Hair loss is a prevalent issue that affects nearly every aspect of a man's life, from relationships to professional life. Almost two-thirds of American men experience some level of noticeable hair loss by the age of 35, and nearly 85% of men over the age of 50 have significantly thinning hair.
A variety of factors can cause and contribute to hair loss. While the most common cause of men's hair loss is genetics, diet, environment, hormonal changes, medical conditions, and medications all play a role in hair loss.
More than 95% of men's hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. An inherited condition, androgenetic alopecia causes hair follicles to have a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Hair goes through a three-phase growth cycle. First, a growth phase lasting from two to eight years, then a two to four-week stage where the follicle shrinks, begins to detach and degrade, and finally, a resting stage, which lasts from two to four months. When this normal growth cycle is changed or interrupted, hair loss occurs.
DHT interrupts the growth cycle of hair follicles that are genetically sensitive to prolonged exposure to the hormone, causing them to spend less time in the growing phase and more time in the resting stage.
Over time hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT begin a process called miniaturization, which causes shrinkage, and shortens the lifespan of the affected hair follicles. Eventually, as the follicles continue to become smaller, they produce smaller and weaker strands of hair.
Hair follicles that are especially susceptible to DHT damage tend to congregate around the front of the scalp and the crown of the head. Hereditary hair loss typically causes a receding hairline as well as the loss of hair around the temples. Often a ring of hair is left along the back and sides of the head. The scalp and the crown usually have hair follicles that are the most sensitive to DHT exposure, while the back and sides of the scalp have the most active and healthiest hair follicles.
Medical Conditions and Medicines
Certain medical conditions such as thyroid disease, lupus, and scalp infections like ringworm can cause hair thinning and hair loss. Additionally, the prescription medicines used to treat these diseases as well as cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, heart problems can cause drug-induced alopecia.
Hair loss is a potential side effect of many different medications and the extent and duration depends on the specific drug, dosage, and the individual. Drug-induced alopecia typically starts appearing a few months after an individual begins taking a particular medication with various medications affecting different phases of the hair growth cycle. Men with drug-induced alopecia usually notice thinning hair followed by the apparent hair loss on the top of the scalp.
Other Contributing Factors
Many other factors play a role and can trigger noticeable hair loss. High-stress situations such as a job change, marriage, divorce, or a death in the family can worsen hair thinning or loss. A change in diet, poor nutrition, extreme weight loss, and other physical conditions can also trigger alopecia.
Contact Mane Image Hair Replacement Center
There are a variety of causes behind hair thinning and loss in men and many underlying issues that can trigger or worsen the condition. Determining the cause of hair loss is the first step in halting and reversing the process. We offer a FREE initial consultation, where our hair loss specialist will examine your scalp and hair, investigate contributing factors, and develop a custom solution to fill your needs.