Published: 10/18/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Alopecia is the absence of hair on one, several or all parts of the body, which can be triggered by many causes. The term alopecia is derived from the Greek word Alopex, meaning fox, because this animal, like many others, lost its hair in summer and autumn winter spring.
History of Alopecia
Hair, since time immemorial, is part of the game of personal and seduction. Whether short, long, curly or straight, nobody wants to be bald.
There are few who are extremely fortunate of not being affected to a greater or lesser extent throughout their life for this condition so universally distributed. From the man is a man who had tried to seek a solution to a problem that has upset if not terrorized virtually all peoples and civilizations that have existed over the centuries, as well as in the Bible references on those towards people suffering from baldness, in ancient Egypt, the men who didn’t had hair were coated with fat from animals with intent to "move" the properties into their skulls, but finally found it was better to make hair wigs for other things or purposes.
The Egyptians developed a wide range of treatments to combat baldness among them was the preparation of some sort of lotion, made from the fat of lion, a hippopotamus, a crocodile, a goose and a serpent and then apply it on the area that had alopecia.
BC, Hippocrates, one of the "big bald" of history, dealt with the baldness a special drink containing opium, horseradish, olives and pigeon droppings, soon found that radish and olive oil didn’t served for anything.
Aristotle, one of the most privileged minds that has existed throughout history very much closer to reality and the essence of the condition when he found that castrated individuals had immunity to baldness.
Cleopatra, in a desperate attempt to halt the incipient baldness of Julio Cesar created a kind of cream-based on tooth horse, bear and deer fat.
All social strata have suffered the scourge of baldness, for instance John D. Rockefeller stubborn to stop rapid hair loss continued as a daily ritual satanic phosphorus except Sundays employing sulfur.
Other Therapies throughout history suggest the affected investment position with the intention of reaching greater numbers of blood flow to the hair follicle, as well as in times closer to us are promoted and digital massage passage of electric of low intensity by the scalp. Others promote tea prepared from the fern "maiden hair" and washing your hair with extract from the horse's tail.
Is the baldness a disease or not?
Using a book on medical terminology related to the definition of disease states:
Disease is defined as any deviation or alteration that physiological state has, or in any part, organ or system (or combination thereof), which is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs whose etiology, pathology and prognosis may be known or unknow
We can consider that baldness is not necessarily a risk to human health directly (many committed or the audacity to slip classified as non-disease or even plain and simply the only thing to consider aesthetic and without clinical value) is not negligible and the destabilizing impact on body.
What is hair?
A long and delicate filament in various parts of the body made up of keratin. The hair consists of a cylindrical stem and a root in a root piriform (hair follicles). The base of the root is long hair in the bulb that is based on skin.
No new follicle develops after birth. This is very important to be clear to avoid false hope of hair growth where it was destroyed the hair follicle, either by the effects of hormonal changes associated with age, burns, radiation, etc.
The age at which the higher rate of growth of hair is between 15 and 30 years.
The speed of hair growth is:
- 0.44 mm per day in head that is 15 cm per year
- 0.27 mm in beard
- In the adult male, the number of follicles is approximately five million, one million in the head and near 100000 on the scalp.
- The density of hair on a man to 15 years is 615 hair/cm2, 30 485 and 80 of 435 hairs per cm2.
- Hair is surprisingly strong. Each hair without breaking resists a load of 100 grams. By placing all the hair together and support them with a hair of 120,000 hairs can hold 12 tons. This means a resistance of two grams per square millimeter of hair.
- The duration of anagen phase depends on the age and location of the follicle, so that a man of 60 years has hair growth on the crown between 17 and 94 weeks for thick hair and between 7 and 22 for fine hair in a young man.
- Each hair lasts about 4.5 years, of which there is growth in the half, going on his replacement during the six months following the loss.
- Chinese, Japanese and American Indians are hardly affected by alopecia due to a strong genetic component and style of food.
- Dropping 50-100 hairs per day can be considered as normal.
- Each hair has a life cycle independent of the others, stage of growth, rest and fall.
- Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of alopecia in men.
- Approximately 50% of men of 50 years are suffering from androgenetic alopecia in some degree.
- Inheritance and male hormones play a key role in hair loss.
- DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the hormone responsible for the end of the hair loss.
- The use of hats, or caps bears on the appearance of baldness.
- There is no relationship between baldness and virility.
- A shampoo should be an ally but not a treatment for alopecia.
- Any treatment for hair loss requires perseverance and continuous use to see its benefits.
In humans, hair grows in cycles not synchronized with each hair cycle initiates growth at different times.
There are three stages in the cycle of hair growth: Anagen, catagen and telogen.
The active phase of hair growth is Anagen, approximately 90% of hairs are in it. Lasts 2 to 6 years, depending on the skin.
After completing the Anagen, hair starts catagen, during this short phase (2-3 weeks) of the matrix cells cease division and keratinized.
When keratinization is complete, the hair enters the last phase of the cycle, telogen. During the telogen (3-4 months), the keratinized hair fall, and gradually form a new matrix from the epithelial cells of the outer sheath. A new hair grows and is born and the follicle starts new phase.