Why Am I Losing My Hair?
Losing your hair can be a traumatic experience. For men, baldness can be taken as a sign of old age, unattractiveness, or infertility. Clinical studies have shown that hair loss is a cause of low self-esteem and low self-confidence in men. Hair loss can be caused by several factors which may include genetics, hormones, and age.
The typical adult head has about 100,000 hairs and sheds and regrows about 50 – 100 hairs a day. Each hair has a genetically programmed schedule that includes growth, shedding, and resting. When there is a mix of emotional turmoil, poor nutrition, medications, and illness can all cause excessive daily hair shedding. These factors are often only temporary, and hair growth should continue once these factors have ended. Around 70% of American men and 50% of American women will experience some sort of hair loss during their lifetime.
Hair loss can become permanent when hair follicles become thinner and weaker which will cause for the hair follicles to stop producing hair altogether. It is normal for a hairline to change from childhood to adulthood. In fact as one ages, the hair on the forehead naturally recedes. It is also common for the hair to thin slightly due to a reduction in the diameter of individual hairs. Any loss or recession after this point however, is considered male pattern baldness.
The Truth About Baldness
So what is the real reason so many men around the world go bald in the same areas of the scalp? Balding involves more than just losing hairs from the head. There are events that are happening at the same time. The shortening of the anagen phase and the shrinking of the follicle.
As these two events continue to work in conjunction with each other, the hairs become shorter and thinner and lose their pigment – causing “normal” hairs to change to terminal hairs, then to intermediate hairs and finally to vellus hairs. The following are the many types of hair loss and the reasons behind them:
Male Pattern Baldness
Androgenetic Alopecia, commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness. The term androgenetic alopecia contains two of the three causes of hair loss. The Greek word for “baldness,” is Alopecia. While androgenetic can be split into: androgens meaning “male hormones” and genetic meaning “genes.” The third component of hair loss is time. All three of these elements contribute to hair loss.
Genes are the biggest factor when it comes to hair loss. You inherit the tendency toward early hair loss, although hormones also come into the picture. Men reason that if their father is bald, they will be as well. Research shows that hair loss genes can come from either side of your family. Closely aligned with genetics is simply the passage of time. Time is a factor in many things that occur in our bodies and losing hair is no exception. Baldness is quite often a condition of advancing age.
Although hormones govern many chemical processes in the body, only two affect hair loss, which are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone is responsible for deepening the voice, building muscle mass and promoting hair growth under the arms and in the pubic area.
DHT, on the other hand, promotes hair growth on the face and body and is responsible for acne, enlarged prostates and male pattern baldness. Without testosterone, the body cannot make DHT and without DHT, male pattern baldness cannot occur. With the help of an enzyme known as 5 alpha-reductase, testosterone is converted to DHT. It is the presence of DHT in the hair follicle that activates the balding process.