What Not To Look For
The three signs above are good indicators that you should think about taking action to stop your hair loss.
However, there are also commonly repeated “signs” of baldness that arent as reliable for identifying hair loss. These include:
An itchy scalp, which may have one or more causes, such as dandruff, but which generally does not indicate long-term hair loss.
Thin-looking hair after you swim or shower, which is more often a result of your hair clumping together and revealing your scalp than real hair loss. To accurately check for hair loss, its always best to compare photos of your hair when its dry and unstyled.
A widows peak, which is a dominant genetic trait and may be an indicator of hair loss or susceptibility to hair loss.
A few hairs on your pillow or bar of soap, which are completely normal and not a reliable indicator that youre losing an abnormal amount of hair.
A depigmented bulb on hair that falls out naturally. This just indicates that the hair was in the telogen phase when it fell out, and doesnt mean that it wont grow back as normal.
A bald grandfather on a certain side of your family. Scientists still dont know exactly how male pattern baldness is inherited, and a bald father or grandfather is no guarantee that you will also go bald.
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Does It Run In The Family
Look into your family’s history with hair loss. Male Pattern Baldness is typically a genetic condition, so your first step in determining if you are balding is finding out if you are genetically prone to baldness.
In the event you have a family history of male pattern baldness, then there is a good chance your hair loss is not the result of stress or another factor. It may come down to genetics, and there is not much you can do about that.
At this point, you should speak with a dermatologist to go over your hair restoration options. There is a lot of information you can find online, but the internet is also filled with half-truths and myths. The only way to get good information you can trust is to go directly to a medical professional who can review your hair loss.
Why Most People Worry About Hair Loss
To worry about the hair loss gene is easy because
There is almost nothing you can do about it. It feels like a time-bomb sitting deep in your body and about to strike.
The good news about the guys is that you have solace from those who buck the trend. Think Robert Downey Jnr, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Wahlberg, and Seth Green. None are towering in stature. They see a good head of hair staring back to them when they look in the mirror.
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While we are at it, here are some more famous names such as Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and The Rock Johnson. Each man is above 6ft and none even boasts a float of hair on their plates. What is more, these are bald men who have got in the world. With pride they wear chrome domes and remind the world that hair may not be fair, but neither must the loss be a scare. Baldness can be handsome or beautiful if that will make you feel more masculine.
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Why Is My Hair Falling Out
Wonder why your hair is falling out? The answers may surprise you. Many women suffer with sudden hair loss, and most loss of hair has a reason whether genetic, stress, diet, medication, or certain health conditions.
The most common type of hair loss is the kind that you inherit, called androgenetic alopecia. With genetic hair loss, you lose your hair gradually, and hair loss increases with age. But in some cases, other factors may lead to your hair falling out. It is especially likely that a nongenetic factor may be causing your loss of hair if your once thick, healthy hair suddenly and noticeably begins falling out.
Most of us normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. This loss of hair generally does not cause thinning of hair because at the same time new hair is growing on your scalp. But sudden hair loss is something to take seriously. According to the Mayo Clinic, this loss of hair occurs when the cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
Hair disorders such as androgenetic alopecia are the most common cause of hair loss, affecting about 80 million people in the United States, including both men and women. Women with hereditary hair loss most commonly notice a widening part in the front and center of the scalp with generalized thinning, while men see bald patches on the head.
But other than genetic reasons, there are many factors that can result in hair loss, including:
- Poor nutrition
Key Points About Temporary Or Abnormal Hair Loss
Childbirth May Be A Trigger
Moms-to-be are often very happy that their hair seems much fuller during pregnancy, but they are then disappointed when they experience hair loss after giving birth. Losing hair after pregnancy is not true hair loss and is normal. That’s because hormones and hair loss in women are linked. Hair falls out after women give birth due to decreasing estrogen levels. Some women notice that they lose a lot of hair in a short period of time after giving birth. The good news is that after this shedding period, hair fullness often returns to normal within 1 to 2 years. Many people wonder what’s the best treatment for hair loss in women? For postpartum moms waiting for their full head of hair to return, using over-the-counter volumizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for fine hair can make hair appear fuller.
Testing The Degree Of A Womans Hair Loss
There are two widely known female hair loss density scales used by most hair loss specialists: the Ludwig Scale and the Savin Scale. They are identical except that the Savin Scale also measures overall thinning.
In the Savin Scale, shown here, eight crown density images reflect a range from no hair loss to severe hair loss. Density 8 is rarely seen in clinical practice. Frontal anterior recession is also illustrated .
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How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
Ringworm And Hair Loss
Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that causes patches of hair loss. The official medical name for ringworm on the scalp is tinea capitis. The infection starts out as a small pimple that grows larger. Affected areas are itchy, red, inflamed, scaly patches with temporary baldness. The skin may ooze. People may have one or more bald spots. Ringworm is more common in children, but adults can get it, too.
The fungus triggers hair loss by causing hair to become brittle and to break off. The skin often appears most red around the edge of the lesion, with a more normal appearing skin tone in the center. That is one of the reasons the condition is called ringworm. The condition is contagious with skin-to-skin contact. It is also transmissible by infected combs, hairbrushes, unwashed clothing, and surfaces in gyms, showers, and pool areas. Your doctor can treat ringworm with oral antifungal medication. Ringworm on the scalp is one potential cause of hair loss in women that is reversible.
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Different Kinds Of Stress Can Cause Hair Loss
If youve been under emotional or physical stress, it may lead to hair loss. Things like a death in the family, major surgery, or a serious illness may cause the body to shut down certain processes like hair production.
Theres around a three-month delay between when a stressful event happens and when you might see hair loss, so you may not pinpoint the trigger right away.
However, if you are experiencing thinner hair, consider different events or situations in your life that may have caused you considerable stress. Hair loss due to stress is generally temporary. Hair may begin growing again after the event has passed and the follicle starts producing again.
Your Scalp Is Itchy Or Flaky
Although an itchy scalp doesnt necessarily mean youre losing your hair, many conditions that can cause your scalp to itch can also cause hair loss.
For example, hair loss is a well-known symptom of tinea capitis — a fungal infection that affects your scalp and causes your skin to itch.
Other conditions that can affect your skin and cause itching, such as seborrheic dermatitis, may cause hair loss if you scratch your scalp too aggressively. Its also common to experience mild itching with alopecia areata hair loss.
With this said, there isnt any scientific research to show that male pattern baldness — the most common cause of hair loss in men — results in an itchy scalp.
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Your Hair Is Thinning
Aside from the hairline itself, there are other clues to look for. One of the most important is thinning hair.
In pattern baldness the hairline retreats, but hair also starts to thin in other areas. Typically this thinning will start in the temple area. For some men it can also start in the crown. Lastly, some men will experience thinning all over the top part of their head.
Thinning hair can be more difficult to spot than a receding hairline. Often, men notice an area of their scalp has thinned after 50-60% or more of the hair has been lost.
Run your fingers through the hair on your head. Note the texture, thickness, and overall quality. Do the same to the hair at the sides of your head. Do you notice a difference? Can you see the underlying scalp in some areas but not others?
If you see sings of thinning, it can also be useful to look at past photographs of yourself. Photos taken years apart can easily highlight gradual changes that otherwise go unnoticed.
Another related sign is the presence of small hairs beyond the hairline. If you see quite a few smaller, isolated hairs in front of your hairline, this is a potential sign of a receding hairline. If the hairline is simply maturing, there will be almost no smaller hairs in front of the hairline.
Fungal Infections Cause Loss Of Hair In Patches
In some cases, a scalp infection may be causing your loss of hair. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is especially common in children. Ringworm of the scalp, called tinea capitis, can cause your scalp to become scaly and your hair to fall out, usually in patches. This fungal infection is easily treated with anti-fungal medication, which will stop the loss of hair.
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Losing Hair With General Anesthesia And Surgery Is Temporary
If you had major surgery and experienced excessive loss of hair about three months later, the anesthesia combined with the surgery itself may be to blame for your hair falling out. This is because general anesthesia and major surgery put your body under physical stress, which can alter the life cycle of the hairs on your head, and cause excessive loss of hair that shows up several months later. Still, hair loss related to major surgery is temporary, and your hair will grow back over time.
What Is The Classic Hair Length
The words classical hair length refer to the kind of hair thats long enough to cover the butts when one is standing and long enough to sit on. It usually stretches up to the area where the buttocks meet the hips.
It is slightly longer than tailbone length hair but slightly shorter than mid-thigh length hair. Some stylists often refer to it as butt-covering hair length.
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Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
How to fix unexplained, excessive hair loss.
Reversing Hair Loss
Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon that occurs after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss, or extreme stress, in which you shed large amounts of hair every day, usually when shampooing, styling, or brushing. It can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. During telogen effluvium, hair shifts faster than normal from its growing phase into the “resting” phase before moving quickly into the shedding, or telogen, phase.
The symptoms: Women with telogen effluvium typically notice hair loss 6 weeks to 3 months after a stressful event. At its peak, you may lose handfuls of hair.
The tests: There are no tests for telogen effluvium, but your doctor may ask you about recent life events and look for small “club- shaped” bulbs on the fallen hair’s roots. The bulbs mean the hair has gone through a complete cycle of growth, suggesting that the cycle may have sped up due to stress.
What you can do: In some cases, such as pregnancy or major surgery, you may have to bide your time until the hair loss slows. If medication is the culprit, talk to your doctor about lowering your dosage or switching drugs. If it’s stress-related, do your best to reduce anxiety.
Hereditary Hair Loss
What Specifically Causes Hair Loss
Hair loss can start as soon as puberty ends, depending on your hereditary sensitivity to DHT. That phrasing is key: Bauman stresses that it is not DHT production that causes hair loss, it’s the inherited sensitivity to DHT that causes the loss. Those with high sensitivity will be the first to experience a weakening in their follicles. This results in thinning around the crown and hairline, and lighter pigment in the hair. Behaviors that increase DHT production will magnify the loss depending on sensitivity. These behaviors include smoking, creatine supplements, resistance and weight training exercise, stress, and taking anabolic steroids or testosterone hormone replacement.
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