Are You at Risk of Losing Your Hair?
If you're wondering if you're going to lose your hair, the best answer is, "Probably some of it; maybe all of it." For most people, hair loss is inevitable; it's just a matter of time and degree.
Hair grows from cells known as follicles. On average, each strand grows about half an inch per day for two to three years; then growth stops as the follicle rests for two to three months. The hair is shed just before the follicle begins the next growth cycle.
Pattern Baldness is Most Common
Many factors can alter the hair growth cycle. The most common is age. In what is known as pattern baldness, most people eventually experience shrinkage of hair follicles. The result is a shorter growth cycle and hair that is thinner, less robust, and less firmly anchored, so that it falls out more easily.
For men, pattern baldness usually begins at the top of the head or above the forehead. It may stop there, or it may eventually affect the entire head. How far it spreads and how quickly differs for each individual. For women, pattern baldness is more evenly distributed over the head. As with men, there is no reliable prediction of how complete or how rapid hair loss will be.
Other Hair Loss Causes
Other irreversible causes of hair loss include inflammation or scarring that stops follicle activity, certain medications or medical treatments, and hormonal changes.
Some causes of hair loss may be controllable, including illness; physical or emotional stress; stress to the hair itself, caused by too much styling or a style that strains the hair; and poor nutrition.
If your hair loss is due to pattern baldness or other known causes, consult an experienced hair replacement surgeon. Together, you can discuss the latest techniques available to restore some or all of your lost hair.
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