Nothing is more depressing than a receding hairline. When you see luscious hair in the mirror, you feel good about yourself. You can stroke your hair and style it any way you want.
But when your hair begins to fall out and you notice the hair in your crown thinning, it shatters you from the inside. Hair loss, especially in males, can undermine self-esteem. It might make you feel uneasy, and many individuals are embarrassed to go out in public and meet new people. Losing hair might make you feel embarrassed and judged every time someone looks at you. It can severely affect mental health and it kills confidence.
Male pattern baldness & hair loss
Male pattern baldness (MPB) is something that unfortunately many guys will have to live with. Yes, it is a curse and no one should ever be a victim of it. And surprisingly there is still no proper remedy for male pattern baldness.
Interestingly, if you put hair loss into the Google search engine, you’ll get nearly 3,250,000,000 hits right away, which shows how common the problem is. The keyword “hair loss treatment” gets over 237,000 searches every month. It is a multibillion-dollar business, with big pharma benefitting from this medical issue.
Unfortunately, because there are so much information and misinformation about hair loss, it can get overwhelming and complex for people to find the correct information that they can use to treat themselves or navigate through the whole process. Some people even fall victim to hair loss products that don’t work.
But it’s not all bad news for people who have become victims of MPB. With some effective new treatments available that can help repair and regrow hair, it is time we show the middle finger to the Norwood reaper.
Hair loss treatment: now and then
A few decades ago, there were no effective medical treatments for the most common causes of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia and male pattern hair loss (MPHL). Male pattern balding was and still is very common in men. And hair loss doesn’t just affect men, female pattern hair loss which is caused by hormones, ageing and genetics can also be seen in many women.
Because there was a demand for medication and an absence of treatments, several companies came in with a variety of hair loss products and made all kinds of promises about how they might influence hair loss and regenerate hair, some of which were rather outlandish.
But things are a bit different today. If you look on the internet, you’ll find literally 1000s of offers of different treatments and “magic” products out there making all sorts of claims about how you can get your hairline back. But don’t get too excited; generally, if there are 1000 treatments out there, most of them are hoaxes and are just trying to rip off your wallet.
We will help you in finding information that may be useful for your hair loss journey, discuss treatments that really work, and share medical publications and personal stories of people who have experienced and reversed male-pattern baldness or hair loss. We’ll try to clear up any confusion concerning hair and hair loss in both males and females.
Understanding hair loss
The first thing that we want you to remember is that hair loss is often a medical condition or a medical issue. And, sure, it is treatable. Depending on the stage of hair loss, there are many treatments available. To diagnose your condition, we recommend consulting a dermatologist or a hair loss specialist who is experienced in treating hair loss in both men and women.
In this article, we will explain hair loss and determine if you are experiencing hair loss or shedding.
Difference between hair loss and hair shedding
Hair shedding is not the same as hair loss. Every day, we all experience shedding. When people talk about hair loss, they frequently refer to hair strands found in their comb, on the shower strainer, or on their pillow. And that is hair shedding, which most people confuse with hair loss or baldness since they do not understand the significance or normality of hair shedding.
Our hair follicles go through a growth cycle. Hair shedding indicates that the hair has ceased growing and has detached from the skin, falling out. And the important thing to realize is that every hair on your head will shed at some point, and the cycle length impacts the shedding rate, as do other factors. As a result, it varies with the seasons. Travelling abroad can have an effect on it, as can fevers, births, pharmacological regimens, and a variety of other factors, including acute stress.
What is hair shedding?
However, shedding is not the same as hair loss. So, as a teaser, the usual range of daily shedding between persons is between 50 and 150 hairs per day, which most people find difficult to believe, but is actually true. People start making Google searches about “am I losing hair”, “best home remedy for hair loss” etc when they see strands of hair on their pillow after a goodnight’s sleep. But it’s not unusual to lose 100 hairs a day. It just could be the environment, your diet, or maybe not getting enough sleep. So don’t be alarmed if you notice a few hairs here and there.
You must distinguish it from what is truly hair shedding and hair loss. What we need to understand is that all the hair in our head goes through a growth cycle. They all develop in different ways and to different lengths. And that length is determined by a number of variables. One of the elements is genetics, which we have no influence over. But if we merely let the hair grow, it will reach a specific length before reaching the end of the cycle and falling out.
Then there’s a brief time of dormancy during which the next hair prepares to develop, comes through again, and begins to grow. Fortunately, not all of the hairs on our body or scalp follow the same cycle. That is, we do not lose all of our hair in unison and we do not lose all of our hair overnight.
However, if you see an increase in hair shedding, it might be related to a medical condition known as telogen effluvium. This might occur as a result of high stress, a sudden change in lifestyle, or a side effect from any medication you are taking, particularly one that impacts hormones. If you are losing more hair than usual, you should see a doctor right away. This will help prevent further hair loss and you can get the proper treatment before your hair starts thinning.
When and how our hair falls out?
Our hair will fall out at various different rates and at different times of the day, week, month and year. So it is not hair loss when a hair grows and falls off, and another hair grows in its place. That’s shedding hair. And yes, that is common among all people.
What is the range of the hair growth phase what is the normal rate of growth?
So, on average, our hair typically grows roughly a cm every month for the majority of people and there are some variations to that. But the hair cycle for the majority of people falls between three and five years.
So, if you have a lengthy five-year cycle, you may have a centimetre per month cycle, which means your hair will grow to 60 cm in the best circumstances before it falls out.
If you have a three-year cycle, your hair can grow up to 36 centimetres or so. This can be alarming for some people when they see their hair not growing the way it used to before. Also, when you have longer hair strands it’s more noticeable when they fall out.
When we wash our hair, we frequently notice shedding. It is very common to lose some hair when showering. As a result, many worry and stop washing their hair on a regular basis. It is done once or twice a week.
However, taking fewer showers does not guarantee that you will lose less hair. Because washing your hair once a week results in the loss of a week’s worth of hair. If you only wash your hair once a day, you’ll only lose a day’s worth.
It is fine to wash your hair every day, but be sure to thoroughly dry it and avoid brushing your wet hair since it damages the follicles. It’s also a good idea to air dry your hair rather than using a hair drier because it will damage your hair and cause it to lose moisture.
The frequency with which you wash and brush your hair will decide how many hairs you have left at the end of the week. That is hair shedding. Okay, OK.
What is the difference between hair shedding and hair loss?
Okay, so in a typical hair growth cycle, a replacement of healthy hair with the same thickness and growth rate will appear three months after hair has shed after growing for three, four, or five years.
Hair loss occurs when you lose either the strength of the shaft, which is the thickness of the hair, which usually occurs first, or the number of hairs on the scalp.
So we know that the number of hairs on the scalp varies between 95,000 and 105,000 hairs. That’s the normal amount of hair on the scalp.
However, at any one point, only 90% of them are growing, and 10% of them are cycling through the three-phased in-between hair growth cycle. So, 90% of your hair is growing simultaneously. Hair loss means when you experience the number of hair growing back less than normal numbers or less than normal quality.
People don’t suddenly go bald. In the majority of cases of hair loss, the hair comes back. There are, of course, certain exceptions to that. The hair you lose will come back in its place if it is regular hair loss, which is what we’re referring to. It will regrow more like a finer, thinner version of itself. And that sequentially happens over each subsequent lifecycle of that hair to the point where it’s so there’s a point of no return. The hair gets to the point where it is so frail and thin that when it falls out, it doesn’t grow back in.
How does our age affect hair growth?
Hair loss is a natural part of the ageing process. Our hair starts to thin out as we age and we all experience hair loss at some point in time. Now, if you will go bald or not will depend on the volume of your hair loss. Usually, most males with a family history of balding start to lose hair in their early or mid-20s.
Hair loss is common in both men and women as we age. But there is a little difference between hair loss in men and women.
For the first 20 or 25 years of your life, you don’t lose hair in numbers. Everything stays nice and healthy and most people have a head full of hair. People start noticing hair loss in their mid-20s. When we are in our mid-20s, both men and women will notice their hair thinning and the numbers of hair gradually decline over life. This is an ageing phenomenon.
As we age the number of hairs goes down gradually in a linear manner. But it’s not the case for everyone. People with male pattern baldness (MBP) will experience a sudden increase in hair fall and the number of hair on their crown or the frontal region.
The amount of hair we lose is determined by a variety of variables. There are several factors that influence the development and fall out of your hair, ranging from your hair care regimen to your DNA. It varies from person to person, but we will all lose hair at some point in our lives.
The intriguing thing is that the shaft diameter, which represents the thickness of the hair, changes somewhat as you age. Although it acts differently between men and women. For women, between the ages of 20 and 40, the shaft diameter rises slightly due to the female hormone estrogen.
So, even if the number of hair in women is decreasing as they age, the shaft diameter is increasing until they reach their early 40s. This is why most women see volume when they are in their early 30s. Unfortunately, when their hormone levels begin to decline, so does the shaft.
This is the normal scenario of hair progression in women.
In normal ageing from the 40s onward, women start losing both numbers and thickness. Their hair starts thinning and their scalp in the crown region starts becoming more visible. This could be because of alopecia areata which is a reason for hair loss in the crown area for women.
The difference between men and women is that there is no increase in shaft diameter due to the absence of estrogen stimulation. Unfortunately for males, both the shaft diameter and the number of hairs decrease after the age of 25.
So there’s the difference between the sexes in this regard, but this is typical age hair loss, and what separates it from many other forms of hair loss is that it affects the entire scalp, as well as other parts of the scalp.
So there are medical illnesses that affect all of the scalp hairs, but this is simply an ageing issue that affects all of the hairs on the scalp, not just a specific section of the head.
The main point here is that hair loss occurs in both men and women and is a normal aspect of ageing. And there is a distinction between hair shedding, which is a normal part of our daily lives, and genuine hair loss, which is a continuous process.
What we will aim to accomplish throughout this series of articles is to try and understand the distinctions between what happens in the hair development process between men and women. We will also see how to address those individual issues and how we can best try to stabilize things and expect some hair regrowth.
What to do when you are experiencing hair loss?
The key here is to get advice from a dermatologist or a hair loss specialist. Someone who is trained to deal with and manage hair loss conditions and get an early diagnosis. What you should do is try to stabilize and stop hair fall at first and then go for any treatment that’s suitable for you that can promote hair growth and regenerate new hair.
You must first get a diagnosis. Diagnosis can assist you in determining the reason for unexpected hair loss. You can determine whether you’re losing hair due to ageing, a lack of vitamins and minerals, hormonal changes, or simply male-pattern hair loss (MPHL).
We know that iron shortage can have an impact on your hair growth as well as underactive or hyperactive thyroid glands can impact the hairs on your scalp. So there are a lot of factors that may affect our hair development, a number of medical conditions that can affect hair growth over time, and we can run a blood test and narrow down the cause of our sudden hair loss. This is why it is crucial to seek medical advice asap.
In the following articles, we’ll look at what causes our hair to fall out and how we may encourage hair regrowth.
There are hair products and treatments that have a stimulatory effect on hairs that would help protect against the deterioration in the shaft diameter. Sometimes these products can even reduce hair fall over time. But unfortunately, there is no cure for this.
And apart from hair transplant, you need to continue the other treatment forever if you want to keep the remaining hair in your head and expect some regrowth.
Okay, to sum it up….. Hair shedding is not hair loss. They are two different things. Yes, you can have increased hair shedding in hair loss conditions, but shedding is not loss. Loss means loss of quality of the shaft diameter. And it also means in worst-case scenarios, loss of numbers as well.
In addition, every human being will have fewer hairs on their head by the end of their life than they did in their early adulthood. That is true for everyone.