The primary cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). It is estimated that 70% of male and 40% of women are affected at some time in their lives. Although both genetic and environmental factors play a role, the causes are are still unknown.
The most typical hair loss patterns:
Male Pattern Baldness:
Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) describes a progressive thinning, or miniaturization, of scalp. Receding hair is very common and affects about 50% of men between the ages of 40 to 50 years of age. The severity and aggressiveness of hair loss differs from person to person and depends on many factors such as genetics, family history, etc. The Norwood Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in men. Typical hair loss is divided into 7 categories and sub-categories. Note that a Norwood 1 indicates no hair loss.
Male Pattern Hair Loss is sometimes referred to as Androgenic Alopecia or Androgenetic Alopecia. The term Androgenic combines the words androgen and gene, because both androgens and a genetic predisposition are thought to play a role in MPHL. Androgens are hormones, such as testosterone. Miniaturization is a process by which hair becomes smaller and finer with each growth cycle until finally, it stops growing altogether. A progressive increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is widely accepted as the cause of miniaturization. Men who are genetically susceptible to MPHL have increased levels of Type II 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.
Female pattern baldness:
The Ludwig Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in women. The scale is divided into 3 categories and sub-categories. Type I shows a general thinning at the center part, type II shows thinning progressing to the crown of the head, type III shows nearly full hair loss at the crown.
Hair loss in women does not have as clear a cause as male pattern baldness. Women with hair loss often suffer from diffuse thinning all over the scalp rather than in a distinct pattern. This hair thinning is sometimes temporary and can be caused by a variety of factors tied to the actions of hormones, including: thyroid conditions, pregnancy, and menopause. Where illness or underlying hormonal conditions are not the cause, DHT acting on an overabundance of androgen receptors in hair follicles, appears to be the culprit in thinning and hair loss in women (as it is the case with men). Female hormones are thought to influence the time of onset, severity, and pattern of loss experienced by women.
When considering hair transplant surgery, you should first consult a specialist to rule out causes such as illness and hormonal influences.
Although hair loss is mostly regarded as a male problem, about 40% of those who suffer are women. Hair loss can be even more devastating for women. Although it is not a life threatening condition, the psychological impact. can lead to much unhappiness, low self-esteem and even serious depression.