In humans, baldness generally occurs towards the thirties.
But it can, of course, make its appearance much earlier, or much later.
Some men accept their baldness and it poses no particular problem to them. But this is not the case for everyone. For some men, it is a real problem that can often give them a complex about it.
Having implants is one solution, but is very expensive as it is not reimbursed by social security, and requires several surgical procedures which come with their risks.
When testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone, men lose their hair, or the hair becomes extremely thin at the scalp and also at the front of the skull. It is the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme which is the cause.
Hair loss or alopecia has several causes. It concerns both men and women, with a higher prevalence in the former. Knowing how it works means we can find a solution to prevent this phenomenon or to stop its effects.
Different types of alopecia
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Hair loss or alopecia is a normal phenomenon. Each individual loses about 100 hairs a day. The age of a person and some environmental elements are also responsible. However, some people lose more. In this case, it is necessary to understand the way it works and its various manifestations.
- Alopecia is called congenital alopecia when an individual is born without hair roots, or when they are destroyed, preventing any chance of regrowth
Androgenetic alopecia is hereditary baldness which mainly affects men and is caused by a hormonal disorder, or a psychological shock, such as the loss of a loved one. It results in the progressive loss of hair on the forehead, temples and crown of the head. It usually occurs in late puberty and accelerates from the thirties onwards. However, it appears that women are affected more and more by this type of baldness, which is characterised by hair loss at the parting. The causes are the same as for men.
Diffuse alopecia is a visible loss of hair on the entire scalp. It points to the existence of a bodily disorder. For example, this is the case after giving birth, or because of a high level of stress.
When alopecia on a localised area of the scalp, its origins are an infection caused by ringworm or alopecia areata. Some disorders, such as Trichotillomania, which make the person concerned systematically tear his hair out, can also be the cause.
The life cycle of a hair
A hair has a life span of four to six years on average, after completing a cycle in three phases. When they fall out, at the end of their life, it can be explained as a perfectly natural phenomenon.
The first phase of the hair’s life cycle: the anagen phase
Anagen is a growth phase. It lasts two to four years for men, and six years for women. It is characterised by a regular regrowth of the hair shafts and active multiplication of cells. Keratin production is also constant. The hair becomes embedded in the hair follicle at the root and is fully alive. Anagen affects 85% of all of the hair.
The second phase of the hair’s life cycle: the catagen phase
Catagen is a regression phase that usually lasts two to three weeks. It affects 1% of the hair. During this period, the hair follicles affected produce absolutely no hair. The hair located in the follicle gradually rises to the surface of the skin, but still clings to it for some time, until its replacement comes to take its place.
The third phase of the hair’s life cycle: the telogen phase
This phase corresponds to the hair’s death and affects 14% of the hair. It is at this moment that the hair brought to the surface during the previous phase is ejected from the hair follicle by another hair that has already entered into the anagen phase. This phenomenon lasts two to three months; the time that the new hair roots itself enough into the follicle.
This three-phase cycle is repeated 25 to 30 times on average over a lifetime. Cutting your hair has no effect on the acceleration of the anagen phase. Cutting your hair allows you to get rid of split ends, while regrowth starts at the roots.
Losing up to a hundred hairs a day is neither alarming nor necessarily linked to any disease. This is simply the telogen phase, one of the stages of the cycle whose consequences are visible to the naked eye.
Treatments are offered to people with alopecia. But to prescribe appropriate treatment, it is necessary to first identify the cause of the phenomenon. Then, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor or dermatologist and to avoid using the miracle products on the market without medical advice.
Generally, when the factors responsible for baldness are external, such as a vitamin deficiency, taking certain medications such as anticoagulants or amphetamines makes it easier to treat. On the other hand, if hormones are involved, a graft linked with drug therapy may be recommended by the dermatologist.
There are currently several different categories of transplants. Medical and technological advancements in this field allow patients to benefit from meaningful and natural results. However, the cost of the operation is still high. Implant placement is a cheaper alternative, but the risk of rejection is still quite important.
Wearing a wig is an alternative for those who do not wish to have a costly operation. However, there are several points to take into consideration before buying a wig, to find a result that is as natural as possible. Fortunately, there have been many improvements made by manufacturers.
The earlier in the stages you act, the greater your chances of keeping your hair.
The active agent in Propecia Finasteride is effective against hair loss because it inhibits the activity of this enzyme. If you take it regularly and over a long term, you will get results, and the many studies on this treatment prove it.
If baldness is a real problem for you, if you lose confidence in yourself, or if you have a real complex, do not wait to take Propecia. It takes a few months for visible results, so it is better not to waste time.
- What is hair loss: NHS
- Reasons why you are losing your hair: Health
- Alopecia: Medicinenet
- How to prevent hair loss: UK Askmen
Medical review on January 7, 2021 by Dr. Davis Taylor