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Hair loss Problem

Hair loss Problem

Hair loss Problem

Hair loss Problem

What is hair loss?

   The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There may be associated scalp disease or scarring.

  • Alopecia may be localised or diffuse.
  • It can affect the scalp or other parts of the body.
  • It may be due to hair shedding, poor quality hair, or hair thinning.
  • There may be areas of skin that are completely bald.
  • There may be associated skin disease or scarring.

Unfortunately, hair loss may not be easy to remedy.

Who gets hair loss?

   As all our hair follicles are formed during fetal growth, it is inevitable that we will notice hair loss of some kind in later life.

Hair loss occurs in:

  • Males and females
  • Children and adults
  • People with any colour or type of hair.

   Hair loss can be an isolated problem or associated with another disease or condition. It can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.

How does hair grow?

   Hair grows on most parts of the skin surface, except palms, soles, lips and eyelids. Hair thickness and length varies according to the site.

  • Vellus hair is fine, light in colour, and short in length
  • Terminal or androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer

   A hair shaft grows within a follicle at a rate of about 1 cm per month. It is due to cell division within the hair bulb at the base of the follicle. The cells produce the three layers of the hair shaft (medulla, cortex, cuticle), which are mainly made of the protein keratin (which is also the main structure of skin and nails).

   Hair growth follows a cycle. However, these phases are not synchronised, and any hair may be at a particular phase at random.

The three main phases of the hair cycle are:

  1. Anagen: actively growing hair, most of them
  2. Catagen: in-between phase of 2–3 weeks when growth stops and the follicle shrinks, 1–3% of hairs
  3. Telogen: resting phase for 1–4 months, up to 10% of hairs in a normal scalp.

   Hair length depends on the duration of anagen. Short hairs (eyelashes, eyebrows, hair on arms and legs) have a short anagen phase of around one month. Anagen lasts up to 6 years or longer in scalp hair.