How Advanced is Your Hair Loss? Hair loss happens, and it develops gradually to everyone afflicted by it. We lose hair all the time, around 100 to 150 hair strands daily. The good thing is that the hair is always renewing itself, at least most of the time. The rate at which we lose hair might be constant or might speed up due to several reasons.
Hair loss is commonly used interchangeably with hair shedding. The difference between both terms is that the latter is often reversible. The former, however, tend not to be. Since people are always capable of seeing the rate at which they lose hair, this sets off the anxiety that might even speed up the process.
How Your Hair Loss Happens and Advances
Androgenetic alopecia it’s the medical term for what we know more colloquially as baldness. Baldness can happen not only at middle age, where it is more common to see but even at younger ages as well. Why this happens is due to genetics.
As the name implies, androgenetic alopecia is genetic and, therefore, passed down by one or both parents. The genes in question end up making you more sensitive to even small quantities of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is a hormone that forms as a byproduct of testosterone, the main male sex hormone, by conversion thanks to an enzyme called alpha 5 reductase. Any testosterone not bound to hormone receptors for use in the body receives the name of ‘free testosterone’.
And is this kind of testosterone that alpha 5 reductase takes and converts into DHT, the hormone that causes baldness. Once formed, DHT sets out to attach itself to the hormonal receptors located in your hair follicles.
When this happens, the hair follicles begin to react with DHT. The reaction ultimately causes the hair follicles to start to shrink. The hair follicle will continue to shrink progressively, thinning your hair in the process, until it grows no more. It is effectively causing baldness.
Measuring How Advanced Is Your Hair Loss
Although the advanced stages of hair loss are self-evident, the earlier ones are not so much so, making a tool for measuring it necessary. Fortunately for you, a tool was already invented decades ago, or rather, a scale.
The Norwood Scale is a visual representation of the stages of male pattern baldness via exemplary drawings. It makes the observation an excellent tool to determine how advanced is your hair loss.
There are seven stages in total measured by how much the hair is receding.
- No receding hairline in sight.
- Slight recession of the hairline at the temples, also known as mature hairline.
- Hairline recedes more deeply at the temple. Spots are bald or barely have hair.
- Hairline recedes further creating an ‘M’ pattern with only one spot at the centre of the hairline not receding and connecting both sides.
- Deeper recession than in the last stage. The spot at the centre becomes noticeably thinner.
- The spot at the centre disappears, leaving a completely bald most of the top of the scalp.
- The only hair remaining is a band that goes from one temple passes the lower back of the scalp and connects with the other temple.
Visual representations that comprise the scale help you illustrate to you how advanced is your hair loss at any given moment.
In case you are not so sure you are losing hair; any doctor can perform a series of examinations on your scalp to tell you certainty. Contact us to schedule a scalp diagnosis session and dispel all your suspicions regarding how advanced your hair loss is.