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All about hair loss symptoms of hair loss hair loss remedy causes of hair loss in men treatments for male hair loss female pattern hair loss treatment of female pattern hair loss hair life cycle Minoxidil (Rogaine) for hair loss treatment Propecia (finasteride) for hair loss hair transplant nutritional supplements for hair loss prevention

What is hair life cycle?

The life cycle of a hair is divided into three phases. The actively growing (Anagen) phase, the transitional (Catagen) phase, and the resting (Telogen) phase.

During the anagen phase, protein and keratin are continuously made. It is during this phase that the hair shaft is manufactured and pushed upward to its natural length. Not the large healthy bulb at the hair base. A hair's anagen, or growth phase, lasts from 3 to 5 years, and represents what is occurring to about 90% of the hair on your head at any given time.

In the catagen, or transitional phase, there are chemical and structural changes in the hair follicle. The hair stops growing, and remains in this phase for only two to three weeks before moving into the next phase.

Finally, hair enters the telogen phase where it basically just sits on your head for about 3 months. Then, it falls out only to be replaced by the next budding hair in the anagen phase which begins to grow from the same hair follicle. These replacement hairs get finer and thinner as a person ages. In most settings of baldness, the hair follicle simply shuts down and refuses to put out more hair to replace the ones that have fallen out.

A person normally sheds up to 100 hairs per day. Hair growth occurs at about an inch per month, faster when it's hot (summer) and slower when it's cold (winter). This rate slows down with age, and shuts off in more and more hair follicles as time marches on. Things that influence hair growth include not only hormones, but nutrition, vitamins, emotional states, and many unknown factors.

Hair growth starts before we're even born. We don't really know what triggers it, or what keeps it going. Perhaps it is a link to our genetic ancestor, the primate Our first hair, Lanugo (Latin for fine wool), begins to grow approximately 3-6 months after conception. It is usually shed before, or soon after birth and is replaced with the coarser hair we all know. The pattern of our hair (e.g., where our hair parts) is believed to be related to the formation of hair follicles as our skin is stretched over the developing fetus. There are many different patterns and possibilities of hair growth, though some are much more common than others.

After birth, different hormones affect the follicle allowing growth or causing hair follicles to move into the resting (telogen) phase. A hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a product made from testosterone, acts on the hair follicle causing growth to slow and ultimately stop. DHT only works on certain hair follicles that have the genetic predisposition to be shut off.

Usually, these are on the front and top of our heads. An interesting fact is that castrated males (eunuchs - who do not make testosterone (and hence can't make DHT) because they do not have testicles, do not have male pattern balding unless they are given injections of testosterone. If a castrated man gets these testosterone injections, they will immediately start losing hair in the classic horseshoe fashion.

More information on hair loss

What causes hair loss? - One of the primary causes of hair loss is a high amount of the male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) within the hair follicle. The most important cause of hair loss is inadequate nutrition.
What are the symptoms of hair loss? - Hair loss can occur as hair thinning, without hairs noticeably falling out, or as hair shedding, with clumps of hair falling out.
What's the hair loss remedy to stop hair loss? - Appropriate treatment options depend upon the type of alopecia. Aggressiveness of the treatment depends on the patient's attitude and must be weighed against potential side effects.
What causes hair loss in men? - Male hair loss is caused by increased sensitivity to male sex hormones (androgens) in certain parts of the scalp, and is passed on from generation to generation.
What treatments are there for hair loss in men? - There are two drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male-pattern baldness: minoxidil and finasteride (Propecia).
What is female pattern hair loss? - In female pattern hair loss some excess loss of hair is noted, but gradual thinning is what is what usually brings the woman to a dermatologist.
What are the female pattern hair loss treatment therapies? - Currently, the only FDA approved hair loss treatment for women is Rogaine (2% Minoxidil).
What is hair life cycle? - The life cycle of a hair is divided into three phases. The actively growing (Anagen) phase, the transitional (Catagen) phase, and the resting (Telogen) phase.
How Minoxidil (Rogaine) hair loss medication works? - Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a drug available in two forms to treat different conditions. Oral minoxidil is used to treat high blood pressure and the topical solution form is used to treat hair loss and baldness.
How Propecia (finasteride) hair loss medication works? - Propecia (finasteride) is prescribed to men for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Propecia is classed as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, an enzyme which changes testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the liver.
What is hair transplant? - Hair transplantation refers to the surgical movement of permanent hair with its roots to an area of bald or balding skin.
What nutritional supplements are available for hair loss prevention? - Good nutrition can go a long way in helping you keep your halo of hair. B vitamins in particular are crucial to healthy sebum production and new cell generation.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005