First – just because we see hair falling out it doesn´t mean we are losing hair. It´s normal to shed hair every day. As the hair goes through a natural hair growth cycle. The trick is this hair is replaced naturally. So we maintain the same number of hairs on our head daily.
The problem is when we start to see an increase in hair shedding. The hair is not replaced at the same speed. Then the number of hairs on our head starts to reduce and over time. If this continues we will start to notice thinning. Also a recession in the hairline.
There are many forms of hair loss that can affect men and women. It´s important to have a consultation to diagnose the correct hair loss cause. Especially before starting any treatment programme.
Hair loss treatment option will vary from topical and oral treatments. Suitable for men or women. Also, laser therapy can be used as a home treatment. Permanent solutions for the correct candidate can be surgical hair replacement. Using FUT or FUE hair transplant techniques. If this is not for you then there is also the non-surgical scalp pigmentation treatment. Sometimes known as a scalp tattoo.
But first, a few hair loss causes…
Starting with the most common form of hair loss to affect men and women. male/female pattern genetic hair loss. If you have hair loss in your family, regardless of which side. There is a chance you will also suffer hair loss.
Genetic hair loss is more common for men. With around 80% of all men suffering substantial hair loss over their lifetime. The pattern of genetic hair loss starts traditionally from the hairline. That recedes and the crown can also open to expose the scalp. The stages of hair loss range from 2 to 7. They are categorised on the Norwood Scale for men. The Ludwig Scale for women. Androgenetic alopecia, or female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), causes thinning on all areas of the scalp. Including the widening of the parting. This leads to increased diffuse hair shedding or a reduction in hair volume. It’s the most common form of hair loss, affecting 40% of women by age 50.
Read more: about hair loss and hair restoration
Alopecia areata can be unsightly and hard to explain. Why hair loss appears in a random pattern of small, often circular patches. The patches can spread to other areas of the body. Also connect with adjacent patches to increase the area of hair loss.
The hair loss condition is not fully understood. But considered that the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Shutting down the growth phase resulting in hair loss. This hair loss condition can be progressive. But not in the same pattern as genetic hair loss. It can result in total hair loss, called alopecia universalis. With regrowth less likely to occur the longer the hair loss condition continues.
Research continues as currently there is no known cure to help this hair loss condition. Although many treatments suggest they can have a positive effect over time. Especially when treatment starts in the early stages of alopecia areata.
Age and a maturing hairline
The first signs of our hair changing does not always mean male pattern hair loss has just started. Even into a man´s mid-twenties, it´s very possible to see signs of hair quality and a slight change to the hairline shape that is natural maturing of the hairline. A maturing hairline is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about, especially not to rush into a surgical hair replacement treatment. Female hair changes can also occur with age, this can result in thinning hair, a reduction of sheen and lustre, hair loss and greying.
MPB is caused by an active enzyme, 5-Alpha-reductase fusing with the male hormone, testosterone, and forming DHT, dihydrotestosterone. DHT is a waste product that as no known positive use to the body; but it does trigger the male pattern baldness gene that causes hair loss.
The use of steroids themselves does not necessarily cause hair loss, but if you are prone to the MPB gene using testosterone enhancing drugs can accelerate the hair loss process.
Increasing the levels of DHT if you carry the male pattern baldness gene can either trigger hair loss if has not already; the shedding cycle increases with more hair falling on a day to day basis, and less hair regrows.
The hair loss cause known as telogen effluvium occurs to many men and women over their lifetime. It can be due to experiencing a highly stressful event such as a physical injury or severe anxiety can cause shock to the hair. The shedding of hair can increase so the hair follicles are shedding hair faster than the hairs can regrow. This can manifest in seeing more hair falling on the pillow or when you wash and brush your hair. This can be helped by trying to balance your mental and physical health with by involving yourself in regular exercise and relaxation techniques like meditation.
It is known that some medications, prescribed or otherwise can cause hair loss in users by interfering with the hair growth cycle of the follicles.
The hair loss condition telogen effluvium can be triggered by anti-coagulants, blood thinners that help to combat blood clots. Other medications that can cause hair loss are blood pressure drugs like beta-blockers, gout medications like Allopurinol and exceptionally large doses of Vitamin A can also cause your hair to fall out.
Overstyling and traction
Put too much pressure on your hair and over time it will become weaker and finer before the hair follicle will stop regrowing any more hair. Damaged can be caused by chemical treatments such as hot-oil treatments and chemical relaxers, perms and dyes. Traction alopecia is caused by hairstyles that pull your hair tight, also braids, pony-tails, and weaves, put the hair under constant strain. Trichotillomania is a disorder that causes people to compulsively pull out their hair from their scalp, eyebrows or other areas of their bodies. It occurs more frequently in women, and it’s estimated that 1-2% of adults and adolescents suffer from it.