Learn about the causes of Hair Loss & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Hair Loss within New Zealand.
There are many types of hair loss - also known as baldness or alopecia (greek for 'alopex') and there are many reasons for the loss of hair. The most common form of hair loss is in males which is a steady progressive thinning of the hair.
Male and female hair loss, known as
male-pattern/female-pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, is the
most common type of hair loss and linked to the DHT hormone
(dihydrotestosterone ) which is created by the male sex hormone
Over production of DHT causes hair follicles to shrink to such as degree that they can no longer replace hair that has fallen out. Eventually the hair thins and grows less. While the follicles continue to exist, they are not capable of functioning correctly. Pattern hair loss is a process that happens gradually due to different follicles being affected at different times.
Another cause of hair loss is an imbalance in the immune system triggering a condition known as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata damages the hair follicles but in many cases this is not permanent and the hair typically grows back within a few months. The condition is hereditary and affects one in five families.
Other causes of hair loss include stress, blood disorders (such as anaemia), thyroid problems, fungal infections, menopause, chemotherapy (for cancer) and for some women pregnancy can cause slight hair loss.
Male-pattern baldness is hereditary
and usually begins between the age of 20-30. Hair is lost in a set
pattern (hence its name) with the first stage typically showing as a
receding hairline. This is followed by the hair thinning around the
crown and temples resulting in a horseshoe of hair around the back of
the head and either side. In some cases complete baldness follows but
this is rare.
In women, hair will gradually thin with age but usually this occurs on the top of the head - particularly noticeable when a woman is post-menopausal (after the menopause).
In cases of alopecia areata, coin-sized patches of baldness appear on the scalp but can also occur anywhere else on the body (eyebrows, eyelashes etc.).
Pattern baldness is easily diagnosed
by the pattern in which hair is being lost. This can start with
thinning over the crown and for women, female-pattern baldness is
noticeable after the menopause.
Should your hair begin to fall out dramatically and not in the pattern as described above you should visit your GP to find out the cause. Hair loss may be as a result of an underlying condition or infection and you may be referred to a specialist for further tests.
Alopecia areata does not display obvious symptoms other than bald patches and someone else may notice the problem before you do (often this can be your hairdresser or partner).