At some point in life, almost every man or woman face you meet hair loss. Hormones, genetics, age, autoimmune diseases, infections, smoking, diets, medications and environmental factors-all together they are causing hair loss, as well as how intense it will be. The term alopecia comes from the Greek word alopex which means fox and the connection lies in the fact that the fox changes its coat twice a year, followed by intense shedding and also in ancient Greece foxes would often loses hair of scabies. Term bald comes from English term balde which means pale or white.
In addition to the many reasons of hair loss, hereditary or androgenetic alopecia (AGA), still remains the most common cause of it making as much as 95% of the causes of hair loss.
Physiological hair growth depends on the respective cycle of the hair follicle. Normally, hair grows in three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen phase. Anagen is the active phase, and then the hair is actually growing. This phase is the longest, between two and six years (even eight). Catagen is a relatively short period when the hair slowly turns into a resting phase, and the telogen phase is the resting phase, when hair is shedding and takes about three months. About 10% of the hair is at this stage, while in the active growth phase is about 90% of hair. Hair loss is based on the change in the duration of these phases of hair. The active phase of hair growth gradually reduced until the hair is completely lost. This process is called miniaturization and hair starts first to get gradually thinner, and finally disappears.
Why does this happen?
Hair loss occurs in the following process. The follicles gradually transformed into smaller follicles with a thin and short hair (vellus hair), hair cycle is shortened, increased number of follicle goes into a resting phase which is accompanied by increased hair loss. Because the number of cycles of active phase of growth of each hair is genetically determined, and shortening the length of this phase leads to early exhaustion of follicular activity and the follicles can completely disappear. The most common question is why this process affects only certain hairs, while others not? And why some men lose their hair already in their twenties, while others later in life? The answer lies in the complex interaction between the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), genetic and aging.
DHT is a potent, the male sex hormone testosterone, which occurs under the effect of the conversion of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase. What we actually inherit is the distribution of follicles with and without this enzyme, and it will of course later directly influence the predisposition for developing androgenetic alopecia. Although previously thought that androgenetic alopecia is inherited only from the female side of the family, recent research confirms that the inheritance comes from either side with different gene penetrance. The most common areas affected with AGA are sideburns and vertices, and can be extended to the whole central part of the head. AGA never affects back of the head, and this principle is used in hair transplantation. It affects men of all ages, and sometimes appear very early at the end of puberty, and can also occur later with entering adulthood. In the scalp there is an average between 100 000 and 150 000. hairs, and it is normal that daily between 50 and 100 hairs are lost. In order to maintain the same density, it is necessary that the number of fallen hair is replaced with the very same number of newly grown hair. When there is imbalance in hair loss and the growth of new hair, then hair loss occurs. Noticeable hair loss is only when you lose about 50% of its density.
Apart from androgenetic alopecia, the second most common cause of hair loss as scarring alopecia, and autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata (alopecia areata) that may progress to alopecia totalis (complete loss of hair) or alopecia universalis (loss of all body hair). These are extremely complex conditions that require complex treatment because they are cause by a complex interaction of genetic, autoimmune and environmental factors.
Important factors for hair loss are also diet, smoking, and exposure to stress. Inadequate nutrition is often accompanied by a lack of minerals and vitamins, and these conditions lead to hair loss. Lack of vitamin A, and iron, as well as protein (insufficient intake of meat) have a particular influence in maintaining healthy hair. Smoking reduces the total amount of oxygen in the body, and thus has a indirect impact on hair loss. During a hair transplant, smoking has a remarkable effect on the healing and smoking cessation is mandatory. While not directly demonstrated the impact of stress on hair loss, what has been proven is that stress certainly reduces the defense of the organism, and if someone has a genetic predisposition to hair loss, intense stress is often the initiator of the process of hair loss.
Certain drugs affect hair loss, then chemotherapy, skin diseases such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, skin infections. Hair loss in women is also often hereditary (female androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss- FPHL), but associated with a variety of hormonal imbalances in the body as well. Women are more exposed to seasonal hair loss, as well as conditions such as telogen effluvijum. Also, during pregnancy, primarily because of the influence of estrogen, the hair is changing, and can result in intense hair loss three to four months after giving birth.
In addition to hair loss, eyebrow loss and beard loss can also occur with different causes than androgenetic alopecia although sometimes causes can be combined.
It is time to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis of hair loss. Prevention has an important role, as is early detection of potentially hair loss. After determining the proper causes of hair loss, the doctor can determine the treatment. Methods of treatment vary from a good shampoo for hair loss, then certain lotion (Minoxidil) or drugs (Finasteride). In certain situations, steroids have a very important role. Laser therapy shows significant results when treating not only the androgenetic alopecia, but also chronic effluvium, and it is of exceptional importance for the result of a hair transplant. Cellular Therapy (PRP therapy and stem cells therapy) is proof that within the human body is perhaps a necessary remedy not only for hair loss, but also for many other diseases.
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If there is a clear indication, hair transplantation is so far the only permanent method to solve hair loss. The doctor assesses individually whether a person is a good candidate for this procedure based on a number of factors and therefore the decision on pre-transplantation consultation with a physician is required. On the other hand, if hair loss so intense and advanced therapy can not help, nor is there an indication for hair transplantation, one should consider methods of camouflage. A great one is Toppik, a spray that can give the impression of hair volume. Some patients opt for micropigmentation as a solution. Those who do not want to shave their head as a way to look better perhaps, may consider wearing a wig or toupee. Alternative medicine can play a significant role.
To cope with hair loss is not easy and it has a significant impact to one’s self-esteem and everyday life. For women, hair is the symbol of their beauty and attractiveness, while for men of youth and part of their charm. It is critical to consult a specialist to determine the cause and discuss treatment options for your hair loss because they definitely exist.
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