Hair loss can be a uniquely challenging experience, complex and mysterious, we look for some hard details that we can all rely on.
In all its forms it is an unwelcome and occasionally devastating symptom. Exactly what it is a symptom of varies wildly, any number of commonplace experiences can trigger it. Illness, an emotional upset or shock, thyroid problems (both underactive and overactive) pregnancy… any of these and more besides can deliver a bout of hair loss that may be temporary or permanent according to type and treatment. For the vast majority of us, hair loss is not due to any of these factors, it is a simple inherited fate, in your genes and waiting for you.
We all start off with a huge number of follicles, with variations according to race and for Caucasians a variation between the hair colors.
Afro hair ranges between 50 and 100 thousand follicles, Asian between 80 and 140 thousand. If you are caucasian with red hair the average is 86 thousand, brunettes 100 thousand, black-haired people will average 110 thousand, and blondes top the density charts with 146 thousand.
There are also differences in the shape of the follicle and slight variations in the rate at which they grow.
Looking specifically at the most common form of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia. it is a question of when rather than if. According to the American Hair Association, only one man in six will still have a full head of hair by the age of 50. Two out of three will have lost hair by the age of 35.
Each of these follicles, regardless of race or gender, will be capable of producing 20 or so hairs over a lifetime. Some, sadly, do not. Afro hairs grow at around 0.9cm a month, Caucasian hair at around 1.2cm and Asian hair at 1.3cm.
Despite the differences outlined earlier, which are predominantly cosmetic, and some variations on the average onset age between races, the diagnosis is consistent. Androgenetic alopecia sees the immune system attack the hair follicles, disrupting the growth cycle and sticking them in the rest phase. Eventually, they are reabsorbed back as skin, disappearing forever.
At present, there are a number of tools available to you, Medication can stave off the advance by disrupting the signal pathways the immune system uses. Laser combs can stimulate the scalp and promote healthy growth. Stem cell technology is in its infancy but numerous studies are being conducted to better understand how it might be used to make hair loss a thing of the past.
HIS Hair Clinic
While there are a lot of features around your hair that you share with millions of others, what is extremely subjective is the intensely personal reaction to discovering your own hair loss. The sad truth is that by the time we notice the advance is usually already significant.
Talk to an expert to ensure you are, from all the options available, taking the right path for you.
If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.