Monday, 15 November 2010

The Causes Of Male Hair Loss

There are many causes of male hair loss but the most common cause is known as, male pattern baldness. This is a genetic form of hair loss affecting approximately 60% of the male population. Other factors that can lead to baldness in men are the different types of alopecia which include alopecia totalis, alopecia areata and alopecia universalis. Hair loss can also be caused by poor diet and stress and can also occur after serious illness or surgery.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male hair loss, also known as male pattern balding or androgenic alopecia affects most men at some stage in their life. It is a genetic condition, passed down from either one or both parents that leads to the gradual thinning and eventual disappearance of the hair.

A lot of men will accept that over time they will get older and that one day, as a natural part of the ageing process, they will begin to lose their hair. Some men on the other hand, find this part of the ageing process to be extremely distressing and will do whatever they can to halt and even reverse it.

If you are one of these men, there is some encouraging and positive news. Male pattern balding responds well to treatment if it is caught early enough. For the best results and to help you retain as much of your natural hair as possible, it is advisable that you start a course of treatment as soon as you spot the first signs of hair loss. The signs are quite easy to spot, it is just a case of knowing what to look out for;

1.       The hairline recedes
2.       The hair gradually thins in one area of scalp
3.       A bald patch develops
4.       The hairline meets the bald patch
5.       A ring of hair is left to the sides and back of the head
6.       This last ring of hair will gradually disappear

This process can be quite a lengthy one but it will speed up if you have been passed the baldness gene by both parents. Similarly if you smoke, drink heavily, don’t eat well and don’t exercise, this may also quicken the balding.

Stress Related Hair Loss

Stress can cause hair loss in both men and women but often this does not manifest itself until sometime after the stressful situation has passed. This can mean that stress related hair loss can be misdiagnosed.

Stress has a direct effect on a person’s normal hair growth cycle. The normal cycle of hair growth works like this;

1.       Hair starts life in the Anagen phase or growth phase
2.       It then enters the Catagen or transitional phase
3.       Then it enters its final phase, the Telogen phase.

During Anagen, the hair is growing at its fastest and most vigorous rate. This can go on for between 2 and 6 years, growing at a rate of approximately 10cms a year.

At some point, in that 2-6 year time frame, the hair will begin to enter its Catagen phase. In Catagen which lasts for up to 2 weeks, the hair follicle shrinks to about 1/6 of the normal length and the lower part is destroyed.

For 5-6 weeks afterwards, the hair is said to be in its Telogen phase. In Telogen, the hair does not grow but stays attached to the follicle. At the end of the Telogen phase, the hair follicle re-enters phase one and a new Anagen hair begins to form.

Stress will cause the body to produce chemicals which push the hair follicles prematurely into the Telogen phase. This means for a few months, hairs will be falling out without having any to grow in their place. This is what leads to thinner looking hair and eventual, albeit temporary hair loss. When the cause of the stress has passed, the hair usually re-enters its Anagen or growing phase which leads to the hair restoring itself to its former glory but sometimes, the experience of hair loss itself can cause so much stress as to perpetuate the problem.

If stress has been isolated as the root cause of your temporary baldness then you are best advised to find and put in place, coping strategies that will help you to manage your stress. Hair loss treatment can also help to get things back to normal again.

Male Alopecia

Alopecia is the term given to a loss of hair from the scalp, face and body or all three. There are approximately forty-six types of Alopecia, most of them being symptomatic of illness or changes in the body’s chemistry. Fortunately, most of them are curable and with the right treatment, hair almost always grows back.

Alopecia in its different forms can affect both males and females. It can vary in its manifestation, from tiny randomly scattered bald patches to total, full head baldness. Although the condition is not painful in itself, it can cause deep emotional upset to those that suffer from it.

Hair Loss caused by poor diet

Most cases of hair loss are caused by genetics, medical problems or hormonal imbalances but nutrition also plays a part in maintaining healthy hair. Good nutrition will obviously benefit the body and many of these benefits can be seen in the condition of the skin and hair. Regular well rounded meals that contain the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are essential.

A good diet should include white meat or fish, vegetables, fruit, salads, wholemeal grains either rice or bread or pasta. Sweet food stuffs like sugar, chocolate, sweets and cakes, eggs and dairy produce like butter, milk and cheese should only be taken in moderation except where children are concerned since they need dairy produce for its calcium content to help their bones grow.

Hair loss following illness or surgery

The human body is a truly remarkable thing, it will always try to find ways to deal with any sickness or disease. In some cases, it may temporarily redirect its resources to help deal more effectively with an illness.
One non-essential and therefore re-directable source of energy and protein is that set aside for the creation and growth of hair. This process is sometimes put on hold, whilst the energy and protein is rerouted for a more urgent purpose.

Major surgery is a trauma to the body, in the same way as an accident. It also causes the body stress. Hair loss as a result of the body’s rerouting of resources to cope with either of these events is likely to be temporary and hair should start to grow back without any need for treatment.

Some prescription drugs can cause excessive hair shedding. Types of drugs that may cause hair loss include those used to treat depression, heart problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, birth control and some forms of cancer

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