What Causes Hair Loss
Why do we lose hair?
The most common form of male hair loss is androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). This typically starts with a receding hairline or thinning crown, with some men noticing hair loss as early as their twenties. Men who experience hair loss early in life tend to develop extensive balding, if no preventative action is taken.
The two types of androgens involved in male pattern hair loss are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone which develops male characteristics during puberty as a by-product of testosterone. Some men are genetically more sensitive to DHT, which causes their hairs to miniaturise as the hormone breaks down the hair growth cycle until they enter dormancy.
As the follicles miniaturise, they still remain active. This means that medical treatments can help reverse the miniaturising process, if acted upon in time. If caught too late, then it is notoriously difficult to regrow the weakened hairs. At this stage, hair restorative surgery is a viable option to relocate your DHT immune hair from the back and sides of your scalp.
Why are the hairs at the back and sides of a bald man’s head resistant to thinning? The honest answer is that nobody knows the exact reason. One popular theory states that losing your hair on top helps thermoregulate the heat of your head, once the sweat glands on your face are less effective following the growth of facial hair during puberty.
Hair loss happens to most men at some point in their life, and it is perfectly normal to seek a remedy to stop and reverse the situation.
Typically, the best candidates for hair transplant surgery are those already using hair loss medication to help strengthen their thinning hair. It is important to remember that your donor hair is not infinite, and must be managed correctly to get the most out of your precious supply.
Women can also suffer with a condition which is analogous to male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia). The classic pattern of this condition is a receding hairline above both temples, where the hairline takes on a characteristic ‘M’ shape. All women produce small amounts of testosterone, yet some are more susceptible to this hormone than others, whilst certain illnesses can also produce a larger hormone concentration, such as PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This in turn can cause facial hirsutism, which is an excessive growth of dark or coarse hair, primarily appearing on the face, chest and back.
Diet can also be a cause of female hair loss, especially low calorie diets, or sporadic eating patterns, where the individual doesn’t get the correct nutrients required to promote and sustain healthy hair growth. Hair can suddenly shed or become thin in volume and texture.
One of the biggest deficiencies in women is the mineral iron; as during menstruation, the body’s reserves can quickly be used up, causing depletion. This in turn can lead to general fatigue, malnourishment and hair shedding. Diets that contain meat consumption can usually obtain what is needed by the individual, but vegetarian or vegan diets need to be more careful about supplementing their iron intake to ensure a healthy and nutrient-rich system overall.
You can obtain a full blood test at our onsite pathology lab on Harley Street. Full test results and treatment advice are provided within 24 hours. Enquire today!