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What Is Involutional Alopecia?

What Is Involutional Alopecia?

Have you noticed your hair slowly thinning over time?  Are you seeing increased breakage?  You may be suffering from involutional alopecia, a condition that shortens the growth phase of hair follicles and forces them into the resting phase faster than usual.

Involutional alopecia is a natural condition that comes with age and results in a thinning of the hair. This gradual thinning of the hair is caused by a shortened phase of hair growth, which leads to a higher rate of fall-out and thinning of the hair follicle. Remaining hairs stay in the resting period (Telogen phase) and then shed quickly. Gradually, involutional apolecia will cause the hair to not only be thinner, but the hair may also be shorter due to this shorter growth phase.

Phases of Hair Growth

Up to 90% of the hair on your head is growing longer at any point in time, and each hair has its own specific life cycle.  The life cycle has three specific phases: anagen, categen, and telogen.

The anagen phase is the growth phase; this is when the hair strand emerges from the scalp and begins normal hair growth.  Depending on your genetics, this phase can last between two and six years.

The categen phase is a brief transitional stage that lasts between 2-3 weeks.  During this period the outer layers of the hair strand shrink and cling to the root of the hair, preparing to move into the resting phase.  About 3% of your hair is in the categen phase at any given time.

The telogen phase is known as the ‘resting’ phase because no more growth occurs after this point.  It is normal to shed 25-100 hairs in the telogen phase every day, and this phase can last more than 100 days for healthy hair.  Involutional alopecia causes normal hairs to reach the telogen phase very quickly, and then leave the telogen phase (through shedding) too quickly also.

If you’ve noticed a change in your hair over time, it is possible you’re suffering from this type of hair loss. Consult with your physician first to rule out any underlying medical conditions and get a correct diagnosis. If after consulting with your physician you are interested in pursuing treatment for hair loss, there is a variety of options available depending on the severity of your condition.

If you’re interested in learning more about the available treatment options, schedule your free, private consultation with Bosley today. At the consultation, your counselor and physician can help determine your hair loss condition and recommended solution. Bosley offers surgical solution, such as hair transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), as well as non-surgical solution (the Bosley Lasercomb and Professional Strength Hair System).

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