From the age of 25 , 25% of men suffer from baldness . This percentage increases to 98% in the case of elderly men. As for women, it is estimated that 50% of them have suffered alopecia at some point in their life.
Throughout life, hair goes through three phases. First, after being born, it begins to grow in what is known as the first phase. Next, what is known as the rest stage begins. And finally, the hair falls out.
90% of the hair we have on the head is in the first phase, growing around one centimeter per month. Thus, the remaining 10% have entered the rest phase, which lasts approximately one month; or the last phase has already begun, in which after four months the hair falls out, giving rise to the growth of new hair.
What is alopecia?
All of us lose between 70 and 100 hairs every day , which is considered completely normal. However, when the loss exceeds 100 hairs a day, the person in question is considered to suffer from alopecia . In the vast majority of cases, baldness occurs on the head; However, it can also affect other areas of the body, such as the armpits, the beard or even the genital area.
Alopecia in women
Although in the vast majority of cases there is talk of alopecia in men, the truth is that there is also baldness among women; It is characterized by a progressive loss of capillary density in the most visible areas of the scalp . However, in the case of women it is very rare for the condition to progress to total baldness.
It occurs especially in women over 60 years of age , and is sometimes accompanied by an increase in hair on the face and in other areas of the body.
Generally, alopecia in women has two main causes. On the one hand, the hormonal imbalances typical of menopause ; estrogens decrease and the presence of androgens increases. And, on the other hand, the malfunction of the thyroid glands; conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
The psychological impact that alopecia produces in women is much greater than in the case of men since in practically 100% of cases the lost hair does not recover.
Types of alopecia
There are different types of baldness; the different groups are established according to the causes and the symptoms they generate.
- Androgenetic: it is the type of alopecia that occurs most commonly in society, and has its cause in genetics. Having a family history of alopecia increases your chances of developing this condition.
- Areata: is a disease that gives rise to a series of depopulated areas of hair, which in the vast majority of cases have a circular shape.
- Fibrosing: this type of alopecia also occurs frequently in adults. It consists of a gradual loss of hair in the frontal area of the head; in this way, the hair grows farther and farther from the forehead.
- Diffuse: it is one of the types of baldness that generates the most concern since it begins in a very clear way, with the loss of hair density; thus, with the passage of time it becomes limp and dry, and begins to fall progressively.
- Universal: it is an autoimmune condition, in which the body itself produces a series of antibodies against a certain part of the hair follicle.
As we have pointed out, one of the main causes of baldness is genetics; It affects around 60% of Spanish men over 50 years of age and 25% of young people between 18 and 25 years of age.
It is worth noting that the propensity for alopecia is transmitted through the X chromosome. It should be taken into account that women have two X chromosomes, while men only have one X and one Y chromosome. Therefore, there is a Alopecia is more likely to depend more on the mother’s family history than on the father’s.
Do not forget that stress can dramatically accelerate the hair loss process in some men. In certain situations that generate great stress, one of the most common reactions of the body is the increase in the production of androgens, which significantly favors the hair loss process.
Causes of alopecia
When more hair falls out than usual, it doesn’t necessarily have to be due to alopecia. There are a number of factors that can cause excessive hair loss for a certain time.
- Stress: this is one of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women. Periods of great stress, such as a heavy workload or complicated personal situations. The solution in this case is to try to lead a more relaxed lifestyle.
- Hormones: certain hormonal problems, such as thyroid, can negatively affect hair growth. It is essential to diagnose thyroid disease and establish the appropriate treatment for it.
- Pregnancy and childbirth: it is very common for women, after giving birth, to suffer excessive hair loss. During pregnancy, the body generates high levels of hormones, so that hair that should fall out does not. Therefore, when women regain normal hormone levels, their hair falls out in greater amounts.
- Diseases: another of the most common causes has to do with certain conditions, such as lupus or diabetes .
Symptoms of alopecia
There are a number of symptoms to watch out for as they can be a warning sign of alopecia.
- Generally, people who start to lose their hair more than usual , find a lot of hair on the pillow when they get up.
- The same is true when brushing or washing your hair; a lot of hair falls out.
- The excess fat or dandruff can be one of the factors that is causing hair fall.
- In the case of men, hair loss occurs in the area of the forehead or temples, as well as on the top of the head. This is the most common symptom in alopecia due to the genetic predisposition of each person.
- As for women, the most common symptom of alopecia is thinning of the hair, especially on the top of the head.
Currently, there is a large selection of treatments to stop baldness, and even recover lost hair. Here we explain some of the most common.
This treatment uses high-energy light beams to reactivate the hair follicles and, in this way, increase their ability to generate hair. Several scientific studies have confirmed that the light from lasers causes the amount of blood that the body sends to these follicles to increase. Currently there are different laser therapies that are precisely adapted to all types of baldness.
This is one of the treatments that is being investigated the most today. Experts point out that one of the most common causes of hair loss is that the cells that are responsible for generating it lose their blood supply. Thus, to avoid this, some clinics have begun to isolate growth factors from the blood of patients and apply them to the scalp; in this way, the hair follicles receive a greater amount of blood and are reactivated .
Another of the most demanded treatments today is the hair implant. It is an outpatient intervention that does not require a hospital admission. It can be done through two techniques.
- FUE: consists of the extraction of the follicles one by one from the donor area of the patient.
- FUSS: a strip of skin and hair is extracted from the patient, which is subsequently fractionated under a microscope until the desired follicular units are obtained.
Home remedies to prevent alopecia
There are a number of home remedies that can help in part to prevent hair loss. However, they are not scientifically based treatments to combat hair loss.
- Coconut and carrot milk: it is one of the most popular natural remedies for this condition. The carrot is an ingredient very rich in vitamins B6 and B12, as well as antioxidants; nutrients that strengthen hair. For this remedy you simply need a couple of carrots and a glass of coconut milk; Mix both ingredients and spray the mixture all over your hair, let it act for half an hour, rinse and wash your hair as you normally do.
- Rice vinegar : rice vinegar is very beneficial as it stimulates blood flow to the scalp. To apply this remedy you simply have to massage the hair with the vinegar and let it rest for about ten minutes; then, rinse with plenty of lukewarm water.
Truths and lies about baldness
There is a large selection of “truths” that are believed about alopecia, many of which are false.
There is a cliché that washing your hair too often can lead to severe hair loss over time. Well, the truth is that the products used during washing, such as shampoo or conditioner, do not penetrate to the root of the scalp. Therefore, it is not true that daily washing increases the chances of developing alopecia.
Another of the most widespread myths about baldness is that hats choke the hair and, therefore, cause it to fall in greater quantity. Well, the truth is that this is completely false, as long as hats are used in moderation.
Androgenic alopecia is largely determined by genetics; that is, having a family history makes it easier to develop baldness . However, there are many other influencing factors; thus, having a bald father or grandfather does not necessarily imply that a person will suffer from alopecia in his adult life.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.