Effective hair loss control and hair loss cures require correct identification of the cause of hair loss

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Hair Loss in Men

For hair loss control to be effective, it is essential to first know the exact cause of the hair loss. Some hair shedding in men, as well as women, is normal and there need not be any peculiar cause for the hair loss. All hairs are shed at the end of their growth cycle and replaced by new hair, so some degree of hair loss is normal and there is no cause for the concern. If you have excessive hair loss, shedding more than 100 hairs a day on average, it makes sense to first understand the possible cause of hair loss before finding out the appropriate treatment.

Best hair loss control can only be achieved if you know the exact cause of hair loss. If, as is sometimes the case, the direct diagnosis of the cause of hair loss becomes difficult, it can be analyzed indirectly by ruling out other causes of hair loss. Information on some of the most common causes of hair loss in men and the hair loss control is presented here.

The cause of 95% of all hair loss in men is Androgenetic Alopecia, the scientific name for the genetic predisposition to Pattern Baldness in Men and Women Pattern Hair Loss. Whereas the hair loss control for this genetic hair loss condition in men has been discussedin other articles in this section, the cause for some other lesser known conditions is presented here.

Patchy Hair Loss

Alopecia areata is probably the second most common cause of hair loss and affects around 2% of people. It is a cause of sudden hair loss in men and sudden Hair Loss in Women. The cause for hair loss in this condition is an immune system disorder which prevents hair follicles from producing hair. Approximately 2% of all people experience an episode of alopecia areata at some point in their lives. Sudden loss of hair which is in the form of small patches on the head is a common symptom. In most cases, the condition is temporary and goes away all by itself within 6-7 months, and hair growth in the bald patch resumes. About 10% of those who have an episode of alopecia areata experience long-term hair loss, or new patches of hair loss develop as old patches resume hair growth. Topical corticosteroids or a combination therapy using Minoxidil and anthralin is used for hair loss control for this particular cause of hair loss. The hair loss control of Alopecia Areta also takes into consideration many factors such as the age of the patient and the extent of the disease.

Advanced forms of the disorder include alopecia totalis, where all hair on the head is lost, and alopecia universalis, which results in the absence of all body hair.

Shedding from Stress

This condition is a very common cause of large amounts of hair falling out. Telogen effluvium is a slowing of new hair growth resulting from sudden severe emotional, physical, or hormonal stress, followed after a delay of about 2 months by the shedding of hair, sometimes in alarming amounts.

With telogen effluvium, the stressful event induces a higher proportion of hair follicles to enter the resting stage all at the same time. A few months later, after the stressful event, all of the now-resting follicles begin to shed their hairs at about the same time. Because the stressful event happened months ago, most people do not connect it with their hair loss. It is a usually a temporary condition, and new hairs begin growing within a few months. Eventually the normal pattern of hair growth resumes so that with the next cycle of hair growth all of the follicles do not "rest" at the same time.

Minoxidil is a direct hair growth stimulator and used for hair loss control in some cases of telogen effluvium; it helps to resume the anagen growth phase from telogen, resting hair follicles.

Anagen Aflluvium Due to Chemotherapy

This is a very rare condition, except as a side effect to certain forms of cancer treatment. The condition essentially involves the poisoning of certain hair follicle cells that divide very rapidly to grow the hair shaft. Anagen effluvium is the sudden loss of growing hairs as a result of chemicals or radiation or chemotherapy. Lots of hairs fall out all at once very soon after the toxic event. These toxic chemicals halt the growth phase of hair follicles, because they are designed to poison rapidly dividing cells such as the cancerous cells. Unfortunately, hair follicle cells are among the most rapidly dividing cells that naturally occur in the body. The result is the sudden shedding of hair. Some medications can also cause hair loss as a side effect, for a variety of reasons. Most cases of anagen effluvium are temporary, and a few months after the chemicals, radiation, or medication is discontinued, the hair follicles begin to grow new hairs again.

Hair Shaft Breakage

Hair shaft breakage is when part of a hair breaks off, but the growing end remains in the follicle and continues to grow. Hair shaft breakage results in thinner hair, and can be caused by excessive exposure to chemicals, sun, and chlorine in swimming pools.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Certain chronic illnesses can also result in hair loss. Hormone-related irregularities can include hair loss among other symptoms. Skin Infections can result in hair loss. Trauma such as burns and injury to Hair Follicles, can cause permanent hair loss, Lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminum and copper are toxic metals which can be a cause of hair loss if an individual ingests high levels of the metals. Other elements such as manganese, chromium, arsenic, titanium may also be involved. Lithium and selenium toxicity have been well documented as causative agents in hair loss.

Toxic metals may not appear in a blood test unless the person is suffering with extreme poisoning. However they will show in the hair or finger nails if the person is suffering with slow, long term exposure to the metals. The exposure to toxic metals can be detected by Hair Analysis.