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3 Steps to Take When You First Notice Hair Loss

notice hair lossWhen 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.

Why Women Have a Hard Time Finding Hair Loss Treatment

It’s no secret that women suffer with hair loss. Though most of us picture middle aged men when we think of baldness, the truth of the matter is that women suffer with thinning, shedding, and balding at nearly the same rate as their male counterparts. In fact, recent estimates indicate that almost 40% of the hair loss sufferers in the United States are female.

Waging an Emotional Toll

Perhaps more so than men, women are known to suffer emotionally from hair loss. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, typically in proportion to the degree to which hair is falling out. A few of the most common emotional side effects to female hair loss include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of Self Esteem
  • Loss of Self Confidence
  • Compromised Sexual Identity

But why do women suffer so much more than men? To begin, it’s important to consider how hair affects the perception of health, success, and sexual attractiveness. Expert hair loss surgeons indicate that thicker, fuller hair makes individuals appear to be better-off in each of the aforementioned respects.

Unlike women, balding men can shave their head without society perceiving them as generally unhealthy, unsuccessful, or unattractive. Women, on the other hand, face greater adversity when they begin to lose their luscious locks. In an interview with Medical News Today, Dr. Marc Glashofer explains:

Society unjustly puts an inordinate amount of pressure on [feminine] beauty[…] For women, the hair is the crown, a symbol of beauty/pride[…] If this starts to diminish, it can be devastating to a woman’s identity and self-esteem, especially when affected at an early age. 

Difficulty Finding Treatment

Experts agree that finding hair loss treatment is often more difficult for women as well. There are at least 3 reasons for this difficulty, each of which stem from the unique way in which hair loss affects women.

When men go bald, hair falls out in a predictable pattern that begins at the hairline and ends at the crown of the head— hence the name, male pattern baldness. Women, on the other hand, experience hair loss in a more spread out and diffuse manner that is not always easy to detect. Parts become wider, scalp becomes more visible, but “tell tale” signs of hair loss are overall discreet. Often times, women do not realize they are going bald until many years after it has begun.

To make matters more difficult, women tend to be more reluctant to pursue hair loss treatment compared to men. Society tells us that it is common for men to go bald, making it easier and more acceptable for men to find treatment. For females, admitting to hair loss often means ceding control over one’s beauty, femininity, and sexual prominence.

Finally, women have a more difficult time finding “hair loss drugs” compared to men. Though minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved for use by women, other drugs like Finasteride (Propecia) are not. Some physicians believe that drug companies are deterred from investing in research and development of hair loss drugs for women, fearing adverse hormonal side effects. This situation is perhaps best summarized by the American Hair Loss Association in the following statement:

While many drugs may work to some degree for some women, doctors are reluctant to prescribe them, and drug companies aren’t exactly falling over themselves to test existing or new drugs specifically for their ability to prevent and treat female pattern baldness.

Laser Hair Restoration Offers Hope

Today, the emerging field of laser hair restoration offers hope to women who suffer with hair loss. Such treatment gives females the ability to reverse the signs of thinning, shedding, or balding, without the need for surgery or hair loss medications (though laser therapy might be used in conjunction with both).

Laser hair restoration is a simple, safe, and effective treatment protocol that is rooted in over a half century of cold medical laser research and development. Since the 1960s, over 53 individual studies have demonstrated the ability of low level laser therapy (LLLT) to induce natural hair growth.

How it works. Low level laser light is believed to improve circulation and induce phototherapy within the hair follicles. This is known to nurture hair follicles, reawakening them to a functional state in which natural, thick hair can grow. At our Institute, we offer home-use laser therapy caps that are worn for just 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times each week, or as otherwise advised by our physicians.

Learn More About Laser Hair Restoration at Our Institute

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we are pleased to offer laser hair restoration with the Capillus272 laser therapy cap. The Capillus272 is the only laser cap on the market with FDA clearance for the treatment of hair loss in women (iv). To learn more, visit this page on laser hair restoration in Miami or call directly at 305-925-0222.

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