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Home > Hair Loss Causes > Age Related Hair Loss
Hair loss with increase in age is a normal process, but if it starts affecting men and women at an early age it is a cause of concern. This premature hair loss has severe psychological effects. Some hair loss sufferers begin to loose their confidence and remain in a depressed state of mind which is not right. Equally inappropriate is consciously over looking the hair problems until they become acute.
If you are among those who have been loosing hair since an early age, it is first necessary to find out the reasons and treat it accordingly. The information presented below discusses the major causes of hair loss.
Age related hair loss in men
As you know by now, the major hair loss factor in men relates to genetics where age also plays an important role in the presentation of hair loss. This genetic hair loss is defined with a scientific name known as Androgenetic Alopecia. In general, young men before puberty are not susceptible to the expression of baldness; it becomes evident in them from late teen years onwards.
With age, the effects of androgenetic alopecia start becoming more and more pronounced The hair loss in most men follows a fixed pattern and hence the condition is also known by the name pattern baldness. In pattern baldness there is a gradual reduction in the size of the hair follicle. The hair discontinues all its growth activity and enters into a telogen (resting) stage. This change in the hair growth cycle causes the hair to be lost at a rapid rate.
Age related hair loss in women
The affect of age on hair loss is more pronounced in women. The onset of menopause is one of the major causes of increased hair loss in women apart from pregnancy.
During pregnancy, there is an imbalance in the level of hormones which is the primary cause of hair loss, but the hair loss is temporary and restored after a period of time. The cause of hair loss in menopause is also an hormonal imbalance, but the hair loss here is not reversible until remedies such as hormone supplements are tried.
Most women in their fifties tend to shed more hair than their male counterparts. For men, their pattern hair loss has mostly stabilized, but for women the hair loss can be actively progressing at this age. After menopause there is a drop in the estrogen level which is the major reason of hair loss. Estrogen counteracts the activity of androgen hormones. Without the estrogen, androgens are free to act on hair follicles and cause them to miniaturize.
Premature hair loss in women
Some young women may develop a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This results in a redction of estrogen hormones and early onset of hair loss. Severe PCOS can lead to severe hair loss.
Like men, even women suffer from androgenetic alopecia or female pattern baldness. Women may begin to suffer from pattern baldness in their early teens if they develop PCOS or other similar hormonal problems. Otherwise, androgenetic alopecia in women only becomes apparent at the time of menopause. Though the times of onset for androgenetic alopecia are different in men and women, and the pattern of hair loss is usually more diffuse than in men, the biochemical mechanism of androgenetic alopecia involving androgens, is the same.
There is some misapprehension among people that inheritance of baldness occurs from the motherís family side. But it is not so. Actually the premature hair loss or pattern baldness of both the genders can be inherited from the either side of the family or from both.
Though some drugs are available for the treatment of androgenetic alpopecia, hair transplantation is the final option.
Hair loss in children and infants
In general, children are not susceptible to pattern baldness. Although they can have other forms of hair loss like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.
Some interesting findings related to hair loss in babies has been made evident in certain studies. The study points out that the areas of temporary hair loss seen on the scalp of babies; is exactly same as that is observed in men and women with pattern baldness.
This pattern hair loss is observed in both male and female babies. The frontal areas of scalp skin may have very thin hair in babies, especially those born prematurely. Babies may look like they have a widow's peak as is often seen in men and observed (with a less distinct pattern) in women.
Whether this temporary hair loss in babies can be used to predict future adult susceptibility to androgenetic alopecia is totally unknown.
The reasons of hair loss vary from person to person. Apart from genetics
If you are suffering from sudden hair loss instead of being anxious about it the best approach is to find out the real reason behind it and find the right solution.