Hair loss is something not to be taken for granted. While it is normal to lose a few hundred strands from time to time continually losing hair over a prolonged period of time is something not to be taken lightly. Here, we put together a quick guide for people who fear that their hair loss may be something chronic and are wondering where to start seeking treatment.
First things first: Male pattern baldness is generally caused by hereditary factors. In other words, if someone in your family, such as your father, uncle, or brother suffers from baldness then that may predispose you to become bald as well over time. Now, having a predisposition doesn’t necessarily mean you will actually become bald, but it does make you more susceptible to progressive baldness when compared to someone who doesn’t have a predisposition to baldness.
Moreover, if you are a man, then you should know that hereditary hair loss is usually characterized by hair loss at the crown of the head as well the forehead area. Other areas of the head tend to have normal amounts of hair. For women, on the other hand, hair loss patterns tend to be a little different. For instance, women tend to notice hair thinning on the top of the head but tend to not have serious issues with maintaining their hairline at the front of their heads. However, most cases of baldness in both men and women are caused by hereditary factors. The proper term for male and female pattern baldness is androgenetic alopecia.
Furthermore, looking at the latest research findings on hair loss, 95% of all hair loss cases are actually caused by hereditary factors. Furthermore, 50% of Americans believe that there is no effective treatments for hair loss and 35% have tried to hide their hair loss issues from others. The first thing to realize is hiding is not the answer. Simply pretending that something does not exist will not make it go away. As a result, if you feel that your hair loss may be caused by your hereditary lineage then seeing a hair specialist and/or a dermatologist is the first step.
Once you have arrived at your doctor’s office they will ask you about your medical history. They will also perform a physical checkup and may collect some blood samples to determine if your hair loss may be caused by a nutritional deficiency or a thyroid problem. They will also ask you to describe your hair loss, assess the pattern of your hair loss, and will also perform a painless checkup of your scalp. They may also pull gently on a few hairs to test their resistance.
It is also important to note that your hair loss may actually be caused by a stressful event. For instance, the death of a loved one, being laid off, or a divorce can actually trigger hair loss. Furthermore, physical trauma may also cause hair loss, as well as certain surgical procedures. In fact, even the medication you are taking can cause hair loss. For example, certain antidepressants, heart medications, blood pressure pills, and birth control medications can have side effects which include acute hair loss.
Pulling too hard on hair, excessive hair drying and/or hair combing too aggressively can also cause hair loss. As such, simply being less aggressive when combing, braiding, or forming a pony tail may stop hair loss at the source. Hence, make sure to check your curling iron and other such hair styling items, which include hair gels and mousse, which may cause allergic reactions in some people.
It is very important that you are open about discussing your hair loss problems with a medical expert that you trust. Being open about the medications you are taking, certain lifestyle changes, and traumatic events in your life may not only ease tension and stress but also solve your hair loss issues. In fact, something as simple as a dietary change can eliminate your hair loss. For instance, an iron or protein deficiency can actually cause acute hair loss, as can bleaching your hair or using perm treatments that require harsh chemicals.
As mentioned, the first few tests that your doctor will perform to determine the cause of your hair loss are a hair analysis and some blood tests. These tests will usually be sufficient to properly diagnose the cause of your hair loss. Moreover, there are several different disorders, diseases, and conditions that can cause hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, diabetes, lupus, cancer, depression, thyroid disorders, anemia, ringworm, menopause, fever, obesity, dandruff, leprosy, ebola, hodgkin’s disease, and stress.
As for actual treatments, if your hair loss is caused by a physical disorder or disease that cannot be treated with counseling, dietary and lifestyle changes, and/or changes in the hair products that you use then the doctor may prescribe a course of treatments. Some of the most popular medications to treat hair loss include minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is an over-the-counter foam or liquid that is applied on the scalp twice a day to prevent future hair loss and to help stimulate new hair growth. Both men and women are able to take minoxidil, but it may cause certain side effects; such as scalp irritation and a rapid heart rate.
This is why it is important that you discuss your unique medical history with your doctor to help determine if minoxidil is right for you. Another popular hair loss medication is finasteride. Finasteride is taken orally as a pill and is only intended for use by men who suffer from hair loss. It may slow down the hair loss process and may facilitate newfound hair growth. However, it also has some side effects, which include impotence, a low sex drive, and even an increased risk in prostate cancer.
If your doctor feels that minoxidil and/or finasteride are too powerful for you they may recommend a hair loss treatment shampoo and conditioner, such as the Regenepure Dr Hair Loss & Scalp Treatment. It is a hair loss shampoo treatment that is devoid of any harsh and harmful sulfates and parabens. It also contains ketoconazole, which is an antifungal agent that blocks the formation of DHT. Considering DHT is a male sex hormone that has been clinically been proven to attach itself to hair follicle receptors and cause them to weaken and shrink, such a product may be of great benefit to some hair loss sufferers.
Evidently hair loss medications and hair loss shampoos may not be recommended for you by your doctor. Natural remedies can also be used to see if they work for you, such as aloe vera, onion juice, coconut milk, licorice root, and fenugreek. If you feel that a home hair loss treatment is worth a try then there are several to choose from that don’t have any side effects, are easy to prepare, and are quite inexpensive. You may wish to peruse this website to learn more about some natural herbal recipes and treatments for hair loss if you wish to go the organic route.
Furthermore, for more extreme hair loss, or if medications and/or natural herbal treatments fail, then your doctor may suggest low level laser therapy, hair transplantation/hair grafting, or scalp reduction. For instance, purchasing a low level laser therapy comb or device can be done without a prescription and can be worn on the head like a helmet. As for hair transplantation, it is a surgical procedure that generally costs several thousand dollars and may cause complications, such as scalp irritation and infection. If you have any concerns then speak to your surgeon to assess the risks and possible complications of hair transplantation surgery before deciding if it is right for your unique situation.
Finally, depending on how you feel about your hair loss and its severity you may wish to make stylistic changes, such as combing over balding areas or dying your hair to provide the illusion of volume. Also, hair pieces-such as toupees and wigs-have come a long way since the early 80s and 90s, and many are actually made with real human hair that have been donated by generous men and women. Such options are painless, can be retrofitted to fit your unique facial contours, and are relatively inexpensive. At the end of the day, there are a multitude of hair treatments to choose from. The first step is to accept that you have a problem and to face your fears and anxieties and get help. Only then will you be able to successfully treat the root cause of your hair loss and get the help you need and deserve.