Increased hair shedding in early androgenetic alopecia
During the process of genetic hair loss, hair follicles get skinnier and skinnier (miniaturize) but they also spend less and less time in the growing phase (called anagen) and more in the shedding phase (called telogen). As a consequence, the individual with genetic hair loss experiences increased hair shedding. If the hair is washed daily, individuals with genetic hair loss don't really notice the increased shedding. That is because the shed hairs get washed down the drain.
Normal scalp has less than 10 % telogen hairs
If you perform a biopsy of non balding scalp, about 6 - 10 % of hairs are in telogen phase (and 90% are in anagen). In the course of male androgenetic alopecia the proportion of hairs in telogen goes up considerably. In addition to increased shedding, the individual with genetic hair loss notices that he or she an't grow hair quite as long because the hair doesn't stay in the growing phase as long. Because men often wear their hair short, they don't notice this as much as women.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887