How Does Hair Loss Happen?

As all hairs are shed at the end of their growth cycle, some degree of hair loss is accepted as normal in every individual. During the resting stage of the hair growth cycle the hair relaxes its hold on the hair root and the bulb of the hair shaft moves closer to the surface of the skin.

Over time, usual hair movements, shampooing and brushing causes the hair root to loosen further. Eventually, the hair is shed. The shedding of around 50 to 150 hairs per day by this way is normal.

Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head.

Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp.

Find Out About Hair

Many people are unaware of the complex nature of hair, from the different types of hair to its structure and growth cycle. Vellus hairs, Terminal hairs, and Intermediate hairs, the detailed and structured make up of hair follicles and the hair shaft within the skin (epidermis) as well as the cycle of growth of hair, its growing stage, intermediate and finally resting or shedding stage can all be read about in this section.

This section describes the three main types of hairs i.e. Vellus hairs, Terminal hairs, and Intermediate hairs, the detailed and structured make up of hair follicles and the hair shaft within the skin (epidermis) as well as the cycle of growth of hair, its growing stage, intermediate and finally resting or shedding stage.

Male hair loss

In general, male pattern baldness is separated into three categories;

  1. Male pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia
  2. Non-pattern baldness
  3. Telogen effluvium

Male pattern baldness

98% of men are affected by this type of hair loss in their lifetime. This usually begins with a receding hairline and can result in severe hair loss.

Read more about male pattern baldness →

Non-pattern baldness

Non-pattern baldness is an umbrella term that is used for many different kinds of hair loss. It can relate to any random and rare hair loss experienced through any other method, such as scarring alopecia and compulsive hair pulling (also known as trichotillomania).

Read more about non-pattern baldness →

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is hair loss that is usually caused by the likes of medication, diet patterns, stress, and thyroid abnormalities.

Read more about telogen effluvium →

At the Harley Street Hair Clinic we understand how detrimental hair loss can be to a woman’s confidence. However before beginning the journey of regaining this self-confidence, one of the most important things you need to determine is what type of hair loss you are experiencing.

There are generally three types of women hair loss. These are summed up via the three following categories – androgenetic alopecia, Telogen effluvium, and non-pattern hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women, and the pattern of hair loss in this case, is less predictable in women than it is men. Telogen effluvium can arise from many causes, including medication use, dietary tendencies, and stress. Then there are all of the other rarer types of hair loss, which fall into the ‘non pattern hair loss category’.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

In some cases, there may be an underlying cause of hair loss that is untreated. In women, there are a few health problems that can be the root cause of hair loss.

Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the biggest stresses that a woman can put her body through. During this time, hormone levels are completely different to normal, causing many changes in the body – and your hair is not immune from these effects.

During pregnancy, there is an increased level of the hormone Oestrogen. Oestrogen causes your hair to remain in the growing stage of the hair growth cycle, as well as stimulating hair to grow if it’s not already. While you are pregnant, you should expect to have a full, luscious head of hair.

Once you have given birth, however, things are different. As your hormones return to their normal levels, this can cause a massive shock to the body, and your hair

This means that all the oestrogen that kept your hair from falling out is now gone, so the hair starts to shed. This can be distressing, because as much as 60% of the hair can enter the resting stage at once, causing a lot of hair to suddenly fall out.

However, the hair will start to grow again. Hair loss caused by pregnancy is essentially a specialised form of Telogen Effluvium.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – or PCOS – is thought to affect as many as one in five women in the UK, according to the NHS.

As PCOS is a hormonal disorder – specifically affecting your endocrine levels – it causes hormonal imbalances. Many women who suffer with PCOS have increased levels of androgens; testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is this increased amount of DHT that causes hair loss in women who have PCOS.

When found in high amounts, androgens – specifically DHT – latch onto hair follicles and start to affect the hair, eventually causing hair loss. DHT then clogs the hair follicle, causing it to be unable to create new hair. This is essentially another form of androgenetic alopecia.

Menopause

Menopause has a myriad of effects on your body and hair, all caused by the decreasing levels of oestrogen. Along with the hot flushes, mood changes and sudden increase in facial hair – you can expect your hair to thin, your hairline to recede and an increased amount of hair loss.

The cause of this is the reduced oestrogen levels. As oestrogen keeps your hair in the growing phase, the reduced levels cause the hair’s growth cycle to shorten and hair sheds before it reaches the length it used to be able to reach.

Anaemia

Anaemia is a blood disorder caused by a lack of iron. Iron is an incredibly important nutrient for your hair.

Anaemia is typically caused by a lack of iron-rich food in your diet, or if your cells are not absorbing the iron properly.

If you noticed that you have thinning hair, it can be worth checking with your GP first to see if you are anaemic to some degree. Iron levels can be corrected with a form of iron supplement and changes in diet.

Iron is important for hair as it contains ferritin, a stored iron that helps to produce hair cell proteins. The correct ferritin levels also maximise your hair’s anagen (growing) phase, as well as encouraging hair to grow to the correct length.

Other causes of hair loss

In order to discover more about the type of hair loss you may be experiencing and the solutions at your disposal, you should book a consultation and visit us at the clinic for a detailed assessment.

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If you would like any more information about hair loss please feel free to contact us and book a free no obligation consultation.