The Most Common Causes Of Hair Loss

For centuries people have been frustrated by hair loss. It is a common problem.

Hair loss affects both men and women, although it is more common in men. Hair loss generally has a negative effect on one's sense of self-image. Frequently hair loss will cause a loss in self-confidence. In order to get the best kind of treatment for hair loss, it is important to separate the myths from the truth and understand the various kinds of hair loss.

There are many causes of hair loss. The most common cause of hair loss in men is believed to be genetics and DHT. A genetic predisposition to hair loss can be inherited from either one parent or from both parents. A popular belief states that hair loss is inherited through the maternal side, but this is not correct since the trait can come from either side.

This genetic theory of what causes hair loss also involves DHT or dihydrotestosterone. Many scientists believe that DHT is a key factor in male pattern baldness. DHT is a male hormone found in the body that can shrink the hair loss follicle until it ceases to produce visible hair. Many scientists are of the opinion that your genetic predisposition, combined with DHT, are the key factors in hair loss, especially in men.

Male pattern baldness is characterized by a receding hairline and thinning in the temple, crown or vertex area of the head. So Male Pattern Baldness, or MPB, which is the most common type of hair loss in men, is believed to be primarily caused mostly by a combination of two factors, a genetic predisposition to hair loss and Dihydrotestosterone or DHT.

DHT is a byproduct of the hormone testosterone and is present in every male. Scientists have shown that if DHT can be suppressed, the hair follicles will continue to thrive and the hair will grow.

DHT deprives the hair follicles of food and oxygen. As the hair follicle weakens, the hair it produces will get thinner and thinner. Eventually, the hair follicle dies and stops producing hair altogether. When enough hair follicles die off, people begin to notice the thinning of the hair and eventually balding occurs.
While we all produce DHT, there is an inherited genetic trait that comes from either side of the family which make many of us much more susceptible to the negative effects of DHT on hair.

In 1949 an experiment was performed to help understand the causes of Male Pattern Baldness or MPB. A group of castrated prison inmates, males who were therefore not producing testosterone since they were castrated, were divided into two groups. The first group had a family history of male pattern baldness while the second group had no family history of baldness. Both groups were then injected with testosterone. The group with a family history of baldness began losing their hair within weeks. The group with no family history did not lose hair. When the injections of testosterone were halted , the progression of thinning hair stopped.

This experiment helped show that male pattern baldness was an inherited trait that is triggered with the addition of testosterone.

Since that early experiment, we have learned that it is not actually testosterone but the testosterone by-product DHT that causes the hair loss.

There are still many factors about the inheritance of baldness that are not understood and more research to be done.

Many hair loss treatments and products attempt to fight hair loss by fighting the effects of DHT on our hair.

Keep in mind that hair loss can also be caused by other factors. These factors include disease, stress, some prescription medicines, exposure to certain chemicals and other factors including improper nutrition and diet.

Information in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should NOT use the information contained herein for diagnosing, preventing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication.
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