Hair loss

What is loss of hair?

Effluvium is a certain type of hair loss condition. They affect different phases of the hair growth cycle. It can be classed as pathological hair loss, if the affected persons – subjectively – suffer from a mass of hair loss, which haven't been there before. In this case, we speak about alopecia.

Each individual has a certain, genetically defined, number of head hairs. This number varies with colour, but the consensus seems to be between 80.000 and 150.000. These numbers are only for orientation purposes and may differ.

This also applies to the definition of alopecia, also called pathological hair loss, which is classified as disease if a daily loss of 100 hairs or more is given. It should be noted that, in this case, the loss of at least 100 hairs per day is more critical for brunettes or redheads than for blonds, who have the highest density of hair.

Thin hair is mostly noticed after a hair loss of 50% of the normal hair conditions. A diagnostic and therapy in order to fight the loss of hair shouldn't start after the loss of hair has become visible, e.g. in form of a bald patch or thin hair, but as quickly as possible.

The most common forms of hair loss:

  1. Androgenic alopecia: genetically.caused loss of hair
  2. Diffuse hair loss
  3. Alopecia areata: patchy circular areas of hair loss

Causes of hair loss

There are many causes of hair loss, which can be brought on by a variety of different conditions. Although, many researchers still pin most of the blame on genetics, but they are not able to classify the exact causes of hair loss with absolute certainty. However, there are reasonable assumptions regarding the probable causes of hair loss.

The reasons can be found, in some cases, several years ago, until the loss of hair starts due to a certain situation. The focus of the following article should be on genetically causes of hair loss, as well as other factors, just like stress and depressions.

Genetically caused loss of hair – the most common causes in men

The loss of hair is caused by three factors: genes, hormones and time

The genetic factor

More than 90% of the men, who suffer from the loss of hair, are affected by genetically caused hair loss – an inherited disease, which is also called androgenic hair loss.

The causes for this loss of hair occurs due to an underlying susceptibility of hair follicles to androgenic miniaturization, steroid hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Women are far less affected by this form of alopecia than men, who typically show hairline recession at the temples and vertex balding. For some men it already starts when they are 20, for others after they have reached the age of 30 or even later. The longer it takes until this process begins, the more unlikely it becomes to go completely bald on the scalp.

If the scalp has a lot of DHT and an underlying susceptibility to it, the active growth phase / anagen phase for hair follicles gets shortened. The hair follicles start to waste away and cicatrice at least, due to the susceptibility to DHT. However, the hair of the neck as well as back of the head is immune to DHT and therefore doesn't start to fall after the transplantation to another area of the head.

This fact is helpful for hair transplantation. Only DHT-immune hair gets transplanted, which remains resistant to it and doesn't start to fall out on the transplantation area.

The latest research suggests the enzyme prostaglandin D2 and its product prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) in hair follicles as contributive regarding androgenic alopecia.

In most of the cases, the androgenic loss of hair starts with growing receding hairlines on the forehead and temples.

Active ingredients, such as Finasterid, which reduce the susceptibility to DHT or inhibit its development out of testosterone, show great results, especially for those, who have started to fight this disease at an early age.

The hormonal factor

Testosterone and the hormone DHT causes the loss of hair, which is hypersensitive to it. The male testes, as well as the adrenal cortex, produce androgenic hormones. Regarding the loss of hair in women, the ovaries produce hormones, which have similar, negative effects on the hair.

Naturally, hormonal changes, due to pregnancy, menopause or taking medicine, which contains hormones, might cause the loss of hair in women.

Women are mostly affected by the loss of hair after their menopause, however, it is more a thinning of the hair than complete loss of the head hair.

The factor “time“

Regarding genetically and hormonal causes for the loss of hair, it is also important to notice the factor “time“. The susceptible roots of the hair have to be exposed to the hormone for a long time, which leads to their weakening and finally results in the loss of hair. This phase differs from person to person and also depends on the genetic expression, which means development of the activity state of a gene and the testosterone level.

Further causes for hair loss

Strong physical or psychological stress might causes, or even forwards, the loss of hair. Other reasons can be smoking, bad foods / diet and / or excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Depressions, which is a psychological abjection, the emotional existential orientation of a human being, might have an influence on the hair state. In most of the cases, the loss of hair stops after a depression and the hair starts to grow again. As a result, this type of hair loss has been limited in time. A bipolar disorder, however, probably leads to a permanent change between growth and hair loss.

There are no general definitions for the exact reasons for the loss of hair given. The reasons may vary greatly, and therefore have to be defined individually for every patient.

Consequences of hair loss

Our society attaches great importance to a beautiful and well-groomed appearance. The media, advertisements, etc. increase the pressure on us to reach these ideals of beauty. Well-groomed and thick hair is not only an ideal of beauty for women, but also for men, of course.

People, who suffer from the loss of hair, are not able to cope with these ideals. This is why they try to hide their loss of hair by means of several tricks.

The problem area primarily can be covered with modern hairstyles and haircuts. Hairpieces, wigs, hats, baseball caps help to hide the affects areas and can be a great solution for the person concerned. The utilization of these “little helpers“ might become very complex and expensive, and it is definitely no replacement for own and real hair.

For most of the affected people, the loss of hair is also a huge loss of quality of life and comes along with shame, dissatisfaction and frustration.

Hair transplants can be a perfect solution!

Hair transplants are, in most of the cases, a great possibility for people, who suffer from the loss of hair and who don't want to waive beautiful and thick hair. The result of a transplantation is permanently growing hair on the former bald areas, which leads to a better quality of life for the patient. Regarding the possibilities for hair transplants, the I-FUE method is the most gently and latest version in order to fight the loss of hair.