Understanding Hair Loss
In the simplest terms, hair loss is the response to pro-inflammatory chemical stimulus' produced from within the body, with an affinity for our hair follicles, causing a negative inflammatory cascade resulting in damage to the scalp leading to loss.
Genetics & Follicle Sensitivity
The predisposition towards hair loss lies in our individual genetics. Our genetics influence the upregulation of pro-loss chemicals and signals produced by our bodies. If our system is predisposed towards hair loss, one of the best approaches to counteract this tendency is to modulate the body in the opposite direction towards pro-hair growth.
As a result of this inherited genetics, our hair follicles are more sensitized to these pro-inflammatory chemicals that lead to hair loss. Protecting the follicle from these inflammatory signals, helps to promote a pro-hair growth environment.
Causes of Hair Loss
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is one of the most discussed triggers also known as androgenic alopecia. It is converted from testosterone and very damaging to hair follicles. It stimulates a cascade of chemical events leading to the calcification and fibrosis (scarring) of the hair follicle resulting in it being unable to produce viable hair.
But there are many more...
- Hormones & Hormone Mediated Conditions (like PCOS)
- Pregnancy / Birth / Birth Control
- Stress / Cortisol
- Age-Related Hormone Decline
- Autoimmune Conditions
- General Aging of the Scalp
- Diabetes / Insulin Resistance
- Thyroid Conditions
- Nutritional Deficiencies / Imbalances
- Hair Processing Agents / Traction Damage
- Allergic Reactions
The Difference Between a Hair Loss & Hair Growth Scalp
To help our understanding of hair loss, research has identified a number of differences between scalps that grow hair and those that don't. The chart below shows some of the key differences present in the respective scalp environments. The primary difference between the two environments is the presence or absence of inflammation. Hair growth takes place in a scalp that does not have inflammation.
Inflammation should not be vilified as it is an important and necessary biological signal for our natural healing and repair processes. It is the chronic inflammation that goes unchecked that causes damage to the scalp environment thus limiting the ability of the follicle to produce hair.