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Hair loss

  Different types of hairloss, information and tips.          

Sooner or later it can happen to anyone of us. It often starts innocently - more and more hair is found in your comb, towel or in the drain of your shower.

Men and women that suffer from hair loss often see it as a decrease of quality of life: Their self-confidence suffers terribly with losing hair. Hair loss can be seen to some women as losing their femininity.

One loses daily about 50 - 100 hairs. If one loses more hair, it can have several different causes: Specific diseases (like thyroid abnormalities), chemotherapy (like Kylie Minogue) or hormonal causes (like pregnancy, birth control pills, meopause), medications (like drugs used to treat cancer, blood thinners, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications and high doses of vitamin A), diets or physical- and emotional stress.

If one loses inexplicable, exaggerated hair loss it is is advisable to visit your GP. It may be caused by a particular syndrome.

female hair loss

About 30-50 % of all women are having a predisposition to produce too much male hormones. By women androgenetic alopecia appears as diffuse hair loss occurring over most of the scalp. Genetically, hair loss can come from either parent's side of the family. Often these women have a father that suffered from diffuse hair loss at an early age.

Often this hormonal hair loss develops in the menopause. The oestrogen level is decreasing and the androgenics (male hormones) dominate and affect the hair roots.

In rare cases the loss of hair is caused by a hormonal defect: It is known that there are women that produce too many male hormones - for example due to e.g. stress.

Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs.


Hair loss after being pregnant

It is estimated that up to 45% of women suffer considerable hair loss after giving birth, although hair may not fall out until three months later.

A small number of woman suffer severe or even complete hair loss after pregnancy. Often the loss of hair is noticed only a few months after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It is not to be called hair loss, but it is more a return to the normal hair condition. During the pregnancy the hair is being influenced by a high level of oestrogen, that makes the hair 'forget' to fall out...

It is easy to explain why! Hairs, that normally reached their natural age don't fall out. Hairs become older than usual, while the oestrogen is protecting them. So, when your oestrogen level descends after your pregnancy you will lose those hairs again. New hair starts to grow and is pushing the resting hair out.

When the hair begins to fall it is usually a good sign that new growth is on the way. However the fall can last up to six months. All you can do is eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that the hair has all it needs for healthy growth and treat it with care.

male hair loss

Men naturally suffer more from hairloss and it can start at a very young age - male hormones like DHT (dihydrotestosterone) sometimes shorten the growing phase of the hair at an age of twenty.
Androgenetic Alopecia (male-pattern baldness) accounts for 95% of all male hair loss.

In men the patterns of loss ususally starts with a receding hairline which then advances to thin the top of the head.

It is caused by increased sensitivity to male sex hormones (androgens) in certain parts of the scalp, and is passed on from generation to generation.

Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs.

In some cases a metabolism disease can progress to complete body hair loss.

The former Italian football referee Pierluigi Collina contracted a severe form of alopecia, resulting in the permanent loss of all his facial hair. Due to his bald appearance he is also known as "Kojak."

Related link: More bald Prominents


Higher risk to suffer cardiovascular diseases?

Men who are bald are more likely to be insulin resistant and more likely to suffer cardiovascular diseases.

The risks get worse in men with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The combination of crown baldness and high blood pressure almost doubles the comparative risk. Men with extensive pattern baldness and high cholesterol are at nearly three times the risk of heart disease compared to those with high cholesterol and no hair loss.

If you want to reduce heart disease risk (such as lowering blood pressure and/or cholesterol) you will have to maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise and give up smoking.


Hair structure

The hair is composed of a protein called keratin. The hair itself is arranged in three layers, an outer cuticle, middle cortex and central medulla.

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types of hair loss

Alopecia diffusa

This is where you lose some, but not all, of your head hair. It often starts with a single round patch of baldness, which can quickly spread. Alopecia areata is unpredictable: About 65 per cent of people with alopecia areata only experience one or two patches of hair loss, which oftenen regrows spontaneously after a few weeks or months.

In many cases it can be caused by a deficit of iron of biotine. But also a thyroid gland that is working too fast or too slow, severe illnesses, specific medication or full narcosis can lead to hair loss.


Alopecia areata

By alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person's own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp.

Many people affected with alopecia areata will only have one experience of hair loss with regrowth occurring afterwards, however it is estimated that in approximately 20% of cases in the UK hair loss recurrs or becomes permanent.

It affects both men and women and is often experienced first in childhood.


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