Male & Female Hair Growth

HAIR GROWTH & HAIR LOSS

Male and female hair growth is no different to each other. Although the hair loss causes may differ. We all have around 100-150,000 hairs over our head. The numbers can vary depending on our natural hair characteristics. Such as hereditary factors. Black is the most common hair colour. While redheads make up 1% of the world’s population. Blonde hair comes in a close second, with 2%. Hair is mainly made up of keratin. Also be found on the outer layer of our skin and nails. On average our hair grows 0.3 – 0.5 mm per day. Our hair is constantly growing. With each hair having a lifespan of around 5 years. Not all hair is visibly present on our head at the same time. With 90% of our hair is growing while the other 10% is in a resting phase. This is known as the hair growth cycle.

Hair Growth Cycles

We all see some hair fall on a daily basis. This is natural and part of the hair cycle. In fact it is common we shed around 100 hairs per day naturally without suffering from hair loss. This is because we regrow the same number back daily.

A shortened growing phase results in weaker hair growth. Hair loss begins with the anagen phase becoming shorter. Telogen hair growth is less secure and fall or shed easier. As the hair follicles atrophy the shaft becomes thinner and finer. Eventually, hairs are reduced to vellus hairs, the type of soft, light hairs that cover an infant and mostly disappear during puberty in response to androgens.

Anagen Phase

The growth phase or anagen phase. This is the active hair growth phase when we see the hair on our scalp as it grows longer. The hair cells multiple pushing the hair shaft up out of the scalp. The growth phase lifetime can depend on hair characteristics and ethnicity and can last from two to six years. Male and female hair growth phases differ on other areas of our body. Such as the eyebrows, body hair, male beards, eyelashes.

Catagen Phase

Simply this is a transition between the resting and growth phases. The catagen phase is a short transition stage. It signals the end of the active male and female hair growth of a hair. This phase lasts for about 2–3 weeks while the hair converts to a club hair.

Telogen Phase

Often referred to as the resting phase and lasts for around 100 days. The hair follicle rests before reverting back to the growth phase of the process again.

Hair loss can occur for a number of factors. From the most common genetic disposition to medical, health, lifestyle and occasional self induced conditions. Hair loss is a common condition for both men and women equally. Although the causes and patterning of the hair loss condition often vary. Before dealing with a hair loss condition it is vital to isolate the cause first.

With many different conditions treatments can vary greatly. Some male and female hair growth and hair loss conditions can reverse themselves without treatment whereas others can be slow and progressive. A detailed assessment with your hair loss specialist will be able to first isolate the current and potential future hair loss stage stage. As well recommend a suitable hair loss treatment.

Norwood Scale - Hair Dr UK

WHAT IS MALE PATTERN BALDNESS?

Male hair loss. The genetic condition is the most common of all the hair loss conditions. Affecting well over 60% of men over the adult life. Also, commonly known by the medical term of androgenic alopecia, as well as the more well known phrase, male pattern baldness (MPB). The MPB gene and hair loss pattern is passed through the family from both the male and female sides. Once the gene is triggered hair loss begins. Initially the slowing down of hair growth and then the reduction in hair quality and strength. Over time these two factors result in hair loss and general thinning of the hair over the top of the head.

DHT and the Norwood Scale

The process is generally slow but progressive often starting in the mid to later 20 ́s and can continue well into a man ́s latter years. The trigger to this hair loss condition is mainly a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT cause the interruption in the hair follicle growth phase and as a result a shortened life of each subsequent hair the hair follicle procedures. Until the hair follicle eventually stops growing new hair.

The pattern of hair loss can greatly differ from man to man. Form minor hairline or crown thinning to advanced hair loss over the entire top of the scalp. With even more severe patterns causing the hair loss to drop down the back and sides of the head. Even on the most advanced male pattern baldness patterns a genetically strong band of hair survives around the back and sides of the head. This hair is genetically immune from the male pattern baldness gene, making a surgical hair restoration procedure possible.

The Norwood scale/stages help depict the various states of hair loss pattern. These are universally used to help categorise the potential current and future hair loss patterns. Ranging from NW 2 with very minor hairline recession to NW7 to illustrate the most advanced hair loss pattern. The Norwood scale has been adapted over the years to incorporate two area hair loss patterns such as hairline and crown loss independently to each other.

Treatment for male pattern baldness

This can depend on a number of factors that need to be discussed with your hair restoration specialist. Planning is always an important component in achieving your expectations and best result possible.

WHAT IS FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS?

Female hair loss is more common than realised. Often omen are simple more adept at hiding the signs with different styles and changing of the hair colour. A genetic hair loss condition medically known as androgenic alopecia or female pattern baldness. (FPB). The hair loss condition is triggered by the male hormone but more complex compared to the male hair loss equivalent. It can occur anytime after puberty but often seen after menopause.

DHT and the Ludwig Scale

Women have approximately half the amount of 5-alpha reductase compared to men and this is thought to be one of the indicators to the difference in hair loss patterns between men and women. The male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) triggers the female pattern baldness gene. This causes the hair follicle to slow down the reproduction of new hair. Over time the hairs take longer to grow and become finer and miniaturised in quality.

It is very uncommon for a woman to lose all her hair over the top of her head. The hair loss pattern is often diffused with a loss of hair density and thinning patches or areas commonly around the natural parting. It is usual for the hairline to remain intact with no recession. Although the hair density or hair quality may reduce.

To help categorise the different stages of female pattern hair loss the Ludwig scale was introduced. The scale depicts the stages from mild thinning to more diffused patterns over the top of the scalp. Including hairline and temple hair loss patterns.

Treatment for female pattern baldness

This can depend on a number of factors that need to be discussed with your hair restoration specialist. Planning is always an important component in achieving your expectations and best result possible.

ALTERNATIVES TO GENETIC MALE & FEMALE ALOPECIA

While the genetic male and female hair loss conditions are by far the most prominent. There are many other common conditions that individual ́s suffer from everyday.

TRACTION ALOPECIA

Traction alopecia is a form of gradual hair loss. Caused primarily by putting pressure on the hair shaft and follicle. This commonly results from frequent wearing hair in a particularly tight ponytail or braids. Can also be self induced known as trichotillomania.

CHEMICAL SCARRING AND BURNS

The degree of damage to the skin depends on the intensity of the burn or chemical. Burns, minor ones may heal within a few days. But a more serious burn may take weeks concluding permanent hair loss.

PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL STRESS

Hair loss induced by physical and emotional is called telogen effluvium. Results in the hair follicles prematurely entering into the resting phase. As a result it is common to see increase in hair shedding. Normally this is temporary and can regrow.

ALOPECIA AREATA

An autoimmune hair loss condition. The hair is caused to fall out in small patches, around the scalp and occasionally the face and body. These patches may connect to become larger. Sever cases total scalp hair loss can occur and even total body hair loss.

MEDICATIONS

Medications designed to treat a variety of health conditions often have side effects. Hair loss is a common consequence. Certain drugs can contribute to excess hair growth, changes in hair color or texture, or hair loss.

SKIN CONDITIONS

Mild dandruff is not going to cause hair loss. But more severe scalp conditions lead to hair loss or some type of skin rash. Many are hereditary. Malnutrition or infection can also cause scalp conditions.

PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

Postpartum hair loss is a normal and temporary. Most women will return to their usual hair growth cycle between 6 and 12 months after birth. Many new mothers notice excessive hair loss around three months post child birth.

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