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What Causes Baldness?
Reverse Hair Loss and Regrow Hair
is written or edited by health professionals
Full baldness is very rare in anyone, but even much more so in women Hair loss and baldness are only a problem if it causes emotional or psychological problems.



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Yes, I'm Donald, the new owner.  I've been losing hair from the top of my head for years, but for the most part it doesn't bother me.

Hi, I'm Donald, and I'm the new owner of WhatCausesBaldness .net

I hope you like the changes that are being introduced and all the new information on baldness and hairloss.

Copyright © 2000-present Donald Urquhart.

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What Causes Baldness and Hair Loss?

The genetics causes of baldness and hair loss

It isn't so much that most of us have a gene that causes baldness and hair loss, but that our hormones change with age, and this then causes the hair loss and baldness to happen. This hormone change may be genetically caused, but you don't have a gene that says," right, time to cause baldness, lets get rid of this hair".

However, premature hair loss does tend to be genetically caused.

Research undertaken by Prof. Nothen and Dr Kruse, 2005, showed that premature hair loss in men followed the pattern of their maternal grandfather, as the gene that caused this hair loss was carried on the x chromosome.

In 2008, these two scientists further reported that chromosome 20, which can be inherited from either the mother or father, also contains a gene that can cause premature baldness. With the chromosome 20 gene, the son's premature baldness may resemble the pattern of the father's baldness.

Of course, there are many other causes of hair loss and many other causes of baldness, and these are covered further down, but hair loss and baldness caused by hormones is the norm for both sexes.

The cause of baldness or hair loss needs to be identified to determine the treatment that is most likely to succeed in regrowing hair.

Baldness and hair loss is much commoner than we normally think.

Contents of this Page

  • 1... The genetic causes of baldness and hair loss
  • 2... Definitions of baldness, alopecia, and hair loss.
  • 3... Shift from genetics to hormones for explaining the cause of baldness and hair loss
  • 4...The progression / pattern of baldness and hair loss in males and females
  • 5... The things that can cause baldness and hair loss
  • 6... The medical types of alopecia
  • 7... Baldness and Hair Loss Treatments

Baldness is defined as an area of the scalp that is no longer covered by hair, while

Hair loss is defined as a more generalized loss of hair over all the scalp, or over part of the scalp, but hair is still retained in the area.

Alopecia is a medical term, and can be used to refer to baldness and or hair loss.

Premature is defined as baldness or hair loss ocuring early in the life cycle - essentially before age 30 years.

Hair loss, of course, can be the start of balding, but reality is, hair loss happens to everyone with hair, every day, so although you may see more hair in your brush than usual, or around the shower plug, don't panic.
Womens beautiful face framed by hair

Photo left: From a very young age, a lady's is taught that her hair is her pride and glorywhich is possibly why women seem to be more out of place than men, when it comes to hair loss.

The cause of baldness and hair loss has mainly shifted from genetics to hormones

Temporary loss of hair is caused by stress, medicines, vitamins, or hormonal changes, while the permanent loss of hair is caused by a hereditary condition called Androgenetic alopecia, or by damage occuring to the hair follicle and or scalp.

However, the modern day view, is that what was often thought to be genetic causes of baldness and hair loss, are now often considered to be hormonal - and when the cause of hair loss or baldness is hormonal, it becomes treatable.

Our perception of baldness and hair loss is therefore changing, as our understanding grows.

For many of us, hair loss and baldness are no longer inevitable outcomes of aging.

Science has extended our knowledge of baldness and hair loss incredibly so, and now, even if we are becoming bald, or are bald, or have lost much of our hair, we can now do something about it.

In many cases we can stop the hair loss, and even regrow our hair

Education and understanding of what causes baldness is our best defense against continued hair loss and against baldness, and also helps no end in regrowing lost hair.


The effects / symptoms of baldness, alopecia and hair loss are different in males and females

In males, the hairline recedes from the front, leaving only a small amount at the back by the end.

In females the hair thins all over the scalp, beginning around age 30 and becoming more noticeable during or after menopause.

Hair loss and baldness are not considered health problems, but for some individuals, it has disturbing emotional and psychological effects.

Receding hair lines also change the appearance of the face, by shifting the centre appearance of the face upward toward the forehead.


The things that cause baldness, alopecia, hairloss

(and How TREATABLE each type of baldness is)

Baldness, which is medically known as alopecia, affects both sexes, male and female, and can be caused by any of the following:

  1. Age can cause baldness and hair loss, by it's effects on hormones and the weakening immune system. This type of baldness and hairloss is often reversible, using hair loss treatments targeting the hormone problem. However, age also affects our hair loss in a more permanent way - some of our hair follicles die, and this hair loss cannot be reversed. For those of you interested in stats, 40% of men have significant hair loss or some baldness BEFORE they turn 40 years old.

  2. Illness can cause baldness. In terms of illnesses that cause baldness and or hair loss, infections of the scalp, scarlet fever, and typhoid fever are three prominent ones. This type of baldness is also often reversed when the illness is recovered from - most can expect all their hair to regrow back..

  3. Genetics - can certainly be a cause of baldness in a small number of individuals. Baldness that is genetically determined is rare, and often irreversible.

  4. Lifestyle can cause baldness in some individuals - such as tight braiding, poor diet, and so on. Often the baldness and or hair loss is reversible, but it does depend on what actually caused it. For example, tight braiding can sometimes scar the scalp, destroy the hair follicles, making normal hair regrowth essentially impossible.

  5. Environmental factors can cause baldness, such as exposure to caustic gases, xrays and pollutants. Whether the baldness is reversible, again depends on what causes it. As a general rule of thumb, if the hair follicles are not destroyed, hair regrowth is possible.

  6. Some medications can also cause hair loss and premature baldness. Chemotherapy is well reknowned for causing hair loss and baldness. Mostly a reversible form of hair loss and baldness.

  7. Hair products can also sometimes cause hair loss and baldness - the more chemicalized, the more the potential for trouble. My brother in law went bald prematurely as a result of using such a product, my wife came close as well to becoming bald. As long as the hair follicles are left alive and well, hair regrowth is possible and likely.

  8. Fungal infections or tumors of the scalp that cause baldness are easy to cure via medicine, although it may take an extremely long time - weeks to months to years - for the drugs to take full effect and for hair to regrow fully.

  9. And Hormonal changes can definitely cause baldness.

    One of the major hormonal causes of baldness or permanent hair loss is dihydrotestosterone - DHA - a form of testosterone converted to its state by an enzyme created in the prostate, scalp and adrenal glands called 5-alpha reductase.

    This testosterone causes hair follicles to die and shortens the hair follicles growing cycles, causing the hair grown to be weaker.

    Dihydrotestosterone occurs naturally, and is hard to stop from being created, but it can be controlled with some antibalding medications.


The medical names for the types of baldness or hair loss

Anagen Effluvium, or permanent hair loss, is caused by the loss of the follicles.

One of the causes of baldness is the condition called as Telogen Effluvium, or a non-permanent loss of hair, is caused by the transitory damage of the hair follicles.

Both the above forms of baldness and hair loss are extremely common in adults.

Alopecia Areata is a baldness symptomised by the sudden loss of hair and normally leaves patchy areas of hair loss or baldness on the scalp.

Alopecia Totalis is a baldness characterised by hair loss over the whole scalp.

Alopecia Universalis is hair loss and baldness affecting all hair producing areas of the body, including the scalp, underarms, eyebrows and pubic hairs.

Androgenetic Alopecia refers to baldness caused by normal genetic influences.  For men, it's mainly caused by DHT, while in women other genes and their genetic expression are responsible.

Traction Alopecia is baldness and hair loss caused by pulling on the hair - such as when braiding, pony tailing, styling and so on, as can be seen in the photo on the right.

Excessive combing of hair has also been found to contribute to baldness and hair thinning.

Male-pattern Alopecia is well known, it just refers to the normal ordinary baldness of men.

Tight braiding, pony tail and hair styles that pull on hair, can all cause traction alopecia - baldness and hairloss from hair pulling.  It may even damage the scalp, causing permanet hair loss and blad patches.

In fact there are an enormous number of scientific names used to describe baldness and it's causes and aspects.  Probably because baldness and hairloss are so common and so obvious to see and scientifically observe.

Treatments for Baldness and Hair Loss

The false hope

It is important when considering any hair loss and baldness treatment, as to whether the baldness treatment actually works.

There are many miraculous cures for baldness and hair loss backed by patient testimonials, but they just don't work in regrowing your hair.

For example, you suffer Alopecia AreataYour hair has just suddenly fallen out in big patches.  What you don't know is that your hair will likely regrow - but you buy a hair regrower, your hair grows back, and you, being amazed, write a great testimonial, which then leads others to believe the cure you used will work.

That's why testimonials are not the best proof for a baldness cure.

You need the scientific evidence as well.

To see what the scientific evidence is saying about hair replacement, please read our newer web site: Hair replacement choices.


The real hope for baldness cures and hair regrowth treatments.

Most of the newer and better treatments for the causes of baldness and hair loss, work by altering the hormones affecting the hair follicles, so that new hair is stimulated to regrow from them.

However, there is hope -- prescription and non-prescription medicines are becoming available in the fight against hair loss.

While baldness may be uncomfortable, that doesn't mean that is has to be difficult to live through, and it is getting easier every day.

Baldness, at least amongst men, is becoming a macho look, and treatments that work or help or prevent are becoming much more abundant.

Even though medications to prevent hair loss and baldness are effective, there are alternatives, such as hair replacement surgeries and wigs, should all else fail.

Wigs and toupees can be so skillfully made, that no one will be able to tell the difference - will not be able to see the hair loss or baldness.


Picture of happy gent courtesy of Netwolf56 / Picture of girls braided hair courtesy of Taliesin

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Copyright © 2000-present Donald Urquhart.