Hair Loss Facts

There are many different types and causes of hair loss.

However, the specific types and causes related to your individual situation are often difficult to pinpoint without professional counsel.
It is important to know that no matter the hair loss cause or type, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected.

Learn what you can do about this.

Learn about the Most Common Causes of Hair Loss:

Learn about the Most Common Causes of Hair Loss:

Stress, Genetics, Diabetes, Diet, Health, Smoking, Medicine, Pregnancy, Hormones and Hairstyling.

No matter the hair loss cause, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected.

Common Causes - Learn more

Stress

Stress

Intense stress can act as a trigger that disrupts the Hair Growth Cycle. Specifying a particular stress event that triggered an instance of hair loss may be difficult, yet evidence suggests that acute and chronic stress may precipitate hair loss conditions such as genetic hair loss, Telogen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata and Trichotillomania.

The visible signs of hair shedding often appear 4-16 weeks after the triggering event due to the duration of the normal Hair Growth Cycle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Genetics

Genetics

The genetic influence on the hair follicle, and thereby Hair Growth Cycle, is the known cause of hair loss in both women and men, however, the genes passed on from each parent are not guaranteed to cause hair loss. Scientific evidence suggests around 20% of those who exhibit genetic hair loss do not have any known family members with the condition. Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss are the most common conditions connected with genetic factors, yet certain other hair loss conditions, such as Alopecia Areata may also partly be caused from genetic influences.

No matter what type of genetic hair loss you have, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder that can have a very gradual onset which reduces the overall state of health, and may affect hair growth and the Hair Growth Cycle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Diet

Diet

Hair requires a regular supply of protein, glucose and vitamins for optimal growth and the maintenance of the normal, healthy Hair Growth Cycle. Since the hair follicle is a non-essential tissue it is one of the last tissues to receive nutrients (or one of the first to have them reduced). Therefore, any long-term deficiencies of nutrition may lead to hair loss.

The most common nutrition-related hair loss occurs while dieting, as severe weight loss due to dieting can often cause a temporary increase in hair shedding (in this case Telogen Effluvium) due to metabolic changes in the body. Protein deficiency can also cause hair loss, as hair fibres consist of 80-95% protein. Even infrequent eating may cause the hair to fall out prematurely due to a decrease in the amount of energy available at the follicle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Health

Health

The condition of one’s hair is known to be a reflection of personal health, as many health factors can influence the Hair Growth Cycle. As an example, the Hair Growth Cycle can become disrupted as a result of a particularly high fever, certain autoimmune conditions, digestive issues and infections, and can result in Telogen Effluvium or Cicatricial Alopecia.

The most relevant personal health influences on the hair are those that took place 4-16 weeks before the noticeable hair loss, due to the duration of the normal Hair Growth Cycle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Smoking

Smoking

Smoking is generally an unhealthy habit, and certainly influences the Hair Growth Cycle.

E.g., scientists in Taiwan discovered that subjects who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day had a greater chance of developing baldness. Cigarette smoking has been proven to cause poor circulation, which in turn affects the amount of blood flow available to support the maintenance of a healthy Hair Growth Cycle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Medicine

Medicine

Beginning or ending a course of certain medications may cause hair loss in some individuals, whilst having no effect on the hair in others. Despite the difficulty of pinpointing the precise effect of certain medications in different people, some of the medications most commonly reported to cause hair loss are: chemotherapy, anti-depressants, thyroid medicines, oral contraceptive pills and cholesterol medicines. Telogen Effluvium is the hair loss condition often caused by medicine.

The visible signs of hair shedding often appear 4-16 weeks after the triggering event due to the duration of the normal Hair Growth Cycle.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy

40-50% of new mums will experience hair loss after giving birth.

When a woman is expecting a baby, pregnancy hormones disrupt the Hair Growth Cycle by, among others, delaying the shedding phase.

After delivery, a disproportionate amount of hairs enter the resting and shedding phases, causing what seems to be a large amount of hair to fall out at once.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Hormones

Hormones

There are many hormonal irregularities that can lead to a disruption of the Hair Growth Cycle, which may be indicated by other symptoms in the body. However, hormones may still cause hair loss even in the absence of other symptoms. In women, a hormonal influence on the hair may be indicated by an irregular menstrual cycle, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, menopause and/or postpartum. Hormonal problems can contribute to certain hair loss conditions, including Androgenic Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Hairstyling

Hairstyling

Traction Alopecia, or hair loss through breakage, can occur due to chemical over-processing and/or incorrect styling, drying or brushing techniques. Using a dryer that is too hot can cause the hair to burn, whilst vigorous brushing can also cause the hair to break.

No matter what form of hairstyling is used, the hair is always strained. In order to counteract this form of daily stress to the hair it is important to continuously support normal hair growth.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Learn about the Most Common Types of Hair Loss

Genetic Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia/Female Pattern), Telogen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata/Totalis/Universalis, Trichotillomania, Traction Alopecia and Cicatricial Alopecia.

No matter the hair loss type, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected.

Learn about the Most Common Types of Hair Loss

Common Types - Learn more

Genetic Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia/Female Pattern)

Genetic Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia/Female Pattern)

This is the most common cause of hair loss. The development of Androgenic Alopecia is associated with the shortening of the Anagen (growth) phase of the Hair Growth Cycle and consequently with an increase in the proportion of Telogen (resting) hairs. There is a reduction in the size of the affected follicles, which results in a reduction in the diameter of the hairs that they produce. This is an essential feature of this type of hair loss, which accounts for the thinning of the hair and the widening of the partings.

Female pattern hair loss affects over 30% of women. The hair loss is typically diffuse (evenly spread over the scalp) and affects the frontal and vertex (crown) areas with similar severity. Often a band of slightly denser hair is retained along the frontal hairline. Also, women can exhibit a normal amount of hair in the front area of their scalp, which gradually thins out as you look farther back near their crown.

In both instances, the Hair Growth Cycle is always disrupted.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium

This condition occurs mainly in women and is usually caused by a disturbance to the Hair Growth Cycle causing the Anagen (growing) hairs to prematurely enter the Telogen (resting) phase. Telogen Effluvium (TE) usually presents itself as excessive shedding (also called acute TE). However, it can also manifest itself with a normal amount of hair loss leading to gradual thinning (also called chronic TE).

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Alopecia Areata/Totalis/Universalis

Alopecia Areata/Totalis/Universalis

Alopecia Areata is characterised by patchy scalp hair loss which occasionally affects every hair follicle on the scalp (Alopecia Totalis) or body (Alopecia Universalis). The condition usually occurs between the ages of adolescence and 30 years, but can appear at any age, affecting both sexes equally. Alopecia Areata has a rapid onset but tends to spontaneously reverse, especially if the Hair Growth Cycle is triggered to become normalised.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia, or cosmetic hair loss, is the weakening and breakage of hair along its shaft. This can lead to a multitude of hair fibre problems such as breakage, knotting, splitting and dullness.

Therefore supporting the normal Hair Growth Cycle to produce new, healthy hair growth is critical.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is the loss or damage of scalp hair through repeated pulling or twisting due to irresistible obsessive compulsive impulses. Trichotillomania is more common among children than adults and occurs more than twice as frequently in women than in men. The clinical feature of trichotillomania is plucked or broken hair in patches from the side of the scalp favoring the dominant hand. Occasionally, the entire scalp is affected and, in rare cases, other body sites are involved.

Once the obsessive compulsive impulses are under control, it is important to support the Hair Growth Cycle to produce new, healthy hair growth.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial Alopecia, or scarring hair loss, is the generic term applied to ‘alopecia’ that accompanies or follows the destruction of hair follicles and the normal, healthy Hair Growth Cycle, whether by a disease affecting the follicles themselves (primary Cicatricial Alopecia), or by some indirect process external to them (secondary Cicatricial Alopecia). The skin often has a translucent or de-pigmented look, sometimes accompanied by inflammation, and the hair loss can be patchy or diffuse.

Therefore, baseline treatments that normalise the Hair Growth Cycle are always advisable.

Hair Growth Cycle

No matter the hair loss, hair thinning, or hair growth disorder type or cause, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected.

Therefore knowing about the Hair Growth Cycle is crucial for successfully approaching a hair growth disorder.

The Normal Hair Growth Cycle

The Hair Growth Cycle has three phases.

Growth Phase
The growth phase in which 85-90% of hair is actively growing at any given time. This phase lasts 3 years on average, but can be longer.

Transition Phase
The transition phase in which the hair’s nutrient vessel, the dermal papilla, disconnects from the follicle as the growth phase comes to an end. Approximately 1% of hair is in this phase for a period of 1-2 weeks only.

Resting Phase
The resting phase in which 10-15% of hair sits inactive in the follicle after reaching its full growth potential. The average duration of this phase is 3-4 months, after which the hair is released from the follicle and replaced by a new hair.

The follicle then returns to begin a new growth phase, thereby completing the cycle.

The Disrupted Hair Growth Cycle

Regardless of the hair loss cause, the Hair Growth Cycle is always negatively affected; resulting in a ‘Disrupted Hair Growth Cycle’, and often with the following consequences:

Reduced Growth Phase

The duration of the growth phase is reduced and as a consequence the entire Hair Growth Cycle becomes affected.

Early Transition Phase

When the growth phase is reduced, the hair follicle enters the transition phase earlier than normal.

Prolonged Resting Phase

Over time, more hairs enter the resting phase prematurely, extending the normal duration of this phase and leading to increased hair shedding and weaker re-growth. Following a prolonged resting phase, fewer hair follicles are induced back into the growth phase, resulting in no re-growth. This is known as a dormant hair follicle.

Normalising the Hair Growth Cycle

The goal of any treatment approach, no matter what the cause and type, is to use a baseline approach that normalises and restores this disruption to the normal, healthy Hair Growth Cycle.

Research News

Here you can stay informed about the latest and most relevant qualified scientific research on hair and hair growth disorders.

Scientific Report Cites Breakthrough in Treatment of Hair Loss and Hair Growth Disorders

The search for a cure to receding hairlines, general hair growth disorders and thinning locks could be at an end as the findings of the clinical paper published in the Journal of Applied Cosmetology cite the use of specific proteoglycans in the treatment of hair loss in multiple scenarios and across both genders.

Read the full article

Oxidative stress in ageing of hair

By: Ralph M Trüeb
Read more

Trichoscopy in alopecias: Diagnosis simplified

By: Nilam Jain, Bhavana Doshi, Uday Khopkar
Read more

Association of premature androgenetic alopecia and metabolic syndrome in a young Indian population

By: S Chakrabarty, R Hariharan, DG Gowda, Hemalini Suresh
Read more

Association between androgenetic alopecia and coronary artery disease in young male patients

By: Kamal H Sharma, Anchal Jindal
Read more

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