Numerous medical conditions can cause temporary or permanent hair loss however for the overwhelming majority of people who seek hair restoration, the cause of the problem is what is known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss. This is also known as androgenetic alopecia (AA).
“Alopecia” means “hair-loss” and “androgenic” refers to male sex hormones or androgens that are responsible for progressive miniaturization and loss of hair with age. In genetically susceptible males, pattern baldness is caused by the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The hormone testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-α reductase and it is now understood that DHT is responsible for beard and body hair growth as well as for scalp hair loss. The medication Propecia (finasteride) prevents androgenic alopecia by blocking 5-α reductase.
The effect of androgens on the male hairline can begin as early as the teenage years and most men will have experienced some degree of pattern hair loss by the time that they reach their fifties. The pattern typically begins as recession of hair in the temple areas and in the crown and can gradually progress until only a thin rim of hair is left around the edge of the scalp. It can be very difficult to predict the ultimate extent and pattern of hair loss for any individual patient.
In general, the horseshoe shaped area of scalp hair starting above the ears and extending to the back of the head is resistant to the effects of DHT and so is not lost with male pattern baldness. The resistance of these hairs to DHT is retained even when they are relocated to other areas of the scalp and it is this property that makes modern hair transplantation possible.
Predisposition to male pattern baldness is thought to be largely inherited however the genetic process is complex and poorly understood. It is a myth that the “baldness-gene” is inherited from the maternal grandfather. Other myths include that poor scalp circulation, caps or hats, or shampoos cause baldness, although certain products such as strong relaxants can damage hair.
Women are also subject to hair loss and while this can be particularly upsetting and can have a devastating impact on self-esteem, in many cases it can be effectively treated. As noted above, there are numerous medical conditions that can cause hair loss in women and hair loss can be associated with other factors such as recent pregnancy or long-term pulling of the hair in ponytails or tight braids.
As in men, the most common cause of hair loss in women is inherited androgenic pattern baldness however the pattern is generally different from what is seen in males. While female pattern hair loss can start early, it often begins later than the male variety and is more frequently, but not always, associated with a diffuse thinning effect over the entire scalp sparing the frontal hairline. Many women complain that the part in their hair seems to get wider.
While female pattern hair loss is extremely common, many women do not realize that treatment is available and effective and so continue to suffer with the embarrassment and anxiety that frequently accompany thinning hair.
In addition to androgenetic alopecia, there are numerous other conditions that can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. Such conditions include thyroid or other hormonal imbalances, low iron, nutritional deficiencies, auto-immune disorders, medication side effects, trauma to the hair or scalp, stress and many others. General medical factors tend to be more of a consideration for women than for men and many female patients require blood tests or other investigations to rule out an underlying medical cause prior to proceeding with hair restoration.
Thanks to continuing advancements in the field of follicular unit hair transplantation, Dr. Korman and Dr. Solomon are able to achieve totally natural looking results. We avoid the pluggy, see-through appearance seen in the hair transplants of yesterday by employing state of the art, microscopic techniques, and meticulously and artistically positioning individual hair follicles to follow and mimic your natural growth patterns.
At the Follicle HT Clinic, we have a team of board certified surgeons, qualified nurses, and highly experienced technicians that specialize in hair restoration using cutting-edge technology and techniques in a state of the art, fully accredited private clinic.
Your hair transplant journey begins with your decision to make a positive change.
At Follicle HT, our philosophy is that modern hair transplantation is a freedom granting procedure. We strive to help all our patients look and feel their very best by having the full range of options available.
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