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Hair Loss Information

Hair loss is a natural condition connected with age and genetics that is suffered by millions of men and women all over the world. Male pattern baldness is the cause of around 95% of cases of men suffering from hair loss. Male pattern baldness is also known as androgenetic alopecia and is caused by genetics and hormones. The consequences of these causes and others can be removed by transplanting one's own hair.

The Norwood scale of male pattern baldness is shown here:

Scientists came to understand the cause of genetic hair loss and male pattern baldness only in the early 1990s. It is caused by a substance called DHT (dihydrotesterone). In some hair follicles DHT is produced when those follicles produces an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase, which combines with testosterone to produce DHT. This DHT attacks and harms the hair follicle, reduces its size, until eventually the hair follicle falls out. Such hair follicles do not grow again and this results in hair loss.

Certain areas of the male head are most susceptible to hair loss due to DHT. This give the typical pattern in male pattern baldness. The most susceptible areas are the temples, front and crown. Hair on the back and sides is least susceptible to male pattern baldness caused by DHT.

While hair loss is mainly viewed as a male problem, many women do suffer from it. Female Pattern Baldness can occur in women as young as age 30, often beginning with hair thinning at the part and on the top of the head and becoming more diffuse over time.

Hair growth typically takes place in three stages; (i) a hair grows from its follicle for 2 to 6 years at an average rate of 1 cm per month; (ii) the hair rests; and (iii) then the hair falls out. After that a new hair begins growing in its place and the cycle starts again. Typically about 85% of the hair is growing and 15% is in resting phase.

Male pattern baldness does have some link to genetics and one indication of possible progess of hair loss is to look at hair loss pattern in other male family members. Another indication is to look at the hair loss pattern to date of an individual.

There are myths existing about male pattern baldness. It is not true that the trait is inherited from your mothers father, although this may be indicative in the same way as other family members. It is also not true that it is caused by skin problems like clogged pores, poor blood circulation, lack of oxygen to the follices or vitamin deficiency (except for scurvy).

Hair loss can damage the person self esteem and confidence and can make a person look older or less attractive. Of course it depends on the individual, some men look attractive whilst balding or without, others do not like that appearance.

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