Understanding hair loss

 

 

 

Do you feel that you are the only one losing hair? You're not!

 

The most common form of hair loss, Androgenic Alopecia, or pattern baldness, is experiences by over 50 of men.

 

For women androgenic alopecia occurs between 20-40% of the general female population. You're not alone, but actually in the majority.

 

Male pattern baldness

 

Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men.

 

Causes

Male pattern baldness is related to your genes and male sex hormones. It usually follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown, and is caused by hormones and genetic predisposition.

Each strand of hair you have sits in a tiny hole (cavity) in the skin called a follicle. Baldness in general occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle does not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.

 

Symptoms

The typical pattern of male baldness begins at the hairline. The hairline gradually moves backward (recedes) and forms an "M" shape. Eventually the hair becomes finer, shorter, and thinner, and creates a U-shaped (or horseshoe) pattern of hair around the sides of the head.

 

 

 

Female pattern baldness

 

Female pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in women.

 

Causes

Each strand of hair sits in a tiny hole (cavity) in the skin called a follicle. In general, baldness occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle does not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.

The reason for female pattern baldness is not well understood, but may be related to:

  • Aging

  • Changes in the levels of androgens (male hormones). For example, after reaching menopause, many women find that the hair on their head is thinner, while the hair on their face is coarser.

  • Family history of male or female pattern baldness.

 

Symptoms

Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:

  • Hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. It usually starts with a widening through the center hair part.

  • The front hairline remains unaffected except for normal recession, which happens to everyone as time passes.

  • The hair loss rarely progresses to total or near total baldness, as it may in men.

Itching or skin sores on the scalp are generally not seen.

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