thinning hairWith so many myths circulating regarding hair loss and its many causes, it’s hard to know what to believe. That’s why if you are worried about losing your hair or you’re looking for a good treatment, it’s best to seek advice from either a dermatologist or doctor.

However, in the meantime if you want to get a good idea of the condition and why it occurs, below you’ll discover some of the well-known facts surrounding hair loss.

All of the facts below come from Rodney Sinclair, a Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne.

Why does it happen?

While it’s true there could be many different factors that cause hair loss, around 80% to 90% of cases are caused by genetics. So, it’s likely you have your parents to blame if you start to lose your hair or it gets significantly thinner on top. This type of hair loss is referred to medically as androgenetic alopecia and commonly as male pattern baldness.

The other 10% of cases are caused by environmental factors. This includes things such as diet, stress and health.
In terms of how it happens, it’s basically to do with the male hormone androgen. This binds to the hair follicles and causes them to shrink. This in turn makes it difficult for healthy hair to survive.

Does it only affect men?

Absolutely not. In fact, there’s been a dramatic rise in recent years of females reporting hair loss. Also largely down to genetics, this is referred to as female pattern baldness and can understandably be devastating for women.
It is caused by the same male hormone androgen – that’s right, women have this male hormone too!

How can I tell if it’s happening to me?

Hair loss tends to be a gradual process. You aren’t just going to wake up one day missing your entire head of hair. Instead, it will usually start to think and you’ll experience more shedding than usual.

In women the changes typically present themselves on the top of the head or towards the front of the scalp. In men, it starts at the temples or at the back of the head.

Of course, the best way to tell if you’re suffering from hair loss is to see a doctor or visit your local dermatologist. You should never diagnose yourself as although hair loss is largely genetic, there could still be a different, underlying cause you aren’t aware of.

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By Ian Watson

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