The Science of Hair Loss, Explained

Do you know what is truly responsible for your hair loss? Believe it or not, there may be a scientific reason behind it falling out. Many will attribute stress, poor nutrition, and heat styling tools as being to blame for its loss, but the reality is that it goes a little bit deeper than that for some.

The basics of hair loss

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Put simply, hair loss is the visible result of one or more follicles that are no longer healthy and viable, and therefore not able to continue growing hair. According to the expert information found at hairtransplantsmelbourne.com.au, the loss of follicle viability could be temporary or permanent. It will be determined by the underlying cause for the decline in follicle health and also on the effectiveness of treatment offered in a timely manner.

Once a hair follicle has been destroyed, it will not regenerate. The loss will always be permanent once the follicle has died.

Factors for hair loss

There are a number of factors for hair loss, including genetics, age, hormonal imbalance, health, stress, surgical recovery, nutrition, and prescription medications. Those who have iron deficiency concerns or thyroid problems may also see hair loss. Illness and trauma can also result in a loss of the same.

Considering the hair growth cycle

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There are three distinct phases for hair growth, to include the following.

  • Anagen, also known as the growing phase. This is the active phase of hair growth.
  • Catagen, also known as the intermediate or transitional phase. This phase typically lasts up to three weeks. Hair growth stops and the outer root sheath of each hair shrinks down and attaches itself to the hair’s root.
  • Telogen, also known as the shedding phase. Oftentimes, follicles get stuck in the shedding phase. This is where most hair loss will be seen. It’s perfectly normal for all of us to lose hair daily. For most of us, however, this loss will be replaced with healthy new growth. In a normal and healthy scalp, the shedding phase lasts for about 100 days on the scalp. The growing phase should take over after a period of time. It should actively grow for between two and six years. 

When your doctor examines your scalp, he or she will be able to determine whether your hair is stuck in the telogen phase or whether you simply have a short growth phase.

Reversing hair loss and other solutions

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Once the hair follicle has stopped functioning, it can be considered to be dead. This follicle will no longer produce hairs. This can often account for much of the balding men see with male pattern balding. There are no solutions restoring growth once the follicles have completely died, outside of surgical procedures that transplant healthy follicles from other areas of your scalp that are more resistant to follicular damage.

Some types of hair loss can be halted and even reversed, based upon how early the treatment is offered. The loss that is the result of hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies can often be reversed by addressing these imbalances and deficiencies. Some who have lost hair as the result of a thyroid condition can often see a reversal of the loss once their thyroid has been stabilized. The same holds true for those who are anemic and have lost hair due to a severe lack of iron in their system.

While there are countless products on the market, each touting their ability to help reverse your hair loss, the truth is that you cannot know which solution will prove to be best for you until you have the right diagnosis from your doctor.

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