UNDERSTANDING HAIR LOSS


One unfortunate thing about being a man is that many experience progressive hair loss as they grow older. However, in order to fully understand hair loss in men and ways to prevent it from happening, we need to look at the science of hair loss. What causes hair loss in men? And what are the ways to combat it?

The Causes of Hair Loss

Firstly, the type of hair loss must be specified. Hair loss in men can be caused by a multitude of things, from hormonal imbalances to trauma and even drugs. However, we are only going to discuss the hormonal imbalances and trauma causes.

In the majority of men, hair loss is known as androgenic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness. It is characterised by a receding hair line on the front part of the head and thinning of the hair at the top. The two receding sections of hair eventually meet to produce a ring of hair around the back of the head.

Male pattern baldness occurs when the hair follicles in the scalp begin to shrink due to a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone is converted into DHT by an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. DHT then attaches to the androgen receptor within the hair follicle. However, DHT causes the hair follicle to physically shrink in size, meaning that the follicle is no longer able to regrow, resulting in hair loss and no further hair growth.

There are some other causes that are associated with hair loss, such as illness and taking medication; an intake of medication can throw the body’s hormone balance off kilter, which can have a pronounced effect on your body such as exacerbated hair loss. Hair loss can also be caused by trauma.

Some common examples of hair loss due to trauma include traction alopecia, where tight hairstyles like ponytails or cornrows pull on the hair with excessive force, resulting in breakage of the cuticle and overall hair loss, and trichotillomania, where people compulsively pull out their hair and which can result in permanent hair loss.

The Treatments of Hair Loss

The treatments of hair loss tend to be split into two solutions; medication for hair loss and surgery to replace hair loss. The main medication for hair loss is known as minoxidil. The science behind minoxidil treatment isn’t clearly known but it is thought that minoxidil widens the blood vessels within the scalp, resulting in promoted hair growth.

If you are personally not a fan of medications, there are some home remedies that can be used to treat hair loss. Caffeine is a stimulant that, when applied to the skin, increases blood circulation and can stimulate the hair follicles within your scalp. Natural oils are excellent for stimulating blood vessels and promoting hair growth, some of which include spearmint, cinnamon and jojoba oil.

However, if you want a more immediate solution, there is one surgical procedure and one non-surgical procedure that can be performed to completely replace hair loss and result in a full head of hair once more.

Hair Transplant

The surgical procedure focuses on removing the initial hair follicle completely and replacing it with a healthy one that came from another part of your body, for example, the back of the head. This procedure is known as follicle unit extraction (FUE). Because this procedure uses healthy hair follicles, it means that they are able to regrow, resulting in a full head of hair.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

PRP therapy focuses on thickening the hair by stimulating hair growth. The procedure is new compared to hair transplants but is incredibly effective. In order to get platelet rich plasma, the therapist has to obtain some of your blood and then place it in a centrifuge. This then splits the blood into three sections; the plasma, the white blood cells and the red blood cells. The plasma is then activated with a substance known as thrombin and is enriched with calcium chloride. After this, the activated PRP is injected into the area which is suffering with hair loss in order to stimulate hair growth.

If you would like to know more information about hair loss and the treatments available, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call on 0161 839 3769 and we will be more than happy to help. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our latest news and updates.