Are you wondering what in the world is causing your hair loss? You might be at a point where you find yourself alarmed at the amount of hair that’s been shedding, or the senseless exodus when you believe that you have been every inch the health buff. However, like an unraveling mystery, or bodies can sometimes surprise us. Here are 5 of the top reasons that would make you a potential hair loss victim.
It has always been an erroneous belief that the hair loss gene hailed from the maternal side of the family. While it is true that the genetic factor for baldness is carried by the X chromosome, which you get from your mom, it is not necessarily true that it is the sole culprit. Genetic hair loss, or male/female pattern baldness, can also be passed down by the paternal genes.
Based on research, this form of hair loss is attributed to a particular androgen or male hormone. This androgen, which is tagged to be the main culprit for hair loss, is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is not to say that this particular hormone is bad in and of itself, as it also provides a number of important functions for the body like the development of the male genitalia in the womb.
Hair loss occurs when DHT attaches to androgen receptors on hair follicles which then triggers the receptors to start miniaturization process. Eventually, the hairs affected sheds off resulting in bald patches which that takes on certain shape hence the term “pattern baldness”. Experts have yet to fully understand why the effects of DHT are more profound in some individuals compared to others. However certain possible factors that have been pointed out include:
- Increased local DHT production
- Increased DHT receptors
- Increased sensitivity of the androgen receptor
- Increased amount of circulating testosterone which is a DHT precursor
We often associate hair loss with old age, however, if you look at the trend this is not necessarily the case. There are a lot of hair loss sufferers who lose their locks and even end up bald, at an early age. Although, age-related hair loss is mostly experienced by individuals who are in their twilight years due to the gradual decline of the structures.
If you look at the progression of hair loss, it is usually in the late twenties to the mid-thirties that changes in the overall appearance and density of the hairs start. Pattern hair loss at a younger age has not yet fully revealed since it may still advance over the years. This is a key consideration for individuals who will be considering a hair transplant.
In the event that an elective surgery is done at an early age, future surgeries might have to be done to maintain the natural appearance. It is for this reason that you should be properly advised by a certified and experienced surgeon because procedures done too early may have to be surgically corrected.
Disease or Illness
Certain conditions can result in hair loss, such as thyroid diseases (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism), ringworm of the scalp, or Systemic lupus erythematosus. Hair loss is only incidental to the condition due to the depletion of certain nutrients in the body or hormonal shifts.
The common symptoms of thyroid problems in include scattered hair loss and this is true for both an underactive and overactive thyroid. Fortunately, the hair loss caused by this condition can be reversed with proper treatment.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that when left untreated will result in permanent scarring. Severe infections will still result in patches of hair loss even after treatment has been done.
A more serious condition associated with hair loss is lupus, an autoimmune condition which destroys the hair follicles. Furthermore, the medicines used can also trigger more hair shedding. To manage the problem suggestions include, wigs, hair wraps, hair extensions, or a hair transplant.
Other health problems with hair loss as presenting symptoms include heavy metal poisoning, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, late-stage syphilis, HIV and any severe ongoing or chronic illness.
Medicines and medical treatments
Medications may be formulated to provide therapeutic effects, however, it is also inherent in their chemical makeup that they also pose a certain risk. This effect is a result of the interference of the normal hair growth cycle resulting in two types of hair loss, Telogen effluvium, and Anagen Effluvium. The list of medications that cause this problem include:
- Large doses of Vitamin A
- Gout Medications
- ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) Inhibitors
- Male and Female hormones
Medical treatments like Chemotherapy or dialysis may also result in hair changes which may eventually lead to hair loss. This is a reaction to malnutrition or the side effects of the medications used which leaves the patient immunocompromised. Fortunately, this type of hair loss is reversible once the course of treatment is finished.
Hair care and styling
The way you style your hair can pose a negative effect on the entire structure, especially if you wear it for prolonged periods of time. This is referred to as traction alopecia, caused by the strong amount of pressure applied on the roots of the hair follicles. Studies show that this is common among African-American hairstyles which tend to be scalp-pulling, similar to the tension created by weaves and extensions.
Hair loss is a multifactorial phenomenon which has to be scrutinized more carefully if you are serious about getting the proper treatment and the likelihood of it being effective. To this effect, it is important that you find a good hair loss expert or surgeon, to guide you through the process of restoration.
If you have more questions, feel free to drop Sydney Hair Transplant Clinic a message.
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