It is important to understand the normal hair growth cycle to understand why hair loss occurs.
The hair follicle is an anatomical structure that evolved to produce and (push out) a hair shaft. Normal Hair Growth All folicles repeatedly cycle through the following 3 stages.
1. Anagen Stage (growth) The new hair grows from the base of the follicle. This growth phase usually lasts for a number of years and results in a full-grown hair.
2. Catagen Stage (resting) During this stage the hair stops growing and the hair root shrinks. The base of the follicle breaks dow and the hair moves upward in the follicle, away from the root and the blood vessel supplying it with nutrients.
How DHT Affects Normal Hair Growth The hair roots receive nutrients from blood vessels which contain blood cells (red) and a hormone called testosterone (blue). Testosterone is converted to another hormone called DHT (yellow) by the actions of an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase.
DHT Shortens the Hair Growth Phase When DHT is present in the scalps of men genetically predisposed to male pattern hair loss, the following happens:- the anagen growth phase is shortened so the hair is shorter when it stops growing. – over time the follice produces hair that gets progressively shorter and less pigmented.
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