Hair Loss

Alopecia is baldness or loss of hair. The most common form is male-pattern baldness (also known as androgenic alopecia), but both women and men can get hair loss.

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Hair Loss

Alopecia areata is another type of hair loss, involving patches of baldness that come and go periodically. It affects about 1 in 100 people, mostly teenagers and young adults.

In some cases, hair loss is a side effect of having cancer treatment drugs, but in many cases the hair grows back.Hair loss can lead to problems with confidence and self-esteem.

Causes

The average human head has 100,000 hairs. Hair is made up of hair follicles (the root of the hair). Each hair grows for about 3 years, then it drops out, and a new one grows – and you wont believe this but infact, we lose 40-120 hairs a day.

Male-pattern and female-pattern baldness is caused by over-sensitive hair follicles. This is linked to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is produced by the male hormone testosterone. If there is too much DHT, the follicles shrink, so the hair becomes thinner and grows for a time less than normal. The balding process is gradual because different follicles are affected at different times.

Alopecia areata is linked to a problem with the immune system.  The hair follicles are not permanently damaged and in many of these cases the hair grows back in a few months. In 1 in 5 cases it runs in the family (2).

Some conditions such as anaemia (disorder of the blood), illness, stress (including bereavement), fungal infections and thyroid problems can make you lose some of your hair, as well as drug treatment for cancer. Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth may also experience some hair loss. Hair loss is not caused by a lack of any vitamins in the diet.


Other sources of information for these topics.

Hair Loss and Its Causes -- familydoctor.org
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). A description of possible reasons for hair loss, and treatment.

Consumer Hair Loss Information & Support. Treatments & News
Find out how you can stop your hair loss today. The latest research, hair transplant info, b&a photos, forums, newsletter, info on Propecia and Rogaine and ...

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