Hair loss is more common than you may think.
Hair loss can take a major toll on your confidence. Millions of men and women deal with some form of hair loss, with androgenic alopecia – also known as pattern baldness – being the most common. Androgenic alopecia affects over half of males over 50 and over a quarter of women over 50. This form of hair loss is easy to recognize – it’s characterized by significant thinning in certain parts of the head rather than complete baldness.
Androgenic alopecia is typically the cause of the instantly recognizable “balding” look that many older men have. However, while the condition is more common in men, it affects women as well. Androgenic alopecia can cause thinning in multiple parts of the head, and often affects men and women differently. For men, the areas most commonly affected by pattern baldness are the crown of the head and the hairline. For women, the area that typically undergoes the most thinning is the divide, or “part,” between the two sections of hair on the top of the head.
If you are dealing with hair loss and have noticed that your hair is more thin in certain parts of your head than others, androgenic alopecia is the most likely cause.
So, what factors can contribute to the development of pattern baldness, and what can you do to prevent and reverse this troublesome form of hair loss?
In this post, we’ll be discussing two common causes of balding, as well as some of the most effective treatments for androgenic alopecia.
1. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Your hair’s natural cycle of growth can be significantly affected by hormones. One specific hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can be especially impactful.
DHT plays an important role in the changes that your body undergoes during puberty. Part of a class of hormones called androgens, DHT regulates the presence of masculine physical characteristics, such as growth of facial hair, pubic hair, and depth of voice. The hormone also plays a vital part in the development of male genitalia in the womb. Androgens like DHT are found in higher levels in the male body, but females produce them, too.
Although DHT primarily aids in your physical development early in life, your body continues producing the hormone as you age. Your body produces DHT as a byproduct of another hormone, testosterone. As you get older, your body’s conversion of testosterone into DHT can increase to excessive levels, which can have a constricting effect on the hair follicles in certain parts of your head.
As DHT levels increase, your hair’s growth cycle can get disrupted, causing your hair follicles to spend more time resting than growing. Your hair’s cycle of growth goes through three stages – the anagen (growth) stage, the catagen (transition) stage, and the telogen (rest) stage. During these stages, your hair is actively growing, then transitioning towards rest, then resting. Excess DHT production can lengthen the telogen stage of the growth cycle, leading to thinner, slower, and more sporadic hair growth in certain parts of your head.
So, how can you tell if you are dealing with DHT-related hair loss? Below are a few of the telltale signs.
Androgenic alopecia does not cause complete baldness. Instead, the condition typically affects specific areas, which can gradually go completely bald. Meanwhile, the rest of the hair on your head will typically remain relatively unaffected. If you are dealing with total hair loss, it is most likely caused by factors other than DHT.
Androgenic alopecia tends to develop in mid-to-late adulthood. This form of hair loss is most common over the age of 50. However, androgenic alopecia can begin developing as early as your 30s.
- Androgenic alopecia is often hereditary. If DHT-related hair loss runs in your family, you are far more likely to deal with it yourself. By looking back through previous generations, you can get a clearer picture of whether pattern baldness is a common issue among family members.
Stress has long been blamed for hair loss, but the connection between high stress levels and losing your hair is rarely backed by facts. However, there is a scientifically verifiable link between increased stress and hair loss.
When you are stressed out, your body releases cortisol, a hormone which can disrupt your hair’s natural growth cycle. Excess cortisol production can lead to the development of telogen effluvium. This form of hair loss lengthens the telogen stage of your growth cycle and shortens the anagen stage, leading to slower growth and hair loss.
The hair loss caused by telogen effluvium is often temporary. Once stressful factors in your life are under control, you may see your hair growth return to normal. However, stress may not be the only cause of your hair loss. It’s important to remember that hair loss can be caused by multiple factors at once – stress, hormones, heredity, and more can all have a negative effect on hair growth. Determining the causes for your hair loss can help you figure out how to effectively treat thinning.
How To Treat Hair Loss: Three Effective Methods
If you are experiencing hair loss due to stress, hormones, or other factors, the treatment methods listed below may be helpful for you.
1. Reduce Stress
As you now know, stress can have a significant impact on hair growth. Reducing the amount of stressors in your life can help you get your hair’s growth rate back on track, especially if you are dealing with telogen effluvium.
Below are a few simple, practical ways to healthily manage stress.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily
- Get enough sleep each night
- Practice mindfulness or meditation
- Spend time on hobbies or other fun activities
Getting stress under control doesn’t have to be hard. However, if what you are experiencing is closer to chronic anxiety than run-of-the-mill everyday stress, it’s best to consult a mental health professional.
2. Try DHT-Blocking Products
Certain ingredients can inhibit your body’s production of DHT, the hormone primarily responsible for causing androgenic alopecia. GroMD’s shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray are formulated with our signature blend of growth-boosting, DHT-blocking ingredients. These include saw palmetto, stinging nettle, pumpkin seed extract, caffeine, niacinamide, and more.
If your hair loss is primarily caused by DHT, daily use of GroMD products can have a major positive impact on growth. The sooner you start treating androgenic alopecia, the better – the condition tends to become harder to reverse as it progresses. However, anyone at any stage of hair loss can benefit from using GroMD products, which are formulated for all hair types and are guaranteed to leave your hair looking, smelling, and feeling incredible.
Have Additional Questions About Hair Loss Prevention?
If you’re curious about the science of hair loss prevention, make sure to visit our blog.
The GroMD blog is loaded with helpful information that you can use to assemble your own highly effective hair loss prevention regimen. Our articles provide answers to some of the most common questions about hair loss, as well as helpful hair care tips.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.