You might not be a hypochondriac, but if you’ve noticed any signs of hair loss, you might feel like one. Chances are good you’re googling to find out everything you can about hair loss, from what causes it to what you can do about it. Since you can’t believe everything you read on the internet these days, we’ve compiled a few facts about hair loss that you should know.
1. 40% of men have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35 (and 65% by age 60).
Sorry, gents, the odds are not in your favor--hair loss affects a majority of men after age 50. But the good news is that hair loss isn’t inevitable. There are a variety of preventative steps you can take in your twenties and thirties to keep your hair the way it is.
2. And ladies, you’re not excluded: 40% of women have visible hair loss by age 40.
It might be more commonly associated with men, but women experience hair loss almost as frequently. Again, there are steps to take well in advance of the big 4-0 to prevent hair loss.
3. There are different types of hair loss.
The most common type of hair loss is male and female pattern baldness, and it tends to happen as you age. But there are other kinds of hair loss, such as alopecia, which can affect men and women of any age. Alopecia can occur overnight and can be caused for a variety of reasons, including stress, in reaction to medication, or other health problems like lupus.
4. Hundreds of factors affect male pattern hair loss, but DHT is the number one cause.
Dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT, is an androgen and helps give males their male characteristics. DHT is thought to cause hair follicles to miniaturize, and this contributes to male pattern hair loss. This is also why DHT blockers are an effective and safe way to prevent hair loss. To learn more about DHT, read our blog post about it.
5. Normal hair growth happens in three phases, and changes to these phases can cause hair loss.
We’re gonna get a little nerdy here, but we believe that understanding hair loss requires knowing a little bit about hair growth.
Hair growth is split into three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the growth phase. Hairs remain in this phase for 2 to 6 years. The longer it lasts, the longer the hair grows. Normally, around 80 to 85 percent percent of the hairs on the head are in this phase.
Catagen lasts only 2 weeks. This phase allows the hair follicle to renew itself. After catagen comes telogen, the resting phase. During this phase, the follicles lie dormant for 1 to 4 months. Normally between 12 and 20 percent of hairs are in this phase. And after telogen, anagen begins again. The existing hair is pushed out of the pore by the new growth and naturally sheds.
Male pattern hair loss happens when the follicles slowly become miniaturized, the anagen phase is reduced, and the telogen phase becomes longer. The shortened growing phase means the hair cannot grow as long as before.
Over time, the anagen phase becomes so short that the new hairs do not even peek through the surface of the skin. Telogen hair growth is less well-anchored to the scalp, making it easier to fall out. As the follicles become smaller, the shaft of the hair becomes thinner with each cycle of growth. Eventually, hairs are reduced to vellus hairs.
Understanding the hair growth cycle was really important to developing GroMD products. The formulas in our Shampoo + Conditioner and Follicle Activator Spray increase the anagen phase of the growth cycle — they slow down the shedding process of the hair follicles, which means you will grow thicker, stronger hair.
6. Daily hair loss is actually totally normal. (But if you’re worried you’re losing too much, do this.)
If you’re losing hairs, it’s not necessarily time to panic. Every day, we should naturally lose 50 to 100 hairs. If you’re worried that you’re losing more than that, there’s an easy way to check. Hold around 15 or 20 hairs between thumb and index finger, and pull slowly and firmly. If more than six hairs come out, you may have a problem.