There are many possible causes of hair loss, however most hair loss is normal and part of each individual’s genetic makeup. We hope the following information will help you better understand your hair loss and options for treatment.
Normal Hair Loss
We all lose hair everyday. Hair grows for a period of time, usually 2 to 6 years, and then the follicles shed the hair and go into a rest stage for approximately 3 months, then a new hair growth cycle begins. It is normal to lose between 50 to 150 hairs per day from normal shedding.
Pattern Hair Loss
Androgenetic alopecia is the scientific name for the genetic predisposition in both men and women for pattern baldness. Pattern hair loss in men is often referred to as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). Androgenetic alopecia is the cause of over 95% of all pattern hair loss, including baldness in men and thinning hair in women. Pattern hair loss occurs in somewhat predictable stages, and is relentlessly progressive. Usually the earlier in life pattern hair loss begins the more advanced the pattern will ultimately become. Studies have shown that pattern loss is increasingly evident and advanced as people age.
In MPB, the hairs on the top of the scalp have a genetic sensitivity to the male hormone testosterone (DHT). The hairs on the sides and back of the scalp do not possess this genetic trait so are unaffected. For this reason, hairs removed from the sides and the back (Donor Hair) will maintain their genetic predisposition when transplanted and continue to grow when moved to the top of the scalp where hair loss occurred.
Alopecia areata is an immune system disorder which causes hair follicles to stop producing hairs. Sudden loss of hair from small patches on the head is a common symptom. Advanced forms of the disorder include alopecia totalis, where all hair on the head is lost, and alopecia universalis, which results in the absence of all body hair.
Traction alopecia is the loss of hair from constant pulling, often the result of tightly braided hairstyles and hair weaves.
Delayed Loss from Stress
Telogen effluvium is a slowing of new hair growth resulting from sudden and severe stress, followed by a delayed shedding of hair. Sudden and severe stress induces a high proportion of follicles to enter the resting stage, and a few months after the stressful event, all of the resting follicles begin to shed hairs at about the same time.
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