When hair falls out in abnormally high amounts, various factors may be involved. If the alopecia androgenic is the most common form of hair loss, other forms exist, transient or long-lasting, extensive or localized. In any case, a diagnostic quickly is necessary to, if necessary, set up a suitable treatment which will promote the regrowth of the hair.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss can have many causes and manifest itself in various ways. In men, it is most often linked to genetic heritage and the effects of hormone which accelerate the life cycle of the hair. After a set number of cycles, the hair stops growing. In women, hair loss has many causes, hormonal and otherwise. For example, stress, problems with thyroid, diabetes, etc. Certain medications can also cause hair loss.
How does hair grow?
On average, a head of hair contains between 100 and 150,000 hairs and as many hair follicles (each follicle produces a single hair). Every day, we lose between 50 and 100 hairs, which immediately begin to grow back.
Our hair grows in cycles. For an average period of two to five years in men, three to seven years in women, the follicle produces hair at a rate of about 2 millimeters per week (more in summer). This growth phase is called anagen phase “. It is gradually completed in one to two weeks (“ catagen phase “). Then, the “dead” hair remains attached to the skull for about three months before falling out. It’s here ” telogen phase “. As soon as the hair falls, the follicle resumes a growth phase.
The course of this cycle growth – telogen phase – fall is under the influence of food, hormone (thyroid and se**xual),heredity certain growth factors, chemical mediators of the nervous system, etc.
Each hair follicle is capable of providing between 20 and 25 cycles before running out. At an average rate of five years per cycle, between 100 and 125 years of hair are guaranteed! But sometimes this process stops and an abnormally important hair loss occurs. Usually it is felt that there is pathological hair loss when the number of hairs lost each day is more than 100, or when an area of the scalp loses more hair than the rest of the skull.
Various means exist to diagnose abnormal hair loss, for example, taking successive photos of a fixed region of the scalp, to count the hairs in the telogen phase (phototrichogram). In addition, a microscopic examination of the hair (trichogramma) can give information on the causes of this loss.
What are the symptoms of hair loss?
Hair loss can be localized or diffuse, temporary or long-lasting. Classic male pattern baldness is a lasting localized form, on the top of the skull. Hair loss after childbirth, anesthesia, general or a shock psychological, called telogen effluvium, is a transient diffuse form, with complete regrowth in 3 to 4 months. Some localized hair loss can be infectious, such as ringworm, or autoimmune, such as alopecia areata.
What are the treatments for hair loss?
Treatments for hair loss depend on its cause. Ringworm is treated with a medicine against fungi, alopecia areata with corticosteroids or ultraviolet rays. Diffuse hair loss like telogen effluvium regrows on its own and does not require treatment except sometimes iron supplements. Male pattern baldness is preventable with treatment if caught early enough. Hair micro-grafts taken from the sides are possible and their effect is long-lasting.