Male Hair Loss Causes

Theres been a lot of speculation and finger pointing about what causes male hair loss. Well deal in facts when discussing the most common causes of hair loss in men, also known as androgenetic alopecia.

Male pattern baldness can begin as early as the teens or early 20s and is typically characterized by a receding hairline at the temples and balding at the top of the head. The final result can be partial to complete baldness. Researchers are always seeking an answer to the question of what causes balding.

Heredity is one of the top culprits for hair loss in men. Many scientists believe baldness can be the result of multiple hair loss genes that a man inherits from either side of his family. Researchers in Germany have recently found a gene variation on the X chromosome (inherited from Mom) that they say causes some cases of male baldness. Genetics are also believed to be the cause of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss on the scalps and bodies of men, women and children.

Telogen effluvium (TE) is a condition that can cause alopecia totalis (loss of virtually all hair on the scalp) and alopecia universalis (loss of all hair on the scalp and body) across gender lines. Thought to be brought on by an emotional or physical shock to the system (surgery, death of a loved one) or an inadequate diet, TE strikes quickly but is not permanent. Hair usually grows back, but it may take months.

There are other various medical problems that can cause excessive hair loss. Stress related to illness or major surgery often results in a delayed loss of hair several months after the fact that is usually temporary. Skin conditions and hormonal issues, including an overactive or underactive thyroid gland, can cause hair to fall out. Treatment of the underlying disease usually stops the hair loss.

Areas on the scalps of some men are very sensitive to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which makes their hair follicles shrink to the point that they cannot replace lost hairs. The follicles don't die, but they can't function. Hair follicles must be continually exposed to the hormone over a period of time, so age also plays a role in male pattern balding.

Medications that cause hair loss in men include blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, gout medications, too much vitamin A, antidepressants, and street drugs like cocaine.

Hair loss can also be an early symptom of an underlying disease like diabetes or lupus.

Poor nutrition in particular, inadequate protein or iron, fad or crash diets, and eating disorders can cause hair loss.

Hairstyles that pull hair too tightly (including cornrows) can cause whats known as traction alopecia. Bald patches occur between the rows or in the part. If theres no scarring of the scalp or permanent damage to the hair root, regrowth is possible.

Trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder, can affect hair on the head, eyebrows and other body parts. This is a mental illness whose causes are not known, and which may be one form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia happens as the result of inflammation that damages and scars the hair follicle. Its related to several skin conditions, including lichen planus, and lupus.

Scalp infections, like ringworm, that invade the hair and skin can lead to hair loss. Once the infection is effectively treated, hair usually grows back.

This has not yet been rated. Log in to rate