I am 32, and have noticed minor hair shedding for approximately 6 months. By minor, I mean 5-6 hairs when I shampoo and maybe the same when I comb my hair. I know that losing 50-100 hairs a day or so is normal. Initially, this didn’t concern me.

However, a few days ago I noticed a slight bald spot developing at the crown of my head. At least, I  think I am. Maybe I’m paranoid?   My question is, if hair loss is caused by non-genetic reasons (stress, protein & iron deficiencies, thyroid disorder, etc.) can it show at the crown of the head? Or is that a certain sign it’s genetic? I am skeptical that it is genetic, simply because baldness is no where to be found on either side of my parents, dating back a couple generations.   However, thyroid disorders are very prominent. I plan to get tested for any such disorder.

Also, I have been under tremendous stress for a few years due to an ugly divorce and being a single, full-time parent of 2 kids. The stress got so bad that starting a few months ago, I began going to the gym 3 days a week, which has helped.

I may not be getting enough protein or iron, so I may be tested for those deficiencies as well. I have also been taking a vitamin powder 5 days a week that is very heavy in Vitamin A (300%) which I read can lead to hair loss.

So again, wondering if the thinning hair in the crown is a strong indicator of something permanent, or if temporary hair loss can show there as well.

It  sounds like you are well researched about what causes  hair loss.   As you know, the most common type is androgenic alopecia (androgenetic) or more commonly referred to as female or male pattern baldness.   Those who suffer from genetic related thinning typically follow a specific pattern like that of the norwood scale  or the ludwig scale.   A bald spot in the crown may be a good indication that you are losing hair for genetic reasons but isn’t necessarily the case.  

As you mentioned, there are factors other than genetic ones that can cause you to lose hair, but is typically characterized differently.  

Regular and even excessive every day stress won’t cause this, but traumatic stress might.   Typically this is temporary and when things settle down, hair growth continues as normal.   In your case, if stress is causing your problem, now that it is settling down, I suspect your hair will start to return to normal.   Thyroid disorder, iron deficiency, hormonal change in the body, scalp dermatitis or psoriasis, certain medication, malnutrition are typical causes of diffuse alopecia, a hair loss condition characterized by thinning hair all over the scalp or affected areas.  

Patchy loss of hair can be an indication of alopecia areata, a condition typically caused by an abnormality in the immune system.   This typically impacts one side of the scalp more than the other and in many cases, the hair will regrow on its own.   In your case, this does not sound like what you are experiencing.

It’s possible that you may just be paranoid, but if you are balding in the crown, there is a good chance that your hair loss is hereditary.

Bill
Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
View my Hair Loss Weblog

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