Hair Loss Today Today we know a lot more about hair loss, its symptoms, and remedies than ever before. Generally speaking, more men lose their hair than women. Alopecia (the medical terminology for hair loss) is often hereditary and millions of men and women suffer from it. In the U.S. alone this affects around 80 million people. This is also called androgenetic alopecia or male (or female) pattern baldness. It is also psychologically horrible to look into the mirror each day and see your bald patch getting bigger or your hairline receding.
All of us, on the other hand, naturally lose hair every day. This can be from 50 to 100 hairs depending on the person. If you are stressed you might lose more during that period. Some mothers lose more hair after giving birth. Sometimes we lose hair because of a certain disease or medication. Usually, this hair loss is not a problem as it will grow back when we are feeling better. Chemotherapy is a good example. Many people lose all their hair (even their eyelashes) but then it grows back when they are no longer taking the drugs.
Today, most causes of hair loss do have a solution and the symptoms can be treated or even stopped. If this affects you, the first person you should consult would be your dermatologist. He or she will need to know your medical history and if you are taking any drugs. The visit will also mean the dermatologist will check out your scalp very carefully as well as your hair. He or she may also pull on your hair to see how strongly it is attached to your scalp, or even pull out a hair. A scalp biopsy may be necessary which is a very quick procedure where the dermatologist will take a really small sample of your scalp for examination. They make also check out your other body hair to see if that is also affected.
There are also many ways to treat hair loss. Of course the earlier you treat this condition, the better. Medication such as Minoxidil can be applied directly to the scalp and not only can it prevent hair from thinning but it can stimulate the growth of hair on top of the scalp. This is FDA approved and can be combined with other treatment options.
There are also brushes and combs that include laser devices. The light of the laser could stimulate the growth of hair. There are no studies to date about the safety of these laser devices or their effects long term. They do not receive the thorough testing the medicines have to undergo to get FDA approval as they are classed as medical devices.
Your dermatologist may recommend prescription drugs such as Corticosteroid or Finasteride but these medications should only be taken under the supervision of your specialist.
There is also the option of having hair transplants. This means that the skin with the good hair growth on your scalp is surgically removed and transplanted to the bald areas. Other procedures are also available such as scalp expansion or reduction or even scalp flaps.
Today hair loss does not have to be permanent. There are lots of options to help you.