Once upon a time there was a young man who was honest, hardworking and kind. He was very happy until he found out his receding hairline. He got upset and asked the heavens “Why me?” Does this story sound familiar to you? No this not the story of your life, this a common phenomenon faced by men all over the globe. You may find lot scientific explanations for the occurrence of this demon named hairloss. We are here to simplify it for you.
People with head full of hair have 100,000 – 150,000 of hair on their scalp. It may be hard to believe that you lose around 100 hairs in a day. What is hair basically made of? It is actually a waste product. Hair is made of keratin, a left over protein of dead cells of the scalp. Hair growth is structured by hair follicles.
These follicles help hair grow in 3 phases.
- Growth Phase:
90% of your hair follicles are experiencing the growth phase. In this phase, as the name suggest, hair follicles push hair at the rate of 1 cm per month. This phase can last for about 2-7 years depending on your genes. So examine your family tree.
- Regressing Phase:
Your brain now sends signals to some hair follicles to enter regressing phase. This is a very sad phase because your hair will now shrink to a fraction of its size. This phase lasts only 2-3 weeks. During this phase blood supply to the hair follicles is cut down. The hair is now ready to be shed.
- Resting Phase:
Finally your hair enters the resting phase which lasts 10-12 weeks. 5-10% of your hair is going through this phase right now. Sadly, during the resting phase up to 200 hairs are shed every day. Don’t panic this normal.
Once the hair is shed growth cycle begins anew for the follicle. Hair follicles go through all 3 phases again. But the question still remains what goes wrong? Why do you have receding hairline or going bald?
95% of baldness in men is due to Male Pattern Baldness. Baldness is generally inherited. So if you have any great grand uncle who was bald, chances of you going bald are high. People who come from long line of bald people have sensitive hair follicles. Their follicles are super sensitive to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormonal product made from Testosterone and is present in the oil glands of the follicle. It shrinks the length and the volume of the hair, thus making them vulnerable.
Don’t worry, you are not going to wake up one day and be bald. Hair loss happens gradually. Your hair will start receding along the temples. Then hair on the crown area begins to thin and you’ll see a bald spot. The hair loss happens in circular pattern. Once these 2 balding areas meet, hair loss process is accelerated, eventually leaving only some hair on the back of your head. The other major factor affecting hair loss is stress. It shocks hair follicles and forces them into premature resting phase.
After all this depressing science, we have good news. Scientists have discovered that the roots of the hair remain alive even after facing so many traumas. There are drugs available that force follicles into growing phase. You can also find drugs that fight Male Pattern Baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
Meanwhile, if you are going bald consider yourself in good company of Socrates and Professor X. You have a shining dome of intelligence.