Investigators found that men who lose their hair in their 20’s have nearly twice as much androgen related activity going on in their scalp as men just beginning to lose hair in their 60’s. This type of hair loss, known as “Senescent” thinning, therefore, is assumed to be due to much different causes than typical Male Pattern Baldness, and, with a little stretch of the imagination, could imply that at this stage in life, inhibiting hormonal processes to stop hair loss may no longer be necessary.
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), your hormones are always out of whack. Your body makes more male hormones, or androgen, than it should. This can cause extra hair to sprout on your face and body while the hair on your head thins out. PCOS can also lead to ovulation problems, acne, and weight gain. But sometimes thinning hair is the only obvious sign.
Each hair develops from a follicle — a narrow pocket in the skin — and goes through three phases of growth. Anagen (A), the active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Catagen (), the transition phase, lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin's surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle. Telogen (C), the resting phase, lasts around three months and culminates in the shedding of the hair shaft.
Once considered a mark of a middle age crisis among men, hair loss and thinning hair is fairly common among women as well. Some 30 million women in the U.S. have hereditary hair loss (compared with 50 million men). Daily tasks such as brushing and washing your hair can turn from relaxing to puzzling when excess shedding around the hairline occurs. Being an unlucky victim of either genetics or improper hair styling can cause a receding hairline.
Hair follicles function in phases. The growth phase, called the anagen phase, is when your follicles are producing new keratin cells. After the anagen phase, a short transition phase, called the catagen phase, takes place. In this phase, the new cell becomes attached to the existing hair shaft. Then, in the last phase, called the telogen phase, the follicle rests. If a follicle prematurely enters the telogen phase (without entering or completing the catagen phase), the hair will fall out. It is normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. However, losing more or noticing patches of thinning hair may be the reason for concern. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia and there are several different types of alopecia that affect men. Some of these types include:
Finasteride (Propecia) is used in male-pattern hair loss in a pill form, taken 1 milligram per day. It is not indicated for women and is not recommended in pregnant women. Treatment is effective starting within 6 weeks of treatment. Finasteride causes an increase in hair retention, the weight of hair, and some increase in regrowth. Side effects in about 2% of males, include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculatory dysfunction. Treatment should be continued as long as positive results occur. Once treatment is stopped, hair loss resumes.