If you are losing your hair, you want answers. Why are you losing your hair? Will it grow back? What are the risk factors for permanent hair loss? What treatments can help restore your hair? What are your options?
First, it is very common for adults to experience hair loss. Men are more likely to lose hair than women, but 30% of adults experience significant hair loss in their lifetimes. Today, we understand more about hair loss, its causes, and how to treat it effectively and permanently.
There are several reasons for hair loss, but the majority of people who lose their hair have heredity to blame. The genes we have at birth determine whether or not our hair will thin in adulthood, and this genetic tendency can come from our mother or our father. The most common form of hereditary hair loss is called androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness (MPB). It occurs in both men and women. Some of the other reasons for hair loss include hormonal changes, medication, allergic reactions, stress and anxiety, anemia, or hair styling products.
The “pattern” in MPB is the U-shape that the hairline forms as hair thins and falls out on either side of the forehead. Hair follicles shrink as a man or woman becomes more sensitive to the hormone that produces testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). At first the hair grows in shorter and thinner, then eventually falls out with no new growth to replace it.
Whether your hair grows back once you lose it or have an area of thinning hair depends on the cause. Hair loss caused by stress, medication, temporary hormonal changes (such as following pregnancy), or from hair chemical treatments is mostly temporary. As long as the hair follicle or root is undamaged, healthy hair can regrow. This is the case for the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata, which affects 5 million people each year. The hair will regrow within 12 months for the vast majority of people with this type of hair loss.
Male pattern baldness (MPB) is the most common reason for hair loss, and it is unfortunately permanent. As MPB is hereditary, you can gauge your risk for permanent hair loss by looking to your older relatives, both men and women. If there are people in your family who are bald or with a receding hairline and thinning hair, you are at risk for MPB. However, new advances in hair replacement offer real hope to recover your youthful and attractive appearance. A hair transplant allows your own hair to regrow in areas of baldness or thinning hair.
There are drugs that can block DHT and prevent hair loss, but most people do not begin treatment until there has been significant hair loss. These medications do not regrow large areas of hair and any regrowth or halt in hair loss is reversed if the medication is ever stopped. Also, some medication for hair loss may cause sexual side effects.
Hair pieces or weaves can be obviously fake unless they are well maintained at great expense. They also will never feel natural to the touch.
A permanent solution to hair loss that uses your own healthy, growing hair is a hair transplant. There are two main types of hair transplant, strip hair transplant called Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) . The hair that typically does not fall out along the sides and back of the head is resistant to DHT. In both types of transplants, this is the hair that is used as “donor hair.” A hair transplant surgeon removes healthy hair from the donor area and implants the grafts or follicles in the area with thin or no hair. Because the donor hair is resistant to DHT, it continues to grow healthy hair that won’t fall out. New growth is noticeable within weeks of the procedure.
MAXiM Hair Restoration has plastic and hair transplant surgeons who artfully create an attractive hairline for people with hair loss every day. We have convenient locations in New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Newport Beach, and the Washington, DC area. Contact MAXiM today to find out if you are a candidate for a hair transplant.