Hair loss affects both men and women, with age, genetics and environmental stressors all playing a part in affecting how much hair we lose every day. For both men and women, hair loss can be a distressing condition to experience, affecting self-esteem, causing anxiety and creating self-consciousness.
While the result is the same, what causes male and female hair loss is different. In this article, we take a closer look at what triggers hair loss in men and women, and the different kinds of hair loss in Singapore.
Hair Loss in Females
A range of conditions affects hair growth and loss in a woman. Trauma, stress, and even the way the hair is tied up can affect how many strands are lost.
Telogen refers to a phase in the hair growth process where the hair follicle rests. Conversely, the anagen phase refers to the growth phase, where the hair follicle is pushing out hairs that will continue to grow until they reach the end of their life span. Therefore, the term Telogen Effluvium refers to a thinning or shedding of hair that results from an early entry into the telogen phase, where hair starts to transition into shedding mode.
While there are many causes for Telogen Effluvium , trauma and stress are common triggers. Pregnancy and childbirth, cancer treatments, extreme weight loss or the mourning of a loved one can all cause Telogen Effluvium. On top of that, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also trigger the condition.
Aside from nutrition and stress, inflammatory skin conditions in the scalp, as well as autoimmune conditions, can also cause Telogen Effluvium.
This condition is a result of repeated, and prolonged tensions in the hair due to a hairstyle, or method of tying up the hair. When the hair is stressed through tension, there is a chance that it will break or fall off. With traction alopecia, hair loss is usually experienced along the hairline.
This unique form of alopecia is caused by an autoimmune condition where the body recognises its own cells as a foreign invader. In this case, your immune system attacks the hair follicles, making them smaller and forcing them to stop producing hair.
On the scalp, hair usually falls out in patches. However, alopecia areata does not limit itself to just the head. Hair loss can happen on other parts of the face, or even the body. This means eyebrows, lashes and beards are not spared.
Alopecia areata can also come in two other more extreme forms: alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. In the first condition, a complete loss of hair on the scalp occurs. In the second, a complete loss of hair on the entire body happens.
All cases of alopecia areata seem to be unpredictable, and also found to be spontaneous. In some cases, hair can grow back and then fall off again, and spots of baldness can change over time. The extent of hair fall and regeneration also varies from person to person.
Often referred to as “female pattern baldness” or primary hair loss, this condition has a variety of causes, but is often caused by genetics. A shorter hair growth period, combined with a longer shedding phase, come creates higher hair fall rates. Other hereditary traits, like smaller follicles and thinner hair strands, can also cause female pattern baldness.
Menopause can also cause female pattern baldness/hair loss. With lowered oestrogen and progesterone production, hair grows slower. Additionally, there is an increased production of androgens, which can shrink hair follicles on the head, making hair loss even more obvious to the naked eye. This is a key difference when it comes to androgenetic alopecia between men and women.
Another key difference between men and women is the way the hair loss develops. In females, the baldness starts at the hair parting, or appears at the top of the head. Hair at the temples can also begin to slowly recede upwards.
Hair Loss in Men
In men, the main cause of hair loss is also known as androgenetic alopecia. In fact, according to the American hair Loss Association, androgenetic alopecia affects 95 percent of men who experience hair loss. This condition is genetically inherited, and gives men a receding hairline and a thinning head of hair. This happens in men due to genetic sensitivity to a byproduct of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT causes hair follicles to shrink as time passes. As hair follicles shrink, each hair’s lifespan gets shorter and shorter. Towards the end of this process, the follicle itself stops producing hair altogether.
In men, such male pattern baldness begins at the top of the head and around the temples, leaving behind a half-ring of hair along the side and back of the head. Alternatively, the forehead can also see hair loss, with the classic “receding hairline” pushing further up as the condition develops.
Other than androgentic alopecia, men can also be affected by other conditions that affect women. Telogen effluvium and alopecia areata can happen to men for the same reasons that cause women to lose hair.
Finally, nutritional deficiencies can also affect hair loss in men. Protein, vitamin D, iron, and adequate intake of other vitamins are important to the maintenance of a healthy head of hair. Any deficiency in one or more of these nutrients may cause you to lose more hair than normal, in addition to other effects that such malnourishment might cause.
We Can Help!
Hair loss treatment in Singapore can be complex and each individual requires different treatment and care. You should consider a detailed examination by our qualified doctors, who can customise a suitable treatment plan based on your hair type and condition.
If you are tired of seeing bald patches forming on your scalp, SL Aesthetic Clinic can provide you with the necessary diagnosis and treatment to alleviate your aesthetic concerns. Call us now at 6235 3246, or Whatsapp us at 9850 7112.