Hair Loss

Male and Female

Hair Loss – Male / Female

A certain amount of hair loss is part of the normal rejuvenation process of the hair, with old hairs falling and being replaced by new ones.

The scalp contains on average, 100 000 hairs. More than 90% of these hairs are actively growing. These hairs are anchored deeply and cannot be pulled out easily. Hair is constantly cycling and regenerating on the scalp. Each hair shaft may stay growing on the scalp for 3-7 years before falling out and being replaced by a new hair. When the hair stops growing there is a 2 week breaking down phase for which the trigger is unknown. Following the breakdown of the hair root, there is a resting phase that lasts 3 months. At this time the hair is located higher in the skin and can be pulled out relatively easily. Normally the scalp loses approximately 100 resting hairs per day.

In most cases hair loss is usually loss of hair density on the top of the head and through the front, but the hairline remains the same. It is more common with increasing age and thought to be related to hormones, and referred to as androgenic alopecia. However, the role of androgens (male hormones) is not fully established. Scalp hair loss is common in women with excess male hormones but many women with female pattern hair loss have no other clinical or biochemical evidence of androgen excess. Female pattern hair loss is probably due to multiple factors, some of which do not relate to hormones. The distress and lifestyle change caused by hair loss does not necessarily correlate with the objective degree of hair loss.

Hair loss is typically categorized as scarring or non scarring.

The most common forms of nonscarring alopecias are androgenic alopecia, telogen effluvium (bulk hair loss due to some event), and alopecia areata (circles of hair loss). Other disorders include trichotillomania (psychiatric hair pulling disorder), traction alopecia (constant pulling on the hair by hair accessories), tinea capitis (fungal), and hair shaft abnormalities. Scarring alopecia is caused by trauma, infections, discoid lupus erythematosus, or lichen planus (dermatoses).

The person’s medication use, systemic illnesses, hormonal abnormalities (especially ovarian and adrenal and thyroid), hair-care practices, and family history are all relevant.

There are several treatment options that may help to stimulate and encourage hair growth. If hair loss occurs as a result of an underlying condition or disease, such as an autoimmune problem, nutritional deficiency or endocrine abnormality, then the condition needs to be treated first.

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