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Partial or complete loss of hair on the head.
Persons most commonly affected: More common in men than in women.
Organ or part of body involved: Hair
Symptoms and indications: In men, thinning hair on the scalp, a receding hairline, or a horseshoe-shaped pattern that leaves the crown of the head exposed.
In women, thinning of hair in general, but mainly at the crown; complete balding is rare.
Causes and risk factors: Caused by an inherited tendency or may be the result of aging, fever, drugs, radiation, burns, trauma, or disease.
Prevention: Although you can\'t reverse natural balding, you can protect your hair from damage that may eventually lead to thinning. Some people, women in particular, put their hair under tremendous stress in the pursuit of beauty. Hair dryers, hot curlers, dyes, bleaches, hair straightening, permanent waves and chemical-laden cosmetics may eventually result in dry, broken, and thinning hair. People who leave their hair its natural color and texture will end up with healthier hair. Use a basic shampoo designed for your hair type. If you must curl your hair, use sponge rollers and let it air-dry whenever possible.
Proper brushing can do as much for the condition of your hair as any over-the-counter product. Choose a moderately stiff, natural-bristle brush, which will not tear your hair. Use full strokes from the scalp to the tips of your hair, to distribute the hair\'s natural oil. Begin with 10 to 20 strokes a day and try to work up to 100. Be gentle, and avoid brushing your hair when wet, when it is especially fragile. Remember: Hair is not living tissue, so it cannot repair itself.