BRIEF INFORMATION ABOUT MALE PATTERN BALDNESS
- The adult human body has approximately 5 million hair of which about 80,000 to 1,50,000 are on the scalp.
- Hair is composed of a protein called keratin , hence it is important to take enough protein in your diet to prevent hair loss.
- Hair grows at the rate of half an inch per month. It grows best between the ages of 15 to 30. The total length to which the hair can grow is genetically determined, hence everyone cannot grow hair to the same length.
- There are 3 phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the growth phase followed by catagen, a period of status quo wherin there is no growth as well as regression. Ultimately the hair follicle enters the telogen phase ,wherein the hair strand falls off and the follicle does not produce any new hair. Every hair goes through this cycle.
Common causes of male pattern baldness/androgenetic alopecia.
- Genetic history : 50%
- Skin disorders of the scalp : like seborrheic dermatitis ,eczema, etc…
- Mental stress
- Illnesses : like jaundice, malaria, typhoid.
- Frequent travelling involving a change of water or long term use of hard water is also a causative factor for hair loss.
- Certain allopathic drugs- like anti epileptic drugs, anti hypertensive , few antibiotics….
- Frequent use of ammonia based dyes etc….
Q.Why is there an increase in hairfall while washing?
A. The hair that fall during washing are in the telogen (terminal) phase and would have fallen anyways. Also,longer the time interval between the washes, greater is the fall, for then it is a cumulative fall.
Q. Can the amount of hair fall vary from time to time?
A. Yes. The hairs are in different phases of the cycle. Not all hair can be in the same phase at the same time. Thus while some hair are in the growth phase ,some are in the telogen phase …. Which are ultimately going to shed during combing or washing and this hair loss is normal.
Q. Does exercising cause hair loss ?
A. No. Research studies show that there is no relation of hair loss and exercise.
Q. How often should I wash my hair?
A. This depends from person to person according to the type of hair. For oily hair, it is important to wash daily. Similiarly , where the hair becomes sticky due to excessive sweating , it is important to wash daily. For dry hair, one can wash alternate days.
Q. How can I take care of my dull and dry hair?
A. Shiny hair is due a healthy cuticle. Dull hair is due to a damaged cuticle. This can be taken care with the use of mild conditioners and improving one’s diet to ensure the intake of adequate proteins ,vitamins and minerals.
Q. Why does hair loss carry so much of importance?
A. Although hair loss is not a disease, but yet causes a lot of suffering in a patient. Hairloss is regarded as a negative trait and is subconsciously associated with aging and loss of beauty. Hence, when hairloss is specially premature, it leads to lack of confidence and social withdrawal.