This is a very common question. Many people wonder, "Why am I losing hair when I have no family history of hair loss." Many factors can accelerate hair loss, but only a few are actually the root cause.
Andro-genetic-alopecia, male or female pattern loss, is the primary reason for human hair loss of the scalp. If you are losing hair in a genetic pattern, refer to the Norwood scale, you have genetic baldness. This condition does not come exclusively from any one side of the family. The old wives tale of inheriting hair loss from your mother’s father is false. Pattern hair loss can skip a generation and in some cases many generations. Women can inherit it from their fathers and men from their mothers.
Stress and medications can aggravate and accelerate pattern hair loss. People feel that stress may be the root cause, but in most circumstances, it simply speeds pattern hair loss. Lipitor is one drug that seems to have a dramatic hair loss accelerating effect. Hair loss is not one of the core side effects but in my experience it can seriously exacerbate pattern loss.
Telogen Effluviumis is the most common stress-related root cause of hair loss. Telogen Effluvium usually occurs 3-4 months after a stressful event (car accident, divorce, surgery, etc.). Stress is determined by the individual, not by the situation. What is stressful to some is not to others. You may have just had a tough month at work and that was enough to trigger an effluvium.
Telogen Effluvium causes rapid shedding of hair through the vertex (middle) of the scalp from the frontal hairline to the nape of the neck. People who are experiencing this may lose as much as 30% of their hair in 3-6 months. If you are exclusively experiencing Telogen Effluvium, your hair will completely grow back in nine months to one year. If you have any pattern hair loss in your family, the hair loss from the Effluvium shed will not grow back. The hair loss will simply slow down or stop completely. Telogen Effluvium complicated by pattern hair loss must be treated for your hair to grow to back naturally.