The trend of getting male pattern baldness in the 20s seems to be increasing alarmingly.
Hairfall is a part of the natural phenomena of the human body. There is a lifecycle of each strand of hair, and it grows approximately 1.3 cm per month. To know about how hairfall takes place, we should be clear about how hair grows. Medically, the stages of hair cycle include catagen, anagen, and telogen.
1. Anagen is called the growth phase of hair follicle, during which hair grows actively from the matrix cells by the process of cell division, which takes place every 24 to 72 hours, and then migrate upwards to become keratinized and packed, composing the hair shaft.
2. Catagen is called the regression phase. In this phase, the growth of the hair follicle terminates, and the lower part of follicles begins to involute.
3. Telogen, the final phase, is called the resting phase, where the old hair is shed for the development and beginning of new hair, and hence the cycle recurs. Hairs can be of two types—terminal hairs, which are fully grown and thick in nature, and vellus hairs, which are short, thin, and de-pigmented. During the telogen phase, when the shedding of hair takes place, we generally term that as hairfall.
Therefore, hairfall is natural, and it’s completely normal to have hairfall. However, excessive hairfall may have some underlying causes, which may be signs and symptoms of various intrinsic and extrinsic abnormalities. Knowing all this, it is important to be able to determine how much hairfall is normal and when we should start to worry. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, it is normal to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair in a day. Hairfall may be temporary or permanent, depending on the causes and duration of hairfall. Moreover, causes of hairfall differ in males and females.
Common causes of hairfall in men and women
Genes have a vital role in men going bald, causing male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). It can start as early as in the twenties. Male pattern baldness worsens with smoking and drinking, and is usually irreversible. However, hairfall caused by nutritional deficiencies, illness, certain medications, and sudden psychological as well as physical stress on the body is reversible. Females, more commonly, get reversible hair loss, whereas males tend to go bald and not recover completely. Females can generally suffer from hair thinning due to excessive heating and styling. Female pattern hair loss tends to affect those who have genetically thinned-out hair accentuated on the frontal scalp, which worsens as they age. Having said all this, it is possible to address these causes as early as possible and get hold of the situation with the various treatment options available.
Meanwhile, there are many prevailing myths which keep people from getting proper knowledge about the entire process of hairfall, their causes and treatments. Some of the myths that have been followed religiously are explained here.
1. Getting a haircut can make your hair grow thicker and can stop hairfall.
For people who have longer hair, it is more noticeable, which creates an illusion of excess hairfall than that of shorter hair. When the hair is short, less hair is visible, which is observed as decreased hairfall.
2. Wearing a cap too often can cause hairfall.
There are no proven evidences that support this belief. However, wearing a dirty cap or sweating too much under the cap can lead to infection, which can increase the amount of hair loss.
3. Bald people have high level of testosterone.
Male pattern baldness is not affected by the amount of testosterone circulating in the body. It occurs due to the sensitivity of the hair follicles towards the normal level of testosterone in an individual. People who have baldness have hair follicles that are more sensitive to the hormone than those who have a scalp full of hair.
4. Baldness occurs only after you grow old.
Anyone can go bald, even as early as in their twenties. The trend of getting male pattern baldness in the 20s seems to be increasing alarmingly. Major cause is a positive family history.