Hair loss or also known as alopecia is a common problem in men and women. Because our society places a great emphasis on physical appearance, it is one of the most distressing disorders.
Alopecia may be associated with a wide variety of causes. Some cases are best managed with reassurance and education, whereas others require medical evaluation and therapy. This article reviews the causes of hair loss emphasizing the most common ones
- Androgenetic Alopecia
- Telogen Effluvium
- Alopecia Areata
- Traction alopecia.
Hair loss can appear in many different ways, depending on what’s causing it. It can come on suddenly or gradually and affect just your scalp or your whole body.
Symptoms & Types of hair loss :
The types of hair loss can be known via these symptoms:
- Gradual thinning on top of head.
In men, hair often begins to recede at the hairline on the forehead. Women typically have a broadening of the part in their hair.
This condition is commonly known as Androgenetic alopecia and it affects both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic “M” shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.
MALE PATTERN BALDNESS
The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.
FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS
Circular or patchy bald spots
This is known as Alopecia areata, a condition that causes hair to fall out in small patches, which can be unnoticeable. These patches may connect and then become noticeable. The condition develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
You may experience sudden hair loss may occur on the scalp, and in some cases the eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as other parts of the body. It can also develop slowly and recur after years between instances.
The condition can result in total hair loss, called alopecia universalis, and it can prevent hair from growing back. When hair does grow back, it’s possible for the hair to fall out again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies.
There’s no known cure for alopecia areata, but there are treatments that you can try that might be able to slow down future hair loss or help hair grow back more quickly.
Another kind of hair loss where patches of hair are gone is Traction Alopecia. It is hair loss that’s caused by repeatedly pulling on your hair. You can develop this condition if you often wear your hair in a tight ponytail, bun, or braids, especially if you use chemicals or heat on your hair.
Traction alopecia can be reversed if you stop pulling your hair back. But if you don’t intervene soon enough, the hair loss may be permanent.
The symptoms of traction alopecia are different from those of other forms of alopecia. In other types, hair loss occurs in patches all over the scalp. In traction alopecia, usually, just the hair that’s been pulled is affected.
Sudden loosening of hair.
This is known as Telogen effluvium, a common cause of temporary hair loss due to the excessive shedding of resting or telogen hair after some shock to the system. New hair continues to grow. Telogen hair is also known as a club hair due to the shape of the root. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning but is temporary.
Telogen effluvium is usually diagnosed by its clinical features.
- Hair thinning involves the entire scalp +/- loss of other body hair.
- Examination shows diffuse thinning without focal areas of total alopecia and short hairs of normal thickness.
- A gentle hair pull test reveals an increased number of hairs; most are telogen with a typical epithelial sac.
- A trichogram can help confirm the diagnosis; more than 25% telogen hairs in a trichogram strongly suggests telogen effluvium.
Full-body hair loss.
Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back.
Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp.
This is a sign of ringworm. It may be accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing.
Hair Loss Factors
Hair loss in general are typically related to one or more of the following factors:
- Family history (heredity).The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition that comes with aging.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions.A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems.
- Medications and supplements.Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.
- Radiation therapy to the head.The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
- Stressful traumas.Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. However, this type of hair loss is temporary.
- Hairstyles and treatments.Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot-oil hair treatments and permanents also can cause hair to fall out. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is essential in making red blood cells that carry oxygen to the hair follicles. When vitamin B12 levels are low, your hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair as efficiently, resulting in hair loss. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of anemia, which is associated with low iron levels, hair thinning, and hair loss.
- Dramatic Weight Loss. Your hair needs adequate calories and nutrients to grow properly. So, when your body doesn’t receive what it needs, side effects like hair loss can occur.
Hair Loss Solution
For common Alopecia (male/female balding pattern), Traction Alopecia and Alopecia areata (small patches of hair fall out), Regenera Activa can be a solution to solve hair loss problem.
What is Regenera Activa?
Regenera Activa is one of the latest US FDA approved procedure backed by years of research that uses autologous micrografts obtained from your own self. This procedure from Spain helps to stimulate hair growth, prevent hair loss and thicken/strengthen existing hair follicles. Studies have shown that hair regrowth and thickening can be seen as early as 1-month post-treatment.
How does it work?
Grafts containing hair stimulating growth factors and progenitor cells are obtained from the back of your scalp. The precision engineered Regenera Activa device divides the Grafts into smaller, more absorbable portions called ‘micrografts’ into a suspension solution.
- These Micrografts are rich in nutrients and growth factors that can stimulate the hair follicles to regrow, thicken and multiply.
- Regenera Activa reverses ‘miniaturizing’ of the hair follicles that are affected by DHT (DiHydroTestosterone) and Genetics.
- Our team will then prepare the micrografts to be reintroduced to areas of the scalp that are experiencing hair loss.
- The Micrografts go to work immediately to reactivate weakened hair follicles by increasing the work rate of these follicles and stimulate new blood vessel formation to nourish these hair follicles that are now working harder.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
- Increase hair growth
- Thicken existing hair
- Stimulate the hair follicles to regrow, and multiply
- Penetration of nutrients to stimulate growth
- Non-surgical procedure
Regenera Activa has gone through extensive clinical trials across the world and has achieved US FDA approval as a medical device. These ratings assure patients of its safety and effectiveness.
It is always best to take early action if you notice or suspect you’re losing more hair than you should.
Depending on the symptoms that you face, it is also important to consult a doctor. At M-Aesthetic Clinic, Dr Ho Rui Ming believes that the success rate of tackling hair loss problem is higher when actions are taken early. He also believes that different pathways such as medication, supplement and treatments will help to combat hair loss and eventually promote new hair growth.
Talk to us about your symptoms so that Dr Ho can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and customise a treatment plan specially for you.