There are a number of different types of hair loss – treatment is available for hair loss in the form of male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a genetic disorder affecting millions of men. It occurs when hair follicles convert testosterone into another hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, weaken and eventually die, preventing hair regrowth.
Whilst there is no cure for hair loss or baldness, treatment can prevent further hair loss and also lead to renewed hair growth. The two most effective hair loss treatments available in the UK are Propecia (finasteride) and Regaine (minoxidil).
There are several factors that can cause hair loss. The most common is genetic. Since male pattern baldness is hereditary, and is the most common form of alopecia, this accounts for the main factor in hair loss.
Normally, most people lost 50 to 100 hairs on a daily basis, as a natural ‘shedding’ process. However, new hairs also grow that maintain the balance and prevent noticeable thinning of scalp hair. When this normal cycle of hair-fall and growth is broken or the hair follicle is damaged, hair loss occurs.
Understanding the exact cause of hair loss may be difficult because it is so diverse and may range from simple or temporary reasons to complex health conditions. However, it is normally associated with one or more of the factors specified below:
Hair Loss Causes
Hereditary A hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. It gradually occurs in a predictable patterns – a fade-out hairline and bald spot in men and thinning of the hair in women. It also influences the age at which one will start losing hair, the rate of hair loss, and the size of the baldness in men.
Hormonal Temporary hair loss can also be caused by changes and imbalances in hormones during pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. As thyroid problems involve hormone levels, it can also be a cause of hair loss. This is often reversible.
Medical conditions When the hair follicles are attacked by the immune system of the body, a type of sudden hair loss called alopecia areata occurs that makes bald patches on the skin. Permanent hair loss can be caused by skin disorders that cause scarring alopecia, such as sarcoidosis, lichen planus, etc. Ringworm infections can also result in hair loss, but hair usually come back once the infections are treated.
Medication Certain drugs used to treat heart problems, cancer, depression, arthritis, etc, can also cause hair loss. Vitamin A in large doses may also lead to hair loss.
There are several different types of hair loss, which are known generally as Alopecia. However, there can be different types of alopecia and different causes and symptoms of each type. The most common type of hair loss is male-pattern baldness, and it it this type of hair loss that is commonly treated with treatments such as Regaine and Propecia (Finasteride).
Listed below, are some of the most common types of hair loss
- male- and female-pattern baldness Male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss. It affects around half of all men by the time they turn 50 years of age. It can often start in the late twenties or early thirties, whilst most men have some degree of hair loss by their late thirties.Male-pattern baldness will generally follow a pattern of a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. This can then leave a horseshoe shape around the back and sides of the head. This can sometimes progress to complete baldness.Male-pattern baldness is linked to your genes, and so if their is baldness in the family, you are likely to also have male-pattern baldness at some stage.The condition can sometimes affect women (female-pattern baldness), which is generally characterised by thinning hair on the top of the head.Treatments for male-pattern baldness include minoxidil (Regaine), and Finasteride (Propecia). Propecia is for use only in men, while minoxidil can be used for men and women. See Regain For Women.