Male Pattern Hair Loss: Why Do You Lose Hair?
Balding is a normal process that develops to some degree in all men. It is influenced by male sex hormones called androgens. Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the body that stimulates activity in organs or tissues elsewhere in the body. The trait can also be inherited from either the mother’s or the father’s side of the family. It can affect both men and women, although women with this inherited tendency do not become completely bald.
Male balding is due to a gradual miniaturization of individual hair follicles which, over time, become smaller and have a shorter growth cycle. The hair eventually becomes smaller and narrower. Individuals with male pattern baldness have the same number of hair follicles as men with a full set of hair. However, there is a difference to the extent of hair loss in each individual. For example, some men experience hair loss in the center of the scalp, but still have surrounding hair around the “bald spot”. Others experience receding frontal hairline above the temple, but no hair loss in the middle, which resemble an “M” shape above the temple and forehead. Anothertype of hair loss occurs as a uniform thinning of the hair over the top of the head, without any particular hair loss pattern. This type of male pattern hair loss usually leads to complete baldness.
Hair growth occurs in a cycle that consists of three main phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the active growth phase where hair follicle are produced from RNA and DNA. It is in this phase that hair follicles proliferate and differentiate. Catagen is a period of controlled regression of the hair follicle.Lastly, the hair follicle undergoes the telogen phase, where the follicle is in a resting state.
Anagen is known to be the longest hair follicle phase. In a normal human scalp, it comprises up to 90% of the follicle. About 10% of the hair follicle is in telogen phase. Hair fiber grows at an average rate of 0.35mm a day,depending on the site of the hair follicle , age, and gender of the individual. Anagen active phase lasts for about 3 to 6 years, whereas telogen is just 30 to 90 days. Catagen is the shortest, lasting just 14 to 21 days.
Signs of early hair loss is usually noticeable by a receding hairline or thinning spot on the back of the head. If it continues, it may become hereditary male pattern baldness, or MPB, which is properly known as androgenetic alopecia. This condition afflicts approximately half of the male population by the age of 50, and is also the cause of overall thinning experienced by women.
In another form, especially seen in women, we may see sudden balding in irregular patches on the scalp known as alopecia areata. In most of these cases, the bodies nervous system may have been injured in some way, causing the affected area to be poorly nourished. Read more about Men hair loss.