Did you know that thinning and balding hair, although known to be more common with men, occur almost the same as much with women? If you are experiencing this problem. You are not alone.
The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, this is more commonly known as male or female pattern baldness. Androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary condition and is believed to be caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is derived from the male hormone testosterone.
How does this happen?
Hair follicles, the skin organ that produces hair, has oil glands that contain an enzyme called Type 2 5-alpha reductase. These enzymes help convert testosterone to DHT. When DHT binds to the follicles, it shrinks the follicles and eventually kills healthy hair, making it fall or stunt its growth.
Because men have higher testosterone levels than women, they are likely to produce higher DHT levels, leading to increased hair loss. Men with androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness often experience receding hairline at first, which gradually progresses to partial or complete baldness. Women, on the other hand, tend to experience thinning hair on the top and sides of the scalp.
Hair thinning in female pattern baldness is different from that of male pattern baldness because the frontal hairline remains unaffected except for normal hair recession, which happens to everyone as time passes. Although, female hair loss rarely progresses to total or near-total baldness, as it may in men.
Although androgenetic alopecia is one of the culprits, it is not the only cause of hair loss.
What else is causing my hair to fall?
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that can develop when you are put through extreme stress, such as emotional stress, trauma, childbirth, malnutrition or major surgery.
During this period, your hair growth shifts to the resting phase and then going to the shedding phase, known as the telogen. This can occur 6 weeks to 3 months after a stressful experience.
Telogen Effluvium is more common in women than in men. This is also the typical shedding that is experienced by women after childbirth.
Anemia and menstruation are the most common causes of iron deficiency in women.
Iron contributes to the production of hemoglobin in your body that is vital to the delivery of nutrients and oxygen needed for hair growth. If your iron levels are low, this process is interfered resulting in hair loss.
Specific medical conditions – such as those for anemia and thyroid disorders – and the use of certain medications can also lead to hair loss.
Tight Hair Styling
Do you like wearing your hair neat and tight? Proceed with caution. Traction alopecia is another common form of alopecia that results in hair follicle trauma commonly caused by hair styling that continuously pulls at them – such as tight braiding, ponytails, buns, and hair extensions. This condition can be made worse if you use chemicals and heat along with the constant pulling.
Alopecia areata is a common genetic autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss. It develops suddenly over a course of a few days. Around 1 in 5 people who suffer from alopecia areata have a family member with this disorder.
It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in hair follicles, leading to hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. In alopecia areata, hair most commonly falls out in small patches. In some cases, however, the condition can lead to complete baldness.
Whatever’s causing your hair loss, it goes without saying that hair loss, regardless of age or gender has a devastating effect on a person’s self-confidence, body image and can negatively impact their overall quality of life.
What can I do to stop my hair from falling?
Treatments for hair loss are extremely limited but there are some ways to help prevent it.
You can find home remedies that include rubbing onion or garlic juice, cooled green tea, almond oil, rosemary oil, honey, or coconut milk into the scalp. While these remedies are recommended by some people (and may not cause harm if you try), their effectiveness is not supported by research.
A lot of people also turn to alternative treatment methods such as acupuncture and aromatherapy to treat hair loss, although there is little, (if any) evidence to support how effective these treatments are.
There is only one hair loss medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for androgenetic alopecia – a topical treatment called minoxidil that works by stimulating the hair follicles promoting hair growth.
Overall, lifestyle improvement such as getting the right nutrients, taking proper care of your hair, and scalp, combined with the continued use of minoxidil serum in combination with derma roller gives you a better chance of saving your hair and growing it back.