Hair Loss / Hair Falling / Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) / Female Pattern Baldness (FPB) / Baldness

Hair Loss / Hair Falling / Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) / Female Pattern Baldness (FPB) / Baldness

Hair fall or Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp and can be the result of heredity, certain medications or an underlying medical condition. Anyone — men, women and children — can experience hair loss.

Causes and Symptoms of hair loss

1-Pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).

In male- and female-pattern baldness, the time of growth shortens, and the hairs are not as thick or sturdy. With each growth cycle, the hairs become rooted more superficially and more easily fall out. Heredity likely plays a key role. A history of androgenetic alopecia on either side of your family increases your risk of balding. Heredity also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair and the developmental speed, pattern and extent of your baldness.


Male-pattern baldness- MPB-(androgenetic alopecia)...For men, pattern baldness can begin very early, even in the teens or early 20s. It's typically characterized by a receding hairline at the temples and balding at the top of the head. The end result may be partial or complete baldness

Female-pattern baldness-FPB- (androgenetic alopecia). Women with permanent hair loss usually have hair loss limited to thinning at the front, sides or crown. Women usually maintain their frontal hairline and rarely experience complete baldness.

2-Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia.

This type of permanent hair loss occurs when inflammation damages and scars the hair follicle. This prevents new hair from growing. This condition can be seen in several skin conditions, including lupus erythematosus or lichen planus. It's not known what triggers or causes this inflammation.

Symptoms: This rare condition occurs when inflammation damages and scars the hair follicle, causing permanent hair loss. Sometimes the patchy hair loss is associated with slight itching or pain.

3-Alopecia areata.

This is classified as an autoimmune disease, but the cause is unknown. People who develop alopecia areata are generally in good health. A few people may have other autoimmune disorders including thyroid disease. Some scientists believe that some people are genetically predisposed to develop alopecia areata and that a trigger, such as a virus or something else in the environment, sets off the condition. A family history of alopecia areata makes you more likely to develop it. With alopecia areata, your hair generally grows back, but you may lose and regrow your hair a number of times.

Symptoms: Hair loss usually occurs in small, round, smooth patches about the size of a quarter. Usually the disease doesn't extend beyond a few bare patches on the scalp, but it can cause patchy hair loss on any area that has hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes and beard. In rare cases, it can progress to cause hair loss over the entire body. If the hair loss includes your entire scalp, the condition is called alopecia totalis. If it involves your whole body, it's called alopecia universalis. Soreness and itching may precede the hair loss.

4-Telogen effluvium.

This type of hair loss is usually due to a change in your normal hair cycle. It may occur when some type of shock to your system — emotional or physical — causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. The affected growing hairs from these hair roots fall out. In a month or two, the hair follicles become active again and new hair starts to grow. Telogen effluvium may follow emotional distress, such as a death in the family, or after a physiological stress, such as a high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, surgery, or metabolic disturbances. Hair typically grows back once the condition that caused it corrects itself, but it usually take months.

Symptoms: This type of temporary hair loss occurs suddenly. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or may fall out after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.

5-Traction alopecia.

Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair too tightly cause traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before there's scarring of your scalp and permanent damage to the root, hair usually grows back normally.

Symptoms: Bald patches can occur if you regularly wear certain hairstyles, such as pigtails, braids or cornrows, or if you use tight rollers. Hair loss typically occurs between the rows or at the part where hair is pulled tightly.

Other causes of hair loss

  • Poor nutrition. Having inadequate protein or iron in your diet or poor nourishment in other ways can cause you to experience hair loss. Fad diets, crash diets and certain illnesses, such as eating disorders, can cause poor nutrition.
  • Medications. Certain drugs used to treat gout, arthritis, depression, heart problems and high blood pressure may cause hair loss in some people. Taking birth control pills also may result in hair loss for some women.
  • Disease. Diabetes and lupus can cause hair loss.
  • Medical treatments. Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy may cause you to develop alopecia. Under these conditions, healthy, growing (anagen) hairs can be affected. After your treatment ends, your hair typically begins to regrow.
  • Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. This could be due to pregnancy, having a baby, discontinuing birth control pills, beginning menopause, or an overactive or under active thyroid gland. The hair loss may be delayed by three months following a hormonal change, and it'll take another three months for new hair to grow back. During pregnancy, it's normal to have thicker, more luxuriant hair. It's also common to lose more hair than normal about three months after delivery. If a hormonal imbalance is associated with an overproduction of testosterone, there may be a thinning of hair over the crown of the scalp. Correcting hormonal imbalances may stop hair loss.
  • Hair treatments. Chemicals used for dying, tinting, bleaching, straightening or permanent waves can cause hair to become damaged and break off if they are overused or used incorrectly. Over styling and excessive brushing also can cause hair to fall out if the hair shaft becomes damaged.
  • Scalp infection. Infections, such as ringworm, can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back. Ringworm, a fungal infection, can usually be treated with a topical or oral antifungal medication.
  • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder). Trichotillomania is a type of mental illness in which people have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, whether it's from their scalp, their eyebrows or other areas of their body. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves them with patchy bald spots on their head, which they may go to great lengths to disguise. Causes of trichotillomania are still being researched, and no specific cause has yet been found.


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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hair Shampoo

Shampoos have made major advances since they were originally introduced.  Besides simply cleaning the hair, they can also repair and protect hair as well as provide luster and shine with certain additives.

Soap Shampoo

This is the original hair cleanser.  This alkali-based product also contains oils and salts of fatty acids.  Soap shampoos are effective cleansers and are inexpensive.  However, they form a scum layer on hair when hard water is used (which accounts for the majority of water out there) so soap shampoos are relatively infrequently used today.

Detergent Shampoo

In the 1950s, detergent shampoos were developed since most people live with hard water.  They are composed of principal surfactants for detergency and foaming power, secondary surfactants to condition the hair, and additives.  The detergent shampoo works by transferring dirt with a lipophilic component to the rinse water with a hydrophilic component.
Anionic Surfactants
Anionic surfactants are the principal detergents used in detergent shampoos.  Sodium lauryl sulfates and ammonium lauryl sulfates are very strong and alkaline cleansers but may be too irritative in individuals with chemically damaged hair.  Disodium ricinoleamide MEA-sulfosuccinate may be a suitable alternative to these harsher agents but generally leave the hair in poor condition and are associated with a higher incidence of allergic contact dermatitis.  Triethanoloamine (TEA) salts of alkyl sulfates are more easily tolerated and can be mixed with stronger detergents.  Sarcosines clean poorly but leave the hair in better condition.  Laureth sulfates are less irritating than lauryl sulfates but do not clean as vigorously.
Nonionic Surfactants
In general, nonionic surfactants act as secondary surfactants by increasing the quality of the lather, viscosity, and solubility.  Examples are ethoxylated fatty alcohols, ethoxylated alkyl phenols, ethoxylated fatty amines, ethoxylated fatty amides, sorbitol esters, polyglycerol ether and amine oxide.
Amphoteric Surfactants
Amphoteric surfactants contain a balance of both positive and negative charges.  They are very gentle cleansers and are the major components of baby shampoos.  They are gentle in their cleansing and do not irritate the eyes.  Examples include N-alkyl-amino acids, betaines, and alkyl imidazoline compounds.
Additives are used to provide other benefits other than cleansing.  Beautifiers like hydrolyzed animal proteins are used to repair split ends by electrostatic attachment to the damaged hair.  Thickeners like sodium chloride are used to give more viscosity to the shampoo product.  Sequestering agents like polyphosphates and ethylenediamineetetraacetic acid keep calcium, iron, and magnesium salts from precipitating on the hair shaft.  Preservatives like formaldehyde are used to prevent bacterial contamination to a water-based product like shampoo.  Aesthetic additives help achieve the desired color and fragrance to improve marketability of the product.  Tar, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, sulfur, and ketoconazole are therapeutic additives to treat conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff.
Shampoos for Different Hair Types
A shampoo formulated for oily hair has a higher percentage of anionic surfactants, and a shampoo for dry hair would have a weaker anionic component.  Limp or fine hair must be treated with shampoo that has fewer conditioners that can weigh down the hair but instead have more protein additives that can provide extra body.  Permed or damaged hair must have a higher percentage of amphoteric surfactants or non-ionic surfactants to preserve the more vulnerable cuticle.


Hair Anatomy 

Hair follicles cover the entire skin surface except the palms, soles, glans penis, and labia minora.  There are approximately 5 million hair follicles on the body with 100,000 on the scalp.  The scalp has the greatest density of hair follicles with roughly 300 to 500 hairs per square centimeter.

The hair follicle may be divided anatomically into four parts:


  1. The bulb consisting of the dermal papilla and matrix
  2. The suprabulbar area from the matrix to the insertion of the arrector pili muscle
  3. The isthmus that extends from the insertion of the arrector pili muscle to the sebaceous gland
  4. The infundibulum that extends from the sebaceous gland to the follicular orifice.

The lower portion of the hair follicle consists of five major portions:

  1. the dermal papilla
  2. the matrix
  3. the hair shaft, consisting from inward to outward the medulla, cortex, and cuticle
  4. the inner root sheath (IRS) consisting of the inner root sheath cuticle, Huxley’s layer, and Henle’s layer
  5. the outer root sheath (ORS).
The base of the follicle is invaginated by the dermal papilla, which has a capillary loop that passes through the papilla.  Signal transduction and communication between the dermal papilla and the matrix cells influence how long and how thick the hair shaft will grow.  The melanocytes within the matrix also produce the pigment in the hair shaft.
The hair medulla is only partially keratinized and therefore appears amorphous and may not always be present.  The hair cortex cells lose their nuclei during their upward growth and do not contain any keratohyaline or trichohyaline granules unlike the ORS and IRS, respectively.  The keratin of the cortex is hard in contrast to the IRS or epidermis, which are soft.  The cuticle is firmly anchored to the IRS cuticle.
The cuticle of the IRS consists of a single layer of flattened overlapping cells that point downward and interlock tightly with the upward angled cells of the hair shaft cuticle.  Huxley’s layer is composed of two cell layers, whereas the outer Henle’s layer is only one cell thick.  Just before the isthmus, the IRS becomes fully keratinized but disintegrates at the level of the isthmus. Although the IRS is not present in the emerging hair shaft, the IRS serves as a strong scaffold in the lower portion of the hair follicle.
The ORS extends from the matrix all the way to the sebaceous gland, where it becomes the surface epidermis.  The ORS is thinnest in the hair bulb and progressively becomes thicker with the thickest portion at the level of the isthmus.
The portion where the arrector pili muscle inserts is known as the bulge area and is thought to be the location for the stem cells that can help regenerate the hair follicle.

Hair Physiology;The appearance and function of the hair shaft can be affected by porosity, elasticity, and texture.

Hair Porosity

Porosity is defined as the hair shaft’s ability to absorb moisture.  Without cuticular damage, the hair shaft is relatively impermeable to water and other substances.    With changes caused by permanent waves, coloring, temperature or pH changes, the cuticle can be rendered more vulnerable permitting penetration and damage to the cortex.  With repeated injury, the cuticle can be rendered permanently damaged allowing moisture to escape and making the hairy dry, brittle, and exhibit split ends.

Hair Elasticity

Elasticity measures the tensile strength of the hair with a normal hair able to stretch to about 1 and 1/3 its original length with healthy hair able to support a 100-g weight without breaking.  Elasticity is dependent upon a healthy cortex, and a hair shaft that has poor elasticity can break easily with grooming and with product application.
Hair Texture
Texture is affected by two determining factors:  the thickness of the hair shaft and the feel of the hair itself.  Wiry hair possesses its characteristics by virtue of the tight adhesion of the cuticle to the cortex and the flat arrangement of the cuticular scales.  Wiry hairs may be more resistant to chemical alteration.
Hair Permeability
Permeability is affected by the degree of porosity, elasticity, and texture of the hair shaft with the porosity and texture having the major influences on permeability.  Porosity clearly plays a greater role than texture.  However, fine hair will absorb more applied product than coarse hair given the same degree of porosity.  Coarse hair with great porosity will still have greater permeability than fine hair with low porosity.

Hair Embryology Explained

In utero, follicles begin formation on the scalp and then move downward to the remainder of the body.  Lanugo hairs are the first to develop, which are characterized by their fine, short, and soft nature.  These hairs disappear by the 32nd to 36th week of gestation but can persist in up to one third of newborns.  Most hairs however change over to vellus hairs with 90% of the scalp hairs becoming larger and thicker terminal hairs.  There are no further development of new follicles after birth.


In the human fetus, at about 10 weeks gestation, the hair follicle develops from a small collection of cells called the epithelial placode.   Cells of the epithelial placode then begin to profilerate to form the primary hair germ, which in turn will develop into the epithelial portion of the hair follicle.  The formation of hair follicles is predicated on multiple interactions between the epithelial cells and the mesechyme (primitive dermis).  The first dermal signal arises in the mesenchyme that stimulates the overlying epithelium to generate regularly spaced placodes.  The epithelial placode then causes an aggregation of cells in the underlying mesenchyme to form the dermal condensate, which ultimately becomes the dermal papilla.  The dermal condensate then effects growth of the epithelial placode to create the mature follicle.



In the next stage, the primary hair germ elongates into a follicle peg.  The mesenchymal cells that flank the peg develop into a fibrous sheath with the tip of the peg developing into the dermal papilla.  Melanocytes responsible for the hair shaft pigment begin to migrate from the neural crest down to the region above the somite then through the dermis to the epidermis.

The bulbous peg arises from the elongation of the follicle peg.  The epithelial cells within the bulbous base portion of the bulbous peg become the matrix cells, which will in turn give rise to the hair shaft and inner root sheath.  The outer root sheath forms two bulges on the posterior portion of the hair follicle:  the superficial bulge develops into the sebaceous gland, whereas the deeper bulge becomes the mature bulge area into which the arrector pili muscle inserts

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