While age takes a toll on the body in various ways, a bald head tends to be the worst fear of many people. Although females can suffer from hair loss, men are more inclined to lose the hair on their heads sooner and more frequently than women. Why do we go bald on our heads but the hair on our bodies prevail? Is body hair immune to hair loss?
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The hair on our scalp goes through a certain pattern of growth cycles. Each hair will grow for five to seven years. Then the hair will stop growing and it will fall out. The follicle will rest for a period of time before starting the entire process over again. Each follicle will repeat this growth cycle several times within a lifetime. However, genetics and hormones determine the lifespan of your hair. The body produces a certain amount of testosterone each day and almost 10% of that is converted into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is responsible for sexual development, libido, reproduction and the growth of body hair. Unfortunately, DHT is also responsible for altering the genetic makeup of the hair follicles on the head and it causes them to shut down prematurely. This DHT process results in hair loss.
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Most of us don’t trim our arm hair because it doesn’t continue to grow like the hair on our heads. Contrary to that, leg hair and facial hair may get shaved or waxed on a regular basis but it still grows back. This leads many to think that body hair is immune to hair loss and is permanent hair. However, we do lose our body hair just as frequently as scalp hair. Body hair will grow to a certain length, stop, fall out and regrow. Since the body hair is short, less dense and evenly spread across the body; the hair loss is less noticeable. While hair follicles on the body will eventually stop being productive, it is a much slower process than the hair on the head.
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It is common to see over a hundred hairs in your brush or going down the drain each day. Thinner or lighter hair, with excess shedding, may be a sign of a bigger problem. If you are bothered by thinning hair or hair loss, there are a few options available. Hair restoration treatments can help to prevent or slow the progression of hair loss with medications such as Propecia or Rogaine. Laser treatments may also be beneficial to certain patients with early symptoms of thinning hair or patients who may not be good candidates for a hair transplant. Schedule a consultation with a hair restoration specialist to discuss the best treatment options for your balding and/or thinning hair.