Hair loss is a natural and, for the most part, genetically predetermined phenomenon. Most males lose hair in a progressive fashion, that is, hair loss occurs gradually over time; and although no two individuals will experience the same type or rate of hair loss, there are identifiable trends that can be observed. Surprisingly though, for such a common occurrence, there are some widespread misconceptions about thinning hair and hair loss that need to be cleared up. First of all, hair loss is not in any way shape or form something that happens exclusively with advanced age. Men of all ages are inclined to experiencing hair loss to various degrees. Secondly, hair loss is not exclusive to the head. Every year, thousands of men are affected by a systemic loss of body hair. Let’s take a look at how males around the world are affected by body hair loss as they age.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
First, we must establish the fact that hair loss is a natural part of the follicular growth cycle. Each hair on the human body, no matter its location, grows from a single hair follicle, and each individual hair follicle follows a particular life cycle. The life cycle of each follicle can be divided into three different phases of growth, transition, and rest. With each hair growing independently of each other, hair across the body grows at varying rates.
Because at any given moment, close to 90% of our hair is in a continuous phase of growth, the remaining 10% is naturally going to fall out. Every day, we lose close to 100 hairs from our head alone. These hairs are then quickly replaced by newer ones growing out. However, oftentimes hair growth cycles are easily interrupted due to the influence of the exogenous forces. Genetics, physiological causes, emotional stress, and even cosmetic products can be potentially to blame for any unexpected hair loss.
For example, causes of body hair loss in males include Thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, skin disorders such as eczema and dermatitis, prolonged stress, and the use of steroids. These conditions may cause partial or complete hair loss from various parts of the body including the arms, legs, chest, back, and genitals.
- Kligman, Albert M. “Pathologic dynamics of human hair loss: I. Telogen effluvium.” Archives of dermatology 83.2 (1961): 175-198.
- Cotsarelis, George, and Sarah E. Millar. “Towards a molecular understanding of hair loss and its treatment.” Trends in molecular medicine 7.7 (2001): 293-301.