What Kills Hair Follicles?

Baldness is caused by many factors among which include inherited traits, disease, drugs and nutrition. All these factors affect follicles either by causing them to go dormant or totally killing them. So what kills follicles then?

Hair follicles can be killed by starving them from oxygen and nutrients. This happens in the case of male pattern baldness. In male pattern baldness follicles are made to shrink by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which constricts the blood vessels supplying them with oxygen and nutrients. If the concentration of DHT increases it can completely prevent follicles from receiving any nourishment. This causes some of these follicles to die. Some follicles may not die but however they go into a dormant state and appear as dead. Dead follicles express themselves by failure to produce hair resulting in bald patches on the scalp.

Hair follicles can also be killed by diseases. There are diseases such as cancer. Cancer results in the production of abnormal cells. These abnormal cells replace normal cells. There are cases in which cancerous cells replace and kill follicles leaving behind cells that are unable to carryout the hair production function that is typical of hair follicles. When a hair follicle carries a defect or a mutation, the body’s immune cells will come and attack it killing it in the process. This means that the body itself can kill a follicle when it is protecting itself.

Bacteria and fungi can germinate on the skin and release toxins which can kill hair follicles. This will result in the formation of pimples or abscesses which collect pass. The pass is formed as a result of some immune responses of the body as it will be trying to kill the pathogens.

Certain diseases especially the infectious one have pathogens that can secrete toxins in the blood which when they get in contact with hair follicles they can kill them. This is one of the reasons why many diseases show hair loss as one of the symptoms.

Drugs can also kill hair follicles. Drugs such as alcohol when abused can reach very toxic levels in the body such that organs like the liver will be damaged. When the liver is damaged it will no longer be able to detoxify the blood thus allowing toxins to circulate the body. When these toxins come into contact with hair follicles they can kill them causing hair loss.

Certain accidents that cause damage to the skin on the scalp such as burns can kill follicles. If the burns penetrate deep into the scalp they will kill follicles to the extant that they cannot regenerate. Certain cosmetics such as hair relaxers if improperly used, they can burn the skin and destroy follicles. This will result in hair loss. If the burning is not extreme follicles may regenerate and recover allowing hair to grow back again. If severe they will not be able to recover resulting in a permanent bald patch. These are some of the ways in which follicles are killed resulting in hair loss and baldness.

Source by John Farikani

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