Hair Loss Advice

What causes baldness?

By Alex

Baldness is a common type of hair loss that develops in most men at some stage of their life. Typically the hair begins to thin or recede at the sides and on the top of the head.

Generally a bald patch will develop in the middle of the scalp, and the reducing sides will both enlarge and join together, leaving a patch at the front.

Over time this patch will eventually thin as well. A rim of hair is often left around the back and sides of the scalp, and this will in some men also thin, leaving you completely bald.

Causes of baldness

Hair is made in hair follicles that lie under the skins surface. A hair will usually grow from each follicle for about three to five years, the older hair is then shed and a new hair will start to grow. The cycle of hair growth and shedding continues through life.

The following factors tend to affect men as they gradually become bald. The hair follicles gradually become smaller as the follicles shrink and the hair becomes thinner than the previous one. Before falling out, each new hair grows for less time than the normal three years.

Hair loss and baldness can have a number of causes, all of which will differ with each person. Listed below are the main causes of baldness.

Hormones

Male hormones are involved in causing hair loss. The level of the male hormone testosterone is normal in men with baldness. However, cells in the scalp convert testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone.

Affected hair follicles become sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, this causes the follicles to shrink, as only some follicles are effected this causes gradual thinning leading to balding.

Genetics

Hair loss is a hereditary condition, and is a common cause of male-pattern baldness. Hereditary genetics also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair and the rate at which you lose your hair.

Age

As we age hair loss can become a natural process, hairs can begin to shrink in both length and diameter. This causes hairs to shed and actual follicular units to decrease in numbers. The process is called miniaturization.

Stress

Stress can cause hair loss, however this hair loss is not permanent. There are different types of hair loss that are related to stress, the most common of these being telogen effluvium. The hair stops growing during telogen effluvium and lies dormant, with the hairs then falling out 2 or 3 months later. Within 6 to 9 months the hair begins to grow back.

Alopecia Areata is another cause of hair loss, this occurs when white blood cells attach to hair follicles. It leads to fast hair loss and often occurs in patches and within weeks the whole scalp can lose hair. In most cases the hair does grow back, although sometimes treatment is required.

If you are suffering with hair loss, we may be able to help provide you with treatment or medication to help with this problem.

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