Hair Loss and Scalp Treatment.

by Gary Heron - Date: 2007-03-14 - Word Count: 909 Share This!

In today's increasingly
stressful world, the
number of women
suffering from hair
loss is increasing.

We all want to look our best and
damage to a woman's ‘crowning glory'
can be a uniquely upsetting affliction.

Hair loss in woman can generally be
seen evenly across the scalp, without
definite bald patches. If this is
happening to you, the following
conditions may be affecting you:

Diffuse hair loss is a gradual thinning
of the hair as opposed to a
straightforward bald patch and is the
most common type of hair loss in
women. The replacement of old hairs
by new hairs is slowed down so that
the hair becomes sparse and the scalp
can be seen clearly through the hair.
The causes can be numerous and
include stress, restriction of the blood
supply, a poor nervous system and
hormonal influences.

Androgenetic alopecia (female
pattern baldness) in women is often
linked to hormonal changes with the
hair loss following events such as the
menopause, childbirth or as a result of
stopping or starting oral contraceptive
pills. The hair loss is generally more
uniform over the scalp than in the
male counterpart, but also results from
a complex chemical reaction when the
enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts the
testosterone in the system into DHT or
dihydro-testosterone. The hair follicles
are genetically predisposed to be over
sensitive to the DHT and become
smaller and smaller with time, leading
to the eventual hair loss.

Telogen effluvium occurs when the
growing phase of the hair is
interrupted prematurely causing the
hair follicles to enter the telogen
(resting) phase of the hair cycle earlier
than normal. Two to four months later,
following the normal cyclic pattern,
diffuse shedding of the hair begins.
When this happens there are not
enough hairs left in the anagen phase,
or growing phase, and the result is
diffuse thinning of the hair.

Pregnancy will also affect hair
production. Hormone levels increase as
the pregnancy begins and slow down
the hair growth cycle. Hairs that
should stop growing continue to grow
beyond their usual life cycle. Often this
means that the hair appears to grow
thicker as more hairs are present than
normal. Following the birth, hormone
levels change very quickly and hairs
that were growing beyond their
normal lifespan enter the telogen
phase at this time and begin to fall
out. This can sometimes appear to
happen all at once and can be very
worrying to the new mother.

Late onset thinning can be seen in
diffuse hair loss across the scalp as
density is reduced gradually. This is
due to age-related hormonal changes
as the natural reduction of
oestrogen/progesterone production
results in the hair follicles becoming
smaller and smaller. These produce
finer and finer hair until there is a
general reduction in overall density.

If your hair loss is patchy you may be
suffering from a form of alopecia:

Alopecia areata is an extremely
common condition and will affect 1%
to 2% of the population at some
point in their lives. Most sufferers are
children and young adults (below 40
years old), though it can affect people
of all ages. The hair loss is sudden and
manifests itself in small, smooth-
skinned patches that are likely to
gradually widen with time. It can also
affect the sufferer's nails, giving them
a pitted, ridged or brittle appearance.
The exact cause is still unknown,
although current theories include an

A relatively minor
auto-immune disease, stress or
suggest a genetic basis. If the hair loss

injury can result in
progresses until all the scalp hair is lost

this is known as alopecia totalis or as
alopecia universalis if all the body

severe hair loss.
hair is lost as well.

Pseudopelade is characterised by the
development of small, smooth patches
without any clinical changes other
than transient erythema (redness). The
initial patch is usually on the crown of
the head, but can occur anywhere on
the scalp. It is generally regarded as a
clinical syndrome, which may be the
end result of any one of a number of
different pathological processes due to
a weakened immune system.

Hair loss can also have traumatic

Chemical trauma can be caused to
the hair by bleaching, relaxing,
perming or even dying the hair. The
chemicals involved in these processes
can damage the hair's protein
structure, making the hair dehydrated

and brittle and often causing hair loss.
As well as damaging the hair's protein
structure, these chemicals are also not
good for the scalp and can irritate it.

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused
by constant tension on the hair, such
as that created by an over-tight
ponytail, plaiting or through using too
tight rollers to style the hair. The
action of pulling on the hair over a
long period of time results in the
gradual shrinking of the hair follicle
and so the hairs produced become
finer and finer.

Injury to the body or surgery and its
associated anaesthetics and
medications can also cause an
interruption of the normal growth
cycle. A relatively minor injury can
result in disproportionably severe hair

These are just a few of the reasons for
hair loss. It order to treat hair loss
effectively we would recommend
that you have a diagnosis made as
soon as possible by one of our
experienced trichologists. Stress can be
an aggravator in almost all cases of
hair loss and an accurate diagnosis will
always, at the very least, take some of
the stress away from you.

Related Tags: hair loss, female hair loss, hair loss treatments, male hair loss, thinning hair, trichology, trichologist, hair loss clinic, hair loss centre, hair loss treatments for men and women, scalp disorders, hair and scalp problems

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