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To say that every case of hair loss is caused by genetics and naturally occurring processes in the body is a bit too simplistic. How do we make our evaluation of hair loss more scientific, or more critical?
It should be noted immediately that there are people who begin to lose hair at an early age even without the help of DHT or the genetic predisposition to male-pattern baldness. In fact, a person with a predisposition to baldness may even skip this part of his genetics and proceed to keeping a full head of hair.
The reason for this is that DHT is not really some kind of poison inside the body. If it were that potent, then the body won’t be circulating it. It’s contradictory to think that the body would naturally produce something that would destroy its own biological constitution.
You should also note that people who are predisposed to balding don’t follow a specific set of rules. Like cobras, incidences of balding can strike anytime. So a handsome teenager can experience balding if the genetic switch is activated. Or, this teenager may grow to a sixty-something senior without ever fearing for his hair.
Like a regular earthquake, the rate of hair loss also varies from period to period. We’re all glad that it’s been designed that way by nature, otherwise, if it follows a linear or geometric progression then within a month all your hair would have probably already fallen out.
What causes the increase or decrease in the rate of balding? Even medical science is unsure of the other components, but one thing is sure though: as a person ages, the hair generally falls out faster.
What happens to people who have full heads of hair but seem to have tiny hairs? We owe to this to the natural shrinking of human hair as a person ages. If hair doesn’t fall off immediately, it loses its moisture and keratin content gradually, until a ‘husk’ is left. The husk is soft, wispy and lighter than normal, youthful terminal hair.
If we are to compare the hair of senior citizens with shrinking hair and babies, then we would realize that the two are actually quite similar. The category therefore of ‘second childhood’ might be true even on the biological level.
It all depends on the pattern of balding (see the Norwood Scale), but generally, a person loses head hair faster than body hair. This would explain why some senior citizens have very few scalp hairs left but still have very hairy backs, chests, legs and arms.
Of course, these parts of the body will eventually suffer from follicular degeneration in the end. However, they do quite late into a person’s lifetime. Another reason why some people appear to have thin hair even if their hair is very dense is that the thin hairs that grow in place of normal terminal hair do not grow as long as they supposed to be.
THE NORWOOD SCALE