March 7, 2023

Hair Loss: Causes, Types and the Treatments Involved

Hair loss can be a common issue for both men and women, with a wide range of causes and varying levels of severity. While it is a natural process for hair to fall out and re-grow, excessive hair loss can be a cause for concern. Thankfully, there are many hair loss treatments available that can help to slow or reverse hair loss, allowing people to enjoy a full head of healthy hair. In this article, we will discuss the different types of hair loss, the causes of hair loss, and the available treatments.

There are a variety of hair loss treatments available, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Topical treatments, such as minoxidil, can help to stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss. Finasteride is an oral medication that can also be used to treat male pattern baldness. Hair transplants and scalp reduction surgeries are more invasive options for those with severe hair loss.

Types of Hair Loss

There are a variety of and several types of hair loss; every type carries its own distinctive characteristics. 

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia, also famous as pattern male baldness or pattern female baldness, is the main and frequent type of hair loss. It is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors and typically occurs gradually over time.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss that is often caused by stress or hormonal changes. It occurs when hair follicles enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle prematurely, leading to increased shedding.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata causes patches of hair loss and is due to an autoimmune disorder of the scalp, the face region, and other body parts. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is caused by repeated pulling or tension on the hair, often due to tight hairstyles such as braids or ponytails. This type of hair loss can be prevented by avoiding stiff styles for hair and allowing the hair to rest.

Anagen Effluvium

Anagen effluvium is a hair loss that may happen throughout the anagen phase of the hair development cycle. It is often caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can result in complete hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss can be caused by a wide range of factors, including genetics, hormones, medications, and medical conditions. The main and frequent causes of the hair loss are:

Genetics

Genetics play a significant role in hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia. If the mother or father or both have experienced some hair loss, this can also be reason for your hair loss as well.

Hormones

In women, another frequent cause of hair loss is due to Hormonal changes, particularly in women. Pregnancy, menopause, and thyroid disorders can all lead to changes in hormone levels that affect hair growth.

Medications

Hair loss can also be as a result of certain heavy dose of medications or as a side effect. Chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, and acne medications are just a few examples of medications that can cause hair loss.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as alopecia areata, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases can all cause hair loss. In some cases, hair loss may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Poor Nutrition

A diet that is lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients can also lead to hair loss. Iron deficiency, in particular, can cause hair loss in both men and women.

Hair Loss Treatments

There are many different hair loss treatments available, including medications, hair transplants, and lifestyle changes. Some regular treatments or procedures to cure hair loss may include:

Medications

There are several medications available for the treatment of hair loss, including minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that is applied directly to the scalp, while finasteride is an oral medication that is taken daily.

Hair Transplants

Hair transplantation is an invasive and surgical method that consists of shifting the hairs from one part of the scalp to the other part. This is done in order to treat baldness or hair loss. Hair transplantation has become an increasingly popular procedure in recent years, as it can help individuals to regain their confidence and self-esteem. In this article, we will discuss the different types of hair transplants, the procedure, and some precautions to keep in mind.

Types of Hair Transplants

 The two major forms of the hair transplant methods are as follows: 

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

FUT is a conventional and commonly used procedure of hair transplantation. This procedure involves removing a strip of skin from the back of the scalp, which is then divided into smaller grafts. Every hair graft may have one or more than one hair follicle in it. These grafts are then shifted or planted into the areas that have faced the more baldness of the scalp.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE is a newer method of hair transplantation that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This procedure involves removing individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp using a small punch tool. The follicles are then shifted or planted into the areas with baldness affected parts of the scalp. FUE is less invasive than FUT and generally results in a quicker recovery time.

Procedure

The hair transplantation procedure typically takes several hours to complete, depending on the number of grafts being transplanted. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia, which means that the patient will be awake but won’t feel any pain.

Before the procedure, the surgeon will mark the areas of the scalp where the hair will be transplanted. The surgeon will then numb the scalp with a local anesthetic. If FUT is being performed, the surgeon will remove a strip of skin from the back of the scalp. The area will be closed with stitches, which will be removed after 10-14 days.

If FUE is being performed, the surgeon will use a small punch tool to remove individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp. The follicles will then be transplanted into the balding areas of the scalp. Once the grafts have been transplanted, the surgeon will cover the scalp with a bandage. The patient will be given instructions on how to care for their scalp in the days and weeks following the procedure.

Precautions

There are several precautions that individuals should keep in mind before and after undergoing a hair transplantation procedure.

Before the Procedure:

  • Research the surgeon and the clinic to ensure that they have the proper qualifications and experience to perform the procedure.
  • Stop smoking and avoid alcohol for at least a week before the procedure.
  • Avoid taking any blood-thinning medications or supplements for at least a week before the procedure.

After the Procedure:

  • Do not touch or rub the transplanted area for at least a week or two.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or activities that may cause excessive sweating for at least a week.
  • Don’t expose the transplanted area to direct sunlight for at least a month.

Follow the surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the scalp and how to wash the hair.

It is important to keep in mind that hair transplantation is a surgical procedure, and as such, there are risks involved. These risks may include bleeding, infection, scarring, and the possibility of an unsuccessful transplant. It is crucial to consult the potential risks with your health practitioner prior to carry out the procedure.

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can also help to prevent or slow hair loss. Eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help to promote hair growth, while reducing stress levels can help to prevent hair loss. Avoiding tight hairstyles and harsh hair treatments can also help to prevent traction alopecia and other forms of hair loss.

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has gained popularity as a non-invasive and painless treatment for hair loss. The laser light used in LLLT is believed to penetrate the scalp and increase the activity of hair follicles, leading to improved hair growth. Additionally, the increased blood flow to the scalp is thought to nourish the hair follicles and promote the growth of healthier, thicker hair. 

While LLLT is still a relatively new treatment for hair loss, there is growing evidence to support its effectiveness. LLLT can be administered using specialized devices, such as laser combs or helmets, which emit low levels of laser light onto the scalp.

Scalp Micro pigmentation

The Scalp micro pigmentation (SMP) is a form of cosmetic tattooing that uses specialized equipment to apply tiny dots of pigment to the scalp. The dots are strategically placed to mimic the look of hair follicles, giving the illusion of a shaved head or a closely-cropped head of hair. SMP is a non-invasive and low-maintenance alternative to hair transplant surgery, and it is suitable for both men and women. 

The treatment is also ideal for people who have scars on their scalp or have experienced uneven hair loss. SMP is a long-lasting solution for hair loss, with results that can last for several years with proper care.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a minimally invasive treatment for hair loss that has gained popularity in recent years. PRP therapy involves drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of the blood, and then injecting the plasma directly into the scalp.

Recommendations for PRP Therapy

PRP therapy is often recommended for patients who are experiencing early stages of hair loss or thinning hair. It may also be used in combination with other hair loss treatments, such as medications or hair transplant surgery, to enhance their effectiveness.

Sessions Required

The PRP therapy process usually involves multiple sessions, with treatments spaced several weeks apart. During each session, a small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn and processed to extract the platelet-rich plasma. The plasma is afterwards driven into the scalp with the help a tiny needle. The treatment is typically completed in under an hour and is generally well-tolerated by patients.

While the exact mechanism by which PRP therapy promotes hair growth is not fully understood, there is growing evidence to support its effectiveness. Several small-scale studies have found that PRP therapy can lead to increased hair density and thickness, as well as improved hair growth rates.

Advantages of PRP Therapy

One of the main advantages of PRP therapy is that it is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery. There is also a low risk of side effects, as the treatment uses the patient’s own blood, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or infections.

Bottom-line

Hair loss can be a frustrating and distressing experience, but there are many treatments available that can help to slow or reverse hair loss. By understanding the different types of hair loss and their causes, you can make an informed decision about the best treatment for you. Whether you choose medications, hair transplants, or lifestyle changes, there is a treatment out there that can help you to regain a full head of healthy hair. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new hair loss treatment.


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