Causes of hair loss.
Although there are many potential causes of hair loss, including diet, disease and the use of certain medications, the most common form of hair loss; Androgenetic Alopecia (male and female pattern baldness) accounts for nearly 95% of all hair loss and is the leading cause of hair loss for both men and women.
Despite common misconceptions, hair loss is not caused by frequent shampooing, poor circulation or wearing hats or helmets.
The tendency for both male and female pattern hair loss is genetically inherited from either side of the family. Hair loss genes make some hair follicles sensitive to a hormone called DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, that resides in the scalp. Although DHT is present in the entire scalp, only the hair at the front and top of the scalp is affected by DHT. Generally, hair follicles from the sides and back of the head are resistant to DHT.
When DHT is present at high levels, genetically affected hair follicles, which had previously produced healthy hair, begin to produce thinner, shorter and weaker hairs. Eventually, these miniaturized follicles produce only fine, almost invisible hairs. All hair follicles go through a cycle of growth, dormancy and re-growth. About 90% of hair follicles grow at any one time. Each follicle remains in the growing phase for approximately 2-6 years. After the growing phase, hair enters a transitional phase, typically lasting 2-3 weeks (generally, less than 1% of hair is in this phase). Finally, hair follicles rest for 2-3 months at the end of the resting phase, the follicle "sheds" the hair and begins to grow again. Unfortunately, hair follicles affected by DHT produce hair for shorter periods and "rest" for longer periods, until finally, they go into a permanent dormancy and cease to produce hair. Some hair follicles may even die and permanent baldness may occur.
Although the absolute extent of hair loss cannot be predicted, a consultation can assess the cause of your individual hair loss and help determine available treatment options. Please note that you should seek a diagnosis from a qualified Dermatologist for your hair loss. Some physicians who perform the surgery are not well versed with causes of hair loss aside from genetic hair loss. Dermatologists, such as Dr. Panine are qualified to examine your scalp and provide you with a proper diagnosis. Skin conditions can be very similar in nature so years of experience diagnosing and treating skin conditions is necessary to ensure you receive the proper care.
Other causes of hair loss include:
Click here to view the Mayo Clinic's published list of possible causes.
Some underlying causes can be treated with prescription medication before surgery is considered, as it may not be medically necessary. The only way to know for sure what your hair loss is caused by is to seek a consultation for your hair loss.