Hair Loss/hair



Could you please tell me if this is considered a receding hairline?  I've been like this since I was 13.  Thanks.  Now I just notice lots of hair shedding and just a general sense of volume since I've been having these high sheds.

I would not consider that you have a receding hair line.  The most common cause of hair loss is a telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium is the name for temporary hair loss due to shedding of resting or telogen hair after some shock to the system. New hair continues to grow. Telogen hair has a bulb or club-shaped tip.

It should be distinguished from anagen effluvium, in which the hair shedding is due to interruption of active or anagen hair growth by drugs, toxins or inflammation (e.g. alopecia areata). Anagen hair has a pointed or tapered tip.

Telogen effluvium
What is the cause of telogen effluvium?

In a normal healthy person's scalp about 85% of the hair follicles are actively growing hair (anagen hair) and 15% are resting hair (telogen hair). A hair follicle usually grows anagen hair for 4 years or so, then rests for about 4 months. The resting or telogen hair has a club or bulb at the tip. A new anagen hair begins to grow under the resting telogen hair and pushes it out.

Thus, it is normal to lose up to about 100 hairs a day on one's comb, brush, in the basin or on the pillow, as a result of the normal scalp hair cycle.

If there is some shock to the system, as many as 70% of the anagen hairs can be precipitated into telogen, thus reversing the usual ratio. Typical precipitants include:

Illness, especially if there is fever
Surgical operation
Nervous shock
Weight loss or unusual diet
Certain medications
Discontinuing the contraceptive pill
Overseas travel resulting in jetlag
Excessive sun exposure

Hair Loss

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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