Your Healthy Lifestyle

Hair Loss - What You Can Do
- Part 1

Hair Loss Statistics

The human scalp has 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles. About 50 to 100 hairs are shed daily from a healthy scalp. 

Hereditary hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. By age 40, 40 percent of women and nearly 40 percent of men have visible symptoms of hereditary hair loss. Believe it or not, 36% of all women between the ages of 40 and 49 agonize over some degree of hair thinning or loss. 

However, while hair loss in women is a significant problem, the hair loss experienced is not generally anywhere near as severe as hair loss in men. Two out of three men can expect to be bald, or balding, by the time they reach 50 years of age. Hair loss in men is an issue with which huge numbers of men are concerned. Hereditary hair loss in men doesn't wait until the fourth or fifth decade to manifest, either. Hair loss for many men starts in their twenties.

About 95 percent of all cases of hair loss are the result of androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness in men).

As well as hereditary hair loss, hair loss can occur from environmental and lifestyle causes. Researchers are finding that environmental issues are causing both men and women to lose hair at an earlier age. Women appear to be more subject to hair loss due to dietary factors than men. Low iron levels are the most common dietary reason women experience hair loss, although other vitamins and minerals may be involved. Also, the intake of a diet high in animal fat directly leads to the increased incidence of hair loss and even balding because the higher levels of animal fat cause the oil glands in the hair follicles to grow, leading to more DHT production and therefore more damage to the hair follicles. 

Female pattern baldness tends to result in a more evenly spread out thinning of hair than is the case with hair loss in men. Women will usually notice a gradually increased rate of hair loss. This will most likely be noticed on pillows, in the shower, hairbrushes, or even vacuum brushes when vacuuming the floor. It is impossible to count the number of hairs being lost per day, but women will notice the thinning and loss of hair around the same time. Some women who have curly or thick hair may not notice the change as soon as thinner haired women. Skin and hair color also determine how easily the thinning is noticed. Someone who has light hair and dark skin will notice balding much sooner than most.

Hormonal causes can cause or contribute to hair loss. Hair loss frequently occurs when the body's hormonal levels are noticeably altered. This can occur due to pregnancy, or going on or off birth control pills. This type of hair loss is usually temporary. 

Hair loss can be due to many types of medications, including those taken for high blood pressure, depression, heart problems and gout. If your hair loss is due to a short-term event such as stress, pregnancy, and the taking of certain medications in these situations, you can be relatively certain that the hair loss is temporary. Your hair will grow back when the event has passed. Substances (including hormones), medications, and diseases can cause a change in the hair growth and shedding phases and in their durations. When this happens, synchronous growth and shedding occur. Once the cause is dealt with, hairs go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding, and your hair loss problem stops.

Alopecia aretea-autoimmune disorder is another hair loss cause, which causes "patchy hair loss", often in small circular area in different areas of the scalp. 

Taking high doses of Vitamin A can cause or contribute to alopecia. Tightly braided hair, hair coloring, perms and frequent shampooing (more than once per day) can cause alopecia.

Adults are not the only ones suffering from hair loss because even children face hair loss at times.

Hair Loss - Part 2