Did you know that you lose hair everyday without you even knowing it? Each person normally lose 50-100 hair strands a day, but in some cases hair loss can take a turn for the worse. Hair may shed at a certain pattern and may even progress until all of it falls off. In these cases, you have 6 possible treatment options. Here’s a quick guide to help you when searching for a solution.
Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)
AGA, or male pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss in men today, affecting around 50% of males by age 50. There are racial and age-related differences in the incidence and pattern of hair loss in this condition. Therefore, which explains why the condition may be more advanced in some than in others.
While male pattern hair loss may not cause direct threat to a person’s physical health, this conditions still impacts a person’s self-image and can be a great cause of anxiety. The negative perceptions of hair loss may also further impair social functioning and may lead to depression in some men.
Key features in androgenetic alopecia in males include:
- Hair follicles getting smaller (miniaturization)
- Alteration in hair cycle development
- Anagen stage becomes shorter that hair fails to achieve sufficient length to even reach the surface of the skin
- Hair sheds in a specific pattern
The reason for androgenetic hair loss is type II 5-alpha reductase which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once DHT binds to the hair follicle of the scalp it will result in male androgenetic alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia doesn’t have to be a lost cause because when you act on it right away, you could have a fighting chance at preventing further hair loss and stimulating better hair growth. Today, those affected by AGA have the option of trying out the following treatments.
The oral medication for hair loss has been found to slow down the progression of male androgenetic alopecia and stimulate partial regrowth. This medication has also been found to reverse the miniaturization process and produces hair of better length and thickness in its place. Adding to that, it can also improve the hair’s growth rate.
The topical treatment for androgenetic alopecia is found to induce blood flow to the skin because it can widen the opening of blood vessels. This also nourishes the skin and hairs which ultimately improves hair growth. Furthermore, it also has the capacity to open potassium channels which helps in improving hair regrowth.
Both medications have the capacity to arrest the progression of hair loss and stimulate partial hair regrowth. Their use must be continuous to maintain their effects. However, if you experience any side effects, you must report this immediately to your doctor rather than discontinuing the medication by yourself. The doctor can either lower the dose or prescribe another treatment.
Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT)
This treatment is delivered by a device similar to a hairbrush that emits red light. It has been marketed as an over-the-counter treatment for hair loss. It is a non-invasive treatment that uses light technology programmed below a specific energy threshold which is absorbed by the hair follicles to stimulate their growth and the regrowth of thicker and fuller hair.
While this may not be a conventional treatment for hair loss, one study suggested that botulinum toxin can be a viable treatment for androgenetic alopecia in men. Upon administering it to the scalp, it can result in muscle relaxation which eventually increase blood flow. Consequently, this also washes out accumulated DHT in your circulatory system which reduces the signal for miniaturization of hair follicles.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
This is a hair loss treatment where your own blood is drawn, processed to separate the different components (growth factors and other essential proteins) and injected into the scalp. PRP will reduce hair fall, reverses thinning, and increase the growth phase ultimately improving har density. Aside from stimulating inactive hair follicles, it can also support the growth of newly implanted hair follicles.
Hair transplant surgery is considered the last resort for those who suffer from hair loss. It is an invasive approach to restoring lost hair using donor grafts taken from your own scalp. The procedure has been performed for several years with a lot of refinements along the way.
There are two main approaches used for hair transplantation and these are:
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
Known as the “strip method,” this technique got its name because it involves the removal of a piece of scalp to obtain the donor hair grafts. This is the traditional approach in hair restoration and is also the most invasive. Through this method the donor grafts are taken from the back of the scalp. Once it is removed, the follicular units are taken out individually using a high-powered microscope.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
The FUE method is a newer approach that uses the punch-graft technique. It uses a special tool that acts like a punch to create a circular incision around the hair grafts or follicular units. It is less invasive, but it will also take time to finish as it is more challenging due to the high chances of transection.
To make use of the synergistic effect of these treatments, combination therapy may be used. This can be an appropriate measure to address the unique presentations of this disease in each affected individual. An example of a combination therapy may include medications, surgery, and LLLT or PRP to enhance the results.
Androgenetic alopecia is common, and it is highly likely to be accompanied by other forms of hair loss. Since androgenetic alopecia it may also be aggravated by different factors. Therefore, a multifactorial treatment may be necessary.
Now that you have seen your options, seek professional help the soonest possible time. Be properly advised to know which among these would be an appropriate treatment for your case. Book your consultation with Dr. Andrew Kim today for a comprehensive evaluation.