top of page
poisonfree logo

The Truth About What causes Alopecia (Hair Loss) Part 2


This is one of the most common questions that doctors get, but is the hardest questions to answer. We have some ideas, but the short answer is, no one really knows. While there is much argument and debate, here is a summary of the possible causes.


Alopecia Areata can affect men and women of any age. In around half of the people, it can start in childhood. About 1 in 1,000 people have a form of Alopecia Areata, independent of ethnicity. Alopecia Areata can run in the family. Not everyone in the family may have the condition, and it can skip generations. Some times a grandparent, aunt/uncle, or twins had Alopecia Areata.

The immune system:

A lot of research shows that certain immune cells, called ‘T’ cells collect around Alopecia Areata affected hair follicles and can enter the follicle and interfere with the cell making Keratine, the protein the hair shaft is made of. This is why the nails can be affected, because they are make of Keratine as well.


Stress is added as something separate because there is lot of research published on how stress plays a part in the development of Alopecia Areata. For some people it’s very real that stress was the cause of their Alopecia Areata. Some people can recall a severe shock or a extremely stressful event that happened just before their Alopecia Areata developed. Some people said they were experiencing chronic stress for a long time before their Alopecia Areata developed. Stress causes the pituitary gland to tell the adrenal glands to start secreting stress hormones such as Cortisol. Cortisol tells the body to prepare for a fight or flight response. Cortisol has a huge effect on immune cells as well as hair follicles and other tissues. Also, skin and hair follicles themselves can make stress hormones. So there can be chemicals in the skin and hair that can stimulate an immune response.


Reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play a HUGE roll in Alopecia. These hormones alone preform over 400 functions, each, in the body. One of those is maintaining the integrity of the vascular system. These hormones begin to decline at the end of puberty, and they decline, the vascular system begins to atrophy (shrink) inward. The scalp is very thin and each hair follicle has only one, tiny, capillary (hair thin blood vessel) going to it. So as that capillary shrinks away from the follicle it cuts off oxygen and nutrition to it and causes the ‘anchorage’ of the hair to become weak. Then when you wash or comb it, the hair simply detaches from the follicle. If it does grow back it’s usually finer and at some point doesn’t even grow back.

Vitamin deficiencies: There are many underlying causes for hair loss, or lack of hair growth, including not eating enough protein, as well as common health issues like thyroid disease and hormonal deficiencies, but hair growth supplements cannot address these issues.

Yes, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are one of the causes of hair loss, probably the most common deficiencies that contributes to hair loss are zinc and iron. But there are many other vitamins involved in hair growth including B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin D. I’m not going to include biotin in this list because, although a biotin 'deficiency' is known to cause hair loss, I can find no studies that prove biotin ‘supplementation’ (without a deficiency) improves hair growth or regrowth. While it's good to make sure you don't have a Biotin deficiency, taking it in excess to try and grow your hair is just a waste of money.


Allergies can involve; foods, sneezing from pollen or dust, asthma after exposure to an allergen, and dermatitis when something causes redness, itching and scaling. These are environmental triggers that cause your immune system to over react and produce histamine and other chemicals. This over reaction can be very severe and even life threatening.

Histamine has a very broad effect and stimulate many other immune cells. It might be that it causes the activation of the ‘T’ cells that then can target the hair follicles.

Drugs: Prescription drugs can also trigger excessive and sudden shedding. Drugs can be the culprit for a condition known as drug-induced Alopecia (hair loss), which leads to increased shedding on top of the scalp a few months after exposure. There are a variety of medications that can cause Alopecia, such as the ones in the list below. Anti-depressants are a biggie, and since millions of people are taking them, it’s no wonder so may people are experiencing Alopecia.

Antianxiety drugs Anticoagulants


Antimicrobial tuberculosis drugs

Arthritis, inflammation drugs Beta-blockers

Bipolar medications

Blood pressure meds Blood thinners

Cholesterol-lowering meds

Epilepsy and anticonvulsant meds Mood stabilizers Non-bioidentical hormone replacement therapies Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories


Severe acne and psoriasis meds Steroids like hydrocortisone Thyroid meds

Other: Virus has been found in a few people with , diet, an animal study suggested soy oil could be a cause, chemicals, studies have shown that exposure to certain toxic chemicals may be a cause, and, bacteria in the intestines and on the skin may also have an affect. From research, it seems that the bacteria we have in our intestines can affect our immune responses. Certain bacteria in the gut can increase our immune cell activity creating a greater chance of developing an autoimmune disease. It could be that increasing our beneficial intestinal and/or skin bacteria might help to prevent or reverse Alopecia Areata.

Emotional or physiological stress may result in an alteration of the normal hair cycle and cause the Alopecia Areata, with potential causes including eating disorders, crash diets, pregnancy and childbirth, chronic illness, major surgery, anemia, severe emotional disorders, hypothyroidism, street drugs and low vitamin D levels may also play a role in the normal hair cycle.

Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic tests, which may be performed to verify the diagnosis, include a trichogram, trichoscopy and biopsy. Effluvium can present with similar appearance to alopecia totalis, with further distinction by clinical course, microscopic examination of plucked follicles, or biopsy of the scalp.


Most Alopecia can be fixed with lifestyle changes, such as diet (food, vitamins, minerals). But stress related Alopecia is more difficult because the stress can often be coming from job or family related issues. The only way to fix stress induced Alopecia is to fix the stress (get a different job), and if there’s some stressful situation at home, either fix it or get out of it. Genetic Alopecia is the most difficult but fixing it should not be ruled out. Autoimmune Alopecia can be helped with compounds that reprogram the hair follicle to restart growth. Drug induced Alopecia can only be fixed by stopping the drugs, both pharmaceutical and/or street. Some of these fixes will take some time but all can be achieved.

The worlds adoration for pharmaceutical drugs is off the charts! People don’t have pharmaceutical drug deficiencies, they have nutritional, vitamin, mineral, and mainly, hormonal deficiencies. But because it’s not in the financial interest of Big Pharma or the American Medical Association to educate people about what’s ‘causing’ their ‘symptoms’, this information is purposely no longer taught in school. In fact, it’s illegal to tell someone that vitamin C, D, and Zinc, can prevent and shorten colds and the flu. It’s illegal to tell people they can heal themselves with plants. I haven't been to a doctor more than 5 times in the last 55 years. I fix all my problem with food, vitamins, minerals and plants. I don’t run to a doctor every time I get a sniffle, doctors don’t practice medicine any more like they did when I was young, now you tell them your symptoms and they check their computer to see what drug they should prescribe to supress them. Then those drugs create symptoms that they will prescribe even more drugs for.

My father was on 25 different medications when he died, and he didn’t need most of them. But the medical industry has set themselves up as THE authority on the human body, so all the world thinks that’s who to go to if something is not right with their body, instead of doing some research and finding out what’s actually ‘causing’ their problem and fixing that cause themselves.

This is the end of Part 2 of this report. If you're experiencing hair loss of any kind I hope this information has shed some light into its cause.

Thank you for your time, Sindi Holmlund


bottom of page