Studies have found that thinning hair and hair loss affects nearly 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States. Research shows that almost 40% of men will begin to notice hair loss by 35 years of age, while the same percentage of women will experience thinning hair by age 40. As we age, the condition typically worsens, with 70% of men age 60 reporting hair loss issues and 80% of women by age 60.
Many factors can cause thinning hair and hair loss, and like many physical traits, characteristics, and conditions, the genes we inherit from our family tree play a key role. While our genes are one factor, others can make you more prone to hair loss.
Hereditary Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss is the most common form of hair loss and affects both men and women. Androgenic alopecia is the medical term for genetic hair loss, but it is typically referred to as male pattern baldness in men and female pattern baldness in women.
Whether a man or a woman, androgenic alopecia means that you've inherited the genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink. Eventually, the condition can permanently damage the hair follicles, leaving them unable to produce hair. This shrinkage starts as early as puberty in some people but typically begins at a later stage in life.
Scientific research has found that hundreds of genes affect your hair's growth. A specific hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, has a significant effect on hair follicles' health. Your body naturally creates DHT from testosterone, a hormone found in both men and women, but more prevalent in men. Researchers believe that DHT attacks the hair follicles, damaging them and weakening them until they are no longer viable. While DHT is a hormone produced by everyone, your sensitivity to it is directly related to your inherited genes.
The symptoms of androgenic alopecia differ between men and women. Men usually begin to notice a receding hairline or thinning hair on the top of the head, which will eventually become a bald spot if steps are not taken to reverse the process. In women, the first apparent sign of androgenic alopecia is usually noticeable thinning and widening of the part, followed by overall thinning.
Lifestyle and External Factors
We usually don't think of our lifestyle as having an effect on our hair, but external factors can affect your hair and hair follicles' health. Factors such as exposure to the sun, pollution, hair products, and hair treatments can damage both the hair and the hair follicle.
Like many other bodily functions, the health of the hair follicles is closely related to your diet. A diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals can affect the hair follicles and cause them to produce weaker hair that is more prone to damage.
Diets with a lot of processed foods and junk food frequently have a lot of calories but lack the vitamins and minerals necessary for your body to function at its best. Drastic changes in your diet, such as starting a crash diet to lose weight, can also affect your overall health and the health of your hair.
We Want to Help!
There are many causes of thinning hair and hair loss and reasons why you may be more prone to the condition. While we can't do anything about genetics, lifestyle changes can improve the hair follicles ability to produce healthy hair, and there are treatments available. Quitting smoking, eating properly, getting adequate rest, and reducing stress can improve general health and the health of your scalp and hair follicles.
At HRC - Hair Restoration of California, we understand the effects thinning hair and hair loss have on you. We offer men and women proven treatments that can help with your hair loss. Our team of experts is committed to helping you with your hair loss and helping to find an effective treatment option that fits your needs. To learn more, contact us today and schedule your FREE consultation.