What causes complete hair loss on scalp and body and what should I do?

Symptom Database

Complete hair loss on the scalp and body, also known as alopecia, can be a distressing condition for both men and women. It can have a significant impact on self-esteem and confidence. Understanding the causes of hair loss and knowing what steps to take can help individuals navigate this challenging experience. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to complete hair loss and discuss potential treatments, remedies, and prevention strategies.

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss can occur due to a variety of reasons. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment approach. Here are some common causes of complete hair loss:


Genetic factors play a significant role in hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is the most common form of genetic hair loss. It is characterized by a gradual thinning of hair on the scalp, eventually leading to complete hair loss in some cases. While genetic hair loss cannot be completely cured, various treatments can slow down its progression and promote hair regrowth.

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders, such as alopecia areata, can cause complete hair loss on the scalp and body. In these conditions, the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Alopecia areata often presents as round patches of hair loss but can progress to complete baldness. Treatment options for autoimmune-related hair loss include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and topical medications.

Medical Conditions and Treatments

Underlying medical conditions and certain treatments can also contribute to hair loss. Conditions like thyroid disorders, scalp infections, and hormonal imbalances can disrupt the hair growth cycle and result in complete hair loss. Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, commonly used in cancer treatment, can cause temporary or permanent hair loss. Managing the underlying medical condition and exploring alternative treatment options can help mitigate hair loss.

Treatment Options for Hair Loss

While complete hair loss can be challenging to treat, several options can help promote hair regrowth and manage the condition. Here are some common treatment approaches:


Medications such as minoxidil and finasteride are commonly used to treat hair loss. Minoxidil, available as a topical solution, stimulates hair growth and can be used by both men and women. Finasteride, on the other hand, is an oral medication that is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness. It works by reducing the production of a hormone that contributes to hair loss. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any medication.

Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves moving hair follicles from one part of the body to the balding areas. This procedure is commonly used to treat male pattern baldness and can also be effective for other types of hair loss. It provides a long-term solution and can significantly improve the appearance of the scalp.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments, such as corticosteroid creams and ointments, can be used to manage hair loss caused by autoimmune disorders. These medications help reduce inflammation and suppress the immune response, allowing hair regrowth. Additionally, topical immunotherapy, which involves applying a chemical to the scalp to provoke an allergic reaction, can stimulate hair regrowth in some cases of alopecia areata.

Home Remedies and Prevention Strategies

In addition to medical treatments, there are several home remedies and prevention strategies that individuals can incorporate into their routine to promote hair health and prevent further hair loss. Here are some tips:

Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins is essential for healthy hair growth. Include foods like leafy greens, eggs, fish, and nuts in your diet to provide the necessary nutrients for hair health.

Gentle Hair Care

Avoid harsh hair treatments, excessive heat styling, and tight hairstyles that can damage the hair follicles. Use gentle shampoos and conditioners suitable for your hair type and avoid over-washing.

Stress Management

Stress can contribute to hair loss, so it is important to find healthy ways to manage stress levels. Engage in activities like exercise, meditation, or hobbies that help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.

Scalp Massage

Regular scalp massages can stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and promote hair growth. Use gentle circular motions with your fingertips to massage the scalp for a few minutes each day.

Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact hair health. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can improve overall health and potentially slow down hair loss.


Complete hair loss on the scalp and body can be a challenging condition to navigate. Understanding the underlying causes and exploring appropriate treatment options is crucial in managing the condition. Whether it is genetic, autoimmune-related, or a result of medical conditions or treatments, there are various treatments, remedies, and prevention strategies available. Consulting with a healthcare professional and adopting a holistic approach to hair care can help individuals regain confidence and promote healthy hair growth.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment