Baldness? If you think you're loosing your hair - the chances are that you are. However it isn't always the case. It's normal to shed between 50-100 hairs each day, which may sound a lot, but if you consider the scalp has an average of 100,000 follicles - it's a drop in the ocean. Each hair goes through a 'cycle' of growth and rest before it falls out, and it's when this balance is upset (and more hair is shed than is growing) that you might want to consider visiting your dermatologist.
Most specialists start off with a description of the hair cycle; primarily to help you understand what's going on, but also to make it clear that things won't get better overnight. The majority of hair on the scalp, somewhere between 80-90%, is in the growth phase. Scientifically referred to as the 'anagen phase' each hair grows about one centimetre a month, for between two and six years.
Next comes the brief 'catagen phase', before the hair enters the resting, or 'telogen phase'. Approximately one tenth of hair is in the 'telogen phase' at any one time, where it rests for up to five months before falling out. Once the hair is shed the follicle returns to the growth phase, and the whole cycle starts up again. It's a popular misconception that baldness is primarily caused by an accelerated shedding of the hair. In fact it's most commonly the result of a shortened growth phase.
It follows that; for any hair loss treatment to work, it's going to take time. Often this is a major cause of frustration, especially as hair continues to be lost. Most specialists recommend that you should be prepared to wait for five or six months before seeing any real difference. The hair cycle also helps to explain why you should give any "notice the difference in just two weeks" product-claims a wide berth.