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Hair Loss

Male baldness

While many people think hair loss affects mostly men, women are experiencing this as well. Hair goes through a cycle of growth, rest and loss. The growth portion can last up to five years, the rest portion lasts a few days, and then the hair is shed. No matter who experiences losing hair, it can be a caus of distress and embarrassment. The appearance of several small coin-shaped bald patches on the scalp is a symptom of a condition known as alopecia aerata.

Symptoms

You may notice more and more hair coming out in your hair brush or on the bathroom floor after grooming. Hair thins noticeably, or bald patches can appear, depending on what kind of hair loss you are experiencing.

Causes

While all causes for losing hair are not understood, some loss is caused by heredity. It is thought that people with hereditary loss may have more hormone receptors in the areas where hair is lost. The male hormone testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This new form damages hair follicles, which can cause hair growth to become finer and the growth cycles to become shorter. In men, DHT also plays a part in enlarged prostate, thus linking the two conditions. Women have less DHT than men, so they experience thinning hair more than baldness. Hair loss in women is sometimes linked to the adrenal glands. Other causes can include poor diet, anemia, stress, itching and medical treatments like chemotherapy.

Cautions

Consult your doctor if your hair loss is sudden and excessive. Some herbs should not be taken during pregnancy or if you take certain medications. Be sure to look into any contraindications before taking an herbal remedy.

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