Generalized (diffuse) hair loss

Common conditions in this category are:
• telogen effluvium (rapid shedding after childbirth, fever, or sudden weight loss)
• androgenetic hair loss ("male-pattern baldness," "female-pattern baldness")

Telogen effluvium


Under normal conditions, scalp hairs live for about three years (the anagen, or growing, phase); they then enter the telogen, or resting, phase. During this three-month period, the hair root shrivels up into a small white "club," then the hair falls out. It is therefore normal to lose about 100 hairs every day, more of them on days when shampooing loosens the hairs that are ready to fall out. The hairs are then replaced by the body.

Sometimes people worried about losing their hair start noticing hairs on their pillow or in the sink, not realizing that they've always been there. A close look at these will usually reveal the white "club" at the end, showing that these hairs were already dead. Normally, about 10% of scalp hairs are in the telogen phase.

There are several circumstances that produce a "shock to the system" that alters the hair growth rhythm. As a result, as much as 30-40% of the hairs can cycle into telogen. Three months later hairs come out in a massive shedding (effluvium), especially near the front of the scalp. These include:
• childbirth
• high fever
• sudden weight loss (crash dieting)
• surgery

None of these has to be life-threatening, nor does hair loss always follow them. (It can happen after one pregnancy but not the next.) But when the hair falls out, it's all over the place--covering the pillow, clogging the drain, and so forth. Paradoxically, the more dramatic the hair loss, the better the prognosis, because when the body gets back into normal rhythm, most if not all of that hair comes back. No special treatment is needed. Normal shampooing can continue, because this only loosens hairs that were going to come out anyway.

Androgenic Alopecia male-pattern baldness," "female-pattern baldness")

Everyone loses hair, but men do it better--faster, earlier, and more extensively.

Doctors refer to common baldness as "androegentic alopecia," which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity (genetics) is needed to develop the condition. (The male hormones involved are present in both men and women.)

It is a usually inherited or caused by male hormonal influences, & affects mostly males. The majority of men in their 20s would experience hair loss & it worsens when they reach 40s. Hair loss is normally a slow process, the hairline on the forehead recedes & a typical "M"-shaped is formed. Similarly, the hair on the top centre of the head will start to deplete slowly, eventually reaching baldness stage. In the end, only the sides & the back of the head are covered with hair.

Females may also experience Androgenic Alopecia. However, the likelihood, of females having this condition is much lower as compared to males. Furthermore, the hair loss pattern for females is different, where hair begins to fall off from the top of the head.

Androgenic Alopecia that occurs in males is related to Dihydrotesterone, a type of male hormones. These suffers either have an increased cell production of Dihydrotesterone, or have hair follicles that are sensitive to the fluctuation of the Dihydrotestrone levels. However, sufferers do not necessarily have a higher Dihydrotesterone content in their blood stream than non-sufferers.

Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia

External Medication-Minoxidil
Originally, Minoxidil was used as a form of medication to control blood pressure. In general, Minoxidil is to be used for an extended period of time, say about three months, before results can be seen. This external medication has its side effects too. Minoxidil can lead to redden & swollen scalp when used on patients who are sensitive to the substance. In more serious cases, headaches & even low blood pressure may result.

Internal Medication-Finasteride
Finasteride was initially meant for treating male patients with oversized forefront line. The patients realized that hair growth increases after taking Finasteride. It is more than 3 months for Finasteride to take effect. In addition, prolonged usage of the medication is required in order to maintain the result. Finasteride users may suffer from impeded sexual function. This medication is not suitable for women as there is a risk of impaired foetal development.

Alternative solutions

If the above treatments are not effective, sufferers can opt for hair implant. This is done by removing hair from the back of the head & directly implanting them.

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