Understanding Hair Loss

What is hair loss?

Hair loss is a common condition that affects men and women of all ages. There are many types of scalp hair loss which makes finding a direct cause challenging. The most common causes are predetermined genetic factors and the overall aging process.

To understand hair loss, we must first understand what hair is and how it grows. Hair is made up of ‘keratin’; a protein that is produced in the outer layer of skin known as hair follicles. As the hair follicles produce new hair cells, they push the old cells through the surface of the scalp. New hair follicles produce at an average rate of six inches per year. Meaning, that the hair coming out of your head is a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head contains 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and in one day a human head can lose up to 100 hairs.

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Why does is happen?

Doctors have yet to figure out why certain hair follicles have shorter life spans than others. However, science has told us that there are several factors that contribute to hair loss. Hair loss in more than 80% of men is hereditary and it is passed on genetically. whereas only 30% of women’s hair loss is hereditary and passed on genetically. The main factors leading to hair loss are:

  • Genes
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Drugs
  • Burns
  • Injuries
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cosmetic procedures (perms, dyes etc.)
  • Medical conditions. (Thyroid disease, eating disorders, diabetes etc.)
  • Diet
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What are the impacts?

EMOTIONAL EFFECTS AND LOSS OF CONFIDENCE

For many men and women, hair loss can cause a decrease in self-confidence, dissatisfaction with appearance and overall emotional stress. It can also affect the social health of an individual, making them more reserved and less outgoing, and impacting activities and tasks.

LOOKING OLDER

We often associate hair loss with growing older. This is because hair frames the face, helping direct the eye towards facial features instead of your scalp. For this reason baldness and/or thinning hair, can add years to a person’s appearance.

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Will I go completely bald?

The degree of baldness depends on the reason for the hair loss. Many types of baldness stem from autoimmune diseases and disorders.Heredity is also a factor with balding and thinning, however, just because a person’s hair is thinning, it doesn’t mean they will eventually be fully bald.

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Levels of Hair Loss

HAMILTON-NORWOOD SCALE

The Hamilton-Norwood scale is the progression of male pattern baldness. Class one and two represent an adolescent or juvenile hairline and adult or mature hairline, respectively, which doesn’t indicate real balding yet. Class three represents the earliest stage of male hair loss, with class three vertex defining hair loss in the crown. Class four is further frontal hair loss, with class five representing the separating of the front and crown. From there, class six and seven showcase extensive hair loss with large, isolated bald areas on the head.

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LUDWIG SCALE

The Ludwig scale is used by most hair loss specialists to measure and analyze hair loss in Women. Exhibits I1-I4 show the central parting with thinning hair along the centre of the scalp. Figures II-1 and II-2 show a thinning across the top of the scalp while III and Advanced show excessive thinning and loss. Both the Advanced and Frontal exhibits are very uncommon among women.

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How can I prevent hair loss?

There are several ways to prevent or slow hair loss and each case is different. Depending on your degree of hair loss, your age, your desired outcome and other factors, any one or combination of a number of treatments might be right for you.

You may benefit from either a medicinal or surgical solution or a combination of the two. You also may be a great candidate for laser therapy, whereby your hair follicles are stimulated by low level laser diodes. We will provide you with a plan upon completing an in-house consultation.

Click here for more information on treatments +

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