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Types and Causes of Hair Loss

In most types of hair loss there is a genetic predisposition, but there are also instances where there is no family history of the particular condition. In either case, there are treatments that can help stop and reverse the effects of most types of hair loss.

Male and Female Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern BaldnessType: Male and female pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenic alopecia, is a hereditary condition affecting 80% of men and roughly 4 in 10 women. It can start as early as puberty but for women it mostly occurs post-menopause. It may present differently for everyone but generally the first signs include either a receding hairline, thinning on top of the scalp, or diffuse spread thinning.

Cause: Male and female pattern baldness is caused by the effect of male hormones on the hair follicle. An enzyme called 5-alpha reductase creates dihydrotestosterone (DHT) when it comes into contact with testosterone. In those with the genetic sensitivity, DHT restricts the growth of new hair cells by attaching itself to the receptor cells of the hair follicle, causing them to shrink. With each new growth stage of the hair lifecycle, the hair comes back a little thinner and weaker, and if left untreated, the follicle could eventually become dormant and hair growth could stop completely.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia Areata Type: Alopecia areata is often a sudden development that presents itself as small round patches of baldness. It is not limited to the scalp and can cause hair loss on other parts of the body such as eyelashes, eyebrows and beards. It affects as many as 1 in 100 people at any age and is equally prevalent in both men and women. It is categorised as an autoimmune disorder.

Cause: With people who develop alopecia areata, for unknown reasons their bodies’ own immune systems attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation. What activates and promotes the onset of alopecia areata is largely unknown but there are several suggested factors that could play a part, such as long-term, chronic or sudden and extreme stress, physical trauma, infection, pregnancy and hormones, allergies and chemicals. In 7 out of 10 cases, the hair will regrow within a year without any treatment. However it is believed that the longer the period of hair loss, and without trying treatments, the less likely it is that the hair will grow back.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen EffluviumType: Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that results in overall thinning due to an excessive amount of hairs being shed. It is a temporary condition, although it can trigger genetic patterns of hair loss. Telogen effluvium affects both men and women, but is more often seen in women due to the nature of most of the common causes.

Cause: Stress, illness, medications, rapid weight loss and childbirth can all cause certain hair follicles to prematurely enter the resting phase. Each factor represents a shock to the system and the internal imbalance results in hair shedding. Treatment is largely based on addressing the cause and if done so successfully, normal hair growth should resume within a few months. However, due to the incidence of genetic hair loss it is not unlikely that any of these factors could have triggered male or female pattern baldness.

Post-Partum Alopecia

Type: Post-partum alopecia occurs in women two to four months after giving birth and causes excessive shedding of hair and overall thinning. It is thought to be quite common but there are no reliable statistics regarding prevalence.

Cause: Normally people shed up to 100 hairs a day, but the hormonal changes that occur in a woman during pregnancy mean it’s more likely that she sheds only 50 or so. After childbirth, women’s hormone levels return to normal and this triggers the apparent hair loss. The hair that should have shed but was retained during pregnancy enters the resting stage of the hair cycle at once falls out within two to four months. Whilst this may seem quite significant, the hair growth cycle should return to normal within about 6 months. If it does not, there could be other possible causes.

Treatments for Hair Loss

Hair loss specialist examining man's scalpThe most highly regarded types of treatments for hair loss are those licensed by the MHRA. They are clinically and medically proven to help stabilise thinning and stimulate renewed hair growth in most cases of hair loss.

The Belgravia Centre has discovered that the combination of proven treatments with supportive hair growth boosters often provides the best chance of recovery for anyone experiencing hair loss. Depending on the type and severity of the hair loss, specialists will recommend a comprehensive treatment program based around these products that is specifically tailored to suit your individual case, ensuring that you become another hair loss success story.

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