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Hair Loss FAQ’s (2)

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1.What are the causes that probably lead to hair loss?

Answer: I think you are interested in the male pattern baldness. The first cause that needs to be taken into consideration in this connection is certainly age.

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A boy of 16 or 17 has, with very few exceptions, luxuriant hair, which is hard to pull off even with considerable force. An aged man generally has scanty hair, though he may not be considered as bald. Androgen and hereditary factors have to be taken into account anyhow. They may be the cause of the male-sex alopecia. But the hair loss is not incurable now. A few decades ago, extensive alopecia areata was formidable because it might be complicated by cataracts. Now, with the marvelous progress made in eye surgery, this complication of alopecia areata need not be feared at all.

2.How much hair lost in a day can be considered to be normal?

Answer: A person's hair grows periodically. There is the growing period, the retrogressive period and the resting period. During the growing period, hair grows continuously at the rate of one centimeter a month, generally speaking. Probably, 85% to 90% of the hair belongs to that of the growing period. Hair in the resting period accounts for about 10% to 14% of the total amount of hair, while that of the retrogressive period accounts for 1%. Hair generally can grow for three years in the growing period, while the resting period lasts about three months, and the retrogressive period is about three weeks long. Therefore, it is normal to lose 50 to 100 pieces of hair a day. In normal conditions a great part of this amount of hair loss, namely 50 to 100 pieces of hair a day, comes from hair in the retrogressive period.

3.Could you please tell me something about male sex alopecia?

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Answer: Well, male-sex alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is a type of hair loss which frequently occurs with young men. The principal manifestation of this disease is that the hairline across the front recedes gradually and there is also hair loss on the crown of the head. Generally speaking, hair starts to fall off, though unnoticeably to him, when the young man is about 20 years old. The front of hair over the forehead changes gradually into the form of a peak, which grows narrower and narrower. This harms the young man's image and causes him a lot of worry. Some people say that this male-sex alopecia is due to heredity. This explanation is implausible, because a bald father may have several sons and grandsons none of whom have this defect.

4.Could you please tell me what composite alopecia is?

Answer: Certainly. Composite alopecia includes seborrheic alopecia and alopecia areata. The latter means patchy baldness. Composite alopecia often occurs with young male adults. The scalp is often shiny with excessive oiliness, and there is a lot of dandruff. The hair is often dry and lacking in luster. The scalp itches. After a period, hair on the two sides over the forehead and on the top of the head begins to fall off symmetrically. Each piece of hair seems to be much smaller in diameter than before.

5.Is it true that male pattern baldness is caused by androgen and is irreversible?

Answer: Androgen is chiefly testosterone. It is said that a high level of dihydrotestosterone is the cause of hair loss and male pattern baldness. This may be true. But I think this tendency is not irreversible. Treatment must be started in good time. That is to say before fibrosis sets in. Therefore, Evergreen should be sprayed on the front and the crown of the scalp as early as possible.

6.Do environmental factors have a great influence on the premature loss of hair?

Answer: environmental pollution and certain chemicals may have some influence on the quality of the hair affected by them, but they generally do not lead to the premature loss of hair.

7.What measures shall I take to guard against male-sex alopecia? What health-care steps shall I take if I discover one day that I am beginning to lose hair?

Answer: You must take good care of your health. The hair may fall out following some toxic illnesses (especially pneumonia and influenza) and during the use of certain drugs. But this doesn't mean that you can guard against male-sex alopecia. However, great attention must be paid to serious skin diseases which may cause scarring of the scalp. Here there is destruction of the hair follicles and there is no hope of any regrowth. It is imperative to refer to a dermatologist immediately as it may be possible to arrest the disease Trauma can cause alopecia, whether from the prolonged tension on the hair induced by certain hairstyles or from sustained pressure on the scalp required by a certain profession. In any form of loss of hair it is advisable to avoid unnecessary brushing and combing and to prohibit massage, since these measures in themselves can cause considerable loss of hair if carried to excess. Hairbrushes with natural bristles are less traumatic than those with nylon bristles. If dandruff is present, the scalp should be shampooed once or twice weekly.

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