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Male Pattern Baldness - Man holding head
Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness, which is the most frequent cause of hair loss in men, can begin at a young age. Usually by the age of

Telogen Effluvium
A Full Guide on Telogen Effluvium

Temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium typically follows stress, shock, or a traumatic experience that generally affects the top of the scalp. Carry on

Experiencing hair loss can have a psychological impact on a person and often bring about confidence issues. There are many reasons a person can suffer from hair loss. There are also many treatments and solutions available. In this guide, we shall discuss hair loss, the causes of hair loss, and solutions for your individual circumstances.

Table of Contents

What Are The Types Of Hair Loss?

Normal hair loss usually isn’t noticeable unless we notice it on our clothing and pillow case. With normal hair loss, new hair is growing in and there are no bold patches. We’re talking about hair loss when new hair doesn’t grow in to replace the hair that has fallen out.

Hair loss can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect only your scalp or your entire body. It could be caused by heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or simply ageing. Hair loss is more common in men, but many women also experience it. The main types of hair loss are:

 

Let’s talk about these a little more.

Anagen Effluvium: This hair loss is caused by medical treatments such as chemotherapy. The medication not only kills off cancer cells but may also stop the hair follicles from producing hair shafts. This is often a short term symptom of chemotherapy, and there are medications that can help. A cold cap while receiving treatment often helps some people from losing any hair, or minimal hair loss.

Telogen Effluvium: This type of hair loss occurs when hair follicles enter the resting stage (Telogen stage) but do not start to grow again. Often triggered by a medical condition or event, such as fever, medication, or childbirth, a person may lose between 300 – 500 hairs a day. This leads to patchy hair loss, but not complete baldness.

It generally occurs 3 months after the event that caused it and will last, on average, 6 months once the cause has been isolated. For reasons unknown, it can last longer in other people. A dermatologist can prescribe medication to assist with this.

Androgenetic Alopecia: Male or female pattern hair loss:

Hair loss in men can start at any age after puberty and progress over years or decades, leaving many men bald. It begins above the temples and extends around the perimeter and top of the head, leaving a ring of hair at the bottom of the scalp.

In women, it rarely leads to complete baldness but rather thinning hair. Hair slowly thins all over the scalp, but the hairline usually doesn’t recede. It is often a natural part of aging in women, although it can begin as early as puberty.

Alopecia Areata: Hair loss occurs as a result of an autoimmune condition. The immune system attacks hair follicles as well as other healthy tissue in the body. It will cause sudden hair loss and prevent the hair from regrowing.

Alopecia Areata can affect both children and adults, often starting without warning. Hair commonly falls out in small patches. It can affect the eyebrows and eyelashes as well. It could become Alopecia Totalis, meaning complete baldness. There is medication available to help treat this condition.

Tinea Capitis: This is a fungal infection, most commonly found in children. It is caused by ringworm that causes hair loss in patches, leaving an itchy, red, scaly area on the scalp. It can also cause swollen glands and fever. If treated early, the hair will regrow.

Cicatricial Alopecia: This is a rare form of alopecia that causes hair to fall out. The hair follicle becomes inflamed and it forms scars on the scalp, and the hair does not grow back. There is often a rash, and the area becomes itchy and red. Medications are available and the condition can be treated successfully.

Hair Shaft Abnormalities: Hair loss in hair shaft abnormalities occurs when the abnormality causes the hair to weaken and break. It does not affect hair follicles, and oftentimes, changing how a person styles their hair will rectify the problem.

Hypotrichosis: Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic disorder in which little hair grows on the scalp and body. Most people suffering from Hyptrichoses will experience full hair loss by the age of 25. There are few treatments that can be offered, although medication can help thicken or regrow hair in some cases.

It is critical that your hair loss is diagnosed by a doctor or dermatologist in order to determine the correct form of treatment.

Before pursuing hair loss treatment, talk with your doctor about the cause of your hair loss and treatment options.

Hair Loss in Women, causes and solutions

Symptoms of Hair Loss

Depending on the cause of hair loss, it can appear in many different ways. It may be sudden or appear over time. It may be patchy or complete hair loss, and it can appear on the scalp or whole body.

Symptoms of hair loss may include:

  • Gradual thinning on top of the head. This is the most prevalent type of hair loss and is encountered by more men than women. In men, the hair typically begins to recede at the hairline on the forehead. Women tend to lose hair at the parting. As they age, it is more common to see the hairline receding, which is called frontal fibrosing alopecia.
  • Shock hair loss. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning but is temporary.
  • Circular or patchy bald spots. Hair loss on the scalp, beard, and eyebrows can occur in circular or patchy bald spots. Prior to the hair falling out, your skin might become irritated or painful.
  • Full-body hair loss. Hair loss can occur as a result of certain illnesses and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer. The hair usually grows back, especially if the condition receives early treatment.
  • Patches of scaling. Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp are usually a sign of ringworm. Broken hair, redness, swelling, and, in some cases, oozing may accompany the condition.

The Three Cycles of Hair Growth

Your hair strands are busy growing long before you see it on your head! There are 3 cycles with regard to hair growth:

  • The anagen, or growing phase: This lasts between 2 – 8 years. This is the phase that 85 – 90% of your hair is currently in.
  • The catagen phase, or transition phase: This is when the hair follicles shrink, which takes 2 – 3 weeks.
  • The telogen phase, or resting phase: This takes 2 – 4 months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out. This will be followed by the anagen phase, where your hair starts to grow all over again.

These describe the hairs on your head. Other hair, such as eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair, has a far shorter anagen period, being about 1 month.

When to See a Professional

It is completely normal to have feelings of anxiety and apprehension when you start to lose your hair. If there are sores and swelling, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. It is more than likely something as simple as a fungal infection that will clear up with the right medication.

If you are having strong feelings of anxiety or depression caused by your hair loss, you should see a doctor as soon as you can. As stress can increase your symptoms, a diagnosis and possible treatment plan can help both your hair and your wellbeing.

Unless you are unconcerned about hair loss, it is suggested that you visit a medical professional. All too often, medication or a change in lifestyle or habits will help. If it is a condition that makes you a candidate for a hair transplant, you have time to consider all of your options and start researching hair transplant clinics before the situation becomes worse than you would like it to be.

Risk factors leading to Hair Loss

There are a number of factors which contribute to hair loss. Some of these factors can be controlled to a certain extent. Factors that contribute to hair loss include

  • Genetics – a family history of balding on your mother’s or father’s side
  • Age
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and auto-immune disease
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition and vitamin intake
  • Significant weight loss
  • Over processed hair, e.g., bleaching
  • Medication
  • Menopause in women

Art of Hair Restoration

How to Prevent Hair Loss

Most people suffer from hair loss as a result of genetics, such as male and female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is not preventable, although some people show results using Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia). These medications will slow down the hair loss but must be used on a chronic basis, otherwise, the hair loss will return.

These tips may help you avoid preventable types of hair loss:

  • Be gentle with your hair. Use good products on your hair. Don’t pull at your hair, especially when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. To assist you, try using a wide-toothed comb. Hair straighteners, curling irons, hot-oil treatments, and permanents are all examples of harsh treatments to avoid. Rubber bands, barrettes, and braids can add tension to your hair, so use them sparingly.
  • Inquire with your doctor about any medications or supplements you’re taking that could be causing hair loss.
  • Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light. Consider wearing a hat. There are some shampoos on the market that can help with this.
  • Wash your hair straight after exposure to chlorine from swimming.
  • Stop smoking and watch your alcohol consumption. Some studies show an association between smoking and baldness in men. Smoking and alcohol restrict the blood flow to the scalp, which in turn can affect the hair follicle.
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy, ask your doctor about a cooling cap. During chemotherapy, this cap can help you avoid hair loss, although not all patients can tolerate it.

Hair Loss Diagnosis

Diagnosing why you are suffering from hair loss, means sooner you can do something about it.

Your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam and inquire about your diet, hair care routine, and medical and family history before making a diagnosis. You might also have tests, such as the following:

  • Blood test: This might help uncover medical conditions that can cause hair loss.
  • Scalp biopsy: To examine the hair roots under a microscope, your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or a few hairs plucked from the scalp. This can assist in determining whether hair loss is due to an infection.
  • Light microscopy: Hairs are examined with a special instrument by your doctor.
  • Pull test: Your doctor pulls a few dozen hairs gently to see how many fall out. This aids in determining the stage of shedding.

Once the doctor has diagnosed the cause, you will be given options to treat, reverse or control your condition. If the condition is one that cannot be treated or reversed, you can inquire at this time if you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplant.

Treatment

Hair loss can be treated effectively in some cases. In some cases, it might be as simple as stopping or changing a prescription for another condition. In other cases, it could be temporary, and a course of supplements and vitamins may be the answer.

Medication

If you have been diagnosed with a more permanent condition, you may be offered medication such as Minoxidil or Finasteride.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter medication available as a liquid, a foam, or a shampoo. It should be used once a day by women and twice a day by men. Many people prefer to apply the foam while their hair is still wet. This helps some regrow hair or reduce the rate of hair loss. It will take about 6 months to see if the product works, and you will have to use it continuously to keep up the results.

Side Effects – Possible scalp irritation and unwanted hair growth on the skin near the hairline and on the hands are possible side effects.

Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription drug for men though a lot more women are being prescribed it. It comes in pill form and slows hair loss. New hair growth may be visible in some cases. It will take a few months to see if it is effective for you, and you must continue to take it in order to maintain any benefits. Finasteride may not work as well for people over 60.

Side Effects – Reduced sex drive and sexual function, as well as an increased risk of prostate cancer in men, are all possible side effects. Women who are or may become pregnant should not take it, nor should they handle crushed or broken tablets.

Other medications that could help include spironolactone (Carospir, Aldactone) and oral dutasteride (Avodart).

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

If your problem is only temporary or you don’t want to take medication or get a hair transplant, you might feel better by experimenting with different hair care methods. This could include using a volumising styling product or changing your hairstyle so the parting where you’re losing hair isn’t as visible.

Wigs and extensions are also an option for a lot of men and women, or shaving your hair might be the answer for you. Talk to your stylist about the options available. If you share with them why you have hair loss, a good stylist will be able to help you without doing further damage to your hair.

If your hair loss is caused by a medical condition, your insurance company may cover the cost of a wig.

Hair Transplant Surgery

Only the top of the head is affected by the most common type of permanent hair loss. Hair restoration surgery, also known as hair transplantation, can help you make the most of your remaining hair. This is achieved by moving healthy hair follicles from a donor area on your head to the affected, or recipient area.

There are several approaches that can be used to accomplish this. All of these methods will include taking healthy hair and transplanting it surgically into the scalp at the places where hair growth is desired.

Surgical procedures to treat baldness are not usually covered by insurance.

Suitable Candidates for Hair Transplant

Once you have had the reason for your hair loss diagnosed by a doctor or healthcare professional, your diagnosis will determine if you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplant.

The following is a guideline to see if you are a suitable candidate.

  • People who want to restore their thinning hairline or who have male or female pattern baldness.
  • People who lost hair as a result of a facelift or other cosmetic procedure.
  • People who have experienced non-hormonal hair loss as a result of mechanical or traction alopecia.
  • People who have lost their hair as a result of trauma, burns, or scarring. It will be determined by the location on the head as well as the size of the area.
  • Alopecia Marginalis sufferers.

Hair loss is not the only reason people have hair transplants. They can also be performed for:

  • Increasing the hair density in specific areas
  • The hairline is being redesigned.
  • Bringing the hairline down
  • Eyebrow transplantation
  • Beard transplantation
  • Scalp reduction surgery
  • Scar concealment

Hair transplantation is by far the most effective surgical treatment for baldness, with a high rate of success. You can expect your hair to regrow in a few months, with full regrowth taking about a year. The procedure is a non-invasive surgery that is considered relatively pain-free.

Simply put, the surgeon will remove hair from the back and possibly the sides of your head, where the hair is thickest and most resistant to shedding. This is referred to as the donor area. Small amounts of hair that are still attached to the hair follicle are moved to the thinning area depending on the method used. This can be accomplished through a small skin graft or by removing the hair follicle and implanting it into the head. The number of graphs will be determined prior to the procedure and will be determined by a number of factors. You can read more about the procedure in our Hair Transplant in Turkey section.

It is done under local anaesthetic and you can expect it to take between 6 – 8 hours. If you choose to have a hair transplant done in Turkey, you can expect to stay in the country for 3 days. You will not stay overnight in the clinic and can return to your hotel.

Last updated by Jorn on September 26, 2022. Content medically reviewed by D. Demirel, MD.

  • Alessandrini, A., Bruni, F., Piraccini, B. M., & Starace, M. (2021). Common causes of hair loss–clinical manifestations, trichoscopy and therapy. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 35(3), 629-640.
  • Hamadaqa, M. H. M., & Abu-Naser, S. S. (2021). Hair Loss Diagnosis Expert System and Treatment Using CLIPS.
  • Kerkemeyer, K. L., de Carvalho, L. T., Jerjen, R., John, J., Sinclair, R. D., Pinczewski, J., & Bhoyrul, B. (2021). Female pattern hair loss in men: a distinct clinical variant of androgenetic alopecia. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 85(1), 260-262.
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