About 95 percent of men who lose their hair suffer from male pattern baldness, a condition based on heredity that can strike at almost any age. Usually, the hair thinning starts around the temples and continues to the crown so that they are left with a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair. Hair loss in men is often caused by DHT, or Dihydrotestosterone. This hormone stunts the growth of hair follicles and prevents the hair from going through the growth cycle. Eventually, the hair follicles simply stop growing.
Even though most hair loss in men is caused by male pattern baldness, there are other causes. These can include trauma, scalp problems, aggressive styling and autoimmune disorders.
Women may also lose their hair or have thinning hair for a number of reasons. Thirty million American women suffer from androgenetic alopecia, which causes new follicles to be thinner. Eventually, the follicles quit growing, leading to eventual baldness.
Medical conditions can also lead to a loss of hair. Anemia, polycystic ovary syndrome and even pregnancy have been associated with thinning hair. Certain hairstyles can also damage the follicles and prevent their growth including tight braids and cornrows. However, hair treatments can often reverse this type of loss.
Children can also suffer from a form of alopecia, which results in a loss of hair at a young age. Medical conditions and treatments associated with cancer, anemia or sudden trauma can also result in a loss of hair. In some cases, the hair may grow back; as such, a non-surgical solution may be an option until the hair grows back.