HOW DOES HAIR GROW?
Hair growth starts from the Hair Follicle.
Hair Follicles are sacs tissue out of which the hair starts to grow in either groups of 1 to 4 hairs
Inside the hair follicles is the Papilla which is the bottom portion of the follicle that contains all the blood vessels and capilaries, these continually feed the living hair cells from which the hair actively grows.
The hair is lubricated by a Sebaceous gland that releases oil to add shine to the hair. The actual hair is called a Shaft of hair and this is made of dead protein called Keratin.
Hair Growth Stages
Hair grows in three main stages.
Anagen-is the active stage of hair growth that can last from 2 to 8 years.
Catagen-is a transition stage that lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks where there is no growth at all.
Telogen-is when the hair is resting, and can last up to 5 months. At the end of this stage the hair will fall and a new hair will start to grow. Normally 85 to 90% of the hair on the scalp is actively growing. If a hair follicle is destroyed, hair will no longer grow from that follicle.
Causes of Hair Loss
Disease: such as Lupus/Diabetes Age or Heredity: Hair thinning or loss is a common sign of aging, however if someone in your family suffers from hair loss the odds of you developing the same condition increases.
Hormonal Imbalances: Over/Underactive Thyroid or changes in the androgen or estrogen levels.
Side effect of Medication: Medicine for High Blood Pressure, Heart conditions, Birth Control and Depression can cause hair loss. As well as Radiation and Chemotherapy. Fungal infections. Side effect of excess stress or surgery.
Types of Hair Loss
Androgenic Alopecia - The most common form of hairloss for both males and females. Commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness. Thinning begins from the temples or the crown of the head leaving hair only around the sides and back of the head, over time there might be complete baldness.
Alopecia Universalis - The hair of the Scalp and Body is completely lost.
Alopecia Totalis - Is the complete loss of Scalp hair.
Alopecia Areata - Also known as Marginal Alopecia. In this case the immune system attacks the hair follicles and normal hair growth is disrupted in a spotty pattern. The cause is unknown but it is commonly associate with autoimmune conditions like thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Sometimes it can be hereditary.
Ophiasis – Is a form of Alopecia Areata where hair is loss encircles the scalp.
Traction Alopecia - This is hair loss caused by damage to the hair follicle by constant pulling or tension over a long period. Usually seen in people who wear tight braids or cornrows.
Chignon Alopecia- Is a form of Traction Alopecia where hair loss occurs at the top of the head usually the results of wearing hair in a tight bun.
Hyptrichosis - Is a condition where there has never been any hair growth.
Telogen Effluvium - Stress or Illness can push the hair follicles prematurely into “resting stage” causing hair loss.
Trichotillomania -Is a phycological disorder in which a person compulsively pulls out their own hair leaving them with noticable hair loss.
Lichen Planopilaris - This disease usually affects the mouth and skin but it can also result in permanent hair loss.
Trichorrhexis Nodosa This is a problem within the hair fiber where there is no cuticle layer resulting in the fraying and swelling of the nodes.
Hypertrichosis (Hirsutism) This is usually a hormonal disorder caused by the over production of the male hormones. Excessive hair growth can occur in the face, chest, shoulder, lower abdomen and thighs, but can also result in male pattern baldness.
Folliculitis Is a very common bacterial infection of the hair follicle, usually it can be repaired by the easy removal of the infected hairs.
About hair loss
On average a person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs from the scalp per day.
Hair loss due to improper hair care or styling habits, medication, stress or diet can be reversed, but there is no prevention or reversal for genetic hair loss.