The Main Cause of Hair Loss in Men and Women

One of the most distressing forms of scalp disorders is alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. The symptoms of this genetically predetermined disorder include physical changes in the hair, including loss of normal vigour and elasticity. Eventually, the hair can become thin and brittle and begin to fall out. While this type of baldness is referred to as male pattern baldness, it can occur in either sex. With females, however, the hairline becomes sparse, but does not recede.

For some people, thinning hair or even balding can begin to appear during puberty. It is caused by a change in the hormonal balance, with the main culprit being an overabundance of androgen. Heredity is the predominant factor in male pattern baldness as it determines which “target follicles” will be susceptible to these powerful androgens. Hair loss in women generally occurs after menopause, reflecting decreased levels in estrogen, and thus comparatively higher levels of androgens in the system

Contributing Factors Causing Hair Loss
There are a number of contributing factors causing hair loss which, if treated, are reversible:

  • Nutritional Imbalance. A vitamin and protein deficient diet provides inadequate nutrients for the scalp, thus affecting hair growth. For example, crash diets often cause excessive hair loss.
  • Stress. Excessive anxiety, a sudden shock or physical stress from surgery or chemotherapy may also cause hair loss. You could include, in this category, a lengthy or severe illness. In the case of a lengthy illness, the general condition of the hair may indicate your overall poor state of health. However, when your health is restored, the hair normally grows back on its own - without any special treatment.
  • Impaired Scalp Circulation. If the scalp is very tight, blood circulation to the follicles is reduced and the hair “starves.” There are several factors which contribute to making a scalp tight. They include changes in climate, medication, discontinuing birth control pills, and postpartum hormonal imbalances.
  • Externally Caused Damage. Washing your hair with a shampoo that is too strong can gradually strip it of its natural oils and lead to hair loss. In some cases, hair preparations and shampoos can also cause allergic reactions.

Normal Hair Loss & the Beginning Stages of Balding

Most people lose an average of 40 to 70 hairs per day. For the most part, we are unaware that we are losing those hairs. If your hair is healthy and heredity is on your side, those hairs will be replaced and the hair loss will not be noticeable.

The first warning signs of baldness appear when excessive amounts of hair fall out when you brush your hair. You may also find a lot of hairs on your pillow, or even some thinning on the temple or on the crown of your head. More advanced signs of creeping baldness is a definite recession of the hairline. Even if your genes have predetermined that you will ultimately lose your hair, there still are several steps you can take to slow this process down.

The Difference Between Hair Loss and Hair Breakage

One point to note here is the difference between hair loss and hair breakage. Hair that is falling out will have a little white bulb on the end. This white bulb is not the hair root – you can’t lose the root. Rather, it is a part of the hair nearest to the root. Since the active hair root doesn’t come out with the hair, there is always the possibility for new growth.

On the other hand, if the fallen hair does not have a white bulb at the end of it, then the hair is broken. This can be caused by the misuse of blow dryers, perms or chemical processes. Specific treatment shampoos and conditioners can be used to correct this problem.


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