your phone wherever you are.

Get help from a pharmacist

A pharmacist can ask you about your symptoms, examine your hair, and recommend over-the-counter treatments such as vitamin supplements or shampoos. They can also advise you on when you should see a GP. 


Losing your hair can be an emotionally distressing experience, but in many cases, treatments are available. If you are experiencing hair loss and would like to talk to a doctor, make an appointment today


NHS: Hair loss February 4th 2021 (Accessed November 5th 2022) 

American Academy of Dermatology Association: HAIR LOSS: WHO GETS AND CAUSES (Accessed November 5th 2022) 

Australian Journal of General Practice: Female pattern hair loss July 2018 (Accessed November 5th 2022) 

The Lancet: The new regenerative and innovative strategies in hair loss June 28th 2021 (Accessed November 5th 2022) 

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