Over 70% of men face hair loss at some stage in their life. The question is why hair loss is so common, and that too in men particularly? Well, women also suffer from some degree of hair loss, but they are lucky that baldness is not the word for them; instead they suffer from hair loss evenly spread over their entire scalp. Let us have a look at the reasons why all men have to face balding.
1. Hair Loss Due to Balding Gene
Genetics is by far the most important cause of hair thinning, especially in men. Most men have a balding gene in their DNA that determines when and how they will lose hair. Actually, among all men experiencing hair fall, more than 70% percent face the problem because of their good genes. If you see a lot of bald heads in your family, chances are high that you will also end up hairless in your old age. But heredity hair loss does not wait for you to turn 50, it starts catching up an individual latest by mid 30s and as early as in their late teens. Genetic baldness is medically termed as Androgenic alopecia.
Now a million dollar question is how it is determined that the hair loss in a specific person is heredity? In most cases, a doctor can easily distinguish genetic hair loss from others by simply looking at the hair pattern. It follows a specific pattern. That’s why it is commonly known as male pattern baldness. Women also exhibit genetic hair loss and that too in a specific pattern, but they have a slightly different pattern known as female pattern baldness. There is a “Norwood classifications” scale to measure the pattern baldness in males and females.
2. Uniform Hair Loss
Some men and many women experience a uniform hair thinning across all areas of the head. It is usually difficult to detect as compared to the male and female pattern baldness. Normal hair growth cycle is divided into three stages:
- Anagen: The growth stage that lasts around three years and the hair grows at an average rate of half an inch per month.
- Catogen: The second stage in which hair prepares to go into the resting phase. During this stage a hair strand undergoes chemical changes and falls out.
- Telogen: The resting phase of the hair. It disappears for two to five months. About 10 percent of your hairs are in Telogen phase at any given time.
This is the reason shedding up to a hundred hairs daily is considered quite normal. But in people suffering from uniform hair loss more than normal hairs start undergoing resting phase.
3. Hormonal Hair Loss
A hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main culprit of baldness in men. This is a derivative of Androgenic male hormones. In men suffering from hormonal hair loss, a certain quantity of male reproductive hormone testosterone starts converting into DHT through a chemical process. There are certain medicines that inhibit this conversion of testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone. Although these medicines show good results in preventing hormonal hair loss and restoring hair density, there is no permanent cure and the symptoms start coming back as soon as you stop taking the medicine. The only way to permanently restore a thicker head is through hair transplant surgery.
4. Diet – Nutritional Deficiency
Sometimes nutritional deficiency may also cause hair thinning. Your body needs several nutrients like protein, iron, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B complex, and vitamin E), and omega 3 fatty acids for the healthy growth of hairs. Certain minerals also play their role in keeping your hair in healthy and strong. The important minerals include Iron, Selenium, Silica, Zinc, Copper, and Iodine. Lacking any nutrient or mineral can have adverse effects on your hair health and severe deficiency may trigger hair fall as well. To reverse nutritional hair fall, start consuming balanced diet making sure you take sufficient amount of the above mentioned nutrients and minerals. If you think diet alone may not help you meet the deficiencies, you can always take supplements.
Stress is bad for not only for your overall health, but also for your skin and hair. Men who undergone some physical or emotional trauma show hair loss signs a several months after the incident. So, if you are losing your locks without any apparent reason, look back at your life if you have undergone a traumatic experience over the last few months or not. Fortunately, the hair thinning caused by stress and anxiety is mostly reversible and as soon as the sufferer manages stress, most of the lost hairs start growing back.
Smoking can also contribute towards accelerating hair thinning. The chemicals in the smoke of cigarette hamper the production of protein that makes the hair.
7. Environment and Pollution
Environmental pollution can also trigger and accelerate hair thinning. Listed below are some environmental pollutants that contribute to hair fall.
- Selenium: Selenium is common pollutant in our food. If present in higher quantities, it can trigger hair loss.
- Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Aluminum, Iron and Copper: Some of these minerals are essential for healthy hairs – but only in a small quantity. Excess of any of these minerals can have certain negative effects on your physical health including hair loss.