Brushing up on Hair Loss Knowledge
Q. What can you do to keep the hair you have?
A. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, is the most common type of alopecia; it affects about one-third of us.
Men start to get pattern baldness at the hairline and crown. This can lead to complete baldness. Women’s hair loss is usually limited to thinning; they rarely go totally bald.
Here are a couple of steps you can take to preserve your hair:
Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair~ Tight ponytails, braids, cornrows and pulling hair rollers should be used sparingly as the constant pull can cause hair loss. This kind of hair loss is called traction alopecia. Hair loss is especially found along the sides of the scalp. If the pulling scars the scalp, it can cause permanent hair loss.
Keep brushing & combing to a minimum~ Over brushing and combing can break hair, so make sure to use a comb with wide teeth and brushes with smooth tips. Wet hair is more delicate than dry hair, so be sure to show care when brushing & styling after a shower.
*Keep hair moisturized~ Shampooing hair too often can dry out hair. Be sure to use a conditioner after shampooing to make it easier to comb. A spray leave in conditioner is ideal. When drying hair, avoid rubbing hair vigorously with a towel, be sure to lightly pat it dry or use a microfiber towel.
*Medicines & Procedures~ Some medicines have been shown to possibly help slow or prevent the development of common baldness.
- Rogaine~ Rogaine is applied directly to the scalp & can be used by men and women and is available without a prescription.
- Propecia~ Propecia is a medicine that is available with a prescription. It comes in pills and is only for men.
- Hair transplants~ FUT (follicular unit transplant) or FUE (Follicular Unit Excision; used with the assistance of the ARTAS robot) procedures are a permanent alternative to hair restoration available to treat alopecia. During transplantation, the surgeon takes tiny grafts, each containing one to several hairs, from the back or side of your scalp. The grafts are then implanted into the areas on the scalp with hair loss. Within 6 months patients should begin to see hair growth, and see full results from 12-15 months.
Hair Loss 411~ There are about 100,000 hairs in the average scalp. It is typical to lose about 100 hairs each day. As we age, we lose hair. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by heredity; a history of it on either side of your family increases your risk of balding. While male pattern baldness is found predominantly in men, it is also found in women (referred to as female pattern baldness). About 25% of men begin to bald by the time they reach 30 and about 2/3’s have at least a balding pattern by age 60.