05 Oct Why am I losing my hair
WHY AM I LOSING MY HAIR?
Hair loss can be psychologically devastating for many men leading to low self esteem and loss of confidence. It can be confusing sorting through all of the information/misinformation out there- so we ask Dr. Sara to clarify… (obviously you can word this better!!!!!)
2/3 of men experience hair loss by the age of 35.
The majority of men with hair loss are suffering from the genetic/inherited form, called Androgenetic Alopecia. These men usually have relatives also with hair loss, on both their mother and father’s side (hair loss genes are inherited from both sides.)
It can start as early as late teens and continues to worsen throughout their lifetime.
The hair loss is caused by the super potent form of Testosterone, called Di-Hydro-Testosterone (DHT). DHT may also contribute to increased body hair, enlarged prostates, and central obesity (big belly!)
There are so many treatments available, what actually works?
Unfortunately, there are a huge number of treatments out there claiming to cause hair growth, however they can be misleading and have limited or no scientific evidence behind them.
The good news is there ARE a few treatments with strong scientific backing that Medical Doctors agree on. (**any treatment regimen should be first discussed with your doctor to ensure suitability)
1.) Minoxidil topical solution (available over the counter at the pharmacy)
Duration of effect: usually 2-4 years
e.g. Rogaine, Regaine, Hair-A-Gain
– Minoxidil increases the blood supply to the hair follicles and is especially useful in early hair loss around the front hair line
2.) Finasteride tablets (available via prescription)
Duration of effect: up to 15 years
eg Propecia, Proscar
– Finasteride is approved by the FDA and TGA as a safe and effective treatment of hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride blocks DHT in the body and works particularly well at the crown (back of the head). It also has the benefit of decreasing body hair and prostate size!
Finasteride is very safe and has minimal side effects in most people:
ARTICLE from Reuters
3.) Hair Transplantation Follicular Unit Transplantation (aka FUT/FUE)
Duration of effect: Permanent
– Transplantation surgery is the only permanent solution for hair loss (with the exception of wigs).
Hair at the back of the head is resistant to DHT, so it is transplanted to the front of the head where it is needed. This grows just like the original hair and will be there forever!
Thankfully techniques have improved dramatically since the “plugs” of the 90s – the follicles are painstakingly transplanted one by one to achieve a beautiful, natural looking result.
Read about Michael’s hair loss story below and see his transformation.
Michael 4500 Follicles
Michael, Celebrity makeup artist and Channel Nine beauty presenter.
I had been experiencing hair loss for over 10 years. I had tried everything over this time – gels, lasers, massage, medications – and nothing had made me feel confident about the way my hair looked.
I never let anyone cut my hair as I was afraid they would cut the side parts that I would grow to make the area look thicker, so I cut my own. I would always walk in the direction of the wind and was terrified of swimming in case people would see the extent of my hair loss when my hair was wet.
I wore a matte taupe eyeshadow to shade in my front hairline to make it look lower and fuller, a trick that worked for the TV studio bright lights and camera, but not so well in natural light.
I had my procedure in June 2015, and it has changed my life! I was naturally anxious, yet excited about the surgery – I didn’t really know what to expect. On the day of surgery I didn’t feel much – I was comfortable and felt well looked after was actually a nice experience! There was less pain and swelling during recovery than I had expected, and I was back at work after four days.
Now that it, grown I don’t have to worry about the wind! I’m a much more confident man now – I’d go so far as to say they, changed my life.
The following have anecdotal evidence for the treatment of hair loss (with the best results seen in younger men with very early hair loss)
PRP (Protein Rich Plasma) – PRP involves taking vials of blood and concentrating the platelets in the serum. This is then injected back in to the skin which activates the platelets leading to regeneration of tissue and blood supply.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
LLLT is used to stimulate hair growth with many devices available. It is easy to use and does not have side effects. Most devices use the red light around the 655nm wavelength, with possible processed including anagen reentry of telogen hairs (pushing them out of the “resting phase” and back in to the “growth phase”), prolonging the growth phase and delaying further rest phases.