The hair on your head can be a defining part of your identity and hair loss can be difficult to come to terms with, this can affect your self-confidence and lead to depression.
For men, they sometimes feel they are losing their masculinity. For women, there is a social stigma attached to going bald. People sometimes question whether their partner will still love them. Others become socially reclusive and give up enjoyable activities like swimming and going to the gym.
Hair loss can affect your sensuality and how you perceive yourself and of course there are usually emotional trials and tribulations when it happens.
Hair today, gone tomorrow? It’s a daunting thought but you can help yourself. There are different ways to redefine or reclaim your identity. Never give up on a good thing and like the advert says, “Because you’re worth it”.
Hair loss – finding the cause can be difficult.
There are many types of hair loss, finding the cause can be challenging. So instead of watching hair follicles retreat up your forehead, swooping your fringe to conceal a patch or wrapping your head in a scarf, take time to educate yourself. To get an understanding of what is happening and what help is available.
Male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss, affecting around half of all men by 50 years of age and there are many other forms of Alopecia (hair loss).
- Female-pattern baldness – hair usually only thins on top of the head
- Alopecia areata causes patches of baldness about the size of a large coin. They usually appear on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body
- Alopecia totalis – no scalp hair
- Alopecia universalis – no hair on the scalp and body
- Anagen effluvium – widespread hair loss that can affect your scalp, face and body
More than 200 new genetic markers linked with male pattern baldness have been identified, according to a new study from the United Kingdom. The findings greatly increase the number of known genetic markers linked with baldness in men; a previous large study identified just eight such markers. The researchers in the new study were also able to use their set of genetic markers to predict men’s chances of severe hair loss, although the scientists noted that their results apply more to large populations of people than to any given individual.
Understanding your hair – how does your hair grow?
Hair grows all over the human skin except on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. Many hairs are so fine you can’t see them. A hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year.
The hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day.
At any one time, about 90% of the hair on a person’s scalp is growing. Each follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and a wide variety of other factors.
This life cycle is divided into three phases:
- Anagen – active hair growth that lasts between two to six years
- Catagen – transitional hair growth that lasts two to three weeks
- Telogen – resting phase that lasts about two to three months and at the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again
If you’re shedding hair more than normal, don’t despair. Hair loss among women and men can happen for a variety of reasons–it can be a natural consequence of many things.
Use the list below to see if you can identify why you may be experiencing hair loss:
- Physical stress
- Male and female – pattern baldness
- Female hormones
- Emotional stress
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Anabolic steroids
- Auto immune-related hair loss
- Dramatic weight loss
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Blood thinners
- Overstyling hair
As we travel through life collecting experiences and hopefully ageing gracefully, remember this…
Grey hairs are not just grey hairs, they are wisdom highlights!
Have you suffered from hair loss, would you like to tell your story?
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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **