Hair loss and hair thinning can have a devastating effect on both men and women. Hair loss (also referred to as alopecia) is a loss of hair from the head and scalp most commonly, although there is a more serious condition known as alopecia areata which causes traumatic hair loss from the body as well. The most common form of hair loss is also the best known by the general public, that being male pattern baldness (MPB or androgenic alopecia). Despite the term MPB, it also affects a surprising large number of women as well (female pattern baldness). These additional resources will juice you up with the information that you need.
Typically, when MPB strikes you will notice skin lesions, dandruff, excessive daily hair loss when washing or brushing your hair and patches of hair missing in circular patterns. Don’t try and self diagnose! No matter how embarrassing it might be, you should go to your doctor as soon as you suspect symptoms of hair loss or thinning as there are many causes of hair loss that respond to treatment without going to the expense of hair regrowth products and surgery.
Surprisingly, there are a number of medications that may be the culprit, so get your GP to check for any that you may be taking which have this side effect. Examples include diabetes medications and acne medications. There is also a range of skin and scalp conditions with a number of different causes that can cause both thinning and hair loss so it is worth getting checked out. If your GP is not sure, then he or she will refer you to a dermatologist for further investigation. Get to know more about hair loss treatment, right here.
There are a number of good medications, even nonprescription medications that have proven effective in halting hair loss. If your diagnosis ends up being MPB, then it is probably time to look into these once another cause of hair loss have been ruled out. Minoxidil (known as Rogaine) is a cheap and effective tool for reducing hair loss and in some 30-40% of cases it has enabled new hair to grow back on balding areas of the scalp. This medication is also suitable for female pattern baldness. Finasteride is not suitable for FPB but is a once daily pill suitable for men with MPB. The treatment has proven effective within 6 to 8 months, although please get your GP to explain the side effects which are not a happy list of events.
Surgical hair regrowth is a growing (cough) field, although please proceed with your GP’s advice and with a referral to a good dermatologist in hand. There is no certifying board for dermatologists working in hair regrowth surgery so you need to make your choice carefully here. Options include the most common of surgeries, hair and follicle transplants as well as scalp flaps, scalp reduction and hairline lowering. At this point you are at the expensive and painful end of hair regrowth possibilities and there are no guarantees of success. Hair transplant surgery is performed under local anesthetic and evolves removing healthy hair and follicles from the back and sides of the scalp and transplanting then=m onto balding areas of the scalp.