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Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss and hair thinning are usually genetic traits — but hair loss causes include a number of medical issues and lifestyle factors as well. Other factors that contribute to hair thinning are diet, medications, illnesses, and stress levels. A visit to one’s general physician is always recommended, to rule out any medical factors. Once the cause is determined, appropriate solution can be applied. Most hair loss cases are progressive and hereditary. In such cases, a permanent hair loss solution is likely the only effective treatment option. A Bosley physician can develop a customized treatment program for you with both surgical and non-surgical hair loss solutions to ensure the best possible results for your hair and lifestyle.

Hair thinning that is triggered by genetics will occur in different parts of the scalp depending on the gender of the patient, their age, and their genetic makeup; even siblings will display hair loss patterns differently within the same family.  It is these differences from person to person that make customized treatment programs for hair loss so effective in treating hair thinning and hair loss.

Learn how hair loss is classified

Hair loss in men

Androgenetic Alopecia, or "male pattern baldness," occurs in men whose hair follicles are sensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Over time, DHT-sensitive hair (usually found on the top and front of the head) becomes weaker, finer, and eventually stops growing. However, even men who experience advanced hair loss have healthy hair follicles around the sides of the head that last a lifetime. Even though these healthy hairs are exposed to DHT, they are resistant to this hormone and survive for a lifetime. Below you will find out about hair loss and the different classes of male pattern baldness.

  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 5
  • Class 6

Hair loss in women

Hair loss in women usually begins at menopause. Before this time, DHT is counteracted by estrogen, but when estrogen levels drop, women's hair follicles may also become prone to the effects of DHT. Unlike men, female pattern baldness is marked by thinning throughout the scalp; fully bald spots at the crown are rare. Below you will find a chart detailing the different classes of female pattern baldness.

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3

Other Causes of Hair Loss

High Stress or Trauma

Stress changes the hormonal balance of your body, which can have a significant impact on the health of your scalp.  Sometimes a condition called telogen effluvium will occur during extremely stressful periods, which causes large amounts of strands to enter the resting phase of hair growth at the same time.  Sometimes these situations resolve themselves over time, but there are times when additional hair loss treatments as required.

Other Types of Alopecia

In addition to male and female Androgenetic Alopecia (pattern baldness), there are other types of alopecia that can contribute to hair thinning, such as Alopecia Areata (an autoimmune disorder), Traction Alopecia (subjecting the hair follicles to excessive physical stress through hair styling), and Cicatricial alopecia (a rare condition that replaces healthy hair follicles with scar tissue).  Only a trip to a licensed physician can identify proper treatment of these conditions.

Diet and Nutrition

Malnutrition, protein-deficient diets, and severe calorie restriction can also lead to hair loss.

Hormone Imbalance

Illnesses that trigger hormone imbalances like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, and lupus are some of the hair thinning causes that can be managed with a customized hair loss treatment program.

Depending on your personal hair thinning and hair loss causes, understanding your treatments options may seem overwhelming. Find out how hair loss in men and hair loss in women differ in classifications or contact a Bosley physician to learn more about your treatment options.

Learn how hair loss is classified

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