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Is There A Solution for Baldness? - Facts & Infographic

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Baldness And Hair Loss

According to medterms.com, the online medical dictionary, ”Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. Alopecia can be temporary or permanent. The most common form of hair loss occurs gradually and is referred to as "androgenetic alopecia," meaning that a combination of hormones (androgens are male hormones) and heredity (genetics) is needed to develop the condition"

On average there are 110,000 follicles on the scalp and an average person loses between 50 – 100 hairs each day. Hair loss sufferers lose over 100 hairs each day. Over 40% men notice significant hair loss by the age of 35. By the age of 60 the percentage goes up to 65% and by 80 over 70% men notice significant hair loss.

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects many women. About 40% of women by age 50 show signs of hair loss and by age 80 over 55% are affected by hairloss/thinning.

Apart from the physical implications, hair loss often becomes a concern in terms of the self- image, and emotional and societal imports it entails. Balding has been seen as a symbol of strength, weakness, beauty, ugliness, and sickness at different times in different societies.

 

Major Hair Loss Disorders

Androgenetic Alopecia –

Called Male Pattern Baldness

Likely to affect 70% men & 40% women at some time in their lives

The commonest cause of hair loss and thinning in men and women

Caused due to hereditary reasons

Causes receding hairline in men and general hair loss in women

 

Alopecia Areata –

Causes bald patches on different areas of the head.

An autoimmune disorder.

Affects about 1-2% of hair-loss sufferers.

Can be treated effectively.

 

Cicatricial Alopecia - 

Hair loss is followed by scarring of tissue.

Hair follicles are destroyed, inhibiting regrowth.

Treatment is aimed at arresting inflammation.

Occurs in both men and women.

 

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia –

Bald patch originates in the center of the scalp and spreads out Women of African descent are affected more than others

Burning, scalp irritation etc. accompany hair loss

 

Other Causes

Over 30 recorded medical disorders can cause hair loss.

Diseases such as typhoid, arthritis, and hypertension can cause thinning.

Deficiencies and metabolic disturbances such as diabetes mellitus II cause hair fall and thinning.

Post-surgery hair fall is a common occurrence; this is usually a temporary syndrome.

Childbirth is a major cause of hair loss among women. Post-partum hair fall usually tapers off and hair growth restarts within 6 months to a year.

Birth control pills, anti-depressants, and blood thinners list hair loss as one of the possible side effects. Radiation or Chemotherapy is a well-known cause for hair fall. The hair growth returns to normal once the treatment is withdrawn.

Sudden or excessive weight loss and extreme diets are often linked to hair loss. Disturbing the intake of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals is known to affect the hair growth process.

Harsh coloring pigments, hairsprays, creams, and other styling products may cause hair loss, especially if they cause a reaction on the scalp.

Improper handling of hair, improper hair regimens, and excess use of styling tools such as irons, curlers, and dryers may cause hair loss.

Despite a historic debated centered on the issue, doctors from the Cleveland Clinic believe that Iron Deficiency could be a major cause for hair loss and balding.

An excess of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A& Vitamin D can cause hair loss. Similarly, a deficiency of Vitamin C can also lead up to hair fall.

Menopause is often accompanied by conditions such as hypothyroidism, leading to Female Pattern Baldness.

Ringworm of the Scalp or Similar Fungal Infections

Infections of the scalp are known to cause much hair loss, thinning, and baldness.

Trichotillomania: Hair loss occurring from an irresistible urge to pull or twist the hair until it breaks. Patients are compulsive in their behavior, leading to noticeable hair loss.

Stress and anxiety are also major causes for hair loss. A study by Dr. BahmanGuyuron in 2011 revealed that women who had multiple marriages suffered more hair loss than those who are happily married. External factors such as excessive smoking, sun exposure, and excess sleep can contribute to hair loss in women. These factors do not seem to affect men. The study concludes that divorce is a significant hair-loss factor among women.

 

Hair Loss Sufferers

According to a study undertaken by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in 2010, over 35 million men and 21 million women in the U.S. experienced hair loss. Over 101,252 surgical hair restoration procedures were conducted that year and the others chose non-surgical treatment. Americans spend an estimated $3.5 billion on hair loss products and treatments, according to the Washington Post. Over 99% of these are, however, ineffective, according to experts.

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery study of 2010, over 923,599 people across the world seek the help of trichologists and other professionals to combat hair loss each year. This number is a small percent of hair loss sufferers. It is also a significant rise from 361,077 sufferers as recorded in 2004. Surgical hair restorations worldwide added up to $1.87 billion in 2010. There were 279,381 such procedures undertaken across the globe, says the study. According to a study, 87% British men are not aware of medical treatment available for hair loss, and are the most likely among Europeans to lose hair, but are also most likely to avoid treatment. On an average, Asians are likely to lose fewer hairs each day but Asian women have an increased risk of hair fall and thinning hair than their Caucasian or Afro-Caribbean counterparts. In India, there are about 45 billion men and 20 million women suffering from hair loss. The number of Indians seeking surgical or medical treatment for hair loss is relatively low.

 

Hair Loss And Anxiety

Hair loss is a major source of anxiety and depression among sufferers. Both men and women suffer from increased levels of anxiety with increase in hair loss. Over 86% women in their thirties who suffer hair loss experience some level of worry or anxiety. Hair loss also remains the one issue that makes women feel least attractive to men, according to psychologists. According to the International Society of Hair restoration Surgery survey, 47% hair loss patients say they would spend their life savings to regain their lost hair. Over 60% believe that they would rather have more hair than more friends or even more money. 30% sufferers said they would give up on sex if it could get their hair back. In 2008, Lisa Aveyard of the UK was reported to have attempted suicide over hair loss depression. Men and women have been routinely known to go through self-destructive behavior due to hair loss and balding.

 

The Risks Of Being Bald

Baldness is not free from health risks. According to a study in the journal BMJ Open, bald men or men with hair loss at the crown region (top of the head) are a higher risk of developing heart problems. Bald men have a higher risk of developing heart problems, directly linked to an increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Researchers from Japan found that five out of six studies undertaken in Europe and America conclude that the association is a real one. These studies involved over 36,900 men. Men who have lost most of their hair are 32% more likely to develop CHD than peers with no hair loss. Bald men under 55 have a 44% higher risk of suffering coronary artery disease.

A study by the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics found: men who suffer hair loss early in life have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. The study involved 537 African American men, 318 of whom were suffering from prostate cancer.

The study involved 537 African-American men. 318 of these men were also suffering from with prostate cancer. Researchers concluded that baldness is associated with a 69 % increase in the risks of prostate cancer.

 

Treating Hair Loss And Baldness

As of 2009, HairMaxLaserComb was the only FDA-cleared laser therapy for hair loss and Propecia, Finasteride (Proscar), and Minoxidil were among the few medically approved products used for the treatment of hair loss. The use of quack remedies, natural remedies, and cosmetic cures around the world are innumerable. In 1997, the FDA-approved Propecia and in 1992, Finasteride (Proscar) was approved by the FDA. These drugs, however, have some serious side effects including depression, impotence and sexual dysfunction, and development of male breast cancer or prostate cancer. In 2003, a 3047 patient study established that patients using Proscar had a 200 times higher risk of developing male cancer. In 2011, a study found that over 20% of the men using Proscar suffered from sexual side-effects for over 6 years after they stopped using the drug. In 2012, the FDA looked into 421 cases of Propecia and 199 cases of Proscar side-effects. According to the American Hair Loss Association, Finasteride is the first choice for men suffering from hair loss. Over 86% of those who consume Finasteride claim that their hair loss is arrested or reversed. Minoxidil is advised in cases where the Finasteride fails. The micro graft, follicular extraction, and automated hair replacement therapy are surgical options.

 

Preventing Hair-Loss – Quick Tips

  • Regularly shampoo with a mild shampoo and conditioner

  • Avoid harsh chemicals and colorings

  • Exercise regularly and frequently

  • Take vitamins and nutritional supplements

  • Massage scalp twice a week to improve circulation

  • Eat a balanced healthy diet rich in fresh food

  • Drink lots of water and juices

  • Use a clean hair brush with soft rounded tips

  • Avoid ironing, curling, blow-drying very often

  • Consult a trichologist if hair loss is persistent

 

Bald And Famous

Celebrities who are rumored to have had transplants or wear wigs:

  • Tom Hanks
  • Nicolas Cage
  • Al Pacino
  • Enrique Iglesias
  • Ben Affleck
  • Edward Norton
  • Matthew McConaughey

 

Best-Loved Bald Men Of Our Times

  • Bruce Willis

  • Magic Johnson

  • Vin Diesel

  • Patrick Stewart

  • Michael Jordan

  • Seth Godin

  • John Malkovich

  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

  • Andre Agassi

  • Stone Cold” Steve Austin

 

Women Who Chose To Go Bald

  • Amber Rose

  • Britney Spears

  • Cassie

  • Demi Moore

  • Gail Porter

  • Natalie Portman

  • Sigourney Weaver

  • Sinead O'Connor

 

Different Shades Of Baldness

Voluntary baldness or deciding to shave one's head is seen as a sign of piety in many parts of the world. Men who undertake the Hajj or the holy pilgrimage of Islam are known to routinely shave their heads as a matter of obligatory ritual. Hindu pilgrims to temples such as Tirupathi and Palani are expected to make an offering of their hair as a token of humility. Buddhist monks in many schools and monasteries shave their heads as part of their lifestyle.

With the great widespread acceptance of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, baldness in this context has been recognized as a sign of strength. Images of Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, who had shaved off their head during cancer treatment, acted as inspirations for cancer patients across the world. Mattel agreed to produce a bald Barbie doll in 2013 to keep little girls inspired during their cancer treatment. The announcement was a result of a petition by Jane Bingham and Rebecca Sypin.


Women find it harder to undergo hair loss than men due to gender-biased standards of beauty. Bald men may be considered more masculine and stronger. Bald women are seen as less feminine and ugly

Tonsuring one's head is also a common form of protest. In January 2013, 50 protesters shaved off their heads in New Delhi as a mark of protest against violent rape in the country's capital city. Football players and administrators of the Ipsala amateur football team in Turkey shaved their heads to protest the action of Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar. 

 

Bald And Beautiful

According to a study by Albert Mannes, an academic from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School, bald men are perceived to be more masculine, dominant, and are considered better leaders than their peers. The study called Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science journal in October 2012.

Both men and women from across the world are increasingly embracing their baldness. The Bald-Headed Men’s Club of America has over 18,000 members. Despite the name the club has members from over 29 countries. The club actively champions the “bald and beautiful” look. In their own words, the Brotherhood of Bald People Worldwide is an organization "devoted to changing public image of baldness and building self-confidence in the bald community". The Internet space is full of support groups for balding men and women. The blogs and sites championing bald people include “Bald R Us” and “Bald and Proud”

 

Sources:

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Is There A Solution for Baldness.


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