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About 90 percent of hair on the scalp grows continually. The other 10 percent of scalp hair is in a resting phase that lasts two to three months. At the end of the resting stage, this hair is shed.
Shedding 50 to 100 hairs a day is normal. When a hair is shed, it is replaced by a new hair from the same follicle and the growing cycle starts again. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month.
As people age, the rate of hair growth slows.
Hair loss is believed to be primarily caused by a combination of the following:
The interest in hair replacement has significantly increased over the past 10 years. Approximately, two out of every three men suffer from hair loss by the time they are 60 years old. Women may also suffer from hair loss. For men, the main cause of a diminishing hairline is heredity. Hormonal changes such as menopause can cause both thinning and hair loss in women.
There are a number of hair replacement techniques that are available, although hair replacement surgery cannot help those who suffer from total baldness. Candidates for hair replacement must have a healthy growth of hair at the back and sides of the head. The hair on the back and sides of the head will serve as hair donor areas where grafts and flaps will be taken.
There are four primary different types of hair replacement methods, including the following:
Possible complications associated with hair transplantation procedures may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Although each procedure varies, generally, hair replacement surgeries follow this process:
Finasteride is available by prescription only.
Minoxidil is topical solution that must be applied by applicator or fingers to the balding area twice a day, every day. Decreasing the dosage to once a day results in some hair loss, and discontinuing application causes regression to pretreatment baldness.
While a receding hairline may be just enough to bother some men, hair loss on top of the head may actually increase the risk of heart disease.
The latest in a series of studies conducted over the past several years regarding hair loss in men, has confirmed that those men who are balding on the crown of their heads have a 36 percent greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Publishing the results of an 11-year study involving more than 22,000 men in the publication The Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that men with vertex pattern balding, or balding on the top of the head, appeared to be a marker for increased coronary heart disease. This association was even greater for men with hypertension or elevated cholesterol levels.
Previous studies have pointed to a link between male pattern balding and heart disease, but this study constitutes one of the largest conducted. Researchers also included detailed information about various patterns of balding and used these to identify the risk of developing heart disease in men of all ages.
The study looked at physicians who were between the ages of 40 and 84 years old who were involved in the Physician's Health Study beginning in 1982, and followed them over an 11-year period. Of the 22,071 US male physicians studied, 19,112 were free of coronary heart disease when the study began.
Every six months for the first year, and then annually after that, the men were asked to complete follow-up questionnaires to obtain information about new medical conditions and diagnoses. These were confirmed through medical records.
The researchers defined coronary heart disease events as nonfatal myocardial infarction (heart attack), angina pectoris (chest pain), and/or coronary revascularization (heart bypass surgery and angioplasty). Nearly 1,500 of the men reported one of these coronary events.
The researchers also looked retrospectively at the pattern of hair loss of the men at the age of 45. Participants were asked on the 11-year follow-up questionnaire to choose from options that included no hair loss, frontal baldness only, or frontal baldness with mild, moderate, or severe vertex (crown of the head) baldness.
What they found was that men whose crowns were completely bald had a 36 percent greater risk of having one of the coronary events; men with moderate crown balding had a 32 percent greater risk; those with mild balding of the crown were at a 23 percent greater risk; and men with frontal balding had a 9 percent greater risk of coronary events.
In addition, men who were balding and had hypertension were at nearly twice the risk for heart disease, and those with high cholesterol had nearly three times the risk, when compared to non-balding men with the same conditions.
Always consult your physician for more information.