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Hair Loss Facts
It may seem that hair loss is becoming more of a problem. This observation is not unfounded. As the US population ages, more men and women are forced to come to grips with the possibility of serious hair loss.
- According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair loss is a growing problem affecting some 30 million women and 40 million men in the United States. What's more, some forms of hair loss are occurring at earlier ages, and the numbers of other types of hair loss are increasing.
- 40% of women have visible hair loss by the time they are age 40, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
- Female pattern hair loss can begin anytime after the onset of puberty. In general, woman start noticing signs of hair loss later in life, as hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or diffused and not noticed for a few years. This suggests that identifying and addressing hair thinning and loss sooner may extend the life of youthful hair.
- More than 25% of men begin balding by age 30 and 75% age 60.
8 Major Causes of Hair Loss
Researchers have identified eight main reasons you might experience hair loss:
- Genetic Predisposition: a genetic predisposition of hormonal balances and imbalances, along with conversation of testosterone into DHT, are the leading causes of hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, genetic predisposition to hair loss can be inherited from either your mother's or your father's side of the family.
- Aging: the natural aging process can play a role in follicle deterioration and hair loss.
- Stress + Trauma: stress is a common cause of telogen secretion. Extreme stress triggers physiological effects that cause more hairs than normal to retreat into the telogen stage, where they will be shed within 1-3 months. Stress or trauma can also constrict the blood supply to the capillaries, causing a lack of oxygen and nutrient uptake, as well as poor vitamin and nutrient assimilation of the hair follicles.
- Nutrition + diet: poor nutrition, rapid weight loss, a high consumption of animal fats, and deficiencies in biotin, iron, protein and zinc can reduce the vital amino acid and vitamin assimilation needed for hair growth.
- Health: Thyroid diseases, as well as the side effects of the medications used to treat these diseases, are the most common health related causes of hair loss.
- Life changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to temporary hair loss that can last from six months up to a year after childbirth. Menopausal woman can also experience hair loss due to hormonal shifts.
- Medications: Birth control, steriods, chemotherapy, in addition to many blood pressure, diabetic, heart disease, and acne medications, can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
- Environment: environmental pollutants in the air and water, as well as exposure to chlorine, metals and minerals, can lead to hormonal imbalances that can contribute to hair loss. Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays and free radicals can also prematurely age the scalp cells and damage the hair shaft.
Hair Loss and Women
The structure of men's and women's hair is basically the same. Compared to men, fewer women are affected with hair thinning and loss; however, many women experience and are highly concerned with hair loss. Hair loss can greatly damage a woman's self-esteem and quality of life.
- The most common cause of female pattern hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, which is hormonal balances.
While a single major cause of female hair loss has not been identified, many factors contributing to hair loss and thinning hair in women have been discovered: hormonal balances (female androgenetic alopecia), disruptions in eating habits or dieting, aging, heredity, and hairstyles such as a tight braids.
Female-pattern hair loss can develop any time after the onset of puberty. As a woman ages, hair loss generally becomes more apparent around 40. Hair thinning in women usually leaves the hairline unaffected, instead causing gradual thinning and a decrease of hair diameter and the number of hairs throughout. Nevertheless, it has been shown that many women do develop pattern balding in much the same manner as men.
Hair Loss and Men
It is well understood that hair thinning and loss in men is mainly caused by androgens. The individual strands of hair become markedly thinner than that of men with a full head of hair. There is a much higher percentage of thin, wispy hair, or vellus hair; however, the total number of hairs often remains the same, ranging from 150-300 strands per square centimeter. This makes it difficult to prove a statistical difference in hair density between balding and non-balding men.
Research has shown that men with progressively thinning hair experience a shorter hair growth cycle, which leads to immature hair and the miniaturization of the hair follicle. In finding a solution to male balding, it is more important to help immature hairs become thick and full while also stimulating new hair growth.
There are three categories of male pattern baldness. The categories are based on appearance of hair:
- O type: thinning hair around parietal crown.
- M type: m-shaped taller forehead due to recession of frontal hairline.
- MO type: advanced status of baldness due to a combination of M and O types.