More than 70% of men suffer from hair loss at least once in their lives. One may wonder why hair loss is so common, especially in men. Women also suffer from thinning hair, but fortunately, it is not called baldness and is characterized by uniform hair loss over the entire scalp. Let’s look at the causes of baldness that are found in all men.
1. Hair thinning due to baldness genes
Genetics is by far the most common cause of thinning hair, especially in men. Most men have a baldness gene in their DNA, which determines when and how they lose their hair. Over 70% of men who suffer from thinning hair face this problem because they have good genes. People who have family members who are often bald are more likely to become bald themselves as they age. However, hereditary alopecia doesn’t wait until your 50s but can begin as early as your mid-30s or even your teens. In medicine, hereditary alopecia is called androgenetic alopecia.
Now comes the million-dollar question. How do you determine if thinning hair is hereditary? In most cases, doctors can easily tell the difference between hereditary alopecia and other alopecia by simply looking at the hair structure. Certain patterns repeat. This is why it is called male pattern baldness. In women too, there is genetic alopecia that also follows a certain pattern, but with a slightly different form, called female baldness. There is a scale called Norwood’s classification that helps determine the degree of baldness in men and women.
2. Uniform hair loss
Some men and many women suffer from uniform hair loss on all parts of the head. It is usually less easy to detect than hair loss in men and women. The normal hair growth cycle is divided into three phases.
- Anagen: the growth phase, which lasts about three years and during which hair grows an average of 0.5 cm per month.
- Catagen: the second phase, during which the hair prepares to enter the resting phase. During this phase, the hair undergoes chemical changes and falls out.
- Resting phase: The resting phase of the hair disappears after 2 to 5 months. At any given time, about 10% of the hair is in the resting phase.
Therefore, a loss of about 100 hairs per day is considered quite normal. However, people who suffer from regular hair loss have more hair in the resting phase than normal.
3. Hormonal hair loss
The main cause of hair loss in men is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a derivative of the male androgen hormones. In men who suffer from hormonal alopecia, a certain amount of testosterone, the male reproductive hormone, begins to be converted into DHT through a chemical process. There are medications that inhibit this transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. These medications have a positive effect on preventing hormone-induced hair loss and restoring hair density, but there is no permanent cure and the situation returns as soon as the medications are stopped. The only way to permanently restore hair density is through hair transplantation.
4. Diet – nutritional deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies can also be the cause of thinning hair. Nutrients such as protein, iron, vitamins (vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin E), and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper hair growth. Certain minerals also help keep hair healthy and strong. Important minerals include iron, selenium, silicon, zinc, copper, and iodine. A deficiency in nutrients and minerals can have a negative impact on hair health, and a severe deficiency can lead to hair loss. To combat the problem of hair loss, start with a balanced diet and make sure you are getting enough of the above nutrients and minerals. If you feel that diet alone is not enough to overcome a deficiency, supplements are another option.
Stress can have a negative effect on your skin and hair, as well as your overall health. Men who have experienced physical or emotional trauma may show signs of hair loss months later. Therefore, if you are suffering from unexplained hair loss, you should take stock of your life and check to see if you have experienced trauma in the past few months. Fortunately, hair loss related to stress and anxiety is almost always reversible, and most of the hair you lose will grow back if you can manage your stress.
Smoking can also accelerate hair loss. The chemicals in tobacco smoke inhibit the production of the proteins that make up hair.
Pollution can also trigger and accelerate hair thinning. Environmental pollutants that can cause hair loss include
- Selenium: Selenium is a common contaminant in our diet. When present in large amounts, it can cause hair loss.
- Lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, iron, and copper: some of these minerals are essential to hair health, but only in very small amounts. An excess of these minerals can have negative health effects, including hair loss.
Sara is a freelance writer, linguist, and communications expert based in Southern Europe. At age 10, she read a book called “1001 Questions about the Human Body” and has since dedicated her life to breaking down the complexities and myths around the human body like prp hair treatments uk prices and the culture surrounding it, especially in relation to mental and physical health. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.