Where do you start the day you notice hair loss? How do you know if it’s just normal hair shedding or if you are experiencing hair loss for real? What hair loss questions is it important to ask to get to the bottom of the problem? With hair loss affecting the majority of men and increasingly more women today, and the causes and hair loss conditions varying so much, it is important to understand your own hair loss condition so you can find the right solution.
Why is hair so important to us?
Socially, hair loss is considered to be an unwelcome sign of ageing and points towards poor health and wellbeing. Generally, we try to look our best, feel good about ourselves and convey a youthful appearance to others; when we feel good about ourselves it displays as confidence to others. Hair loss is a constant reminder of age as you look in the mirror and this is not helped by today’s ever-increasing image-conscious world. Social media is so active in our lives and surrounds us and goes a long way to influencing how we should look and be. There are no barriers to hair loss, it cuts across gender, age, genre; be it a younger or older man or a woman feeling she is losing her femininity. So, what should we be looking out for and what hair loss questions to ask?
How much is too much hair loss?
Some people have interruptions in their normal phases of hair growth and as a result, hair loss can be either temporary or permanent. Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors; internal and external influences such as hormonal problems, disease, medication, medical treatments, infection and nutritional deficiency. However, the most significant contributing factor to hair loss is the genetic condition, androgenic alopecia or male and female pattern baldness, and this is what we shall focus on here.
On average there are 100,000 – 150,000 follicles on the scalp. Not all hair grows at the same rate; at any given time 90% of your hair is in a hair growth phase and 10% is in a resting phase. During the growth phase, your hair can grow up to between a few cms and one inch per month. At the end of the resting phase the hair strands in this pattern fall out and new hair enters the growth phase. The average person sheds around 50 to 100 hairs each day. An interruption in the growth phase can cause more hair to shed and less hair to regrow back. As a result, there is less hair growing and visible on the head leading to obvious or visible signs of hair loss.
Will I lose all my hair?
Genetic hair loss stages are categorised in two simple guides for men and women. The Norwood Scale is a classification of Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) for men, from remedial thinning to progressive hair loss. The Scale starts at 1 at its most minor up to 7 at its most aggressive form of hair loss. With interim stages for only hairline and crown thinning. The female version is known as The Ludwig Scale. It basically works in a similar fashion to categorise the various stages of thinning. The pattern of hair loss is generally different for men and women but each scale gives a broad overview of the hair loss stages.
In severe cases MPB can manifest in advanced hair loss, leaving only a thin band of hair around the sides and back, known as a “horseshoe”. Although the female baldness pattern can in some cases mimic the male pattern, it more normally takes the form of diffused loss behind the hairline and over the top of the scalp. The balding process is caused by hereditary factors. You inherit the tendency to lose hair from either of your parents, along with the pattern or extent of the hair loss condition. Genetic forms of hair loss make up around 90% of all hair loss conditions. But, there are more examples of how hair loss can occur, some are reversible conditions.
How to treat hair loss?
Firstly, the most important hair loss questions to ask are ‘what is the cause of my hair loss?’ and ‘what is the correct diagnosis?’. It is important to understand this so you can put in place a plan for treating your individual type of hair loss. It also helps you assess if a hair transplant is right for you and if you are a good candidate. A good first step is to discuss this with a hair restoration specialist or have an initial online assessment.
A hair transplant and medication can complement each other to achieve the best result. It is important to understand that surgical hair replacement without medical therapy may not provide a suitable result. A hair transplant is not a miracle hair loss cure, it only involves the redistribution of your hair. As genetic hair loss is progressive it is also important to look at the potential for future hair loss.
There are many treatments on the market today claiming to stop hair loss and improve hair growth. There are only three FDA approved medicated treatments and therapies for the treatment of hair loss. Although FDA approved, you should always consult a specialist before using any medication and be aware that results will vary from person to person.
A FUE hair transplant procedure is now the most popular surgical hair restoration technique. Follicular Unit Extraction is a minimally invasive procedure using individual hair follicles or follicular units distributed over the areas of hair loss. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, these natural hair groups can be used to perfectly mimic nature.
Planning your hair restoration
The front hairline is generally considered to be the most important aspect of the entire head of hair. This is because it frames the face, and will change the appearance most dramatically. Planning your hairline is vital to ensure natural-looking results not only today but in the future.
As a result, there are many issues the surgeon needs to consider. Aspects such as your current age and family hair loss history, your natural hair characteristics helping or hindering hair restoration and most importantly your goals and expectations from restoring your hair. Often a hair transplant is a compromise between patient and Surgeon to achieve the best aesthetic result and meet the demands of the patient. This is a very important aspect of the entire process. Knowing the right hair loss questions to ask and the treatments available helps you understand what is and isn’t achievable and plays an important role in the success of your hair restoration and long-term happiness.
Here at Hair Restoration Europe, we offer free, personal and confidential advice. Get in touch today to find out more about your own hair loss condition and how to treat it. We’d love to hear from you.