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Hair Loss Information

Hair Loss Information

Hair loss is common in both men and women. Hair loss treatments are available which can help in some cases, but it is important to find out the cause of the hair loss so that the correct treatment can be tried.

How Common Is Hair Loss & Baldness?

Hair loss is common in men and this can start as early as the teens, but more commonly in the late 20s and early 30s, and almost 40% of men will show noticeable hair loss by the age of 35.

Women are almost equally affected with hair loss, though usually at a later age and of a different pattern. Research shows that up to 13 per cent of women have some degree of hair loss before the menopause, and afterwards it becomes far more common. One piece of research suggests that over the age of 65 as many as 75 per cent of women are affected.

Treatment options depend on the cause of hair loss. medications such as Regaine can help with some, nutritional therapies with others, and some need no treatment at all. Some people take this in their stride but others suffer great emotional distress and lack of confidence, sometimes leading to depression. If nothing else works there are surgical hair transplant therapies and artificial hairpieces to cover the condition.

How Hair Grows

Hair loss is caused by changes to the normal hair cycle of growth, which has two phases :

  • Growth Phase (Anagen) lasts for about 3 years with the hair growing about 1 cm a month.. Hair grows actively, reaching maximum length and thickness.
  • Resting Phase (Telogen) lasting about 3 months. The hair remains in place and is then pushed our and shed by a new hair growing in the folicle.Typically 15% of hairs are in the resting stage at any one time, and about 1% of hairs are ready to fall out, so having a few hairs fall out when you comb or wash your hair is normal.

Androgenic Alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness) (Female Pattern Baldness) (Hereditory Hair Loss)

Androgenic alopecia is the commonest form of hair loss in both men and women and is called male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness or hereditary hair loss.

Male pattern baldness is the commonest form of hair loss in men. Hair is lost in a well defined pattern, beginning with a receding hair line above the temples. This may also effect the crown of the head which can form a bald patch. Hair on the back and sides of the head is not effected, and the condition only rarely progresses to complete baldness.

Female pattern baldness is the commonest form of hair loss in women. Hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. It rarely leads to complete baldness.

The cause of hair loss in androgentic alopecia is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is made from androgens (male hormones that all men and women produce) by the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. People with a lot of this enzyme make more DHT, which in excess can cause the hair follicles to make thinner and thinner hair, until eventually they pack up completely.  There also seems to be a genetic link, though enviromental factors are also involved. This type of hair loss is caused by more hair follicles to enter the resting phase, and for the growth phase to be shorter.

High insulin levels  which lead to metabolic syndrome can also trigger this type of hair loss, so healthy diet and exercise can help here.

Inflammation is also thought to be a trigger, and steps to reduce inflamation on the scalp and in the body can help.

Regaine (Rogaine in the US) as a solution or foam is the only over the counter licensed medicine to treat male and female pattern baldness.

Regaine is for the treatment of hereditary hair loss in men and women, and contains the active ingredient minoxidil which helps to promote hair growth

Telogen Effuvium

Telogen effuvem is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. where a significant amount of hair is shed all over the head and body, causing a general thinning of hair density, rather than a bald patch. It is typically noticed when a lot of hair comes out when the hair is washed or brushed. This usually results from intense stress on the body's physical, emotional or hormonal system, such as child birth, a major operation, accident or illness, but can be a side-effect with some medicines.. Many people have this type of hair loss, and the hair normally grows back fully in a few months and no treatment is required. However, persistant hair shedding can be caused by an under active thyroid, or iron deficiency anaemia which need treating for the hair loss to stop.

This type of hair loss is caused by disruption of the hair growth cycle which triggers a large number of hairs to go into the resting, or telogen, phase together. The result is that a lot of hairs are shed at the same time, about 3 months after the trigger, as the hair folicles start into the growth phase again.

Florisene is specially formulated for women suffering from telogen effuvium.

Florisene for Women Tablets provide certain essential nutrients to help maximise hair growth in women who have a specific type of hair loss
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Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that affects more than two per cent of the population. In this, the hair follicles are attacked by white blood cells. The follicles then become very small and hair production slows down dramatically, so there may be no visible hair growth for months and years.

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References

  1. Hair Loss In Women - BBC
  2. Hair Loss In Men - BBC
  3. Androgenic Alopecia - Wikipedia
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