Many people wonder what causes hair loss. The causes of hair loss vary depending on various factors, including genetics (baldness or alopecia), illness (thyroid disease, lupus, auto immune diseases), and medication you may be taking. The causes of hair loss are also related to the lifestyle. For instance, factors such as stress, exposure to chemicals or UV rays, smoking and consuming alcohol can play a role in triggering the hair loss.
Furthermore, it is also important to beware of certain types of hair styles, such as braids, tight ponytails, hair extensions, can cause tension and trauma to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
In men who develop male pattern baldness the hair loss may begin at any time after puberty. The first change is usually deflation in temporal areas, which is seen in 96% of males.
Hamilton and later Norwood have classified the patterns of male pattern baldness. The Norwood classification is a system which professionals use to characterize male pattern baldness. Depending on the location and the severity, pattern baldness is classified in 7 stages.
Male Baldness: The Norwood Scale
Norwood classification represents a normal head of hair with no visible hair loss. On contrary the second one is characterized by the beginning of a receding hairline and a “widow’s peak” on the forehead. Furthermore patients exhibit a more significant decline in hair above the temples as well as receding from the forehead. In addition Vertex, hair loss is starting to become significant on the crown. In fourth class the hair loss may become more noticeable on the crown or patients may have significant hair loss above the temples and/or front anterior areas.
However in fifth classification hair loss approaches significant levels with most hair loss occurring on the top of the vertex and crown. Hair transplantation for this Class and higher Class levels may require more grafts to provide coverage and density. More over in sixth class patients show major hair loss, but still have areas with donor hair available. Transplanting this hair can still have excellent results. And the final class patients show the most significant loss of hair. There may still be sufficient donor hair for transplantation; however, results may be limited.
Alopecia is the loss of hair from all or parts of the body. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is most common form of hair loss, hence affecting up to 70% of men and 40% of women. This is an inherited genetic disorder. Moreover in majority of cases hair falls out in small patches around the size of quarter. For most hair loss is nothing then few patches, though in some cases it can be more extreme. Sometimes it can lead to the complete loss of hair on scalp (alopecia totalis) or alopecia universalis, a rare condition that causes the loss of all hair from head and body, including eyebrows and eyelashes. It is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, and can be permanent and temporary. The condition occurs when white blood cells attack the cells in hair follicles, causing them to shrink and dramatically slow down hair production. On the other hand extreme cases of stress could potentially trigger alopecia areata. Despite what most people say, the most recent research points toward a genetic cause.