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Causes of Hairloss


Before you consider a solution to your hair loss problem, it is important for you to understand the difference between natural daily shedding, temporary hair loss and permanent male pattern baldness.

Natural Shedding

About 90 percent of the hair on a person's scalp is growing at any one time. The growth phase lasts between two and six years. Ten percent of the hair is in a resting phase that lasts two to three months. At the end of its resting stage, the hair is shed.

When a hair is shed, a new hair from the same follicle replaces it and the growing cycle starts again. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month. As people age, their rate of hair growth slows.

Natural blondes typically have more hair (140,000 hairs) than brunettes (105,000 hairs) or redheads (90,000 hairs). Most hair shedding is due to the normal hair cycle, and losing 50-to-100 hairs per day is no cause for alarm.

However, if you are concerned about excessive hair loss or dramatic thinning use the Self Assessment form or telephone 0800 614853 (Overseas +44 1924 200918) to make a private, no-cost consultation with one of our experienced doctors.

Temporary Hair Loss

Emotional turmoil, medications, skin conditions, poor nutrition and illnesses can cause hair follicles to enter the Telogen phase prematurely, resulting in increased shedding which presents itself as temporary diffuse thinning.

Treatment to remove or alleviate the inciting stress factor will often encourage the growth of new hair in a few months.

Permanent Male Pattern Baldness

For most men who are losing their hair before they'd like to, the answer is genetic. Hair loss, like eye colour, is an inherited trait. While you were still forming in the womb, your hair follicles were being genetically coded. If genes responsible for hair loss were present, they made the hair follicles on top of your head sensitive to the hormone DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE, or DHT. These follicles were then predisposed to begin shrinking when you reached adulthood.

Unfortunately, once this genetic process begins, it will continue throughout your lifetime. As the hairs produced by your ever-shrinking follicles become finer and finer, they will begin failing to grow to normal length. And what is first noticed as "thinning hair" or a "receding hairline" progresses to baldness when the shrinking follicles finally stop producing any hair at all.

For men, permanent baldness generally follows a specific pattern as suggested in the Hair loss Classification Chart.

Even in the most extensive cases, a horseshoe-shaped fringe of hair remains. This hair-bearing fringe is insensitive to the balding process and usually will last a lifetime.

Hair Loss In Women

While hair loss is often viewed as a man's problem, as many as two-thirds of women also experience thinning hair at some time during their lives.

Female Pattern Baldness
In many women, hair loss may result from "female pattern baldness" which can present itself in women as young as age 30. Female pattern baldness often begins with thinning at the part and on the top of the head and it becomes more diffuse over time.

Temporary Hair Loss
Certain factors may encourage hair follicles to enter the Telogen phase prematurely and may prevent new hairs from replacing those shed. Treatment to remove or alleviate the inciting stress factor will often encourage the re-growth of hair in a two to four months.

Causes of Temporary Hair Loss:
  • Decreased "estrogen" after childbirth
  • Discontinued use of oral contraceptives
  • Menopause
  • Severe emotional stress
  • Physical stress of major surgery
  • Severe infection
  • High fever
  • Thyroid disease
  • Certain skin disorders
  • Use of some medications for high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol
  • The autoimmune disorder known as alopecia areata
  • Severely restricted diet containing little or no protein or iron

Hair Loss Classification

Hamilton's Scale of Baldness is the reference of professionals in the area of hair loss. This scale, that we have reproduced for you below, classifies the different types of baldness from 1 to 6, along with an indication of the number of transplant procedures normally required.

Stage 2 Stage 2a Stage 3
Stages 2 - 2a - 3 LIMITED BALDNESS
A single visit will normally guarantee very satisfactory results.
Stage 3a Stage 4 Stage 4a
Cases 3a - 4 - 4a AVERAGE BALDNESS
1 to 2 sessions will be necessary, depending on the density you wish.
Stage 5 Stage 6
Cases 5 & 6 ADVANCED BALDNESS
2 sessions should give you your desired density.


Misconceptions

For many years our schools have taught that hair loss is always inherited from the mother's father. Medical science now knows that baldness genes are passed down from both sides of the family.

They also can skip generations, and are utterly random in terms of which siblings they will affect; it is quite common for a man keep a full head of hair while his brother goes bald in his twenties.

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