Alopecia is the generic medical term hair loss on a part or the whole scalp. This term comes from the Greek “alopex”, meaning fox. This animal loses in fact, once a year, its brutally hair.
Hereditary androgenetic alopecia, the most common, affects mostly men (70% of cases). Acute alopecia causes in turn a faster and more substantial hair loss.
Hair loss in women: hormones frontline
One cause of alopecia in women: hormone disorders connected to different periods of life, consecutive with taking treatment or endocrine disorders. This is called androgenic alopecia.
If significant and unexplained hair loss, it is then advisable to ask a dermatologist who will sort through the various factors traditionally implicated:
- The Endocrinological disorders affect the main hormone producing glands such as the thyroid (hyper or hypothyroidism) and more hardly ever the pituitary gland which then starts to idle (this is called hypopituitarism) or, on the contrary, produce too much prolactin (a hormone to the initiation and maintenance of lactation).
- There may also be an excess of androgens (male hormones secreted by the ovaries and adrenal glands) induced by the attendance of micro polycystic ovaries through menopause or childbirth. The decrease of female hormones associated cause then depletion of the scalp and thus hair loss, sensitized by too much male hormone.
- Alopecia can also be derived from a genetically planned hypersensitivity of the hair follicle (hair bulb) without androgen these are excessively products. This is called hyperandrogenism.
Hormones and hair loss: men also concerned
If alopecia in men is usually inherited (95% of cases), hormones can also get involved and make the situation worse. As for women, the scalp can be chiefly sensitive to male hormones and accentuate the natural fall of the hair. This is the meeting between androgens and an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase that the problem arises. On a healthy follicle, both substances coexist smoothly and the hair is disturbed in any way in its development. In the case of a genetically predisposed follicle, it will observe its accelerated cycle, while imposing the hair grows a rhythm / drop / reject accelerated gradually exhausting the follicle and causing ultimately a root in the disappearance dermis. An anomaly being studied closely by researchers and, hopefully, resolved soon through gene therapy.