Sunday, May 9, 2010

What Causes Hair Loss?

Many things, from genetics to an underlying health problem, can trigger hair loss in men. Learn about possible hair loss causes so you can take action against thinning hair.

By Diana Rodriguez

If you are experiencing hair loss, you may assume that your genes are the cause and that nothing can be done. But many factors can cause too much hair to fall out, including some you might find surprising — all those cheeseburgers and fries, that blood pressure medication your doctor prescribed, or the surgery you had a few months ago.

While some types of hair loss are permanent, others are temporary, and once the cause of the hair loss is treated or removed, hair will grow back.

Genetics and Male Pattern Baldness

For many men, hair loss is genetic. This type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, or as it’s commonly known, male pattern baldness. This can start as early as puberty.

"By the age of 25, 25 percent of all men will be affected by male pattern hair loss. By age 40, this figure increases to approximately 50 percent," says Paul J. McAndrews, MD, clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

"Androgenetic alopecia, the most prevalent type of hair loss for which patients seek professional treatment today, is a condition of aging that everyone experiences to some extent," says Dr. McAndrews.

A patient’s genetics will determine the severity and extent of hair loss. And don't just blame Dad — male pattern baldness can be inherited from Mom, too.

If your hair loss is genetic, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Prompt treatment can often help prevent more hair loss and sometimes can stimulate new growth. more at

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