The causes of hair loss or alopecia are numerous, but nearly all of them are treatable. Results vary with the solutions that are currently on the market, but more than 50% of women and men are pleased with the results. The best results are seen when the problem is addressed in two ways; through oral nutritional supplements and through topically applied solutions.
Although there is no “number one” cause, alopecia seems to run in families, which indicates that a gene is involved. Researchers in Japan recently identified a gene that they believe is responsible for male pattern baldness.
Other types of alopecia are caused by nutritional deficiencies, including iron and zinc deficiencies. Bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections are sometimes the cause. Splotchy or patchy baldness sometimes occurs in people that have autoimmune deficiencies. Sometimes referred to as “spot” baldness, it is the most difficult to treat, but is also the rarest, occurring in only .1-.2% of the population.
Drugs are sometimes hair loss causes. Chemotherapy, for example, is the cause of baldness that occurs in cancer patients. Sometimes, cancer treatment results in total loss of hair over the entire body. Sometimes, only baldness of the head occurs.
Psychological conditions, in which people habitually pull or twist on their locks will obviously result in bald spots. But, people are generally aware of the problem.
Frequent chemical treatments or heat processing can result in thinning and eventually in balding. If the hairs on your head seem to split or break easily, over-processing is the most likely cause. Try to be a little gentler.
If you are woman past the age of 40-45, alopecia may be a menopause-related symptom, although there is some confusion about which hormone is involved. It is known that androgens (male hormones) seem to play a role in male-pattern baldness, but in women, some researchers believe that low levels of estrogen are the causes of hair loss during and after menopause.
Most researchers agree that the sooner treatment is started; the more successful it is likely to be. Stopping treatment will stop the progress and it will gradually worsen, again. That is one of the reasons that many people give up on treatment. They lose patience or they don’t want to apply a solution every day.
A compound called Minoxidil addresses the hair loss causes that have to do with androgens and possibly other hormones. It typically takes several months to see results, because hair-growth goes through phases. Some follicles are naturally in a dormant stage, while others are active. Growth may seem to occur in spurts, but it is part of the natural process.
Increasing your nutritional intake will improve the thickness and strength of your hairs. Certain nutrients are particularly important, including biotin and vitamin B6. Men need more zinc. Women typically need more magnesium.
There are some well-designed products on the market for both men and women that address many of the common causes of hair loss, particularly those that are age-related.
They can be purchased without a prescription and the better manufacturers guarantee results.