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Balding and Hair Loss

Hair shedding is part of a normal hair-growth cycle. At any given time, 90% of scalp hair is in a 2- to 6-year growth phase; 10% is in a 2- to 6-month dormant phase. When the dormant phase ends, hair is shed. New hair subsequently emerges from these follicles. Throughout a normal growth cycle, many hairs are shed. Loss of 50 to even 100 hairs daily is not cause for alarm. Noticeable thinning indicates significant hair loss or balding. Hair loss and balding are not life-threatening, but can cause emotional distress.

Hair loss results from aging, genetic predisposition, thyroid imbalance, eating disorders, illness, hormonal effects of birth control pills, pregnancy, menopause, and certain medications. The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Balding runs in families.1

Hair loss caused by AGA in men and women is characterized by a gradual shrinking of hair follicles which shortens the life cycle of hair. As the growth cycle phase progressively shortens, newly grown hair is shorter and thinner until new hair growth eventually ceases entirely. Hair thinning conditions can be treated. Consult a physician or dermatologist for an evaluation to determine the cause of thinning hair.2