• Hair Loss: General Info

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    Losing hair is natural – all human beings lose up to 100 hairs a day. The saddest experience you may have are bald patches and progressive thinning. Let’s speak about alopecia, it’s types, causes and possible treatment.

    Definition

    Hair loss, alopecia, baldness – all these terms are connected with losing body hair. Baldness is a more specific term and usually refers to male pattern alopecia or female hair loss (it’s sometimes called androgenic alopecia).

    Both men and women are affected by DHT level. DHT is short for Dihydrotestosterone hormone – when it’s levels rise your hair gets thin and exhausted. Hair growth slows up. Males and females have different reactions on DHT.

    Male and Female Hair Loss: Difference

    Male Pattern Baldness is connected with receding hairline at the crown area. Without treatment, hair follicles get dead and fall out. Male baldness pattern can vary. The Norwood Classification Scale can help you differentiate between types of baldness and its patterns. This scheme can be helpful if you’re not sure about your personal boldness type:

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    Female Baldness results in hair getting weak in the central part of the scalp. The Ludwig Scale shows all types of female alopecia:

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    Androgenic Alopecia

    It’s more common for women suffering from influence of androgens. They are male hormones that all women have in a very small amount. Its levels can change because of pregnancy, menopause and birth control medicines. Androgenic hair loss results in pattern baldness among women. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss can be hereditary. Good news is that even hereditary alopecia can be treated.

    As a result, women get male hair loss pattern and men get female hair loss pattern.

    Why does it happen?

    Causes may vary depending on sex, age and psychological condition. Here’s a list of most common causes:

    • Genetic predisposition;
    • Dissecting cellulitis
    • Medications for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and heart problems;
    • Medications for fungus infections;
    • Side effects from steroids, birth control medicines, radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
    • Physical trauma (pulling hair with too much force, compulsive hair bending and pulling them out);
    • Trichotillomania (a psychological disorder of people always playing with hair);
    • Trauma at birth, surgery;
    • Massive stress;
    • Pregnancy (a period of time after it);
    • Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism;
    • Styling products;
    • Pollution and toxic environment;
    • Lack of vitamins (or too much vitamin A);
    • Illness;
    • Lack of protein;
    • Anemia
    • Sudden weight loss

    Solution and Possible Treatment

    Treatment and medication you choose fully depends on your physician’s prescription. But here are some main points.

    • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – works well for men and women. Can be bought and used without prescription. Available in different solutions (2%, 4%, 5%). Rogaine is not about growing new hair (though sometimes people experience new hair growing). It’s the best way to keep what’s left on our head without losing more hair.

    The disadvantage of it is that you have to use it every day or, sometimes, twice a day – for some people it’s inconvenient. Besides, Rogaine works bad on the front of the head, which makes it useless for men pattern baldness.

    • Finasteride (Propecia) – treats male alopecia. Best for androgenic alopecia. It blocks the activity of hormones in hair follicles. These pills are available by prescription. Should be taken daily for half a year or for a year. They are not magical and work gradually. It helps in growing new hair and strengthens it. There’s one side effect – a decreased libido in some cases.
    • Multivitamins with iron, vitamin B, zinc and calcium. Although specific vitamin deficiency should be tested and diagnosed beforehand.