Approaching Hair Loss Rationally

Hair loss affects both men and women and can occur at any age. There are different types of hair loss, having different causes and forms, some are permanent and some are reversible. Diagnosing your type of hair loss is the key to finding the most suitable treatment. For some types of hair loss a few vitamins or minerals and a change in lifestyle can bring results but some, such as the typical male pattern baldness, or some heavy forms of alopecia areata can be very difficult to combat. Hereditary hair loss with its two forms, male and female pattern baldness, is the most frequent type of hair loss, which affects about one third of the adult male population and one quarter of females. The main cause of male pattern baldness is always the same and it is the metabolite of the male hormone testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone, destroying the hair follicles. Female pattern hair loss, paradoxically, has the same reason but it is often related to menopausal and post-menopausal hormonal changes in women.

Hence, the main approach to treating hereditary form of hair loss is to reduce the serum levels of dihydrotestosterone or to protect the hair follicles from dihydrotestosterone’s attacks by binding to the dihydrotestosterone receptors in hair follicles. This approach should be combined with applying topical hair growth stimulants such as Rogaine to promote regrowth. Many hair loss treatments, however, promise growth by increasing the intake of vital vitamins and minerals that are needed to nurture healthy hair. Such approaches do not address the main cause and are therefore suitable only for treating temporary forms of hair loss induced by bad diet, unhealthy lifestyles or stress and will not help the typical hair loss sufferer affected by male or female pattern baldness.

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