Hair loss plagues millions, if not billions of people worldwide. There are different stages of hair loss, and even the baldest person you see out in public, at one point, had full heads of hair. Many believe that the balding process happens fast and that the signs are apparent, but that isn't always true. In this article, we will be discussing the three early signs of hair loss and how you can stop the hair loss from progressing.
Number 1. Hairline Recession
Almost every man experiences some form of hairline recession, also known as 'hairline maturing.' However, there is a difference when a fifty-year-old man experiences a slight temple recession, and a twenty-one-year-old man experiences temple recession. Any individual who notices hair loss at an early age is likely to continue balding, and if they don't do anything to slow down the progression, complete and total baldness can happen. Temple recession is the first and most obvious sign of male pattern baldness.
Number 2. See-Through Wet Hair
When hair is wet, the hair follicles tend to clump together, which exposes the scalp. Seeing some scalp is normal, but having a see-through appearance is not normal and indicates early-onset androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). Some people brush this off because they're in denial, but the sooner they do something about their hair loss, the better. Don't be one of those people!
Number 3. Excessive Hair-Shedding
Now, shedding is a normal part of the hair follicles lifecycle. However, excessive shedding may be a sign of early-onset hereditary hair loss. Hairs on your pillow, down the drain, and on your shirt are signs of what's to come. There are other causes of excessive hair shedding. For example, trauma and stress can lead to chronic hair-shedding, which is called telogen effluvium. Individuals who are experiencing constant shedding should consult with a qualified hair transplant surgeon to diagnose the cause of their condition.
In some cases, a simple change in diet, lifestyle, or sleeping pattern can reverse the shedding. However, if the hair-shedding is due to genetic hair loss, a hair transplant surgeon will be able to treat the condition with the best non-surgical treatments available.
You've Got Genetic Hair Loss, Now What?
Thankfully, we live in a time where hair loss is treatable with medication and hair transplant surgery. Surgical hair restoration should always be considered the last resort. The first line of defense is medication therapy, such as Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil).
Finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia, is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT, via the bloodstream. DHT is the hormone responsible for causing hair loss. Finasteride inhibits up to 70% of DHT throughout the body. To date, finasteride is the most effective drug for treating male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine, is a topical solution, which widens the blood vessels, allowing more blood flow to the scalp. To date, no one knows the exact reason why minoxidil works, but many believe that it works by prolonging the hair follicles anagen (growth) phase and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the scalp. Both medications work best when combined.
Micro-needling is a relatively new treatment that has burst on the hair loss scene. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of scientific data to prove it's efficacy, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of reports, anecdotal reports online. Also, it's a safe, cheap, and secure solution. Microneedling involves using a derma roller on the scalp, creating tiny wounds that heal and produce growth factors. These growth factors are said to regenerate hair follicles that are dying.
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