|Hair is the fastest growing tissue of the body, made up of proteins called keratins. Every strand of hair is made up of three layers: the inner layer or medulla (only present in thick hairs); the middle layer or cortex, which determines the strength, texture, and color of hair; and the cuticle, which protects the cortex.
Hair grows from roots, which are enclosed in follicles. Below this is a layer of skin called the dermal papilla, which is fed by the bloodstream carrying nourishments vital to the growth of hair. Only the roots of hair are actually alive, while the visible part of hair is dead tissue, and therefore unable to heal itself.
It is vital then to take care of the scalp and body in order to perpetuate hair growth and maintenance. Expensive treatments that claim to treat the visible hair and nourish it therefore are usually no more than bogus claims made to sell products.
Hormones called androgens, usually testosterone, can cause hair follicles to shrink, causing thinning of hair or eventual hair loss. Reportedly only bone marrow grows faster in our body than hair does. The average scalp contains 100,000-150,000 hair follicles and hairs, with 90% growing and 10% resting at any given time.
Hair actually grows in three stages:
The anagen phase is the phase where hair is actively growing, and of course this phase is longer for follicles in the scalp than anywhere else on your body, and lasts longer for women than men.
It is natural for follicles to atrophy and hair to fall out, and this is called the catagen phase. This phase is only temporary, and eventually the follicle enters the telogen phase where it is resting. These are the 10% at rest mentioned above.
Normal anagen phases last approximately five years, with catagen phases lasting about three weeks, and telogen phases lasting approximately 12 weeks. As you see it is natural to lose some hair. Natural hair loss is considered to be in the range of 100 hairs per day. It is not apparent to most people that hair is actually being lost until more than 50% of a person's hair is actually lost.
Although both men and women can suffer significant hair loss, over 50% of men will suffer with Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), also known as androgenetic alopecia, at some point in their lives. The reason behind hair loss is a genetically inherited sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and 5-alpha-reductase. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone, a male hormone, to DHT, the substance identified as the end-cause for hair loss.
Despite any genetically inherited sensitivity, it is possible to lessen the amount of hair loss some people will experience; this done through use of supplements and hair cleansers that eliminate excessive DHT. Also, taking vitamins and minerals that strengthen hair will slow down the inherited tendency for hair loss. Finally, watch for stressful situations that last for months and take counter measures by increasing you hair supplements.
About the author:
Rudy Silva is a natural nutritionist. He writes a newsletter called "Natural Remedies That work." You can subscribe to his newsletter and read some of the back issues, which give you information of how to have better health. Read his latest newsletter at: http://www.natural-remedies-thatwork.com/nl-111.html
For more information on hair loss go to: http://www.hair-loss-remedies.for--you.info
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