| Mens Hair Loss Facts |
- We each have about 100,000 hairs on the scalp.
- You need to lose about 50% of your hair before hair loss becomes noticeable.
- It is normal to lose 50-100 hairs from the head each day.
- Scalp hair grows at a rate of about 1 cm (just under 1/2 inch) a month.
- Each hair on the head grows for about 4-7 years before being shed.
- Approximately 40 million men and 30 million women in North America experience hair loss.
- In the United States, there has not been an elected bald President since the television age began.
Hair has two separate parts: the follicle and the hair shaft. The follicle lies below the scalp and produces the hair shaft (strand) that you see growing out of your skin’s epidermis layer. The follicle is alive. The hair shaft is not – it’s made of fragile, dead cells that have no regenerative properties.
The follicle is a sac of skin tissue buried deep in the scalp. It has a bulb at the bottom. The sebaceous gland is attached to the follicle. It gives hair its shine by producing a natural lubricant called sebum. The follicle is where the personal characteristics of hair are decided: curly or straight, dry or oily, and thickness.
Hair has three basic layers: the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. The medulla is the innermost core of the hair where the body and strength is determined. The cortex is the middle (and largest) layer. It provides strength to the hair shaft, and determines the color, texture and elasticity. The cuticle protects hair from the environment by forming a tightly packed layer of protective scales that overlap.
How does hair grow?
Hair grows from the hair follicle at an average rate of one-half inch per month. Each hair grows for four to seven years, after which it enters a “resting phase,” and then falls out. A new hair begins growing in its place between three weeks and three months later. At any one time, 85 percent of hair is growing and 15 percent is resting. The life of a hair consists of three phases:
ANAGEN PHASE. when the hair is actually growing;
CATAGEN PHASE. short transition stage (2-3 weeks) when hair stops growing; and,
TELOGEN PHASE. when the hair is resting. At the end of the telogen stage, the hair shaft falls out and a new strand starts to grow in its place.
Why do men go bald?
Male-pattern baldness (also known as Androgenetic Alopecia) is the most common form of hair loss for men, representing up to 90% of all male cases. There are some 40 million male adults in North America today experiencing hair loss. Mild to moderate hair loss affects about 50% of all men by the time they are 50. Male pattern hair loss results in either a receding hair line or thinning at the crown of the head. It occurs due to a chemical known as dihydrotestosterone (or “DHT”) which builds up around the follicle and eventually kills the follicle and the hair.
A follicle’s resistance to DHT is genetic – which is why some people go bald and others do not. If you have relatives with thin hair or who are bald, you may well develop the same problem, although the gene can also skip generations and can be inherited from either the mother’s or the father’s side of the family.
Aging makes baldness more likely. Sixty five% of men have noticeable hair loss by age 60. Most elderly people have thin, fine hair even if they are not noticeably bald. Other factors and conditions that cause hair loss, include braiding (currently popular with African American men) and Alopecia Areata (spotty hair loss).
Hair Care Tips: Four steps to healthier hair
Step 1: Shampoo your hair frequently
It is good to shampoo your hair – we recommend at least three times a week. This helps to remove dirt and buildup on the hair that can deteriorate the condition of your scalp. When shampooing, it is very important that you pay attention to cleansing your hair, your scalp and your hair line. Many people (wrongly) will drop a handful of shampoo on their head and then rinse it off. Shampoo must be worked through all of your hair, as well as the scalp and hairline. Did you notice that when you shampoo your hair the amount of lather often varies? Usually, the more lather you have, the less buildup you have on your hair. It’s also important to fully rinse out the shampoo to eliminate any residual detergents – they can damage the hair shaft and scalp.
Step 2: Use a conditioner and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Frequently shampooing can dry out your hair and, therefore, must be followed by the use of a moisturizing conditioner. It is very important to work the conditioner through all of your hair and leave it in for three to five minutes. Again, many people misapply and misuse conditioner by not working it through to the ends of the hair and not leaving it on long enough. Correct use of conditioners containing light proteins, such as hydrolyzed human hair keratin proteins, can help strengthen your hair. A good conditioner with these proteins can easily penetrate the hair shaft to replenish nutrients. These proteins can also repair split ends. Split ends develop after the protective cuticle has been stripped away from the end of hair fibers as a result of harsh chemicals or even vigorous brushing.
Step 3: Protect your hair from the elements. Use a leave-in conditioner that contains sun block (UV protector).
Excessive exposure to the sun can damage your hair by inducing oxidation of the sulfur molecules within the hair shaft, leaving the hair weak, brittle, dry and faded. People who bleach or lighten their natural hair color may also notice slight color changes in their hair when it is exposed to sun. Blond hair may turn yellow, fade or become dull due to UV exposure. Even natural brunette hair tends to develop reddish hues from sun exposure due to oxidation of melanin pigments.
Step 4: Maintain a healthy diet
Hair requires the same overall nutrition that the body does: plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and protein including lean meat and fish. Dietitians recommend foods high in biotin, including brown rice, bulgar, brewer’s yeast, soybeans, green peas, lentils, oats, sunflower, seeds and nutritious nuts. Nutritionists advise healthy hair seekers to eat well-balanced diets that incorporate healthy proteins along with foods high in vitamins B, C, E, A and K. Hair instantly responds to the addition of protein-rich foods such as meats, eggs, cheese, seeds and nuts. Fish packs a double punch of protein combined with healthbuilding essential fatty acids and natural oils. We recommend you discuss your diet with a medical professional.
Hair Loss: True or False?
Brushing the hair 100 times a day will stimulate the circulation and prevent hair loss
Vigorous brushing is more likely to injure the hairs and make the problem worse.
Hats encourage hair loss because the hair can't breathe
Hair does not need to breathe. Only the root of the hair is alive, and this gets its oxygen from the blood in the scalp.
Frequent shampooing makes hair fall out
The 50-100 hairs we lose each day often become tangled with the rest of the hair but are washed out when we shampoo. So we see what seems like a lot of hair in the shower after shampooing, but in reality these hairs have been shed earlier.
Blow-drying can worsen hair loss
The reason is that extreme heat damages the proteins in the hairs making them fragile and liable to break off. Brushing the hair during blow-drying causes more damage. If you use a hair dryer, it should be set on the coolest setting.
Hair coloring, perm solutions and hairsprays worsen hair loss
Hair dyes, perms and hairsprays do not affect thinning hair. Perms and hairsprays can help to disguise the problem. Remember, it is the follicle, which is located beneath the skin, that produces the hair. Chemical treatments can damage the hair strands but can't affect the follicle.
Baldness can be linked to heart attacks
In 1999, doctors at Harvard Medical School found that men who had lost hair at the crown of the head had a 32% increased chance of coronary heart disease. Hair loss at the front of the head hardly increased the risk at all. Regardless of how accurate this study could be, to promote a healthy lifestyle, you should stop smoking, eat healthy, have your blood pressure checked and do some exercise.