Loss of hair can be devastating. Understanding the hair growth cycle can help to understand hair loss and options for slowing hair loss and hair recovery.
While loss of scalp’s hair can be devastating, the total hair (5 million) in the body is small in scalp’s hair (100,000-150,000). The development of hair is divided into three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. Active growth occurs during anagen. This phase may last about three years and in this phase there are 90% of hair. During catagen, the hair separates over 2-3 weeks from the dermal root, leading to the telogen, a hair rest. The hair shaft falls out during the telogen. The phase lasts 3-4 months and in this phase 10% of hair exists. Thinning occurs when the hair loss rate exceeds the growth rate.
Testosterone is caused by the conversion of testosterone into a compound called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT turns thick and healthy hair into thin and fine baby hair (called vellus hairs). These thin, beautiful hairs predominate in bald areas. The rate at which thick healthy hair is converted into vellum hair is genetically modified.
The cause of hair loss in women can be more complicated. Iron deficiency, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance and changes, thyroid or autoimmune disturbances all contribute to the loss of women’s hair. For these underlying problems a blood panel should be conducted in women. If identified, your primary care physician should be coordinated with your treatment. More and more women today benefit from hair recovery and hair transplantation. The most common methods are to restore the density to the scalp and fill the diluted frontotemporal areas. The progression of scalp hairline is also a common procedure to correct high foreheads.
Options for treatment
Rogaine Rogaine (Minoxidil)
Minoxidil was first administered as an oral blood pressure drug in the 1970s and has been found to have a hypertrichosis side effect (hair growth). These early observations led to the development of a topical formula for the treatment of hair loss. There are several theories about how Minoxidil works. Minoxidil has proven to increase blood supply in the treated areas, increase the proportion of hair follicles in the anagenic phase and increase the follicle size overall. Research has shown that 5% topical use is effective in increasing hair growth. There are two formulations available: foam and liquid, which does not contain propylene glycol and can be tolerated better (less irritating to the scalp). In the first 3-4 weeks, however, there is an increased risk of dropping but this indicates that the medication works.
Propecia Propecia (Finasteride)
Finasteride is a medicine commonly administered at 5 mg/day for benign prostatic hypertrophy (Proscar). It is also highly effective for hair loss at a lower dose of 1 mg/day and is marketed for this purpose as Propecia/Finnasteride. The mechanism of action is enzyme 5-alpha-reductase inhibition. This enzyme transforms testosterone into DHT, an active molecule that binds androgen receptors in the hair follicle to produce patterned baldness. A randomised controlled trial of 1553 men with placebo or finasteride demonstrated significantly higher hair numbers after 1 year in balding vertex than in placebo-patients. While sexual side effects are reported, these side effects are rare and usually reversible when the medication is discontinued. Finasteride can be taken without food at any time of day, allow 6-9 months to see results.
PRP is a hair loss medical treatment. Your blood is drawn and treated during PRP treatment for the separation of plasma rich in platelet, which is then injected into the scalp. Many studies have shown that PRP is effective in stimulating hair growth. Rich growth factors and signalling molecules are considered to promote active hair growth.
Low-level laser light therapy is an FDA approved hair loss therapy. The mechanism is not well understood, but clinical studies have shown that the low laser light given to the scalp will stimulate hair development, reverse hair thinning (vellus hair) and improve overall scalp density. There are numerous laser options. Plan an appointment to learn more about this method of treatment.
Hair transplantation is an effective way of restoring a youthful and natural hairline. Individual follicular units are harvested from areas in the scalp resistant to the action of DHT in hair transplantation. Follicular units are hair that naturally grows in 1 to 4 groups of hair. In the temporal and occipital regions, even patients with advanced balding maintain a strip of resistant hair. These hairs are durable and retain this property when transplanted. These hairs serve as transplant donor hairs. To achieve the desired result, one or more sessions may be required. Usually, one to two sessions are enough depending on the level of hair loss and amount of grafts required.
Transplant Follicular Unit
Follicular unit transplantation is also known as FUT. It is an excellent technique to acquire high graft hair for transplantation. In FUT, the occipital scalp harvests a strip of hair. The hair is then expertly slipped into single units and then transplanted into recipients.
Extraction of follicular unit
Also known as FUE, the extraction of follicular units becomes more popular. A motorised punch is used in this technique to remove individual follicle units from the scalp. This technique requires expertise because individual hair can be easily transcribed or damaged during harvest and the total survival of the graft is lower. The follicular units extracted individually are then transplanted into specially designed recipient sites.
Woman with laser
Hair transplantation is a technical procedure as well as an artistic one. Excellent technical skill in a successful transplant is absolutely vital, but the artistic requirements for successful transplantation are often overlooked. You also choose your artist when you choose your transplant surgeon. Careful hairline design is necessary to give a natural look. Each follicular unit serves as a paint brush stroke. Balance and prospect for future hair loss must be combined artfully to give the best result.