When you first notice hair loss, you probably won’t have a receding hairline or thinning crown just yet. While these are characteristic symptoms of male pattern baldness – medically known as androgenic alopecia, or hereditary hair loss – progression doesn’t appear overnight. First, you may notice excessive amounts of hair stuck to your pillowcase or scattered across the floor of your shower. So, what do you do when these indications transpire?
First, stress may only make your situation worse. Chronic anxiety is linked with a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium (TE). Any persistent or ongoing mental anguish – perhaps caused by a change in your appearance – could further aggravate an existing hair loss condition.
When the initial signs of balding are recognized, remain calm and follow these three steps.
1. Contact a Hair Loss Doctor
The sooner you start hair loss treatment after you first notice hair loss, the easier it is to restore follicles with non-invasive solutions such as Minoxidil topical foams and/or low-level laser therapy caps. Male-pattern baldness is often caused by a process called follicle miniaturization, by which an overabundance of a testosterone byproduct called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) interferes with healthy follicle function. Over time, DHT causes hair follicles to shrink to the point where they are unable to sustain normal growth. When these follicles stop growing, hair ceases to grow and balding becomes apparent. Visiting a hair loss doctor for a comprehensive hair loss evaluation and diagnosis early on is highly recommended. A formal diagnosis will also rule out any underlying medical conditions or illnesses that could, theoretically, contribute to your hair loss.
2. Understand Your Condition
Hair loss is different for everyone and there’s more than one type of hair loss to consider when you first notice hair loss.
Androgenic alopecia is the most predominant, affecting around 85 percent of men and approximately half of all women by the age of 50.
Although the exact statistics are unknown, the presumed second most prevalent type of hair loss is telogen effluvium (TE), a (typically) temporary hair loss condition caused by emotional trauma or nutritional deficiencies.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that results in sudden, noticeable bald patches across the scalp and, sometimes, the face and/or body. Around 200,000 cases of alopecia areata are diagnosed every year.
Traction alopecia is occasionally caused by purposeful external pulling. Actively pulling out hairs can be a response to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression or other mental health issues. Certain hair accessories or constricting hairstyles can also lead to inadvertent hair loss classified under traction alopecia.
3. Consider Your Options
Between laser therapy caps, stem cell treatments, hair transplant surgery and topical or oral medications, hair loss patients have many treatment methods to evaluate. Fortunately, an expert hair loss specialist offers professional guidance and recommendations for optimal results based on your hair loss type, lifestyle and budget.
Even so, there are a few things to consider before you invest your money into any one treatment after you first notice hair loss, especially if you choose to manage it on your own. Non-invasive therapies like low-level laser therapy (LLLT) work on their own before hair follicles are fully inactive. After miniaturization is complete, hair restoration surgery helps fully transplant and replace nonfunctioning follicles to support healthy regrowth. Before or after surgery, topical treatments can be used to foster a healthier environment on the scalp and encourage optimal hair transplant results. Fortunately, hair transplants have undergone drastic and positive shifts over the last few decades. Expert physicians like Dr. Paul Rose and Dr. Bernard Nusbaum have the experience, research and technology to deliver natural-looking hair transplants with minimal scarring.
In some circumstances, lifestyle changes can help your hair grow back, but only if you suffer from non-genetic hair loss conditions such as telogen effluvium or traction alopecia. With the former, hair loss may be triggered by lack of proper nutrition or chronic stress, and the best solution would be to improve your diet or visit a mental health counselor. Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by physical trauma, often related to hair accessories and extensions, and removing these from your routine is likely to improve such conditions dramatically. Even so, damage to the follicles may be permanent, so prevention and awareness are crucial.
To schedule your consultation and hair loss diagnosis, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222 or book an appointment using our online scheduling form.