Friday, July 19, 2013

What Causes Men's Hair Loss

Every person loses an average of 50 to 100 hairs each day. This is quite normal, as around 90 % of hair's 'life' consists of a growth phase, with the remaining 10% being the shedding phase. Significant changes altering hair's normal cycle of growth or affecting/ permanently damaging hair follicles can result in higher losses. Depending on the causes, this excessive loss may be temporary or permanent. Here are some of the most common causes of hair loss in men.

Genetic Predisposition - In 95% of cases, hair loss is simply down to genetic predisposition. If your father, grandfather, mother or grandmother, for example, lost all of his/ her hair, you will have a tendency to do the same. While balding can skip a generation or two, and not all siblings may be affected, the tendency is there and may be passed on to future generations. Typically, genetically predisposed men have a sensitivity to androgens (a type of hormones), especially dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes men's hair follicles to reduce in size. DHT is a variation of testosterone and is produced in increased amounts in individuals that have a genetic predisposition for baldness.

Age - This comes to us all, and as far as hair is concerned, loss is simply down to the fact that hair follicles become less effective and new growth slows down. Here, too, the effect of DHT is frequently at last partially responsible for making follicles less effective.

Stress - Anxiety and stress can also lead to hair loss, especially if following illnesses, surgery, and so on. This kind of hair loss may be temporary, but for some men, especially if they are of advancing age and losing their hair anyway, it may become permanent. Permanent hair loss may also be the result if this type of stress is combined with a genetic predisposition for hair loss.

Trauma - Typically not as common in men, trauma to the hair may include excessive bleaching, colouring or tight hair styles, as well as excessively forceful combing/ brushing can lead to breakage and damage resulting in hair loss. Wearing ponytails too tightly (and/ or fastened with a rubber band) can also lead to this sort of damage and resulting hair loss. Ceasing to wear ponytails too tightly or exposing the hair to other damaging effects like the ones mentioned above often aids in recovery and new growth. If the damage was too severe, however, the loss may be permanent.

Illnesses/ Drugs - Some illnesses, like some autoimmune diseases, lichen planus or discoid lupus, for example may cause hair loss, as can some drugs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy also quite regularly result in hair loss. Under most circumstances, once illnesses are treated or detrimental treatments are stopped, the hair loss will cease and new growth will appear eventually.

Male Pattern Baldness - By far the most common cause of hair loss in men, often beginning at an age of around 22 to 25 and affecting all races, is male pattern baldness. Typically starting at the temples and crown, the rate, shape, extent and pattern of this type of hair loss is determined by each individual's genetic make-up.