Men’s Hair Loss – Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss in men.
Hair Loss – What It Is
Hair grows on all parts of the human skin except the palms and soles of the feet, but some hairs are so thin that they are almost invisible. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is produced in the hair follicles located in the outer layer of the skin. As the hair follicles produce new hairs, the old ones fall out and are replaced by new ones.
On average, an adult’s head has about 100,000-150,000 hairs and it is normal to lose about 100 hairs a day (on the day of bathing, up to 250 can be lost). Therefore, you should not worry and think that you are suffering from hair loss as soon as you see fallen hair on your comb.
Each hair follicle has its own life cycle that can be affected by age, health status and many other factors. This life cycle is divided into three phases:
- Regenerative: is the active phase of development that lasts from two to six years.
- Congenital: is the transitional phase of development that lasts from two to three weeks
- Telogen: is the resting phase that lasts about two to three months, at the end of which the hair falls out and is replaced by new hair, and its life cycle begins from the beginning.
Under normal circumstances, 90% of the hairs on the scalp are in the growth phase, and only 10% in the resting phase. It is estimated that the rate of hair growth is about 15 cm per year. But as people get older, the rate of hair growth slows down.
Hair loss occurs when the life cycle of the hair is affected and becomes shorter, and suddenly more hair follicles pass from the regenerative to the telogen phase.
Hair Loss – Symptoms
Symptoms of hair loss vary in men, women and children. Most people find that they suffer from hair loss when they start picking up more fallen hair from the bath brush or siphon.
Symptoms of hair loss in men may include:
- Hair thinning
- Retraction of the anterior frontal line
- Complete hair loss (baldness) on the top of the head
On the contrary, the main symptom of hair loss in women is the general thinning and weakening of the hair, mainly on the top of the head.
In children and young adults, hair loss can be manifested by the loss of entire tufts of hair or by total hair loss throughout the body.
Hair Loss – The Causes
What can disrupt the hair life cycle?
- Hormonal disorders, such as the levels of female hormones (estrogen, progesterone) during pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause, but also the levels of androgens (male hormones produced by both men and women).
- Genes, inherited from both father and mother, can predispose to male or female alopecia.
- Certain conditions, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, lupus, anemia, iron deficiency, and taking certain medications can cause hair loss.
- Burns and injuries can cause temporary hair loss. In these cases, the protrusion of the hair is restored as soon as the wound heals, unless it causes a scar, where the hair will never grow back.
- Autoimmune diseases can cause gyroid alopecia, in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles.
- Beauty treatments such as frequent shampooing, perm, straightening, oxygenation and hair dye can make hair weaker, while certain hairstyles, such as the ponytail and tight ponytail, can cause so-called pull-out hair loss. .
- A diet low in calories or protein can cause temporary hair loss.
Men’s Hair Loss – Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss in men. It is estimated to affect 25% of men up to the age of 30 and 50% of men up to the age of 50. The hair is lost following a specific pattern, starting above the two temples. Gradually, the anterior frontal line recedes in a manner reminiscent of the letter “M”. Also, the hair thins at the top of the head, which leads to partial or total baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia can manifest very early in the life of men, even from adolescence, and tends to develop particularly rapidly in the decade between 20-30 years. Genetic and environmental factors play a decisive role in its appearance. Although many of them are still under investigation, a particular androgen hormone, called dihydrotestosterone, has been particularly implicated, which when present in high concentrations in the hair follicles, shortens their life cycle leading to severe hair loss.
In addition, androgenetic alopecia has been linked to certain conditions, such as coronary heart disease, prostate hyperplasia, insulin resistance (diabetes and obesity), and hypertension.
Male pattern baldness can also be caused by the following:
- Intense stress
- Chronic diseases
- Skin diseases
- Taking certain medications (eg anticoagulants)
- Unbalanced diet
- Environmental pollution
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