Baldness is a partial or complete loss of hair
on the scalp. Under normal circumstances, the human head loses approximately
100 hairs a day. However, sometimes a person will experience a much greater
amount of hair loss than this.
The medical name for this condition is alopecia.
there different types of baldness?
Yes. A person, male or female, can lose some or
all of their hair for a number of reasons, including:
- Side effects from drugs, for example, hair loss
brought on by the cancer treatment chemotherapy.
- Traumatic alopecia: This is a man-made form
of hair loss caused by hairdressing techniques. For example, damaging the
hair with strong chemicals, such as bleach.
- Alopecia areata: In this condition, there are
localised areas of hair loss. The cause is unknown and the underlying skin
appears normal. There is no specific treatment. The hair growth usually returns
to normal within a few months.
- Telogen effluvium: This is a type of hair loss
that happens two to three months after the body has suffered something very
stressful, such as a major surgery.
about male baldness?
The most common type of baldness is male pattern
baldness (androgenic alopecia). Most people recognise this type of baldness
immediately. The hairline begins to recede at the temple, and the hair at the
top of the head starts to thin out. After a period of time, the crown area may
become completely bald, leaving a piece of hair around the back and sides of
the head only.
causes male pattern baldness?
Follicles are the cells that are responsible for
growing hair. In some people, they may slow down production and start to shrink.
While the follicles remain living tissue, they don't produce normal, visible
Some men have areas on their scalp which are very
sensitive to the male sex hormones known as androgens (hence the name androgenic
alopecia). It is these hormones which cause the follicles to shrink.
This sensitivity to sex hormones, which can lead
to baldness, is passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, baldness
tends to run in families.
male pattern baldness be prevented?
In some cases, male pattern baldness can be retarded
by medication. Your doctor can discuss these options with you, including the
cost and the likelihood of some success. However, the effect lasts only as long
as treatment continues. Hair transplants are sometimes undertaken. Wigs, as
a cosmetic replacement for lost hair, are much less popular in Ireland today.
No amount of hair loss is as embarrassing as a bad wig.
In most cases of male pattern baldness, men (and
their families) adapt to the mans baldness and treatment is not sought.
If it is any consolation, many women reportedly believe that baldness is a sign
of intelligence in a man, and since it is triggered by your own sex hormones,
male pattern baldness is in some regards as much a part of maleness as body
I lose my hair, will it ever grow back?
Unfortunately with male pattern baldness, the hair
loss is permanent. However, with other types of baldness, such as telogen effluvium,
the hair loss is not usually permanent.
to top of page