What is hair loss?
Most men and women experience some amount of normal hail loss everyday.
This happens because after the end of every growth cycle, the hair naturally falls off, resulting in hair loss. But, one needs to start worrying only when the hair loss is excessive.
Different patterns of hair loss
Men and women have different patterns of hair loss. For men it is called the Male pattern baldness and for women it is called the Female pattern baldness.
Though, in some very rare viral infections, men and women may experience extreme hair loss conditions like alopecia universalis, where the whole body is completely devoid of any hair.
Characteristics of hair loss in men
In men, most of the hair loss follows the male pattern of baldness. In this type of baldness, a man finally ends up having hair left in the back and on the sides of the head, which from afar looks like the horse shoe. Typically there is no hair on top of the head.
For some men, the hair loss starts with a withdrawing hairline, while for some the hair loss happens from the top of the head. It is very common for men experience hair loss from the crown as well as have a receding hairline at the same time. Generally the hair at the back of the head falls at the very end.
Characteristics of hair loss in women
In women hair loss happens through the general thinning of the hair from the entire scalp. In most women the entire head is never completely bare of all the hair, but it may be so sparse that the scalp may be clearly visible.
But for both men and women the hormone related hair loss is mostly not reversible.
Why does hair loss happen?
There are numerous reasons for hair loss.
1. The most common cause of hair loss is the presence of high quantities of the hormone Dihydrotestrostone in the scalp. DHT i.e. Dihydrotestrostone is a byproduct of the male hormone testosterone. In men and women, hair growth happens during the cycle of growth-dormant-re-growth. When the levels of the hormone DHT is there in high levels in the scalp then the period of rest or dormancy is longer for the hair. Thus each hair follicle produces hair for a limited period and then it finally goes into a period of complete rest and then eventually stops producing any more new hair.
It has been observed that in men even though the hormone DHT is present in the whole scalp, the hair loss is most prominent on top of the head. Compared to the crown, the hair follicles in the side and in the back of the head do not experience the harmful effects of DHT.
2. Even high levels of sebum present in the hair are responsible for hair loss. Sebum is responsible for blocking the pores of the hair follicles, and this subsequently leads to undernourishment of the hair and results in hair loss. That is why it is imperative to keep the hair clean by washing the hair so that the blocked pores open up and the hair is nourished all the time.
3. Crash diets, lack of healthy nourishing also cause hair loss. But in such cases, if food intake is improved then the hair loss can be reversed to a large extent. A diet rich in protein and iron helps to arrest hair loss.
4. Lifestyle changes and nervous tension is also responsible for hair loss. Thus it is imperative that men and women try and de-stress their lives as much as possible.
Can hair loss be treated?
Yes, to some extent hair loss can be treated. One of the first steps to treat hair loss is to partake of nourishing, healthy food. Since hair is made up of the protein keratin, men and women require different quantities of protein to keep their hair healthy. While women require about 60 grams of protein daily to keep their hair healthy, men need about 90grams of protein.
Many a times even after improving the diet of person hair loss cannot be prevented. In such cases hair loss can be treated through laser, surgical and non-surgical restoration.
There is no miraculous cure to hair loss. No matter which treatment an individual opts for one has to be patient to see the changes. Because, between the growth cycles hair follicles have long periods of inactivity, which could last up to 3 months. It takes several months for any individual to notice any significant changes in hair loss.