12 March 2009

For a woman, thick, vibrant hair is our crowning glory, our vanity visible. A luxuriant full mane epitomizes the beauty of a woman and is integrally woven into our self image. Our culture strongly identifies femininity with a thick, silky head of hair. A dramatic decrease in self esteem is evident in women when their hair begins to fall out. Hair shedding is not physically painful, however it often causes severe emotional distress. Women frequently become introverted and withdraw from the world. We avoid intimate contact and make futile attempts to disguise the quality and quantity of our hair. Hair loss is especially injurious to those who have professions or careers where physical appearance plays a significant role.

A woman's hair is at its thickest by age 20. Once we pass 20, however, our hair gradually begins to thin, shedding more than the normal 100-150 hairs a day. With aging, hair strands hold less pigment and become smaller so that what was once the luxuriant and thick hair of our youth becomes thin, fine and lighter in color.

In men, hair loss is often perceived as a sign of virility, a demonstrable sign that his male hormones are functioning at maximum capacity. To project strength and masculinity, men often choose to shave their heads.Although many men are quite dismayed by a receding hairline, research indicates that the phycological pain of hair loss does not affect men as adversely as it impacts women.

Baldness is not usually caused by disease, but is more commonly related to heredity, aging and hormone function. However, changes in hair appearance, texture and growth patterns may indicate serious health concerns.

Women's hair seems to be particularly sensitive to underlying medical conditions so it is important that women with undiagnosed hair loss be properly evaluated by a physician. If your thinning hair is a result of a medical condition, your doctor will treat these ailments and as a result you may experience significant growth of new hair.

Once you and your doctor have identified the cause of your hair loss you may be referred to a hair specialist or implant surgeon to learn about the treatment options available such as or hair transplant procedures to promote growth or hide loss. For some types of alopecia, hair may resume normal growth without any treatment.

A healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, hydration and rest can go a long way towards preventing hair loss and maximizing the potential of your hair growth cycle.

Although medical research is on going, the following have proved beneficial in growing and maintaining a healthy head of hair.

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