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Hair loss is a common concern that affects individuals around the world, regardless of their ethnicity. While the severity and patterns of hair loss may vary between individuals, there is a strong link between hair loss and ethnicity. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different factors that contribute to hair loss in various ethnic groups, including the unique characteristics of hair types, growth patterns, skull shapes, cultural influences, and statistics from different regions.

Understanding Hair Types

Each ethnicity has distinct hair types, which play a significant role in the susceptibility to hair loss. Let’s delve into the characteristics of hair types for different ethnicities:

  1. European Hair: Caucasians are known for having thick hair with a high number of hair follicles. However, European hair requires diligent care as it tends to become fragile with age.
  2. African Hair: Individuals of African descent typically have dense, curly hair. Although African hair has fewer active hair follicles, it is voluminous and requires extra care to maintain its healthiness.
  3. Asian Hair: Asian individuals have strong, fine hair with steep-angle follicles, which contribute to more body and less susceptibility to breakage. Asian hair is generally easier to care for and tends to retain a higher amount of hair as individuals age.

Understanding the specific characteristics and care requirements of each hair type is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and preventing hair loss.

Hair Growth and Density

Hair growth rates and density also vary among different ethnicities. Here’s an overview of the growth rates and approximate number of hairs on the head for different hair colors and ethnic groups:

  1. Hair Growth Rate:
    • Caucasian hair grows at an average rate of 1.2 cm per month.
    • African hair grows at a slower rate, approximately 0.9 cm per month.
    • Asian hair has the fastest growth rate, averaging at 1.3 cm per month.
  2. Hair Density:
    • Blondes have approximately 146,000 hairs on their heads.
    • Black-haired individuals have around 110,000 hairs.
    • Brunettes typically have 100,000 hairs.
    • Redheads have approximately 86,000 hairs.
    • Individuals of African descent usually have 50,000 to 100,000 hairs.
    • Asians typically have 80,000 to 140,000 hairs.

It is important to note that a daily loss of 60-100 strands of hair is considered normal for individuals of all ethnicities.

Hair Loss Statistics Around the World

Hair loss varies by a few percentage points across different countries and geographical regions. Some statistics by nationality include:

  1. Czech Republic: The Czech Republic tops the list with 42.79% of men in Prague experiencing balding or being completely bald.
  2. Spain: In Spain, 43.60% of men are affected by hair loss.
  3. Germany: Hair loss affects 41.24% of men in Germany.
  4. France: In France, 39.24% of men experience hair loss.
  5. United Kingdom: Hair loss is prevalent among 39.23% of men in the UK.
  6. United States: Hair loss affects 39.04% of men in the US.

European countries tend to have higher rates of hair loss compared to other regions worldwide although there are other factors at play beyond just simple nationality and ethnicity.

Hair Loss in Women

While most studies focus on hair loss in men, women are also susceptible to hair loss based on similar ethnicity factors. Hair loss in women typically occurs at a later age compared to men, but the prevalence increases with age. By the age of 70, 70-85% of men experience hair loss, while 30-40% of women aged 65 and older are affected. Women may start experiencing hair loss around the age of 30.

It is worth noting that genetics is not the sole factor contributing to hair loss in different ethnic groups. Other factors, including diet, hair care practices, and styling techniques, can also influence the occurrence of hair loss. Inappropriate hair care products, excessive use of hair dyes, and damaging styling practices can all contribute to hair loss in individuals of any ethnicity.

Addressing Hair Loss for All Ethnicities

At Vanscoy Hair Clinics in Cleveland, Ashland, and Columbus, we understand the unique challenges faced by individuals from different ethnic backgrounds dealing with hair loss. We believe in providing personalized treatment plans tailored to individual needs, taking into account specific hair types, cultural influences, and genetic factors. Our safe, effective, and affordable non-surgical hair replacement and hair transplant solutions for men, women, and children have helped individuals of all races and ethnicities regain their confidence and achieve natural-looking results.

If you are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, don’t hesitate to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with us today. Our team of experts will guide you through the available hair loss solutions and help you find the best treatment plan for your specific needs. You don’t have to live with hair loss when effective solutions are within reach.

Contact the Vanscoy Hair Clinic nearest you today and take the first step towards restoring your hair and your confidence.

alopecia areata

Coping with Alopecia Areata: Spot Baldness

alopecia areataAlopecia Areata is frequently referred to as “spot baldness”, a term that reflects its unique pattern of onset. Where Male Pattern Baldness primarily affects the hairline and crown, and Female hair loss and thinning hair primarily affects the part area, Alopecia Areata is characterized by sudden and somewhat random hair loss in varying and irregular patches on the scalp. The onset of the condition, which is seen in both males and females, often begins sometime between late childhood and early adulthood, though it is not abnormal for Alopecia Areata to exist in very young children or start later in life. Nearly 6.5 million people in the United States alone live with Alopecia Areata; that is 2% of the population!

The condition itself can be confusing though. Earlier this year, we discussed the many faces of alopecia, noting that the umbrella of alopecias includes a number of different types of hair loss. Alopecia Areata is unique in that this specific term refers to hair loss caused by an autoimmune disorder and as mentioned above, causes distinct patches or spots of baldness. In an autoimmune disorder, an individual’s immune system confuses some of its healthy body tissues for unhealthy and unwanted outside materials such as bacteria, viruses, or toxins. It then tries to protect the body by ridding it of what it understands to be intruders by attacking them. Unfortunately, in this scenario, the tissues being attacked are actually healthy hair follicles.

Research continues on autoimmune susceptibility as well as why an immune system suddenly views healthy tissues as external intruders, and while records are growing to aid in the understanding of the genetic underpinnings of Alopecia Areata and hopeful progress is being made towards prescription drug applications, definitive answers to the many questions surrounding the condition’s origins and potential cure do not yet exist.

What is known is that the majority of people living with Alopecia Areata are completely healthy aside from their autoimmune hair loss.  For some individuals, hair loss and regrowth on certain spots of their head will be a continuous cycle throughout their life. For others, what began as specific spots of baldness may develop into broader hair loss and more rare forms of Alopecia Areata. When all hair on the scalp is lost, the condition is then called Alopecia Totalis. If the hair loss encompasses the entire body, including follicles in the eyebrows and pubic hair, the condition is known as Alopecia Universalis, the rarest form of Alopecia Areata.

Treatment options vary in the same way that prognoses do. Stimulation and maintenance of hair growth is possible through ongoing treatments for some individuals while external replacement systems are more effective for others. The degree of hair loss, pattern of hair loss, age of patient, and needs and desires of the patient all play a role in defining which options might suit a specific individual.

To best understand the possibilities available, a one-on-one consultation with a professional hair restoration specialist is the best place to start.

If you are the parent of a child suffering from trichotillomania, you might feel confused, embarrassed or even scared.  It seems like such a bizarre bodily disorder, but truthfully, this may not be the case.

A possible reaction to stressful circumstances, Trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to want to pull out their own hair.  The following are a few tips that might help you manage your child’s Trichotillomania.

Be More Aware

First and foremost, it is important to understand as a parent that trichotillomania is not as uncommon as you might think.  Time magazine reports that trichotillomania currently affects about two million Americans.  The stressful adolescence phase is a common time for symptoms to start showing, where a majority start at age 12.  It is also important to understand that the act of pulling out hair can feel good to your child and bring them instant gratification.  Unconditional love and support is needed to help your child through this tough time.

Communicate Openly

If you find talking about the condition with your child or young adult difficult, you might want to try talking with support groups with kids near their age.  If you cannot find a support group in your area, be sure to check online for support forums.

Celebrity Role Models

If a child knows that successful celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Megan Fox and Olivia Munn also suffer from trichotillomania, it might help them not feel so alone.  Even the likes of Justin Timberlake and Leonardo di Caprio have stated that they have OCD, which can cause trichotillomania as a symptom.  The point is that this disorder can happen to even the best of us, but it is in no way unbeatable or life ending.

Keep Fidgety Fingers Occupied

Giving your child’s fingers something else to do might help them resist the urge to pull out their hair.  Some of these activities include, but are not limited to; typing, needle-work, playing piano, play dough or silly putty, cooking lessons or even watercolor painting.  Find any activity they enjoy that keeps their hands focused on something else.

Coordinate a De-Stress Time

Talk with your child to try and identify specific times throughout the day where they feel the urge to pull out hair.  Sometimes this can occur right before bedtime when they are alone and feel insecure.  Playing soothing music before bed or even relaxing activities such as kid-friendly yoga or a warm bath could seriously help.

Cover Up the Hands

Utilize the “out of sight, out of mind” idea to help prevent your child from pulling hair.  Let them dress up in cool gloves to keep their fingers from wandering to the scalp.

Makeup and Beauty Products

Since hair loss can affect self-esteem in a negative way, try to help your child focus on body image in a playful, fun way.  Let your child experiment with makeup a bit if they enjoy it.  The introduction of beauty products that enhance healthy hair may also be a step in the right direction.  Let your child see that you really do care that he or she has a healthy body image as well.


Sometimes called trichnotherapy, this method has been proven to work on its patients due to the fact that the part of the brain that is affected by trichotillomania is also near the memory center.  A good therapist can help your child do brain exercises or work with certain memories that may help to heal the mind and the body.  Hypnotherapy works to aid in assessing you child’s life and specific circumstances to really get to the root of the problem.

It is possible to fully recover from trichotillomania, and with the right communication, help, and understanding, your child will be on their way to happiness, health, and a full head of hair.  If your child suffers from trichotillomania and needs a hair replacement option to help cover up hair pulling, we are here to help.  At Van Scoy Hair Clinics we offer many options to hair replacement. We invite you to a free consultation and you can make an appointment by calling (419) 289-6665 or clicking here!

Photo Credit: Sophie Via Flickr Creative Commons

Author Research Links

It’s a common misconception that the impact of a diet can or should be measured in weight. In fact, dietary habits affect the body and emotions in a multitude of ways, and while weight is certainly one of them, it is important not to overlook other factors. For example, a person whose typical diet includes a lot of red meat may not see much fluctuation in their weight, but their risk of heart disease will continue to increase over time. Another person may experience the quick loss of a few pounds with a crash diet, but the lack of nutrients in their system will take its toll on that individual’s energy and overall health. On the flip side, a balanced and well-rounded diet can be credited for weight maintenance, disease risk reduction, and a vibrancy that permeates the entire body, including skin and hair.

Dietary Habits That Help Your Hair

There are a number of nutrients that promote hair health, and the best way to get the most out of their benefits is to integrate them into your daily meals in a balanced fashion. Protein, for example, is the main building block of hair, so making sure your daily intake is sufficient is important to your locks in addition to your muscles. Most Americans consume more protein than they need each day, but if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, beautiful hair is another reason to double check that you’re getting enough of that key nutrient from other sources. Diets that are high in iron, zinc, and Vitamin C are also good for hair as deficiencies in iron and/or zinc can hurt hair quality and cause hair loss, and Vitamin C aids in the absorption of these minerals. Iron can be found in eggs, beans, and whole grains, zinc in oysters and nuts, and Vitamin C in fruits and veggies like broccoli, leafy greens, oranges, and strawberries. Another nutrient often touted for the role it plays in hair health is the omega-3 fatty acid. Salmon, mackerel, and flaxseeds are all good sources. Other important vitamins and minerals include vitamins A (but not too much!), the Bs (eggs), D (sun!), and E (spinach), copper (sesame seeds), potassium (dried fruits), and folic acid (whole grains). Of course, the list goes on and on, but the important takeaway here is that a nutrient rich diet can have a really positive impact on all areas of your health – your hair included – so why not make it a priority?

Dietary Habits That Hurt Your Hair

First and foremost, a deficiency in the above nutrients, especially protein and iron, is an invitation for unhealthy hair that is prone to breakages and loss. This is a common and often overlooked source of damage that can be easily avoided through your regular daily eating habits.

Crash diets also have a negative impact on hair. The sudden and sharp decline of nutrients starves the hair follicles and can severely damage them, leading to thinning and loss. This kind of impact doesn’t just take away the shine during the diet either. Deficiencies caused by crash diets can impact the individual’s hair even months afterwards!

Sometimes even a balanced diet needs a bit of a boost to be able to meet an individual’s needs. Untreated anemia, for example, can have a negative impact on hair health if the anemic individual is getting the other nutrients discussed above, but isn’t getting their prescribed amount of iron.

Lastly, extreme dietary habits including disorders like anorexia are well-known causes of hair loss. Eating disorders have numerous negative impacts on the body, and hair health is just one of them.

If you are experiencing hair loss you can schedule a consultation with a professional online here or call Van Scoy at (419) 289-6665.

Savin Scale

Diagnosing the cause of hair loss and understanding the degree of it are related and often linked tasks. Their core questions, however, are different, and so too are the tools used to reach answers. Diagnosis asks ‘Why is there hair loss?’ and utilizes a number of methods to find the cause, while labeling the degree of loss asks ‘How bad is the hair loss?’ and uses an objective visual scale to appropriately gauge the current state of follicles on the scalp. The Savin Scale is one of these scales; it is a tool used specifically for measuring the degree of hair loss in women.

Though four main scales have been suggested by doctors for measuring the level of female hair loss, the Savin Scale is the most widely used. Very similar to the Ludwig Scale, it was developed, tested, and put forth by Dr. Ronald Savin in the mid 1990s as a way to better facilitate hair loss research. Where the Savin Scale differs from the Ludwig Scale is in its ability to measure overall thinning in addition to loss. As can be seen in the image below, female pattern hair loss occurs along the part, and the Savin Scale acknowledges 3 different stages (I, II, and III) detailed as 9 unique phases (I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4, II-1, II-2, III, advanced, and frontal). When a hair restoration specialist or doctor sees a female patient, they examine her head, hair, and scalp and compare it to the scale. By choosing the image that most closely resembles the patient’s patterns, the specialist can gain a more measurable and communicable understanding of the degree of the woman’s hair loss.

So why is a scale like this so important? For a number of reasons! First, it can be difficult for researchers to discuss and compare their findings when there is not a shared method for recording various degrees of hair loss. With widespread acceptance and use of the Savin Scale, these researchers are now able to operate with a higher level of assurance that their understanding of a specified degree of female hair loss is the same as that of their peers. An invented and over-simplified example is that rather than two researchers comparing notes in which one of their studies discusses “early stage” hair loss and another reviews “light” hair loss (terms that they each defined separately and perhaps differently), they can now label the degree in question using the Savin Scale, knowing that when a reference is made to stage I-3, it is done with confidence that they are in agreement about exactly what that means.

Second, getting on the same page about more clearly defined stages of hair loss also has implications for doctors and restoration specialists as they ask questions and learn new findings. Being able to discuss a specific case with a peer for insight or to elicit a professional opinion is an important part of accuracy and development in the medical field, and the Savin Scale promotes higher levels of understanding in these types of situations too.

Third, and most directly related to the patient, the Savin Scale can be applied to an individual female’s hair loss at various intervals to more accurately gauge the change in her unique hair loss over time. This insight can aid in the diagnostic process, inspire a sense of urgency when necessary, and provide guidance for the best restoration solutions available for each specific woman.


Savin Scale

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the tissue of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma. The majority of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma. Sometimes breast cancer can begin in other regions of the breast, but primarily it begins in the ducts or the lobules. Invasive breast cancer means that the cancer has spread from the milk duct or lobule to other breast tissue. Non-invasive breast cancer means that cancer is called “in situ” and has not yet spread. Read below to learn about symptoms of invasive breast cancer.


Early stage breast cancer usually does not have any symptoms. For this very reason it is very important for you to complete regular breast examinations, which might facilitate the discovery of breast cancer earlier than if you fail to do breast examinations. As breast cancer grows and advances in stages, there might be a breast lump in your breast or armpit that is hard, with uneven edges, which does not hurt. Your breast or nipple might change color, size, shape, or feel. Your breast may excrete fluid, such as blood or pus. Bone pain, breast pain, skin ulcers, swelling of one arm, and weight loss are also indications that breast cancer may be present.


If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer there are numerous treatments that are available to you. However, treatment is dependent on the type and stage of cancer, whether the cancer is sensitive to certain hormones, and whether the cancer overproduces HER2/neu, a particular gene. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and/or targeted therapy. The type of treatment that is most appropriate will be decided upon by you and a team of doctors and surgeons who will work with you.

Hair Loss Treatment Options

If you’re currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer or are preparing to undergo treatment, inquire about the likelihood of hair loss. Even though hair loss might seem like the last thing to worry about right now, maintaining some aspect of your sense of self is possible. Purchasing a hair system that resembles your exact natural head of hair is a helpful preventative measure that could provide you with some comfort during difficult times. If you’re not ready to think that far ahead, it is possible to attend a consultation with a hair loss expert after you have begun to lose your hair.

Preventing and treating breast cancer requires commitment not only from you but also from your friends, family, and doctor. If you suspect that you might have breast cancer, make an appointment with your doctor and bring a friend or partner with you. Attending a doctor’s appointment, especially regarding a serious medical issue, can be very stressful. Write down your symptoms and a set of questions that you have for your doctor. If you discover that chemotherapy is in your future, schedule an appointment with a hair loss consultant prior to your first chemotherapy treatment.



Is it possible to get close to someone while wearing a hair system?

If you’re one of the many individuals that uses a hair system, or if you’re someone who is currently considering it as an option, there’s no doubt that you have given a great deal of thought pertaining to whether or not you can get close to someone in an emotional or physical way while you try and maintain the secrecy of being an individual who wears a hair system.

Concerns vary from; wondering if one’s new girlfriend or boyfriend will be able to feel or visibly see their hair system. Some even wonder if they can play with their kids without them pulling their hair system right off. These are honest and common concerns.

Thankfully, you can rest assured that you can in fact live a normal life while wearing a hair replacement system. The key to doing that is by ensuring that you wear the proper hair system for your head. Off the shelf, one size fits all wigs, especially those constructed with heavy base materials, that are not custom-made to the exact contours of your head will be easily detectable to sight and touch.

It’s important that you consider the following options in order to achieve the ultimate undetectable look for your hair replacement system:

Hair System Base:

In order to stand up to the scrutiny of wandering hands and prying eyes, you’ll need to choose a proper base material that is ultra-thin and that is undetectable to sight or touch.

The skin and lace systems are both very suitable choices unlike the older and more traditional monofilament base. Even though it is a longer lasting solution, it simply won’t be suitable due to the fact that the material is thicker and can easily be detected by wandering hands.

The Skin base is only 0.08mm thick and seems to almost disappear when it’s correctly bonded to an individual’s scalp. It is 100% completely transparent, so even if you’re under close inspection, only your scalp will be visible. The ultra-thin Lace option, which is feather-light, similarly becomes invisible upon fitting. These options are so incredibly thin and fine that if anyone were to run their hands through your head, they wouldn’t feel a thing.

Correct Bonding:

The first step in the process of achieving invisibility is simply to select a system that has the most undetectable base. What is imperative is the method in which you bond the hair system to your head. Choosing an improper or weak bond may not just cause slippage on the head, but it can also create an unnatural noise if it’s touched. Your scalp needs to be completely clean and free from any hair and any residue before applying any new tape or adhesive. You can use a variety of different products to clean your scalp such as isopropyl alcohol or citrus-based removal products like C-22 or Ultra Safe. Remember that even a slight speck of fuzz or adhesive residue can greatly affect how well your hair system bonds to your head, so it’s important to take the proper cleaning measures.

Once your head is fully prepped and buffed, you’ll need to use a high strength adhesive like Ghost Bond or Supertape to secure your skin base in place. Please take note to not apply the adhesive directly to the lace because it must first be applied to the skin.

Correct Maintenance:

To be sure that you’re maximizing the natural appearance of your hair replacement system and to ensure that your confidence will continue, you’ll need to take a few steps in order to keep it looking marvelous because, clearly the human hair that is used in your system is no longer growing or being nourished by the oils from your scalp.

Due to the fact that your hair system has most likely been colored it will therefore require some extra TLC in order to prevent premature color loss and maintain it’s vibrancy. The specific shampoo and conditioner that you use will dramatically affect the look, feel and the longevity of your hair. We advise that individuals select a product that is as natural as possible. It’s crucial that the products chosen are definitely free of paraben and SLS. Thankfully, even the cheaper brands today are now beginning to switch to chemical-free products due to customer demand. The less processed ingredients in your hair care products the better!

It’s essential to look for products that contain “softening” properties and ingredients that color protect. There’s a wide variety to choose from but some of the more beneficial components to look for are mango, avocado, henna, honey, larch tree and chamomile.

You don’t have to purchase costly hair care products from salons, but avoiding cheap chemical-laden products that can strip your hair of its color and cause damage is definitely worth the investment even if it may cost a little more. If you blow-dry your hair you have to use a heat protection spray, the more gentle the better. Using a UV protective spray on your hair while being exposed to the sun is incredibly beneficial as well. This may seem a bit fussy, but your hair will just not be at it’s best if you don’t take proper care of it.

Taking the time to correctly bond your hair system and to always treat it properly, it will sit atop your head in secret, discreet and natural way. So, go forth and live your life!

It is a widely accepted misconception that hair thinning and balding are problems that are unique to the male gender. Though still not desirable, there is an expectation of sorts that hair loss comes with age for men, but not for women. In actuality, hair loss does not discriminate and a notably high percentage of women will experience some degree of thinning or balding during the course of their lifetime.

The single largest cause of hair loss in women has hereditary origins and is known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). This type of loss is usually identified by thinning along the part rather than the thinning at the hairline that is frequent in its male counterpart, Male Pattern Hair Loss. The degree of a woman’s hair loss with FPHL is measured using the Savin Scale. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami, some 21 million women in the United States alone are suffering from FPHL with 12% of women seeing signs by the time they are 30 and upwards of 30-40% of women dealing with FPHL in their 60s. These numbers are astounding when one considers how little female hair loss is discussed and acknowledged in today’s society!

In addition to FPHL, hair loss in women can also be attributed to a number of other causes including hormonal changes such as postpartum, birth control, or menopausal hair loss, extreme stress, regular overstyling, medications including, but not limited to, chemotherapy, underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or lupus, other known hair loss conditions, such as alopecia areata and trichotillomania, and the list goes on and on. It can seem a bit daunting to pinpoint a specific cause with so many possibilities, but a doctor or specialist can help individuals to understand their unique diagnoses and the potential solutions that are suited to their condition.

It is true that certain medications or procedures that are successful in men are not as broadly applicable in women. For example, some medications simply do not treat FPHL and others have female specific side effects that deter doctors from prescribing them. This is not to say that there aren’t a range of options for women dealing with hair thinning and loss, because there absolutely are. From hair transplantations and medications to laser therapies and high quality human hair wigs, opportunities for female hair restoration have never been so plentiful. Like diagnoses though, these prescribed treatments require the expertise of a specialist who understands how to accurately match the unique details of a woman’s hair loss with the dynamic impact and effectiveness of various solutions.

Last, but certainly not least, the social and emotional impact of hair loss in women is a fundamental piece of the challenge faced by females who are enduring ongoing thinning and baldness. For centuries, hair has played an enormous role in defining self-image, femininity, youthfulness, and beauty, and despite how one categorizes things like beauty and femininity, losing the opportunity to decide for oneself can be remarkably difficult to overcome. Frequently women seek to hide their thinning scalp with a new style or limited public exposure, and these temporary solutions leave them feeling vulnerable and isolated. By increasing awareness and initiating conversations about hair loss in women, there is potential to not only limit the loss and commence restoration, but also to minimize the negative social and emotional strains on females that are caused by unwanted hair-based changes. Women struggling with hair loss are not alone!

With more than 40 years experience, Van Scoy Hair Clinics has offered the latest advances in hair restoration for men and women in our state-of-the-art facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio. Schedule a FREE hair loss and scalp analysis today.


Hair growth is cyclical. Throughout an individual’s life, the hairs all over their body are going through a long growth phase followed by a brief transition phase and then an intermediate resting phase before the specific hair is shed and a new one begins its long growth phase in the first one’s place. Growth, transition, rest, shed. Growth, transition, rest, shed. This pattern, which varies in exact duration from one person to the next and one body area to the next, is most frequently discussed in terms of its three main phases, the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase.

The anagen phase, or growth phase, can last anywhere from 2 to 6 years for scalp hairs. During this time, the follicle’s cells in the root are dividing, receiving nutrients that fuel growth from the bloodstream that are delivered via the papilla. Scalp hairs in the anagen phase grow on average about 6 inches per year. Hairs on other parts of the body, such as eyebrows or arm hairs, have a much shorter anagen phase, and thus, are shorter hairs than those on the scalp.

The catagen phase, or transition phase, is the shortest of the three, lasting only a few weeks for scalp hairs. During this time, the hair moves (or transitions) from active growth to a resting state. The mechanism through which this is achieved involves the root attaching to the shaft and detaching from the papilla, cutting the hair off from its source of nutrients.

The telogen phase, or resting phase, typically lasts about 2 to 3 months for scalp hairs. During this time, the non-growing, detached hair is referred to as a club hair. It is essentially dormant until it falls from the head. If it has not been shed by the time the next anagen phase begins, it is forced out by the newly growing hair. For those hairs on other parts of the body such as eyebrows or arm hairs, which, as discussed above, have a shorter anagen phase, the telogen phase is actually longer, leaving the short hairs at rest for more time than on they would be on the scalp.

Fortunately, not all hairs experience these phases at the same time. If they did, a person would experience years of growth followed by complete baldness. Instead, most hairs are in different stages than those surrounding them. At any given time, about 85-90% of hairs are in the anagen phase meaning only 10-15% are in the catagen and telogen phases, with more in the latter than the former. Some noticeable hair shedding occurs (up to 100 each day), but a healthy head of hair appears consistently full.

In less healthy manes, hair loss can sometimes be explained by a shift in the percentage of hair in the anagen and telogen phases. If follicles that would typically be in the growth phase enter the resting phase early, then the percentage of hairs in the anagen phase drops and that of those in the telogen phase increases, leading to a period of shedding a higher than typical amount of hair. This type of hair loss is referred to as telogen efflivium and can be caused by a number of things, including stress and subsequent changes in dietary habits, sleep, and health. As we wrote in our discussion on the impact of stress on hair loss in April:

“When external or emotional stressors lead to physiological stress, the body responds by essentially taking the attention it was giving the hairs in the anagen phase and reallocating it to other areas in need, thus pushing a larger number of follicles into the resting state. After a few months, these resting hairs begin to shed. While it is normal to lose telogen phase follicles, the abrupt loss of so many new resting hairs when stressors have caused telogen effluvium makes a regular cycle of loss and growth into an unbalanced and noticeable process of hair thinning.”

Gaining comprehension of how healthy hair growth works is an important part of understanding irregularities. With the knowledge of expected growth patterns and mechanisms, we can then identify specific points of abnormal development and explore their causes.

Despite being primarily known by a single name, ringworm comes in a variety of different strains. In fact, there are at least 8 separate types that affect the human body alone, with different Latin names for each. Ringworm of the hand is a different kind of infection than ringworm of the foot, and a third strain exists that impacts the nails. Ringworm of the face, scalp, and beard are three separate strains as well. On the scalp, the Latin name for ringworm is tinea capitis, with tinea representing all ringworms and capitis signifying the unique strain that affects the scalp area. Even within a single type of ringworm there is variation though. Tinea capitis, for example, can be caused by a number of different fungi which each cause a unique manifestation of the infection.

In general, ringworm of the scalp is identifiable by splotchy and itchy bald areas with scaly skin and black spots where the hairs have broken off. Some individuals may experience a raised ring, inflammation, or crusting. Though the infection occurs in people of all ages, children are the most susceptible and most cases of tinea capitis in the United States arise on the heads of the young. Treatment is usually comprised of oral and topical medications. The oral medication (most typically, griseofulvin) is often considered a requirement to dispel the infection while the topical medications (such as special shampoos or steroid ointments) act as a tool to contain the infection and keep it from spreading to other parts of the individual’s scalp or other family members. When following the doctor’s instructions, ringworm can usually be healed in 6-8 weeks.

Unfortunately, severe cases of tinea capitis can cause permanent hair loss and scarring. The preferred course of action is to avoid transmission of ringworm altogether. This means keeping clean, avoiding physical contact with someone who is infected, monitoring pets (especially cats) for patches of hair loss, wearing sandals in locker rooms, refraining from sharing brushes or towels with others, and possibly using anti-fungal shampoo for all family members if someone in the household has ringworm. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all hair loss could be prevented with just a bit of attentiveness to a few simple practices?

When ringworm of the scalp is past avoidance, there are many options for hiding or repairing areas of temporary baldness as well as restoring hair that was lost permanently due to scarring and impact of the infection. To explore the available possibilities, contact a hair restoration specialist for a complimentary consultation and analysis of your hair and scalp.