Male And Female Pattern Baldness - No Great
Loss, But Loss All The Same!
In a person with a healthy, full head of hair,
it is deemed normal to lose up to 50 hairs a day.
People who are suffering from the onset of something
called pattern baldness however, can lose up to
250 hairs a day and it affects males and females.
Male pattern baldness is triggered by increased
sensitivity to male hormones (androgens). It is
usually a hereditary condition and is a gradual
process. Genetic traits make hair follicles shrink,
resulting in the actual density, or thickness
of hair grown diminishing, so although the follicles
are still alive, they are no longer able to perform
their task.With female pattern baldness, unlike
the male equivalent, it is not so readily accepted
socially and in many cases it can have devastating
effect on the sufferers emotional state and confidence.
It is often linked to hormonal changes, following
events such as the menopause, or as a result of
stopping, or starting oral contraceptive pills.
Childbirth is also a known factor. Hormone levels
increase as the pregnancy begins and slows down
the hair growth cycle. Hairs that should stop
growing continue to grow beyond their usual life
cycle. Often this means that the hair appears
to grow thicker as more hairs are present than
normal. Other causes can be numerous and include
stress, restriction of the blood supply, a poor
nervous system and hormonal influences. With female
pattern baldness, the hair loss is generally more
uniform over the scalp than in the male counterpart,
but also results from a complex chemical reaction
when the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts the
testosterone in the system into DHT or dihydrotestosterone.
Female pattern baldness affects approximately
one-third of all susceptible women, whereas the
male strain appears to be slightly more common,
affecting around 40 per cent. Medical science
does not at present know exactly why some men
with high testosterone levels (marked by heavy
beards, an excess of body hair and deepness of
voice) do not succumb to male pattern baldness,
while others, often with lower testosterone levels,
do. Nor is it understood why it only affects the
hair follicles on top of the head and not those
on the back and sides.