Our hair and even all the cells of our skin are shedding at certain frequencies. While the cells of our skin shed every 28-45 days on average, the cycle of our hair is 4-6 years. However, we witness hair loss almost every day. Because there are definitely 50-100 hairs entering the shedding phase. This means that the amount of hair loss per day can be considered normal for 50-100 hairs. The shed hair is replaced by a new strand of hair produced by the hair follicle.
How many strands of hair are shed each day depends on factors such as the total number of terminal hairs, the average duration of the hair’s life cycle, our genetic characteristics, metabolic characteristics, as well as the physical effects (shampooing, brushing) the hair is exposed to. Broken and broken hair strands should also be taken into account, as they apparently increase the number of hair shedding. In fact, most of the hair that is thought to be shed may be strands that have broken for some reason.
Sometimes, excessive hair loss is described, except for the body’s reactions when under stress. This condition can be seen more frequently in women than in men, or it may be more noticeable because of women’s interest in their hair.
Hair loss in women can be seen in relation to monthly periods, in the days just before menstruation, during menopause, 4-6 months after the end of pregnancy. This type of hormonal spillage is also within physiological limits. Hair loss can also be seen in seasonal cycles, during febrile illnesses, in cases of psychological stress, thyroid (goiter) diseases, anemia due to the use of various drugs, iron deficiency or vitamin or folic acid deficiency.
Male pattern hair loss, which is a special type of hair loss, can also be seen in women. It is the thinning of the hair that is seen only on the top of the hair without any shedding in general. In this case, screening is done in terms of gynecological diseases. Sometimes, it can be observed together with the cystic ovary problem called “polycystic ovary”. Sometimes it is associated with prolactin (milk hormone). As a result, if there is a hormonal disease, this type of hair loss is mentioned.
Mankind has researched the causes of hair loss throughout history. Hair loss can be seen in both men and women; however, the high rate of male pattern hair loss in men is more striking in terms of hair loss problem. 25% of 25-year-old men have started to lose their hair, albeit a little. This rate rises to 50% among 50-year-old men.
Physiological hair loss
This type of hair loss is usually reversible. Sudden hair loss in the first few days of newborn babies or common hair loss in a pregnant woman in the 4th month after birth is physiological. The disappearance of the straight front hairline towards adulthood is also considered as physiological hair loss, but this hair loss is not reversible.
Androgenetic hair loss (Male pattern hair loss)
Androgenetic hair loss is the most common type of hair loss in men and women all over the world. It is also called androgenic hair loss or baldness, or male pattern hair loss.
As can be understood from very old historical documents, androgenetic hair loss has been a problem for human beings throughout history. Moreover, evolutionary evidence reveals that androgenetic hair loss is an old problem in the history of the human race.
For many years, androgenetic hair loss was thought to be a hereditary systemic disease associated with sexual development. Finally, today, thanks to the developments in genetics and the increase in the knowledge about the chemistry of male hormones, it is clearly known that the effects of male hormones on genetically sensitive people are the basis of androgenetic hair loss.
Although it is called “male pattern hair loss”, androgenetic hair loss can also affect women and this is the most common type of hair loss in women as well. Although the causes and mechanisms are the same, androgenetic hair loss in women is different from male androgenetic hair loss in some aspects.
Hair loss in women begins later than in men. While the incidence of androgenetic hair loss increases with age in men, such an increase is not observed in women.
Hair loss in women affects large areas and the hair density in almost all of the scalp is reduced. In men, the hair on the back and sides is mostly preserved, while the front and top areas are opened.
In women, the anterior hairline is mostly preserved. In males, with the onset of puberty, the regression of the anterior hairline is characteristic. This can be explained by the fact that women have half as many 5-alpha reductase enzymes as men. At the same time, there is a higher amount of the enzyme called aromatase in the anterior hairline region of women. Aromatase converts dihydrotestosterone to estrogen, which is the main female hormone, thus reducing the strong dihydrotestosterone hormone in that area. On the other hand, estrogens can compete with androgens and reduce their effects on hair follicles.
Treatment of hair removal in women
Women generally have more widespread thinning (less hair overall), as opposed to men who more often have a “patterned” type (hair loss that remains on the back and sides). The picture is very different from that of men, and what needs to be done for women experiencing hair loss requires significant expertise in both diagnosis and treatment.
The front hairline of women usually remains intact, while men characteristically lose a significant amount of hair from the beginning of their scalp. Hair loss in women is usually quite slow and accelerates during pregnancy and menopause.
It is periodic with greater frequency than in men, shows reversible seasonal changes, and is more easily affected by hormonal changes, medical conditions, and external factors. For this reason, this situation should be examined with thyroid function tests and hormone tests.
Hair transplantation is often the treatment of choice for androgenetic hair loss in women if the patient’s hair and scalp characteristics are suitable for transplantation, and can occasionally be combined with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved minoxidil for the non-surgical treatment of androgenetic hair loss.
Medical treatments for hair loss are largely geared towards male androgenetic hair loss.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata, also known as ringworm, is most common in young and middle-aged adults of both sexes. Most cases heal on their own; that is, it is temporary and does not require any special treatment. Although the cause of this disease is not known exactly, an autoimmune process that only affects the hair is responsible for this hair loss. Stress also played an important role in this process. Patients usually have hair loss in one or more circular areas the size of a coin, ie 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Cortisone therapy is recommended in cases that tend to progress or are prolonged. This treatment can be in the form of local injection of diluted cortisone on the balding area, procaine injections with mesotherapy technique, or injections from the hip.
Personal hair loss
Consciously or unconsciously, damage to one’s own hair can sometimes cause hair loss.
This hair loss can occur in two ways:
Trichotillomania: This type of hair loss is mostly seen in childhood. It is more common in girls than boys. Trichotillomania is seen in people who constantly play with or pull their hair. This suggests that this disorder has a psychological basis.
Traction baldness: This type of hair loss is caused by the continuous pulling and stretching forces applied to the hair strands by some hairstyles or hair systems fixed to the hair.