Certainly there are many different reasons for hair loss. These would include such common causes as hormones, genetics, medications, crash diets, surgery, nutritional overdoses such as vitamin A, burns, and scalp infections. But without a doubt the most common reason for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male or female pattern baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia is an inherited, hormone linked condition that is estimated to affect as many as 75 million American men and women. Surprisingly, one in four people with this condition begin losing their hair by the age of 30 with the remaining two-thirds showing its effect by the age of 55. Men are twice as likely as women to be impacted because of higher testosterone levels. Now we know the numbers and perhaps you may be wondering whether this common reason for hair loss could be the source of your balding. Now it is time to find out.
In men, balding begins at the forehead or on top of head toward the back. Some men are lucky and experience a receding hair-line along with a small but ever expanding bald spot in the crown area. Others, especially those whose balding and/or thinning began in their teens or 20’s will likely lose all their hair on top but retain most of the hair on the sides and back. This remaining hair should be given meticulous care in case hair transplant surgery is opted for in the future.
Women on the other hand experience androgenetic alopecia quite differently than their male counterparts due to their lower testosterone levels, different patterns of hormone receptors in the scalp, and enzymes on the scalp. This condition will be seen more as a general thinning of hair rather than total balding. The hairline will typically stay intact as well. The appearance of the hair will become unhealthy due to nutritional limitations at the follicle level.
When androgenetic alopecia is the reason for hair loss it creates some very real challenges due to its cause and ongoing, progressive nature. It simply will not go away on its own.
One of the reason it is so difficult to reverse is that by the time it is recognized quite a bit of follicle damage has already been done. You see male and female pattern baldness is caused by the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binding to the hair follicle over a four to eight year period. By the time balding and/or thinning is noticed many of the all important hair follicles and been reduced to a point where they either die or are unable to support new growth. So without a doubt the earlier the condition is recognized and addressed the better chances of successful treatment.
Surprisingly there are currently some excellent hair re-growth products specially formulated to both block DHT and reinvigorate dormant or damaged hair follicles. As briefly mentioned above, if the reason for your hair loss is male or female pattern baldness early action is very important. Remember it is always easier to maintain existing hair than it is to produce quality new re-growth.