“Why am I losing hair? What is Alopecia? What are the causes of hair loss? How should I prevent it? What are the different ways to treat hair loss? Etc etc…”
Every 7 out of 10 people suffer from hair related issues nowadays. And these are just few of the questions in their minds. A lack of knowledge, in this case, might impose more severe problems. If you are not aware of your disease then how can you take the preventive measure on time?
So here we are, with the answers to your varied and significant queries. Below, you can find everything you ever wanted to know regarding your hair loss problems.
What is Hair Loss/Alopecia?
Alopecia is actually the medical name given to the hair loss problem. An average adult head has about 100,000 – 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day. At any time only 90% of hair is growing and other 10% are in dormant phase. After some months these dormant hair falls out and follicles begin growing again. This is a normal life cycle of every hair.
But, if you lose more than 100 hairs on a daily basis or notice bald spots, it could be a cause for alarm. This may imply that you are suffering from Alopecia.
“Pattern hair loss or Alopecia by the age of 50, affects about half of males and a quarter of females.”
Major Causes Of Hair Loss
Causes of Hair Loss can be broadly classified into 2 categories i.e. Scarring Alopecia and Non-Scarring Alopecia.
1. Scarring Alopecia
Scarring Alopecia is also known as Cicatricial Alopecia. It is characterized by permanent damage of hair roots and adjacent skins. It can result from a mechanical injury, burn, radiation, skin diseases such as lichen planopilaris, discoid lupus erythematosus, etc.
In such cases, there are no chances of hair growing back over these particular sites with any medications. So, a hair transplant might be a good option in such cases.
“Only 3% of patients acknowledging hair loss suffers from Scarring Alopecia.”
2. Non-Scarring Alopecia
Non-scarring alopecia is simply the loss of hair without the presence of any scarring in the scalp. The hair root is preserved and regrowth of hair at bald areas can be expected in such a case. It is also known as ‘non-cicatricial alopecia’. Most commonly encountered causes of non-scarring hair loss are Androgenetic Alopecia and Alopecia Areata.
Common Cases of Non-Scarring Hair Loss
1. Androgenetic Alopecia (Pattern Hair Loss)
This is the most common cause of hair loss. Androgenic Alopecia, commonly known as Pattern Hair Loss is called Male Pattern Baldness in Men, while in women it is known as Female Pattern Baldness.
In androgenetic alopecia, hair gradually become thin and short because of hair root damage caused by a hormone called as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Eventually, hair root is permanently damaged by this hormone and hair production is permanently stopped, leaving a bald area.
Difference between Male & Female Pattern Baldness
- Male tends to lose hair in the front, crown, and middle part of the scalp, while in females, hair thinning starts with the widening of the center hair part.
- Females face more diffuse thinning rather than clean areas of baldness seen in males. In cases of advanced baldness in Females, hair thinning even spreads to back and sides areas of the scalp.
- Front hairline remains unaffected in female pattern baldness while it gradually recedes in males.
- In women, only 12% will show any temporal thinning, while in men this is seen in over 80% as one of the first signs of loss.
2. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease. It is a condition where patients’ own immune system erroneously attacks and destroys hair follicles.
It presents smooth circular round to oval patches of hair loss over scalp, beard, eyebrows etc. It may even lead to complete loss of scalp hair known as Alopecia Totalis and hair loss from all body sites called Alopecia Universalis (AU).
“According to a recent study, estimates of the number of people with AA who eventually develop AU range from 7 to 25%.”
3. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium is a condition of abrupt severe hair fall occurring after 3-6 months of a triggering event or stressor. Even if the stressor is removed, hair loss continues for next 2-6 months. But if it is not, then hair fall may be continuous.
Various identified stressors which may cause telogen effluvium are – after delivery of child, anemia, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, surgical procedure, road traffic accident, emotional problem etc.
4. Anagen Effluvium
Anagen Effluvium is a condition that causes hair to no longer actively grow despite being in the growing state called anagen. It is majorly seen in cancer patients who are on anti-cancer drugs. These drugs act on growing hair and cause them to fall.
This type of hair loss is completely or partially reversible once the medications and therapies (such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment) causing hair loss is ceased completely.
5. Traction Alopecia
Traction Alopecia is generally faced by the people who wear tight hairstyles such as ponytails, braids, pigtails etc.
Repeated pulling of hair causes mechanical damage to hair follicles.
However, it is characterized by the recession of hairline or gradual disappearance of hair that’s been pulled.
Trichotillomania is a temporary psychiatric disorder where there is an irresistible desire to pull out one’s own hair.
Usually, such patients pull out central scalp hair but some even pull out hair from their eyebrows, moustaches, beard etc.
Three Effective Ways to Prevent Hair Loss
Hair loss affects the appearance of an individual and hence causes inferiority complex. Every such person aspires for perfect hair and there are 3 effective ways that can help them realize their dream. These may include –
1. Approved Medications
There are many hair loss medications in the market that promise to prevent further loss and regrow hair. Example:
- Oral Finasteride and
- Topical Minoxidil
Both are FDA approved medications for treating hair loss. But, they are not effective in the cases of large-scale balding and they have side-effects too. Moreover, long-term treatments with these medicines can be expensive.
2. Popular Therapies
Therapies such as Mesotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) and, Lower Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) could serve as a great option in treating hair related problems. The hair problems that can be cured with the help of therapies include, hair thinning, less volume, rough & damaged hair etc. Therapies are believed to stimulate present hair follicles but cannot bring back those which have been lost. This makes their effectiveness limited in cases of extreme hair loss.
3. Hair Transplant Procedure
Hair Transplantation is a surgical technique of extracting hair follicles from a hair-bearing area called donor area to a balding region called the recipient site. The donor area is usually at the back of the head and behind/above the ears where the hair growth is naturally resistant to hair loss. In advanced cases of baldness, graft requirement is high and alternate donor area can be utilized such as beard, chest hair, etc.
Hair Transplant is a minimally invasive procedure which is particularly very helpful in treating large-scale balding. It is considered to be a permanent and thus perfect solution.
Techniques of Hair Transplant
Presently, Hair Transplants are possible through three techniques. The different techniques of hair transplant include:
- Follicular Unit Transplant – FUT
- Follicular Unit Extraction – FUE
- Direct Hair Transplant – DHT
1. Follicular Unit Transplant – FUT
It is the traditional technique of Hair transplant & is also known as the strip method. Under this technique, the entire strip of hair tissue is removed from the donor area. This strip is then cut under microscopes into individual ‘grafts’ containing hair roots. These roots are planted on the balding region. The area of scalp from where the strip is taken is sutured and this wound heals in a week or two.
2. Follicular Unit Extraction – FUE
FUE technique is also known as one-by-one removal method. In this technique, individual hair grafts are harvested from the donor area using fine punches of caliber less than 1mm and are stored for about 3-6 hours in a storage solution. Slits are then created in the balding region and stored grafts are transplanted into those slits. The site from where the grafts are taken heals in 2-4 days without apparent scarring.
According to a popular study, if hair grafts are stored outside the body, then every hour of storage 1-2% of grafts die. So, in FUE approximately 6-12% of the grafts die because of storage.
3. Direct Hair Transplant – DHT
Direct Hair Transplant is the modification of FUE technique. In DHT, first slits are created in the balding region. Then the grafts are harvested and simultaneously transplanted to the balding region within few minutes. As it eliminates the need for storing the grafts and so reduces the body out time, therefore it ensures 100% graft survival rate.
“At Folliderm, we follow DHT technique to provide you the best of results.”
Direct Hair Transplant- The Permanent Solution to Balding
Direct Hair transplant is considered as the permanent solution to balding. Following reasons can help you understand the importance of DHT:
- The body out time or transit time is reduced from 4-5 hours to few minutes, as the grafts are immediately implanted. So, chances of graft survival are almost 100%.
- There is the least chance of chemical and thermal damages to grafts.
- It is a painless technique.
- It provides 100% Natural Appearance by replicating original hair orientation.
- “NO perceptible scars” is its biggest advantage.
- It involves very less downtime. The healing process is much faster with this technique.
- This technique is done in a sitting position. Sitting position enables extraction and plantation of grafts simultaneously. Two or more specialists can transplant the grafts, reducing the overall procedure time by 30-50%.
We also use the specially patented implanters which ensure “No Root Handling” and no chances of crushing the grafts during transplantation. At our center, the grafts are always under the vigilant eyes of the doctors. We plan the individualized hairline, define the layout, extract and implant the grafts with extreme precaution.
At Folliderm, we do not let technicians take charge of the Transplantation process. But the complete procedure is run by Doctors and his team of 6-9 highly trained individuals. Unlike other clinics, we understand the Artistic, Technical and Medical Implications of a Hair Transplant. And hence facilitate the best of surgeons, led by a few rare brains trained from the prestigious AIIMS, New Delhi.
If you would like more information regarding the treatment procedure we follow, please visit “About Us” Page.