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Basic Hair Loss Biology

Hair Loss Mirror

Once you realize you are losing your hair, you begin to feel like your running a race against time. Can you save your hair before it all falls out?

I will never forget how I felt the first morning I looked into the mirror and accepted the truth. After getting over the emotional shock and fears, I started my search for a solution. I knew I had to start by identifying the “root” cause of the problem so I plunged head first into the Biology of hair loss.

There is a lot of information out there and, believe me, it can take many months to sort through it all and make sense of it. I hope to save you time and effort by doing all the analysis and organization for you.

Both in this blog and in The Hair Loss Black Book, I will share with you all that I know about why your hair is falling out and how to reverse the problem. Assuming you want to start where I did, here is your first lesson: Basic Hair Loss Biology.

Hair Loss Varieties

Anagen Hair LossFirst things first, there are different types of hair loss. For example, alopecia areata is a type of hair loss when a person’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles and kills them. This can affect the entire body including the eyebrows and body hair.

Anagen hair loss is typically the result of exposure to a toxic substance. This is the hair loss suffered by chemotherapy patients and those who have been exposed to a poison or radiation.

This is typically considered hair fall because the hair should regrow once the body becomes healthy again.

Hair loss can also happen as the result of exposure to something which damages or impacts the hair follicle. Ringworms and certain viruses can inflame the hair follicle.

This will cause the hair follicle to shut down, but it should eventually return to normal once the ailment is taken care of. Substances which more severely attack the scalp, like an acidic hair dye, can scar the hair follicles permanently shutting down the growth cycle.

You can read more about the different varieties in The Hair Loss Black Book, but chances are you do not have one of these mentioned above.

It is far more likely that you and I share the same causes of hair loss, the same problem millions of other hair loss sufferers have. We have androgenic alopecia also known as male/female pattern baldness.

Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic Hair Loss

As the name implies, what causes hair loss in the case of male/female pattern baldness are little hormones called androgens. Androgens are sex hormones, responsible for our sexual development and all of our gender specific functions.

Men and women share some of the same androgens, but different proportions of each but each also have some androgens which should be unique to their gender.

Androgens are normally carefully balanced in men and women, with our bodies easily making hormones and counter-hormones to prevent an excess of any one androgen.

When examining hair loss causes we are specifically looking at the hormone Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. More specifically, we are looking at what happens when DHT becomes imbalanced.

Dihydrotestosterone is a tricky little hormone. Essentially, it is a super concentrated form of the male androgen, Testosterone. Infant and young boys need it for sexual development.

However, adult men need very little DHT, typically only for sex drive. In a healthy man, DHT should never represent more than 3-5% of all the hormones present.

While women do have some Testosterone in their systems, a healthy woman should never have any DHT present.

Hormones In Flux

Because this is a basic biology lesson and not the full course on hair loss causes found in The Hair Loss Black Book, I will try to simplify the process. Your body makes enzymes which both increase the production of hormones and eliminate hormones.

The enzyme responsible for creating DHT is produced within the reproductive organs and skin. The enzyme responsible for metabolizing DHT is produced in the liver.

When those organs become stressed for any reason they begin to malfunction. The reproductive organs and skin begin producing far more enzymes than necessary but the liver starts producing much less than you need. This leaves your body, whether you or a man or a woman, with a vast amount of DHT.

The human body is not capable of handling this DHT overload but now does not have the capability to get rid of it. Since DHT is toxic to most of your organs, the hormone is sent to a place where it can do the least damage- your scalp.

Hair Loss DHT

This flood of DHT quickly begins to bind with your individual hair follicles. DHT hair loss occurs because the hormones acts similarly to an allergen, acid, or virus. They brutally attack the hair follicle.

The hair follicle, in turn, swells dramatically, closing up the shaft through which the hair must grow. This also traps oil, dirt, and germs within the follicle leading to infection and even greater deterioration.

The process is gradual which is why it took a while to realize you were losing your hair. The hair growing out of the shaft becomes thinner and thinner. It is weaker and has an increasingly shorter lifespan at each growing cycle.

Eventually, the follicle stops growing hair all together and enters a period of dormancy. The hair follicle will stay dormant for a long time but if the DHT attack continues it will eventually die and the hair loss will be permanent.

Lessons Learned And To Be Learned

This is the Biology of why your hair has stopped growing. As you can see, there are many facets which must be fixed before you can reverse your hair loss.

First, you need to restore balance internally. The organs responsible for the creation and elimination of DHT must be nurtured back to health.

Secondly, you must heal and rejuvenate your sick hair follicles and restore a growing environment within your scalp.

Thirdly, you must eliminate the habits which lead to increased DHT, including unhealthy living, unhealthy eating, or an unhealthy mental state.

Hair Loss bookThe Hair Loss Black Book will give you a specific strategy to achieve these three goals and overcome these causes for hair loss.

The articles on this site will be both helpful reminders of the bigger game plan and a way I can share new lessons I learn about defeating hair loss with you.

Now that you know the science of hair loss it is time to start learning the science of growing the strong, thick hair you deserve.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Antome December 7, 2014, 2:32 am

    Hi and thanks for sharing the info.
    From how I got it, though, the official explanation is that balding people have more androgen receptors in their scalp which leads to an heightened sensitivity to the same level of dht as non balding men and that in turns leads to various level of hair loss, not excess T or Dht productions. Basically, according to this theory it seems that balding areas have more dht receptor than the wreath and this same area has much less receptors for non balding men and so, normal and healthy amounts of such hormones might lead to balding on genetically sensitive people but not on genetically insensitive ones.

    Unlike what you explain here, if true this might mean that if you are very sensitive, you would have to reduce androgens well below their healthy levels, because seems like for this theory the androgens will make the hair thin, the same way it would make chest hair thicken and muscle growing, thus not a result of excess Dht.
    Would you like to explain this controversy and clear things up what’s your view on genetical sensitivity? I’m sure many other people reading here might be skeptical and have a similar doubt. :)

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