Understanding the Cause of Hair Loss

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It is an unfortunate fact that many men, and a surprisingly high
number of women, will suffer from some form of hair loss during
their lives and often that hair loss will be permanent. Since
hair has been falling out of heads, medical science has been
attempting to find the true cause of hair loss.

To understand fully hair loss we need to look at how hair grows
and what factors can interfere with this natural process.

Hair growth occurs in two distinct phases, the growth phase known
as the Anagen phase and the resting phase known as the Telogen
phase. The vast majority of hair on our head (as much as 90%) at
any one time is in a 2-7 year growth phase. The remaining hairs
are in a resting phase that can last anywhere between two to four
months.

A normal rate of hair loss is between 50 to 150 hairs a day. Once
a hair has been shed that particular follicle begins a growth
phase, as the lost hair now needs to be replaced.

If everything goes according to plan this cycle of growth and
rest continues through many cycles during our life.

Hair loss problems can result when this natural cycle is
disrupted and the natural fallout rate exceeds that natural
re-growth rate. Additionally, certain factors can lead to hair
re-growth that is much weaker and thinner than the previous hair
that is being replaced.

Here the problem can go unnoticed for many years. Since each hair
is being replaced there does not appear to be a problem. However,
over the years each re-growth of shed hair is getting
progressively weaker and thinner. In this case baldness and hair
loss can appear to be a very sudden onset, but it is something
that has been active for several years.

Fortunately from the point of view of being able to treat and
prevent the problem, science has found the true cause of hair
loss.

It is now believed that the cause of hair loss is an increased
level of testosterone (that begins in puberty) that eventually
leads to an excessive imbalance in another hormone DHT
(dihydrotestosterone).

If there are large amounts of DHT present, blood supply to the
hair follicle is reduced and over time the actual blood vessels
that feed each hair follicle begin to shrink, making blood flow
to the hair follicles even more difficult.

A deficient blood supply leads to weak, thin hair re-growth,
which gets progressively worse over time. The eventual outcome is
a growth that is little more than wispy short hair that is barely
visible.

At this stage the person is suffering from a condition known as
androgenic allopecia, more commonly known as male pattern
baldness.

Specifically why and how these levels of DHT get to the level
where they create a problem with hair loss is not known. At this
point in time the cause is largely attributed to genetic
factors.

Apart from our understanding of the causes of hair loss that is
more or less permanent, there are several factors affecting men
and women that can cause temporary hair loss.

Some of the more common cause of temporary hair loss are; scalpinfections; improper use of hair care products; side affects of
some medications and medical procedures (surgery and chemotherapy
for example) and inadequate nutrition for healthy hair growth.

Usually once the cause of hair loss is established and the
appropriate treatment given, hair growth can return to normal.

The most important factor in successfully treating any kind of
hair loss is to determine quickly the correct cause of the hair
loss and then immediately begin with the appropriate treatment.

For someone experiencing hair loss now or someone who could
reasonably expect hair loss in the future based on past family
medical history, preventive measures should be taken sooner
rather than later.

At the very least an appropriate hair care regime should be in
place. As part of this regime adequate nutrition should be
stressed, including nutrients that have a known hair growth
function such as Biotin, Zinc and the herb Saw Pallmeto.

Today there are many hair loss treatment options available. There
is a range of natural over the counter preparations that have
undergone some clinical trials and have had some success in
stopping hair loss and promoting re-growth of normal healthy
hair.

And if the natural way does not deliver the desired results,
there are always hair restoration techniques such as hairextensions, hair transplants and wigs that offer even more
options to treat hair loss.
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