The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 3 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month during this phase. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.
It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive (more than normal) hair loss. Hair loss of this type can affect men, women and children.
What causes excessive hair loss
A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgen’s and estrogen’s, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop hair loss.
Many women experience hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and female hair loss starts again. Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp.
Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants.
Finally, hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Since hair loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.
What is common baldness
“Common baldness” usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. It is also called androgenetic alopecia. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head.
Medicines may also help slow or prevent the development of common baldness. One medicine, minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine), is available without a prescription. It is applied to the scalp. Both men and women can use it. Another medicine, finasteride, is available with a prescription. It comes in pills and is only for men. It may take up to 6 months before you can tell if one of these medicines is working.
If adequate treatment is not available for your type of hair loss, you may consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or permanent hair loss treatments available.
Dr. Kahen’s innovative technique in hair restoration is unparalleled. Dr. Kahen will discuss all medical and surgical hair restoration treatment options with you in detail. You will also be given an estimate of the number of grafts, hairs and procedures you need, and, of course, the cost involved. At the end of the consultation, you will have a clear understanding of the nature of your hair loss and what we can do to help. Before you leave you will be given some further reading material on hair loss and treatment