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
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.