More than 80% of the population worldwide suffers from some degree of hair loss. Hair loss has generally affected men after a certain age but now it is not limited to them only.
Unhealthy eating habits, a stressful life and a number of beauty products and hair experiments have also left women and even teenagers joining this bandwagon. The medical term for hair fall is alopecia and is the higher degree of hair loss which we commonly refer as baldness.
Little About Hair
The hair form an important part of the human body as the body is completely covered by hair, except for the lips, palms, and the sole of the feet. Scalp happens to have the densest hair, adding to both beauty and safety of the scalp.
Human hair is made up of a protein called keratin which is anchored inside the scalp skin with the help of specialised cells called hair follicle. It is the hair follicle that lubricates the hair with sebum and also supplies oxygen and nutrition to the hair root called bulb.
What Is Baldness?
Baldness is the condition of the scalp lacking hair completely or partially. Though it is normal for our body to shed around 100 hair every day, excessive loss and lack of growth become the condition of baldness.
90% hair on the scalp is always in a growing phase with 10% in the dormant phase. After two or three months each dormant hair falls down and a new hair grows at its follicle. When hair follicles fail to grow new hair in the place of the lost one, hair loss begins to turn into baldness.
What Are The Causes Of Baldness?
Besides loosing hair as a part of the natural hair cycle, people lose hair in other situations as well.
• Heredity: Some families have baldness as a heredity trait and when the time comes, the person suffers from baldness for no particular reason.
• Hair Styles And Treatments: With increased focus on our beauty, hair has become our ornament. There are many styles that require the hair to be tied tightly using rubber bands and barrettes, which loosen the grip of the hair from the follicles.
Hair treatments such as bleaches, colouring, and straightening use various chemicals and heat, which damages both the scalp and the hair follicle. Sometimes the damage is very severe and causes permanent baldness.
• Hormonal Imbalance: Hair loss in women can happen during pregnancy, childbirth or even because of birth control pills, though this is not often permanent.
• Stress: Work pressure or personal stress such as a break-up or a loss of a loved one, also causes hair loss.
• Illness: Some of the medicines and surgery also cause hair fall as their side effects.
Symptoms Of Baldness
Although shedding some hair every day is normal, but one should watch for the signs that may suggest that the hair loss has led to baldness.
• In men, the hairline on the forehead begins to recede forming the shape of the letter M. In women, though the hairline does not get affected, the distance between hair starts increasing.
• If you observe the development of a circular patch or a bald spot, then it is also a sign of baldness. This coin-sized spot can also cause itching and little pain on the skin.
• If there is a handful loss of hair while combing and washing the hair or at even gentle tugging while hairstyling, it is also a sign of baldness.
What Are The Cures?
Hair loss might sound normal to everyone but it is not the same for people facing this condition. Even if it does not pose any risk of death, it indeed is a threat to self-confidence and contentment.
To cure baldness, hair restoration and hair transplant have become popular in recent years. Many renowned salons across the globe have been able to provide positive results to many people fighting baldness. Since hair restoration is a time-consuming and expensive process, everyone is hoping for the oral medication that can cure baldness.
After continuously looking to find a drug to cure baldness, they have recently found out a drug containing a compound that can stimulate the follicles to grow more hair.
This is the same drug that has been used for many years to treat osteoporosis and medical experts are hopefully looking forward to it as a cure for baldness.
Presently, this is available in the market in the name of minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is for both men and women pattern of baldness while, finasteride is specifically for male baldness.
Since the drug still needs to be tested for its effectiveness and has various side-effects, it is still not widely recommended by the dermatologists and patients are often advised to take precautions or opt for hair transplantation.