We see hair falling out every day. How much of this hair loss is natural hair shedding. Or, is a percentage of this actual hair loss? Reasons for hair to fall vary greatly. Hair loss causes occur to both men and women. While it is true certain reasons for hair to fall are more common to a specific gender. The majority of reasons are common to both. Before considering treating any hair loss it should be diagnosed. With so many reasons for hair to fall it´s possible to interpret the wrong cause.
How is hair loss diagnosed?
Discuss any hair loss concerns with a hair treatment specialist. They will want to diagnose and narrow down the causes to your problem. With questions such as, how much hair fall do you see per day. How long this has been occuring and whether your health has altered over this time. Also, whether your parents or other family members have hair loss. In some cases a blood test may be required. This is especially true if the cause of hair loss is not clear.
In many cases if you suffer from hair loss. It happens slowly and over time. It´s not uncommon in the early stages for hair loss not to be noticed. The exception to this is if there are clumps of hair loss or shedding. This can occur anywhere over the scalp. With the shedding being random it can be harder to diagnose the cause. With androgenic alopecia it is simpler to recognise. This is due to the pattern of hair loss. Especially in men known as male pattern baldness. Inherited hair loss usually starts around the forehead and hairline.Occasionally the crown or vertex area.
How much hair loss is normal?
We shed hair to regrow new hair. With each hair follicle growing many hairs over the lifetime. Around 100 hair shedding each day is normal. With around the same number growing back the same day. The hair follicles have growth cycles. Three separate phases of transition. Anagen Phase (Growth phase), Catagen Phase (Intermediate phase) and Telogen Phase. 90% of the hair follicles are visibly growing hairs at anytime on the scalp. 10% are in catagen and telogen phase. The phases can alter in length dependent on genetics. But on average the Anagen phase lasts for 3-5 years. Catagen is intermediate phase which lasts for 1-2 weeks. Telogen is the resting phase where roots being weakest shed the hair and goes in inert state.
Causes of low self esteem
Hair loss for many years has been a negative condition for men and women. Losing your hair can lead to having lower self-esteem. It can impact on how we feel to others as well as around others. Besides the hereditary hair loss condition. There are many different reasons for hair to fall, here are just a few:
Post-Pregnancy in women
Diseases like – thyroid disorder, PCOD, fungal/ ringworm infection
Alopecia areata (autoimmune disorder)
Androgenic Alopecia – Male Pattern Baldness
Most common type of baldness is Androgenic alopecia. It affects well over half the male population at some time in their life. More commonly known as male pattern baldness or MPB. Inherited from either side of the family. The pattern can vary from minor thinning. Normally along the hairline or crown. To advanced hair loss over the top of the scalp. The hair follicles around the back and sides of the head are immune to the MPB gene. As a result are not susceptible to DHT. The male hormone by product that triggers the hair loss to start. Hair loss can start in the early twenties and continue throughout adult life. The hair loss stages have been depicted in a diagram. Called the Norwood Scale. Helping to diagnose the current stage ans the potential future stages.
There are two FDA recommended hair loss treatments for genetic male pattern hair loss. Minoxidil and Finasteride for years have been two successful hair treatments. Especially when dealing with the earliest stages of hair loss. At later stages treatment can still help to maintain hair growth. If the goal is to increase hair coverage then other restoration treatments will need to be examined.
Candidate For Treatment Or A Hair Transplant
When the reason for hair fall has been diagnosed. The next step is to consider the expectations of the individual. Some will be happy with maintaining their hair growth. Others may desire to increase their hair coverage. Restore their hairline and hair density. The hair loss consultation is an important aspect in the hair restoration programme. Your Doctor will be looking at a number of factors:
- Your current age
- How progressive is hair loss?
- What is your family’s hair loss history?
- What are your objectives?
- Where are your priorities? Front hairline, mid-scalp, crown, entire head, repair?
Follicular Unit Grafting
Hair loss can have deep psychological effects on both men and woman. Consciously or subconsciously this can affect confidence. Having the ability to restore something genetics has deprived us of can restore our own feel good factor. A more youthful appearance gives back that self-confidence and self-esteem.
Follicular hair transplant is now the most advanced surgical hair restoration method todate. It requires great skill on the part of the surgeon and surgical team. Scalp hair, at the top, sides and back of the head, grows in groupings of hairs. Clusters of one to four shafts of hair growing. We call these groupings “follicular units”. With follicular unit grafting, the hair is surgically harvested from the donor site keeping each unit intact. The follicular unit groupings are separated into the natural sizes. From one, two, three or four hairs. They are distributed over the area of hair loss. Meticulously implanted into each recipient site in the new hairline and further back. As a result of using follicular units it is possible to mimic nature. Creating a soft hairline and increased hair density even over advanced hair loss patterns.
Hair Fall To Hair Growth
With the many reasons for hair fall isolating the condition should be the first priority. The plan needs to first take this into consideration. Then look at the best treatments to first maintain and then improve on the condition. If possible then to increase the hair coverage and fullness. To stop hair loss, replace or start re-growing the hair again. It is important to find a qualified hair restoration surgeon. With expertise in the multi-therapy approach to hair restoration. Able to advice on the variety of hair loss conditions, treatments and be adept at the latest surgical techniques.