What is Hair Made Of?
The hair is made out of a type of protein called keratin. Each hair has a root located under the skin containing a follicle of hair and a bulb that produces melanin, the color pigment. Healthy hair depends on the proper feeding of the follicle: with oxygen and nutrients (proteins, vitamins and minerals). If these nutrients do not reach the follicle, the root can weaken, disturbances occur in the production of sebum. As a result, problems such as dry hair or dandruff arise, or the hair may begin to fall out.
Normally, a person loses an average of up to 50-100 hairs per day. These will be replaced by new ones that will grow from the same follicle. But if hair loss is greater than 100 strands, you may be experiencing hair loss.
What is Androgenic Alopecia?
Simply put, androgenic alopecia is the common form of baldness that affects the majority of men and women. The incidence is thought to be higher in men than women and occurs in roughly 70% of men and 40% of women. Additionally, men suffering from androgenic alopecia may have an increased risk of myocardial infarction and developing benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Androgenic alopecia is a genetically determined condition with a prognosis that remains unknown. Women suffering from this ailment most likely experience a decrease in the hair’s density; not complete hair loss like what occurs in men. Currently, only two drugs are approved for treatment: Minoxidil and Finasteride (also known as Propecia). While using these medications, some patients lose all their hair while other patients mysteriously regain it.
What are the causes of alopecia?
This genetically determined disorder is progressive by gradually converting mature hair into immature hair – velus. Patients have a mature hair reduction ratio: velus, which is normally 2:1. Following the miniaturization of the hair follicles, only the fibrous tracts remain in their place. Patients with this disorder typically show a pattern of hair loss.
Over time, alopecia was classified in men by the Norwood-Hamilton scale. The Norwood-Hamilton Scale was created by Dr. James Hamilton, in the ’50s and then reviewed by Dr. O ‘Tar Norwood in the ‘70s. The Norwood-Hamilton Scale is divided into 7 stages.
The Norwood-Hamilton Scale for Male Alopecia
Alopecia in Women
Over 13% of pre-menopausal women report androgenic alopecia. However, this incidence increases in women already in menopause.
The Ludwig Scale for female alopecia