Understanding Hair Loss
There are many causes of hair loss. The most common cause is androgenetic and androgenic alopecia which is more commonly known as male and female pattern baldness. These conditions affect 53% of adult males and 29% of females. This cause of hair loss is genetically determined but is also affected by changes in your hair's DHT levels, hair nutrition and scalp hygiene.
Basic Hair Science
The scalp is composed of 3 layers of skin:
1) The Epidermis
2) The Dermis
3) The Subcutaneous layer
Within these three skin layers are blood vessels, nerves, muscles, glands, and hair (a tough protein called keratin).
Hair relies on blood vessels to feed the hair root, which in turn requires oxygen and nutrients to promote cellular activity. It is this activity that creates new growth. As hair grows within the hair follicle, it is lubricated by the sebaceous gland that secretes natural oil in the follicle, coating the hair for smooth growth and creating healthy lustre and sheen.
Good hair nutrition is vital for healthy hair, when fewer nutrients reach the papilla, the rate hair cells reproduce becomes much slower. Slower cellular activity produces thin, poor quality hair.
Hair Loss Basics
Dihydrotestosterone more commonly known as DHT causes 95% of all hair loss. DHT miniaturises hair follicles by shortening the anagen (growth) phase and / or lengthening the telogen (resting) phase. It is this disruption of the cycle that causes the hair follicles to shrink and die slowly.
The result of this is an increased number of vellus hairs which are short fine hairs which are barely visible above the scalp. The interaction of DHT with androgen receptors in scalp skin and follicles appears to cause male and female pattern baldness.
The build-up of sebaceous oil as a result of follicular shrinkage causes sebum. This Sebum collects in the hair follicle and hardens, creating a sebum plug which is sealed with environmental toxins and product build-up that inhibits the hair growth.
A combination of the blocked hair with existing weak hairs causes increased reduction in hair growth and appearance.
There is still life in the thin, fine hairs and their follicles and these can be turned into terminal hairs (normal hair) by treating them with DHT inhibitors, Laser hair retention therapy, proper hair nutrition and good scalp hygiene.
Hair transplant surgery is also an option for both androgenic and androgenetic hair loss.