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What Causes Hair Loss?

Losing your hair can be a traumatic experience. For men, baldness can be taken as a sign of old age, unattractiveness, and infertility. Clinical studies have shown that hair loss is a cause of low self-esteem and low self-confidence in men. Causes of hair loss come from several factors including genes, hormones, and age.

In the past, men have gone to desperate measures in trying to cover up their hair loss. Hair restoration has vastly improved in recent years. Among the several options used for hair restoration now, hair transplantation is the most effective treatment for baldness.

The typical adult head has about 100,000 hairs and sheds and regrows about 50 - 100 hairs a day.
Each hair has a genetically programmed schedule that includes growth, shedding and resting. A mix of emotional turmoil, medication, poor nutrition, and illness may cause excessive daily shedding. However, these factors are often temporary, and hair growth should continue once these factors have ended. Around 70% of American men and 50% of American woman will experience some sort of hair loss during their lifetime. Researches have shown that around 80% of bald men are preoccupied about their hair loss, and men who begin to lose their hair in their early twenties are more likely to suffer from extremely low self-esteem. Permanent hair loss comes from hair follicles that become thinner and weaker, and eventually stops producing hair.

It is normal for a hairline to change from childhood to adulthood. In fact as one ages, the hair on the forehead naturally recedes. It is also common for the hair to thin slightly due to a reduction in the diameter of individual hairs. Any loss or recession after this point however, is considered male pattern baldness.

The Truth About Baldness

So what is the real reason so many men around the world go bald in the same areas of the scalp? Balding involves more than just losing hairs from the head. Two simultaneous events are occurring: shortening of the anagen phase and shrinking of the follicle. As these two events continue to work in conjunction with each other, the hairs become shorter and thinner and lose their pigment  - causing "normal" hairs to change to terminal hairs, then to intermediate hairs and finally to vellus hairs.

Following are the many types of hair loss and the reasons behind them.

Androgenetic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness

The term androgenetic alopecia contains two of the three causes of hair loss. Alopecia is the Greek word for "baldness," while androgenetic can be split into: androgens - "male hormones" and genetic - "genes." The third component of hair loss is time. All three of these elements contribute to hair loss.

Genes

Genes are the biggest factor when it comes to hair loss. You inherit the tendency toward early hair loss, although hormones also come into the picture. Men reason that if their father is bald, they will be as well. Research shows that hair loss genes can come from either side of your family.

Hormones

Although hormones govern many chemical processes in the body, only two affect hair loss: testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone is responsible for deepening the voice, building muscle mass and promoting hair growth under the arms and in the pubic area. DHT, on the other hand, promotes hair growth on the face and body and is responsible for acne, enlarged prostates and male pattern baldness. Without testosterone the body cannot make DHT and without DHT, male pattern baldness cannot occur.

With the help of an enzyme known as 5 alpha-reductase, testosterone is converted to DHT. It is the presence of DHT in the hair follicle that activates the balding process.

Time

Time is a factor in many things that occur in our bodies and losing hair is no exception. Baldness is a condition of advancing age.