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TRUTH OF BALDNESS

Baldness is the partial or complete lack of hair growth, and part of the wider topic of "hair thinning". The degree and pattern of baldness varies, but its most common cause is androgenic alopecia also called as Hereditary baldness, Male or Female pattern baldness.


Pattern balding is distinct from alopecia areata, which commonly involves patchy hair loss. Extreme forms of alopecia areata are alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, and the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body.


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MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS


A case of mid-frontal baldness.

More than 95% of hair thinning in men is male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia.

Male pattern baldness is characterized by hair receding from the lateral sides of the forehead (known as a "receding hairline") and/or a thinning crown (balding to the area known as the ‘vertex’).

Both become more pronounced until they eventually meet, leaving a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the back of the head.

The incidence of pattern baldness varies from population to population and is based on genetic background.

Environmental factors do not seem to affect this type of baldness greatly.

Onset of hair loss sometimes begins as early as the end of puberty, and is mostly genetically determined.

It was previously believed that baldness was inherited from the maternal grandfather. While there is some basis for this belief, both parents contribute to their offspring's likelihood of hair loss. Most likely, inheritance is technically "autosomal dominant with mixed penetrance"

The trigger for this type of baldness is DHT, a powerful sex hormone, body- and facial-hair growth promoter that can adversely affect the prostate as well as the hair located on the head.

The mechanism by which DHT accomplishes this is not yet fully understood. In genetically prone scalps (i.e., those experiencing male or female pattern baldness), DHT initiates a process of follicular miniaturization, in which the hair follicle begins to deteriorate.

As a consequence, the hair’s growth phase (anagen) is shortened, and young, unpigmented vellus hair is prevented from growing and maturing into the deeply rooted and pigmented terminal hair that makes up 90 percent of the hair on our heads.

In time, hair becomes thinner, and its overall volume is reduced so that it resembles fragile vellus hair or "peach fuzz" until, finally, the follicle goes dormant and ceases producing hair completely.


Other causes of Baldness:-

Besides the most common cause, male pattern baldness, there are several other causes of hair thinning or loss:

Traction alopecia -

most commonly found in people with ponytails or cornrows who pull on their hair with excessive force. In addition, rigorous brushing and heat styling, rough scalp massage can damage the cuticle, the hard outer casing of the hair. This causes individual strands to become weak and break off, reducing overall hair volume.

Trichotillomania :-

The loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs. Onset of this disorder tends to begin around the onset of puberty and usually continues through adulthood. Due to the constant extraction of the hair roots, permanent hair loss can occur.

Traumas :-

such as childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy – while targeting dividing cancer cells, this treatment also affects hair’s growth phase with the result that almost 90% of hairs fall out soon after chemotherapy starts.

Radiation to the scalp, as when radiotherapy is applied to the head for the treatment of certain cancers there, can cause baldness of the irradiated areas.

Medications :-

Some of these are for blood pressure problems, diabetes, heart disease and cholesterol. Any that affect the body’s hormone balance can have a pronounced effect: these include the contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy, steroids and acne, fertility-stimulating drug clomiphene.

Nutrition:-

Studies have shown that poor nutrition, limited food intake, and deficiencies in certain nutrients can cause thinning.

These include deficiencies of biotin, protein, zinc and poor human iron metabolism, although complete baldness is not usually seen.

A diet high in animal fats (often found in fast food) and vitamin A is also thought to have an effect on hair loss.


Stress:-

Stress has been shown to restrict the blood supply to capillaries, inhibiting oxygen and nutrient uptake of hair follicles and inhibiting hair growth, in an effect similar to that from having poor circulation.

Air and water pollutants as well as minerals in water and the phototoxic effects of sunlight can cause thinning by aging the scalp skin and


MEDICAL CODITIONS:-

Hypothyroidism

An under-active thyroid and the side effects of its related medications can cause hair loss, typically frontal, which is particularly associated with thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows.

Hyperthyroidism

An over-active thyroid can also cause hair loss, which is parietal rather than frontal.

Demodex folliculorum

A microscopic mite that feeds on the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, denies hair essential nutrients and can cause thinning. Demodex folliculorum is not present on every scalp and is more likely to live in an excessively oily scalp environment.


GENETICS OF BALDNESS


No one likes to go bald. Most people don't like to think that something about them caused it. So balding men come up with all kinds of explanations


Most baldness comes hereditary tendency.

Baldness happens because of the genes people inherit from both their mom and dad. Some studies show that 80% of balding is genetic.


Two new studies have fingered a small region on chromosome 20 called 20p11 as being associated with balding. This sort of thing could explain people who are bald even though their mom's dad still has a full head of hair.


Scientists don't know how this DNA is involved or even what part is involved. All they know is that people who are bald tend to have a certain version of 20p11.


One study found that having this DNA could increase a man's chances of going bald up to 4 times. If men also have certain versions of another gene, then the odds go up as high as 7 times.


Once researchers figure out how chromosome 20 is involved in balding, scientists might be able to use that information to come up with new balding treatments. One can only hope.

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