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Peculiar Problem: What Causes Baldness?

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What do. Charles Darwin Michael Jordan and Yoda have in common. They like many other historical and fictive individuals are bald in some cases by their own choice. For centuries, a shining dome (bald head) has been a symbol of intelligence. But despite this. many balding people still wish their hair would return.

Scientists have long pondered on why some people lose their hair and how it can be brought back. The full headed among us have about 100000 to 150000 hairs on their scalps and scientists have discovered two things about this dense thicket.

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Firstly, the sprouting hair we see is mostly made up of keratin, the protein leftover from dead cells that are forced upwards as new cells grow beneath them. Secondly, the structures that drive hair growth are called hair follicles. These are a network of complex organs that forms before we're born and grows hair in an everlasting cycle.

This cycle has three main phases. The first is the anagen phase. This is the growth phase during which up to 90 percent of your hair follicles are experiencing right now causing them to push up hair at a rate of one centimeter per month. Anagen can last for two to seven years depending on your genes.

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After this productive period, signals within the skin instruct some follicles to enter a new phase known as Catagen or the regressing stage causing hair follicles to shrink to a fraction of their original length cartage and lasts for about two to three weeks and cuts blood supply to the follicle creating a club hair meaning it's ready to be shed.

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Finally, hairs enter the Telogen phase in the resting phase which lasts for 10 to 12 weeks and affects about 5 to 15 percent of your scalp follicles during television up to 200 hairs can be shed in a day.This is quite normal but then the growth cycle begins anew but not all heads are hairy and in fact some of them grow increasingly patchy over time in response to bodily changes.

95 percent of baldness in men can be attributed to male pattern baldness baldness which is inherited. And in people with this condition, follicles become incredibly sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone(DHT), a hormonal product made from testosterone. DHT causes shrinkage in these overly sensitive follicles making hair shorter but loss isn't sudden.

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It happens gradually along a metric known as the Norwood scale which describes the severity of hair loss first hair recedes along the temples(head bulges). Hair on the Crown begins to thin in a circular pattern at the highest rating on the scale. These balding areas meet and expand dramatically eventually leaving only a ring of sparse hair around the temples and the back of the head.

Genetics isn't all that drives hair loss.Long periods of stress can release signals that shock follicles and force them into the resting phase prematurely.Some women experience this after childbirth.Follicles might also lose the ability to go into energy in the growth phase.

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People going through chemotherapy treatment temporarily experience this. But while balding may look permanent, Scientific investigation has revealed the opposite. Below the skin's surface,the roots that give rise to our hair actually remain alive. Using this knowledge scientists have developed drugs that shorten the resting phase and force follicles into antigen. Other drugs combat male pattern baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHEA. So that it doesn't affect those sensitive follicles. Stem cells also play a role in regulating the growth cycle. And so scientists are investigating whether they can manipulate the activity of these cells to encourage follicles to start producing hair again.

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And in the meantime while scientists hone their hair reviving methods,Anyone going bald or considering baldness can remember that they're in great company.

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Source: opera.com
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