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Who experiences alopecia?

Anyone can experience alopecia, including women, children and young adults. However, it most commonly affects men over the age of 50. Hair shedding occurs due to imbalances in the hair cycle which can be triggered by factors such as: - Levels of male sex hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT affect the follicles, causing hairs to become thinner and grow for a shorter period. As individual follicles are affected at different times, balding occurs gradually; - Emotional stress; - Physical stress, such as childbirth; - Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy; - Certain medications, such as anticoagulants, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and hormones; - Certain medical conditions, such as infection, scalp diseases, trauma, cancer or liver disease; - Poisoning from heavy metals, such as selenium, arsenic and thallium, and; - Changes in diet, particularly those involving rapid weight loss, poor nutrition, or low levels of iron or zinc.

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About this article

Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 178 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Alopecia (hair loss)


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