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Get the Lowdown on Hair Loss

January 30, 2013

This Article is Posted in Category: Beauty

Get the Lowdown on Hair Loss

There are new hair regrowth products coming out constantly, claiming to cure hair loss and revitalize thinning, dry, gray and brittle hair. Consumers spend more than $1 billion in the United States alone on products to help prevent or reverse the effects of hair loss. What many don’t realize is that hair loss can be caused by a variety of things, and there are several different types. To find the best hair regrowth products, it pays to understand what’s causing your hair loss.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Most people don’t know what’s causing their hair loss. Some believe it is part of aging that has been passed down from their mother’s side of the family. Others believe they wore a baseball cap too often or that they have used too many hair-styling products over the years. To treat hair loss, it’s best to first understand the cause.

Hormones and Genes

Hormones and genes have the most significant influence in hair loss. An imbalance in particular hormone levels, most notably testosterone, is known to be a major cause. When the body converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), hair loss can occur. DHT in the body is a chief cause of male and female-pattern baldness. Another cause of pattern baldness is genes. Genes from both parents can predispose a person to developing pattern baldness.

Stress and Illness

Stress and various illnesses can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. Certain drugs, such as those used to treat cancer and control blood pressure, can cause hair to fall out in patches. This hair loss is usually temporary. Several autoimmune diseases can also cause temporary hair loss.

Vitamin Deficiencies

A lack of vitamins and minerals is one common cause of hair loss. Vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin E, biotin, zinc and iron are vital for healthy hair growth and regeneration. These elements are important for many body systems to function properly, like blood circulation, cell oxygenation as well as nourishment of the body’s skin, hair and nails. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to thinning, gray, brittle hair. It can also cause dry flaking or an overly oily scalp as well as clogged hair follicles and eventually, permanent hair loss.

Different Types of Hair Loss

Not all hair loss can be considered the same. Some types of hair loss are temporary and some are permanent. The best hair regrowth products are those designed to deal with specific types. The different types of hair loss have different causes. Therefore, it is important to understand what type of hair loss you have before you can find a suitable and effective regrowth treatment.

Involutional Alopecia

Involutional alopecia occurs as we age. As more hair follicles become dormant and hair growth decreases, hair begins to thin, leading to baldness. This process usually occurs over a long period of time. This type of hair loss typically begins around age 40 and can speed up as we get into our 50s and 60s. Involutional alopecia affects both males and females.

Androgenic Alopecia

Otherwise known as male or female-pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia accounts for around 95 percent of hair loss in men and women. In men, it is characterized by a receding hairline that spreads over the top of the head. Hormones, such as testosterone and DHT and family history play a significant factor in experiencing androgenic alopecia. The hair follicles become restricted and lose their blood supply. This type of baldness can occur during your 20s, or it may not become apparent until your 50s and 60s.

Alopecia Areata

Characterized by patchy bald spots that can appear anywhere on the head, alopecia areata appears quickly. It may lead to partial or complete baldness. Affecting both males and females, it is usually related to illness and autoimmune disease. This type of hair loss is generally temporary, lasting from a few months to a few years, but may also become permanent.

Hair loss can be alarming and stressful. Fortunately, there are some effective treatment options available. The products and treatments for hair regrowth are designed to treat specific types of hair loss, dealing with the cause of the problem.

About the Author: Vanessa Barnes is a contributing writer who writes for various online health sites. With a nursing background, she enjoys writing about topics relating to medical, health and natural therapies.

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