If you’re suffering from male or female pattern baldness, every morning can be scary when looking at the drain after your shower. We all shed around 100 hairs every day from our scalp. With normal hair growth these are replaced by a similar amount of new hair produced from follicles in the growth phase of the hair growth cycle.
But when you have a deficit, a net loss of hair every day, more of your hair follicles are staying in the resting phase or they’re becoming fully dormant. This is pattern hair loss.
Dr. Barrera has helped many men and women overcome their hair loss with hair transplantation. Let’s get into that for December’s two blogs, as this could be the perfect gift to yourself this holiday season — new hair for a New Year.
What causes hair loss in men?
For men, there are a variety of reasons behind their thinning hair.
- Male pattern baldness — Also known as androgenetic alopecia, this hair loss is genetically triggered. This is the most common reason for hair loss in men. It begins with the shrinking of the hair follicles, making the hair thinner, shorter, softer, and finer. From there, individual follicles become fully dormant, leading to areas of full baldness.
Medical problems — Anemia, thyroid problems, even diets low in protein and iron can cause male hair to thin. It can also be a side effect of drugs taken for cancer, arthritis, depression, cardiac issues, and high blood pressure.
- Stress or shock — Severe stress or emotional shocks can cause hair loss, but this is usually temporary.
- Infections — Infections such as ringworm can create bald patches or spots, but these usually grow back when the infection is treated.
- Alopecia areata — More common in women, sometimes men also have this genetic condition where the immune system attacks the hair follicles. This causes small patches of hair to fall out.
What causes hair loss in women?
Although full balding is more likely in men, women are nearly as likely as men to have thinning hair. Most women experience this in their 50s and 60s, but it can happen at any age for different reasons.
- Genetics — For women, the primary cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, female pattern hair loss. This is hereditary and affects about 30 million American women. Unlike men, whose hair tends to recede or become fully bald on the crown, women’s hair generally thins along the part line. Androgenic alopecia causes the hair follicles to shrink, leading to this thinning.
- Alopecia areata — This form of hair loss is more common in women than men. The immune system attacks the hair follicles, disabling them and causing small patches of hair to fall out.
- Medical conditions — Hair loss is common during pregnancy, with thyroid disorders, or due to anemia. Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can also lead to hair loss in women.
- Stress — Periods of extreme stress or physical trauma (say from surgery or illness) can cause hair loss. Even dramatic weight loss over a short period can affect the hair.
- Hairstyles — Tight braids and cornrow hairstyles can lead to hair loss through what is known as traction alopecia. Even too much brushing and blow drying can cause hair loss. In these cases, the hair will usually grow back when the stress is removed from the hair.
Now you know why you’re losing your hair. In the final blog of 2021, let’s get into what Dr. Barrera can do about it. Until then, if you’re interested in hair restoration give us a call at (713) 468-5200 to set up a consultation.