Hair Loss Is Not A Natural Part of Aging Anymore
Hair loss does not have to be a natural part of the aging process any longer. Many treatments are available today for hair loss which can produce a natural full head of hair. Options including medicat...
Hair loss does not have to be a natural part of the aging process any longer. Many treatments are available today for hair loss which can produce a natural full head of hair. Options including medication and outpatient surgical procedures can produce more youthful appearing hairlines with very minimal down time or side effects. For any person suffering from hair loss, consulting with a well trained and experienced physician in hair loss is vital to obtaining the best results possible.
There are many causes for hair loss. In men, the most common cause is typically called male pattern baldness, or more scientifically speaking, androgenic alopecia. This is due to receptors on the hair follicles, often termed the root, which are sensitive to androgens (testosterone and its byproducts). These androgens push the hair follicles to the sleeping phase of the hair cycle. Hair on the back of the head and sides of the head do not have these receptors and thus will never fall out. Transplanting these follicles to other parts of the head also means that they will not stop growing even in their new location, even though native hair may continue to stop growing. While there are other causes of male hair loss, this is the most common type and follows a rather predictable pattern. These patterns were classified by Dr. Norwood and are summarized in the Norwood hair loss classification.
Female hair loss is more perplexing. While female hair loss can be due to andgrogens, a more thorough evaluation is often necessary as the majority of female hair loss is due to other causes. Medical causes such as thyroid abnormalities and autoimmune diseases must be treated before any type of transplant is undertaken.
For both men and women suffering from androgenic alopecia, medications are available which can slow the hair loss and often give the illusion of increasing amounts of hair. Currently in the United States finasteride and minoxidil are the only two medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for hair loss. Finasteride, marketed as propecia is a once a day pill where minoxidil marketed as Rogaine is a twice a day foam or lotion. Minoxidil is the only medication approved for use in women.
For more permanent solutions to hair loss from multiple causes, including trauma, hair restoration surgery is an option. The days of a plugged look are gone. Hairlines designed with the latest techniques of follicular unit grafting produce natural appearing hairlines. When performed by physicians with training and expertise in hair loss, hairlines can last a lifetime, not just a few years. Care must be taken to realize that natural hair loss will progress and donor material is currently limited. Though cloned hair technology is being evaluated, it is not commercially available and the technology is not able to sustain large hair growth. Until that point, hair grafting is a viable option when performed by a knowledgeable surgeon. When choosing a surgeon, be sure to evaluate their credentials – do they understand hair loss and can they produce the results you are looking for? Important as well is patient education and an understanding that what a person desires as a result may not be possible or may not be the best result possible. Consulting a qualified surgeon is always crucial. For more information about hair loss, visit Dr. Verret online at http://drverret.com/
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Verret is a facial plastic surgeon with specialty training in hair restoration in the North Dallas suburb of Plano, TX.