Causes of Hair Loss
Science has uncovered several causes of hair loss in men and women. There are also many myths
associated with hair loss. Some people explain their loss because they wear a hat too often, or because of stress. Some people think their diet causes them to lose hair or that washing their hair too much can cause loss. None of these things usually contribute to hair loss, so let’s take a look at what we know does.
The most common cause of hair loss in men and women is androgenetic alopecia. This is a big fancy medical term for pattern hair loss. So let’s take a look at what causes male and female pattern hair loss. Male pattern loss is indicated by loss of hair on the top of the head, while female pattern loss is usually in the form of a diffused loss over the entire scalp, or thinning everywhere. There are men that exhibit a female pattern and there are women who exhibit a male pattern. The type of pattern you may have has been predisposed genetically at birth.
Our Body’s produce a small enzyme called 5-alpha reductus. This enzyme is present in our blood stream and serves several useful functions. When the 5-alpha reductus comes in contact with the male hormone testosterone the two bond together forming a secondary hormone called dyhydrotestosterone. This chemical builds up in the follicle causing it to miniaturize. As the follicle gets smaller the hair that grows from it gets thinner and finer resulting in the appearance of less hair. Keep in mind all the hair you had is still there it just becomes so small that it can no longer be seen.
When you are conceived a genetic defect in the original DNA causes some of the 5-alpha reductus enzymes to be placed in some of the hair follicles on top of your head. These are the follicles that will eventually fail to grow hair.
There are several medical treatments available at this time that have the potential to stop the miniaturization of the follicle by either blocking the production of DHT in the follicle or by reducing the amount of DHT the body produces. These treatments are discussed in detail on the medical treatment page.
Stress Related Hair Loss
Stress can cause hair loss but it is generally a temporary loss. Normal everyday stress usually does not cause excessive loss. However, an unusually stressful event can cause some noticeable hair loss.