It’s important to understand the Normal hair growth cycle before knowing how hair loss occurs. The hair follicle (root) is an anatomical structure that produces & extrude (push out) a hair strand. Hair grows in a continuous cyclical pattern of Growth, Degradation & Rest known as the “Hair growth cycle”. There are three phases of Hair Growth cycle:
- Anagen/ Growing phase
- Catagen/ Degradation phase
- Telogen/ Resting phase
About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. This Anagen (Hair growing) phase lasts for a period of 2-6 years. The hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month during this phase. This is followed by a brief period of Catagen (degradation) phase, of 2-4 weeks, in which the follicle is almost completely degraded. The Telogen(resting) phase then begins and last for 2-4mnths. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase.. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place. On average 50-100 resting hairs are shed every day. This is the Normal hair fall seen in everyday life. These hairs will re-grow.
A number of factors can affect the Normal hair growth cycle & cause temporary/ Permanent hair loss including Hormonal & nutritional factors, Stress, Thyroid disorder, skin diseases, medications, radiations, exposure to chemicals.
Female Hair Loss Treatment
Female Hair loss may be temporary or permanent. Pattern of Hair loss seen in females are quiet varied, and are not as easily recognizable as in men. Hair loss may begin at any age commonly though 50years or later, may not have any hereditary association, and may not occur in a recognizable ‘Androgenic Alopecia’. Hair loss can occur as early as the late teens to early 20s in women who have early puberty. If Untreated this hair loss can progress to more advanced form.
Hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It may also follow any sudden physical or psychological stress to the body. These types of hair loss are “Telogen Effluvium” and are usually temporary. It is important to remember that this hair loss may be delayed by up to three months following the change. Up to 8 months will be required for regrowth to be fully achieved.
In Women as in men, the most common cause of Hair loss is ‘Androgenic Alopecia’ also known as Female pattern Baldness- an inherited sensitivity of the androgens(male hormones ) on scalp hair follicle. However Unlike males, complete baldness is not seen in women with female pattern baldness. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and front of the head. In females the thinning (miniaturization) of hairs is not uniform, but variable diameters of miniaturized hairs are seen over all affected areas of scalp.
Ludwig Classification of Female pattern Baldness