What causes us to lose our hair? Is it because of genetics? Maybe we wear hats too much? Perhaps our mother's brother was bald? Though many have speculated on this topic, the reason for hair loss is actually a lot simpler than you may think
In the past few years, dermatologists have seen an increasing number of adults coming in for consultations because of hair loss. In most of these cases, examination of the scalp and a careful history, seeking the common diseases that cause hair loss, do not show any abnormality. Most hair loss patients loose their hair for one of the following reasons:

1. An alteration in the rate of hair production as controlled by the natural cycle that the scalp follows in growing hair.

2. An increased hair fall related to an improper grooming technique, which causes excessive pulling, or traction of the hair.

3. A hereditary natural decrease in the amount of hair a person is to have with aging and hormonal changes.

Dermatologists believe that these types of hair loss were always around but that the increasing emphasis on cosmetic appearance in our society makes people more aware of hair loss. The availability of dermatologic consultation and the educational emphasis on medical examination and treatment for all diseases is bringing more patients with alopecia to dermatologists.

How Human Hair Grows: The Hair Cycle
Hair Loss Due to Effects of Hair Cycle

Many circumstances affect the hair cycle so that at a given time more than 5% of the hairs are available to fall out. The patient must tolerate these conditions until natural factors correct the hair cycle or stabilize it at a new percentage. Factors such as heredity, age, hormones, and shocks to the system such as fever, infection, pregnancy, and medications such as birth control pills, all affect this system.

Pregnancy and birth control pills act in a similar way to keep a large number of hairs, through hormonal support, in a growth phase for a long period of time. When the pregnancy ends or the pills are stopped or the body escapes from the effect of the pill on the hair cycle, a large number of hairs which should have fallen out a long time ago are now going to fall out over a short period of time until the hair cycle recovers This condition will last a short period of time until the hair cycle "normalizes". This condition will last up until all of the hairs are lost that must fall - about six months. Treatments here are of no value since the body will correct the condition itself.

Grooming Techniques and Hair Loss

Tight roller curlers, tightly braided hair styles and teasing are a frequent cause of hair loss as a result of constant low grade traction or pulling on the hair. This removes the 5% of the hairs destined to fall at a faster rate and may even remove some of the older resting hairs. Where this is the condition, the recommendation will be to stop this grooming style completely and try a different hairstyle that does not require this. In all cases of hair loss, this should be avoided in order to hold in the hairs you have for as long as possible.

Male pattern Baldness/ Female pattern Baldness

Common "male pattern" baldness results from the combination of adequate androgen (gonad derived hormone) levels and the appropriate genetic background. The term androgenetic alopecia is appropriate and makes reference to both requisite factors: androgens and a genetic predisposition. This affects both men and women process but the patterns of hair loss are quite distinct. In males hair loss usually occurs in the front temporal and vertex (top) areas. In females, it tends to be more diffuse and generalized.

Androgenetic alopecia results from transformation of terminal hair follicles into vellus-like (immature) follicles, which then become atrophic and waste away. The progression is gradual and the process may even become noticeable after puberty in either sex.

Topical treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine) have been shown to slow the progression of hair loss as well as cause hair regrowth. The mechanism is not completely understood but may be related to the effect of minoxidil directly stimulating the hair follicles. Recently, oral therapy with finasteride (Propecia) has been shown to be effective at halting hair loss and causing hair regrowth. The mechanism of this medication is directly related to the inhibition of production of androgens and thus diminishes stimulation of transformation of terminalhair follicles to vellus hair follicles
REDUCE HAIR LOSS REDUCE HAIR LOSS Reviewed by traveller on 11:17:00 PM Rating: 5

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