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What Are The Common Hair Loss Causes?
One of the most worrying aspects of hair loss treatment is the tendency of so many people to seek solutions without first determining what has caused their loss in the first place.
At best, sufferers may waste money on inappropriate 'wonder cures' or even legitimate treatments that unfortunately are not suitable for their particular needs. At worst, some people may be risking their health by self-prescribing powerful pharmaceutical drugs. I don't have a problem with hair loss sufferers saving money by purchasing cheap generic drugs on the internet, but I feel strongly that they should at least seek confirmation from their physician that a given drug matches their individual needs.
Before examining the most common causes of premature hair loss we need to understand that some shedding of hair is perfectly normal. Hairs grow from follicles that are tiny organs in the skin designed to grow a single hair that follows this repetitive cycle:
1. Lengthy growth period (Anagen Stage) - this phase usually lasts between two and seven years with an average growth rate of six inches (15cm) each year.
2. Short transition period (Catagen Stage) - this period of transition lasts for roughly two to four weeks. During this phase the hair shaft becomes detached and moves upwards within the follicle.
3. Resting period (Telogen Stage) - this phase lasts about three months allowing the hair to detach itself prior to falling out.
At this point a new hair begins to grow thus repeating the normal cycle of hair growth. Unfortunately a number of factors can interfere with the natural hair growth process leading to forms of hair thinning or premature baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss, probably accounting for as much as 95% of pattern hair loss for both men and women. It is usually associated with aging and develops in predictable stages over varying periods of time. Each follicle follows a genetically programmed growth cycle with some follicles coded to remain active for a shorter time than others. This results in the development of the hereditary baldness patterns that are so familiar to us all.
For this type of baldness to occur, the following factors must be present:
1. A genetic predisposition for hair loss to occur (as explained above).
2. The presence of male hormones.
3. Aging - in other words, enough time for the first two factors to exert an influence.
All men and women produce male hormones such as testosterone and DHT. These have a useful role to play in both sexes but obviously occur in widely differing concentrations. It is the higher levels of androgens found in males that explains why this form of hair loss affects men more than women.
In brief, these hormones affect the hair growth cycle as follows:
1. High levels of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme occur in some cells of the hair follicle and sebaceous glands.
2. 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT.
3. DHT causes the terminal hairs to miniaturize.
4. This leaves short, soft, fluffy vellus hairs that provide inadequate scalp coverage.
5. The growth phases gradually become shorter until these hairs are lost for good.
Alopecia areata is thought to be an immune system disorder that causes follicles to stop producing hairs in patches on the head. In severe cases it can advance to the stage where all hair on the head is lost (alopecia totalis) or even a complete absence of body hair results (alopecia universalis).
In most cases the hair will reappear on its own but until then, the condition can be very distressing to sufferers particularly as its cause can be difficult to determine. If you feel you may be suffering from this form of hair loss, seek the advice of your physician who will carry out a physical examination and conduct blood tests to help determine the cause.
Telogen effluvium is characterized by a general thinning or shedding of hair over a period of months and is most commonly found in people who have recently experienced trauma. Common causes include childbirth, major surgery, severe illness, psychological stress and chemotherapy. The good news is that the abnormal growth behavior associated with telogen effluvium is temporary and reversible.
There are numerous other less common hair loss causes that need to be discounted before a course of treatment is chosen. Traction alopecia is the loss of hair from constant pulling, usually as the result of hair styling. Broken hairs can result in thinning, often caused by excessive styling or exposure to chemicals and sun. Finally, severe illnesses or nutritional deficiencies can cause side effects that may include degrees of hair loss.
I hope this brief article has gotten across the message that diagnosing the real causes of hair loss is not always a straightforward process. Once you and your physician have identified a cause, then you can work towards restoring your hair to its former glory. And the good news is, most forms of hair loss can be treated successfully. The next article in this series will look at some of the best hair loss treatments currently available.
Richard Mitchell is the creator of the www.myhairlossadvisor.com website that provides information and guidance to those suffering from premature hair loss.
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Develop A Strategy For Dealing With Premature Hair Loss
The fact you are reading this probably indicates you have concerns about the rate of your hair loss. Baldness may sometimes be a source of amusement to those with a full head of hair, but premature hair loss at any age can be the cause of intense concern to those affected.
Six Causes of Hair Loss In Women
Six Causes of Hair Loss In Women are:#1. Hair loss in women is often connected to pregnancy.
Dont Lose Hair Because Of Poor Grooming
One of the most common reasons why men and women lose their hair is due to poor cosmetic grooming. The unfortunate thing about this is the fact it is so preventable.
Body Hair Removal: Solutions for Today
As we as a race become increasingly conscious of the way others look at us and not just the way, we look at ourselves, personal grooming has never been more important. And top of the list for many men and women today is to gain a superior attractive quality by getting rid of unwanted body hair.
Use A Home Remedy As A Hair Loss Cure
Although most doctors will tell you there is no such thing as a hair loss cure, there are many products on the market proposing that they can cure your hairloss problem. One of these is Rogaine, a topical treatment that you have to apply to the scalp twice a day.
Alopecia Areata and Hair loss: What Does Aloe Vera Have to Do with It
A disease of unknown cause in which well-defined bald patches occur, usually on the head and other hairy parts of the body. The condition typically clears without treatment; recurrences are common.
The Main Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
When you think of hair loss it's natural to assume that it's a condition that predominantly affects men. Some experts however suggest that as many as one in four women will experience hair loss at some time in their lives.
Finding Information On Different Hair Growth Systems
Many people who experience balding or thinning hair often search in vain for the perfect hair growth systems that will restore their full head of hair. While there are hair growth systems available that will encourage some hair growth on bald spots, don't you think that if the perfect system existed, you would have heard about it before now?A condition known as alopecia affects young people and results in total hair loss on the entire body.
The Cause of Hair Loss
Normally, about 10 percent of the hair on your head is resting (not growing). After a few months, the resting hair falls out and new hair begins to grow in its place.
Diet, Nutrition and Hair Loss
One key factor in maintaining a growing protein on a part of one's biological body is obvious: one must maintain a healthy diet. Although certain factors have been definitely identified as contributors to hair loss, we must keep in mind that hair is part of the complete biological system of the human body.
What Is The Role Of Minoxidil (Rogaine) In Treating Hair Loss Conditions?
Minoxidil is one of only two FDA-approved treatments for hair loss and is the only anti-baldness drug approved for women. Originally introduced as a medicine to treat high blood pressure, it was noticed that users began to grow extra hair.
Hair Loss: An Overview
Hair, though often overlooked, plays an important role in our lives. Upon meeting someone, one of the first things you notice is their hair.
Hair Loss Remedies - How Do You Choose?
Hair Loss Remedies are big business, especially on the internet. However not all hair loss remedies are equal, and before you decide that it's time to tackle your hair loss problem, you might like to think a little more about whether you need to seek out a hairloss remedy, and if so how.
Laser Hair Removal New York
One thing is very obvious. You wouldn't be reading this page if you did not want to benefit from the knowledge of permanent hair removal solutions for getting rid of unwanted hair.
The Truth About Hair Loss
It is normal to shed hair every day and the truth is we loose between 100-125 hairs on any given day. Hair that is shed falls out at the end of growth cycle.
Permanent Hair Removal - A Growing Problem
The nature of hair is to grow. That's why laser clinics and other so called "permanent" hair removal methods cannot and will not guarantee permanent hair removal results.
Hair Loss Prevention- Why Do Castrated Men Never Go Bald?
Note-This content only presents overviews of hair loss prevention research for educational purposes and does not replace medical advice from a professional physician.The best start to preventing hair loss is understanding the basics of hair: what it is, how it grows, what system malfunctions can cause it to stop growing.
Why Don't We Hear So Much About Female Baldness?
Female baldness is not as common as male baldness, which is probably why we don't hear as much about it. Women are more self-conscious about baldness when it occurs and tend to suffer a lot more psychologically because of it than men do.
Hair Loss In Women - The Role of DHT & Sebum
Hair Loss In Women - The Role of DHT & Sebum - According to some estimates, Hair loss in women affects one in four women in the U.S.
Hair Loss: Know The Cause, Know The Cure
Don't you envy those young men in the streets with full heads of hair? Hair has always been considered a man's crowning glory, while hair loss has been regarded as signs of ageing and unattractiveness.So, losing hair has always been a problem for many men.