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Insights

How Does Hair Grow?

Hair is made of a protein called keratin, and grows from a root underneath the skin, which contains the follicle of the hair and a bulb that produces melanin (which is what gives hair its color).

Hair follicles are responsible for healthy hair—they need oxygen and nutrients. Without proteins, vitamins, and minerals, the root can weaken, leading to problems such as dry hair and dandruff, as well as hair loss.

How Much Hair Do We Lose Each Day?

On average, the human scalp has anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles. People lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs per day, which will eventually be replaced by new hairs growing from the same follicle. However, if hair loss exceeds 100 strands per day, it may be more than just average hair loss. Additionally, even if you’re losing an average amount of hairs per day, it can take longer for new hairs to appear, which can contribute to the appearance of thinning hair or bald spots.

What Are Some Causes for Hair Loss?

Heredity is usually the biggest predictor for hair loss—most men will experience some degree of hair loss by their 50s, particularly if it’s in their family history. Poor nutrition, stress, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus, can contribute to hair loss as well.

Other Factors That Cause Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of baldness that affects men and women, although women generally experience a decrease in the hair’s density rather than complete hair loss. This condition is caused by genetics, and it converts mature hair into immature hair. Patients experience hair reduction and the hair follicles shrink. Only the fibrous tracts of the follicles stay in place, which leads to a pattern of loss.

In addition, hormonal imbalances can cause hair loss, and some men may experience patchy hair loss due to the immune system attacking the hair follicles.

Hair loss in Men

Androgenetic Alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB) is the most common type of hair loss in men. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main factor that causes MPB. Over time the DHT causes the follicle to become smaller and smaller until the hair falls out and is completely gone. This process is called miniaturization.

Miniaturized follicles
Miniaturized follicles
Healthy follicles
Healthy follicles

Other factors contribute to hair loss such as poor nutrition, stress, and certain medical conditions, as well as some medications can contribute to hair loss as well.

The Norwood scale of MPB
The Norwood Scale of MPB

Hair loss in Women

Most people think this is a male disease but women make up about 40% of hair loss sufferers. Female hair loss is generally ignored in the mainstream media. The similarity between men’s and women’s hair loss is that it is genetic and mostly caused by DHT. There are many more reasons why women could lose their hair such as:

Facelifts-  the scalp/face gets pulled back too far and Hairlines/sideburns/temples disappear

Gynecological reasons such as PCOS, birth control, menopause, and child birth

Anemia

Thyroid

Trauma or stress

Inadequate nutrition caused by eating disorders, crash dieting, and vitamin and mineral deficiency

Lupus

Certain medications

Traction Alopecia hair loss caused from excessive tension on hair from wearing tight hairstyles over periods of time.

Ludwig scale of female hair loss
Ludwig scale of female hair loss


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Hair Facts

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