16 September 2016
Have you started seeing signs of hair loss recently? Or have you been bald for some time and wonder what is responsible for the loss of your hair which used to be huge? Then you need to read this.
Before I continue, let me say this; I decided to do this topic after my earlier post where I noted that stress causes baldness. In this piece, I did a detailed outline of the other factors that cause baldness.
About 90 per cent of the hair on your head is growing at any given time, in a growth phase that lasts as long as six years. The other 10 per cent is in a resting phase that lasts a few months, and at the end of that phase the hair is shed.
An estimated 100 hairs from the 100,000 or so strands in your scalp is lost every day. After this, a new hair then grows from the same follicle to replace lost hair, renewing the growing cycle.
Hair grows about half an inch a month, but that rate of growth slows as people age.
How people go bald
Baldness occurs when certain factors interfere with this natural process of hair loss and replacement, preventing new hair from growing and replacing hair that has fallen out.
Hair loss is a fairly common sign of aging among men. About a quarter of men begin to go bald by the time they’re 30, and about two-thirds are either bald or well on their way to baldness by 60.
Genetics, nutritional deficiency, drug side effects, or even stress caused by illness may play a role in hair loss.
Other factors responsible for male hair loss are:
One of the commonest factor that is also widely known among people to cause baldness is genetics. Male pattern baldness is considered a genetic condition, inherited from either the mother or the father’s side of the family. However, male pattern baldness also requires the presence of the male hormone testosterone. Genetics cause hair follicles to become sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a byproduct of testosterone. The follicles begin to grow smaller and their life span shorter, eventually falling out altogether or leaving behind fuzz.
Another factor responsible for baldness is known as Telogen. A telogen effluvium occurs when a shock to the body system causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. As many as 70 per cent of scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers, usually about two months after the initial event. While hair falling out by the handful can upset anyone, telogen effluvium normally resolves itself within a few months and the hair eventually grows back. Hair loss through telogen effluvium can be caused by:
- A serious illness involving a high fever or severe infection
- Major surgery or a chronic illness that can include thyroid disease
- Certain medications, such as anticoagulants, medications for gout, or chemotherapy drugs for cancer
- A lack of protein in your diet or too much vitamin A
- Low blood iron levels
This rare form of hair loss is thought to be an auto immune disorder in which antibodies attack the hair follicles. You may be in good health in all other respects, yet start finding smooth, round patches of exposed scalp; these can be roughly the size of a coin or larger. In some cases, these patches progress to total scalp and body hair loss. Alopecia areata is cyclical, meaning hair can grow back or fall out again at any time.
The cause of this rare disorder is unknown, but the hair loss involved in cicatricial alopecia results from inflammation around the hair follicle. A person affected might feel itching or pain and have scarring or permanent hair loss in the affected area.
Author: Dotun Obatuyi
My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.