The most common reason in men is androgenic alopecia, sometimes called male pattern baldness because of the characteristic shape of the hair line. But loss also occurs in both sexes because of drug interactions, through physical or emotional trauma, poor nutrition, and other less common reasons. At this point, it is necessary to step outside the bounds of political correctness. In many contexts, it is considered inappropriate or, even, offensive to make distinctions based on race. The general rule is to assume that everyone is equal. However, in this case, there are significant differences between the races. Japanese men have less loss than caucasian men. Black men are four times more likely than their caucasian counterparts to suffer hair loss. Women of all races also suffer loss in the same proportions but, because of the difference in hormones, it is loss in the volume of hair rather than its physical distribution or patterning. This makes women’s hair more difficult to plat or braid, ponytails hang more limply, and so on. These differences are noted by those who market hair loss products and changes how different brands are sold into their target markets.
What should everyone see when they look in the mirror — apart from someone “good looking”, of course? Whether consciously or not, people monitor their appearance. It results from the way parents bring up their children and how children relate to each other. Parents impose their choice of clothes on their children, directing the choice of hairstyle, dictating the “look”. The children compete with each other to break the parental mold, to impose their own choices and assert their individuality. The majority retain this interest in their appearance as they advance into adulthood. Those who are most into style and fashion are the most vulnerable to unexpected changes.
Most people will notice any change in their hair when they look in the mirror. They may also start finding more hairs caught up in a comb or brush. When hairs turn up on the pillow overnight or on the favorite chair, the list of symptoms is complete. There is a problem. For women, the first question is whether this is no more than damage caused by the excessive use of heat through curling tongs or the drier. Perhaps there have been too many applications of chemicals to dye or straighten hair. The style may also be slowly pulling the hair out by the roots so allowing the hair to be free rather than under traction may be the answer. For men who do nothing more than run a comb through their hair once every morning, the cause is most likely androgenic alopecia and the remedy is propecia. This applies regardless of race. The earlier men start taking this drug the better. It slowly restores the balance of hormones and prevents further loss. Over time, some hair will regrow. Propecia helps to maintain the same look over the years until age makes loss unavoidable.