Baldness

Baldness  refers to excessive hair loss from the scalp. Although it is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs  per day, hair  loss becomes noticeable after approximately 50,000 hairs  are lost. One  of the major  cases of baldness is alopecia, a genetic  condition affecting more  than five million  people  in the United States that may result  in hair loss on the scalp or body. Baldness  may be caused by other factors  such  as heredity, side effects from medication, certain medical  conditions, hormone imbalances, stress,  hair pulling, aging, poor  nutrition, chemotherapy, tight  hairstyles, chemical relaxers,  pregnancy, or menopause.

Common

People  may react  to baldness by feeling isolated, withdrawn, anxious, depressed, sad, fearful, angry, ashamed, embarrassed, or helpless. They  may lose self-esteem or  self-confidence, feel unattractive to  others, or  become self-conscious. Men’s baldness tends  to  be viewed  more  positively  as a sign  of masculinity or  virility, while women’s baldness tends  to be viewed more  negatively as a loss of femininity or sexuality.  For people  experiencing cancer-related baldness, hair loss represents a loss of vitality, health, and physical  strength.

Remedies

Baldness  remedies vary by the  amount of time  or  expertise required by users and  cost. People  with patchy  or partial  hair  loss can experiment with a variety of styling  options. Men  may comb  over their  hair  to cover the  balding  area or wear long hairstyles, while women may use hair extensions or weaves, wear short hairstyles, or dye their  hair a light shade  to conceal bald areas. Unisex  options include head  shaving  or the  use of hats/scarves, laser combs, hair  thickeners, volumizing hair  products, ointments, and  vitamins. There are several prescription drugs  that people  can  use  to  combat balding. Rogaine, a line  of hair  care  products that can  be used  by men  or  women, has  been  clinically  proven to  grow  hair.  These products are available by prescription or over the counter. Propecia is a daily pill for men  that  treats  male pattern hair loss. Hairpieces such  as wigs or toupees are also a popular method of hair replacement. Hairpieces come  in a variety of colors, textures, densities, and  styles, and  may be used  to cover temporary or permanent hair  loss. The  cost,  durability, comfort, and  appearance of hairpieces vary based on the materials used  and  the level of craftsmanship in their  creation. Hairpieces are usually  made  from horse or human hair, wool, feathers, or synthetic material. Another remedy  for baldness is a hair  transplant, a medical  procedure where  a surgeon removes hair from a part of the scalp that  has abundant hair growth and places it in areas that have thinning or no hair. Hair transplants may need to be repeated as other areas of the scalp lose hair over time. A related  procedure is scalp reduction surgery, which  involves  decreasing the  areas  of bald skin  by removing hairless portions of the scalp and covering them  with hair-covered scalp. A variation  of scalp reduction involves folding  hair-covered scalp over bald skin.

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