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Kiwi Hair Studio - Hair Loss Facts

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Facts, Myths and Causes of Hair Loss

 

The most common form of hair loss, Androgentic Alopecia, or pattern baldness, is experienced by 50- 75% of Caucasian men. The number of Chinese males affected are half of the Caucasian counterparts while African Americans have a lower incidence of the condition as well. With women androgenetic alopecia occurs between 20-38% of the general female population. It is safe to say that pattern baldness is experienced by the norm of the population, so you are not the only one suffering of this condition.

 

Androgenic alopecia develops when the hair follicle (the place under the skin where hair grows from) reduces in size, as well as a time reduction in the active growth phase. this translates into a simple fact: more and more of the hair follicles will spend time in the resting state where hair is shed once the state is completed. Fortunately, androgenic alopecia does not develop in all hair follicles at the same time. This is why different parts of the scalp seem to be losing more hair than the other parts.

 

What causes androgenic alopecia? As boys grow up, their hair follicles are exposed to androgen (any hormone that controls the appearance and development of masculine characteristics) that their body has synthesized. Once hair follicles are exposed to androgen, they become "androgen sensitive" and androgenenitic alopceia can develop latter in time. Stopping the hair follicles from interacting with androgens seems to prohibit any chance of androgenetic alopecia development.

 

To explain in more detail there are two types of androgen that need to be considered: testosterone and DHT (dihydrotestosterone). An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone to DHT. Once DHT is formed, it has the ability to bind to any androgen receptor in hair follicles. This binding reduces follicle activity, shrinks the hair follicle which slows the cycle of hair growth, reduces the diameter of the hair shaft and over times hair growth ceases.

 

For females, the mechanism of the condition is similar to that of the males. the source of the androgen is the combined activity of the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Hair loss in women can many times be directly related to pregnancy or menopause and their effects.

 

Some people seem to have more extensive hair loss than others? Recent research suggest that the answer has something to do with the differences in the concentration of 5-alpha-reductase in skin and hair follicles of people who have androgenetic alopecia. It is possible that some people just produce more of this enzyme, which in turn converts more testosterone to DHT, which will result in greater hair loss. Also, some people just develop greater sensitivity of androgen receptors in their hair follicles. This means that a certain concentration in others with less sensitive androgen receptors in the follicles.

 

Myths About Hair Loss

  • Here is a list of common myths that you do not need to believe regarding hair loss:
  • Permanent hair loss is caused by perms, colors, and other chemical treatment
  • Shaving your head will cause hair to grow back thicker.
  • Dandruff causes permanent hair loss
  • Stress causes permanent hair loss.
  • Hair loss does not occur in the late teens.
  • hair loss affects only intellectuals
  • Smoking causes hair loss (research on this topic is only preliminary and does not give a supported explanation of why smoking might promote hair loss)
  • Standing on your head will stimulate hair growth
  • Androgenetic alopecia is inherited from mom (in other words, you can inherit the gene for baldness from mom or dad)

 

Some other causes of hair loss

  • Physical stress - surgery, major illness, rapid weight change
  • Emotional stress - mental illness, death of a loved one, job layoff
  • Medications - high dose of Vitamin A, blood pressure medications, gout medications
  • Hormonal changes - pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause
  • Chemotherapy

 

Physical and emotional stress might cause hair loss since body is recuperating from an overwhelming turmoil and simply shuts down hair production, thinking that it is not necessary for the body's survival, thereby contributing all energy toward repairing vital body parts. there can be up to three months delay between the major incidence and the actual hair loss. Moreover, there is also period of three months before the loss hair is replaced. This then means there is a total of a minimal of 6 moths for the total hair loss and regrowth cycle. Of course there are things that might contribute to hair loss such as anemia, low blood count, and thyroid abnormalities.

 

Chemotherapy agents are basically poisonous chemicals administered to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, they kill more than just cancer cells: they hurt healthy cells as well, including hair cells. Usually the patient loses a huge amount of hair during treatment and there is no hair growth stimulant, shampoo or conditioners that can reverse this effect. the good news is that once chemotherapy is completed, hair usually grows back. Adequate hair growth may take anywhere from 6-12 months.

 

More Hair Loss Facts:

Mens hair loss

Womens hair loss

What are the symptoms of hair loss

Facts and myths of hair loss

Hair replacement systems

Surgical vs non-surgical