Articles Tagged with: Norwood Classification

Are You Suffering with Senescent Alopecia?

Senescent alopecia is a specific type of age-related hair loss that affects both men and women. As we age, hair growth naturally tails off in two important ways. First, the total time spent growing new hair decreases. This means that hair follicles spend an increasing amount of time resting, or producing no new hair at all. Second, the diameter of each individual strand of hair gets smaller over time. This leads to the appearance of “thin” hair, making the scalp increasingly visible over the years.

These two characteristics are distinctly different from androgenic alopecia, or pattern baldness. Across genders, androgenic alopecia is estimated to cause more than 80 million individuals to lose their hair. Whereas senescent alopecia is not always treatable, androgenic alopecia can be treated in a number of different ways. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are known to produce exceptional results.

Senescent Alopecia, or Androgenic Alopecia?

When first confronting hair loss, it’s important to understand whether it is age-related (senescent) or caused by hormones, genetics, and other factors (androgenic). Understanding the difference can help you find a hair loss professional and treatment regimen that will work with maximum efficacy.

Men and Alopecia

For men, one of the defining characteristics of androgenic alopecia is an increase in DHT, a synthesized version of testosterone. DHT contributes to hair follicle miniaturization, a phenomenon in which follicles shrink over time and lose their ability to support a regular growth cycle. Hair thins, sheds, and eventually stops growing entirely. Below are the most common ways to differentiate between androgenic and senescent alopecia:

Androgenic alopecia:

  • Characterized by heightened levels of DHT
  • High DHT might be caused by genetics and/or hormonal changes
  • Hair loss occurs in patterns, beginning with hairline and progressing back toward the crown of the head
  • Common among men as early as age 20, as late as age 50
  • Also referred to as male pattern baldness
  • Identified and diagnosed with the Norwood Classification

Senescent Alopecia:

  • Characterized by shorter grow time and thinning of hair radius
  • Appears thin, more scalp visible through the hair
  • Does not necessarily progress in a predictable pattern
  • Not necessarily defined by high levels of DHT (though men who suffer with pattern baldness early in life my retain high DHT levels through adulthood)
  • Common among men over the age of 50

Women and Alopecia

For women, the line between androgenic alopecia and senescent alopecia is a less easy to find. This is due to the fact that middle aged women experience hair loss in a much different way than middle aged men. Whereas male androgenic alopecia occurs in a predictable pattern, female androgenic alopecia occurs in diffuse manner that more closely resembles senescent alopecia. Below are the most common ways to differentiate between the two:

Androgenic Alopecia:

  • Can be characterized by high levels of DHT
  • DHT levels affected by genetics and hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy, birth control medications, and PCOS are 3 common causes for increased DHT production and hair loss
  • Common in women following the onset of puberty through age 40
  • Identified and diagnosed with the Ludwig Classification

Senescent Alopecia:

  • Not caused by DHT
  • Most common among women over age 60
  • Characterized by shorter grow time and thinning of hair radius
  • Appears thin, more scalp visible through the hair

Treating Alopecia at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we offer the most advanced and comprehensive hair loss evaluations to determine the root cause of hair loss in both men and women. To learn more, contact us online or call or clinic at 305-925-0222.

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?Men who exhibit signs of balding may want to consider having a prostate exam sooner, rather than later. According to a new study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology in late 2014, men who showed certain signs of baldness were more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

In the study, researchers point to two specific signs of baldness that men around age 45 should watch: Thinning frontal hairlines, and balding crowns. Based on the research, men who exhibited these signs of hair loss were up to 40% more like to develop prostate cancer compared to men of the same age who still had a full head of hair.

Diagnosis with the Norwood Classification

The Norwood Scale is a common method of diagnosing male pattern baldness. The scale maps the typical progression of hair loss in men, beginning with the slightest signs of thinning at the temporal regions (see Stage 1 below). In this study, the men who experienced a 40% greater risk of prostate cancer were classified as a Stage 3 or higher, using the chart above.

Is there cause for concern? According to one physician, the findings are probably not coincidental. However, more studies are needed to get a better idea of exactly how balding and prostate cancer might be linked. “The evidence is too provisional,” says Dr. Michael Cook, a senior study author and a National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigator. “We think that certain factors, such as genetics and male hormones, may underlie both [conditions]” (i).

Hair Loss Evaluation

For more information on hair loss evaluations in Miami, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222.

Sources

(i) http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonfortenbury/2014/09/16/a-specific-form-of-baldness-linked-to-aggressive-prostate-cancer/

7 Shocking Stats About Hair Loss

For most men and women, just the thought of losing hair stirs immense feelings of fear and anxiety. But are those feelings warranted? A look at these 7 shocking hair loss statistics says yes, perhaps they are.

To illustrate: Did you know that about 50 million American men and women suffer with hair loss? Of those affected, would you ever imagine that 47% say they are willing to trade their life savings to regain their hair?

Take a moment to review the hair loss statistics below, and tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of the page. For additional statistics related specifically to hair transplant, visit this list of ISHRS hair loss statistics.

Hair Loss Statistics

50-100: The number of hairs the average person loses each day.

Many men and women are surprised to learn that hair loss is technically always occurring. This is because hair grows in 3 stages: Anagen, categen, and telogen. In the telogen phase, growth ceases and the strand of hair falls from the follicle. That’s why the average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day, according to statistics gathered by the American Hair Loss Association.

35 million: Number of men in the United States who suffer with hair loss.

Hair loss disproportionately affects men, amounting to about 35 million cases in the U.S. alone. Of those affected, about 40% will show visible signs of hair loss by age 35. These signs are illustrated in the Norwood Classification, a diagram that shows the typical progression of pattern baldness.

21 million: Number of women in the United States who suffer with hair loss.

Although hair loss is more common among males than females, women still experience it at an alarmingly high rate. Moreover, hair loss affects women differently than men. The Ludwig Classification illustrates how female pattern baldness progresses in a more diffuse manner, making it much more difficult to detect and treat early.

85%: Percentage of male hair loss sufferers who use a topical foam treatment, like Rogaine®.

Minoxidil, better known by the brand name Rogaine®, is one of the most widely used non-surgical hair loss treatments. The topical foam is applied to the scalp daily, and it has shown tremendous effectiveness in helping hair loss sufferers keep their existing hair.

47%: Percentage of men and women who would trade their life savings for a new, full head hair.

Even in turbulent world economy, nearly half of all hair loss sufferers admit they would trade their life savings for a new, full head of hair. In a study conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), more than 60% of respondents said they believed a new head of hair would translate to career advancement and higher earnings (i).

60%: Percentage of men and women who would choose a new head of hair over more money or friends.

This statistics further illustrates the desperation felt by individuals who suffer with hair loss, demonstrating a markedly higher desire for more hair over new friends and/or more money.

1 in 3: Number of men and women who would abstain from sex for life, if it meant a new head of hair.

This sobering statistic really puts things into perspective. More than 30% of men and women who suffer with hair loss say they are willing to give up sex for the rest of their lives in order to regain the hair of their youth.

85%: Percentage of people who cannot recognize a hair transplant procedure.

Surgical hair restoration has come a long way. Today’s hair transplant procedures are faster, more precise, and more comfortable than ever before. Best of all, they produce a result that is so natural in appearance that over 85% of people cannot tell when a hair transplant has been performed (ii).

What have you always wanted to know about hair loss?

Have questions about hair loss? Be sure to post a comment in the Comments section below, or contact our Institute to learn more about hair restoration procedures in Miami.

Sources

(i) “2010 Hair Transplant Challenge Survey.” International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. Accessed 17 June 2013.

(ii) See above.

Baldness in Men

Baldness in middle aged men is more common than you might think. For instance, it’s estimated that roughly 2/3rds of all adult men experience baldness at some point in their life. Take a moment to review the following statistics to learn more about how baldness occurs, and what men of all ages can do about it.

Things to Know About Male Pattern Baldness:

1. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss among men. Recent numbers estimate male pattern baldness to constitute roughly 90-95% of all cases.

2. More than 3 out of every 4 men has thinning hair by age 50.

3. Of those men who suffer with male pattern baldness, about 25% will see signs by age 25.

The last statistic is very important. Though it’s alarming to think that 25 year-old men suffer with hair loss, it’s also important to remember that early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.

Classifying Baldness in Men

If you spend time evaluating your hairline and crown for potential areas of baldness, you can rest assured you are not alone. Most men worry about losing their hair. Moreover, the statistics above illustrate a sobering point: Most men do lose their hair.

It’s not all bad news, however. Physicians say the best way to prevent baldness in men is to learn to recognize the signs of a receding hairline, thinning hair, and balding crown. The sooner the signs are recognized, the more quickly and effectively baldness can be treated with either surgical or non-surgical hair restoration.

To help classify and ultimately treat male pattern baldness, physicians rely on a chart known as the Norwood Classification. The Norwood Classification illustrates the usual progression of baldness in men. Using the scale, physicians can diagnose baldness and help men of all ages plan to treat it before it worsens. Take a moment to review the chart below. For more information, visit our blog article on the Norwood Classification.

Norwood-Classification-for-baldness-in-men

Causes of Male Pattern Baldness

What causes baldness in men? Worldwide, there are countless institutions, researchers, and physicians dedicated to discovering more about this illusive and devastating condition. Below are a few things that researchers have been able to associate with thinning and balding. Though there is still much to learn, the following should provide insight on how baldness develops and progresses.

Genetics. Some men can be genetically predisposed to losing hair at a specific point in life. For example, researchers have identified a specific gene for hair loss on the X chromosome. If a man inherits a dominant form of that chromosome from his mother, the trait will be expressed.

Hormones. Baldness does not have to be hardwired into your genetic makeup, however. Hormonal fluctuations may also cause baldness in men. Specifically, an overabundance of a testosterone derivative called DHT may cause the phenomenon of hair follicle miniaturization. Over time, follicles shrink and become unable to sustain a healthy hair growth cycle. Hair eventually stops growing, the follicle becomes dormant, and to the naked eye, the scalp appears to be bald.

Stress. Another form of baldness might occur after a particularly stressful event shocks the hair follicles into dormancy. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. Baldness has been known to set in after things like surgery, car accidents, and other traumatic events. As the stress is managed, however, hair follicles can regain their ability to grow normal and healthy hair. At that point, the signs of baldness slowly fade away.

Medications. Sometimes, medications may cause baldness in men. Important Note: Never discontinue the use of medications without first speaking with your physician. If you suspect medication might be causing baldness, schedule a consultation with a hair loss specialist or your primary care physician. A hair loss specialist can help diagnose the cause of baldness, and your primary care physician can assist in finding alternative medications for which baldness is not have known side effect.

Treating Male Baldness

Fortunately, men have several options for treating baldness. The major options are detailed below:

Rogaine®. This non-surgical treatment for male hair loss is known to stop the progression of baldness. Rogaine is a topical foam that is applied to the scalp as directed by your hair loss professional. Though it has demonstrated effectiveness as a treatment for baldness in men, it should be noted that discontinuation of Rogaine often results in further hair loss.

Propecia®. Many men find Propecia effective in treating baldness. The prescription medication is a pill that men take daily, as prescribed by a hair loss professional. Like Rogaine, this hair loss drug only prevents future hair loss. In most cases, baldness progresses following discontinued use.

Low Level Laser Therapy. LLLT is a new technology with a wide variety of medical applications. This year, LLLT LaserComb™ was proven effective in stimulating new hair growth in both women and men who suffer with baldness.

Strip-donor Hair Transplant. Strip-donor transplant involves harvesting a micrograft of donor hair from a healthy area of scalp to transplant to the balding area. Learn more about strip-donor hair transplant.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUT is a highly refined hair transplant procedure that uses a small punch-like instrument to isolate and harvest individual clusters of hair follicles to transplant to areas of bald scalp. Because the procedure harvests donor hair via punch instrument instead of micrograft, patients can wear their hair shorter with virtually no visible sign that a procedure has been performed. Learn more about FUT hair transplant.

Robotic FUE Transplant. Robotic FUE is the newest and most advanced hair transplant option available to balding men. The procedure is similar to the FUT procedure described above, but uses advanced robotics and digital imaging to select only the healthiest donor hairs for harvest. Learn more about robotic FUE transplant with the ARTAS® in Miami.

Learn More About Male Pattern Baldness

Learn more about male pattern baldness using the resources below:

American Hair Loss Association

International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery

Children’s Alopecia Project

The Bald Truth

Learn More About Treating Male Pattern Baldness

To learn more about treatment options for male pattern baldness, contact our institute online or call or clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Alopecia: Baldness Explained

Alopecia, or baldness, is a common condition that affects an estimated 2/3rds of all men around the world. Women suffer with alopecia too, though in lower numbers (estimated 20-30 million).

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, or baldness. The term alopecia is used by hair loss professionals to describe several types of hair loss that may occur in concentrated areas, which is referred to as androgenetic alopecia. Alopecia may also occur throughout the entire body. This type of hair loss is referred to as alopecia universalis. In other instances, an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata can cause baldness and hair loss.

Signs of Baldness from Alopecia

Alopecia and baldness can be easy to detect, if you know what to look for. It’s important to note that baldness appears differently in men than it does in women. Male pattern baldness, for example, is usually characterized by 7 progressive stages.

Learn more about male pattern baldness. To learn more, visit this article on Norwood Classification for male pattern baldness.

For women, alopecia (pattern baldness) tends to occur in a more diffuse manner. For women, female pattern baldness is characterized by 3 progressive stages. This stages are explained by the Ludwig Scale, a chart that hair loss physicians use to identify what stage of baldness a woman is in, and how the condition can best be treated.

Learn about female pattern baldness. To learn more, visit this article on Ludwig Classification and female pattern baldness.

Expert Alopecia Diagnosis

Get an expert diagnosis on alopecia. Baldness affects an estimated two-thirds of all adult males and at least 20-30 million females globally. Rest assured, you are not alone in your struggles with balding or thinning hair.

Visit the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami online or call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

Treatment for Common Hair Disorders in Miami

Hair disorders affect men and women of all ages. Disorders of the hair can be seen in everyone from infants to fully-grown adults, causing abnormalities like hair shedding, thinning, and baldness. Despite being so common, hair disorders can inflict serious mental and emotional pain. Hair plays a significant role in our perception of things like status and attractiveness, so disorders that cause hair loss or shedding often undermine confidence, self image, and self esteem.

Three of the most common forms of hair loss and hair disorders include alopecia areata, andgrogenetic alopecia, and telogen effluvium. This guide has been developed to help Miami residents recognize the warning signs of each, as well as the different methods that hair loss professionals might use to diagnose them.

3 Common Hair Loss Disorders

1. Alopecia areata. When hair loss occurs in widespread areas throughout the body, hair loss professionals call it alopecia areata. When the hair loss occurs throughout the entire body, including the scalp, the disorder is known as alopecia totalis.

Warning Sign: Shedding/ hair loss occurring in circular areas.

2. Androgenetic alopecia. This is one of the most common types of hair loss. When hair transplant surgeons discuss male or female pattern baldness, they are referring to androgenetic alopecia and the way it causes hair to stop growing in a predictable progression (the pattern).

Physicians may use one of two different classification systems to diagnose and treat this type of hair disorder. The first categorizes male pattern baldness, and it’s called the Norwood Classification. For female patients, the Ludwig Classification is used. In addition to Norwood and Ludwig Classifications, surgeons may employ one of the tests described in the section below to better understand the severity and likely progression of the patient’s hair loss.

Warning Sign: Gradual thinning of hair (no shedding).

3. Telogen effluvium. This type of hair disorder occurs when hair enters into the “shedding” phase of the growth cycle prematurely. Telogen effluvium is most commonly triggered by periods of heightened stress, which can occur mentally, physically, or even emotionally. For example, the victim of a severe car accident might experience this hair disorder as a result of the physical and emotional trauma.

Telogen effluvium is more common among women than men, and it could take up to 3 months to take affect.

Warning Sign: Shedding (diffuse).

Testing for Hair Disorders

There are a variety of ways hair loss professionals test for hair disorders. Here is a list of the most common 4:

  1. Hair Pull Test
  2. Hair Count
  3. Biopsy
  4. Lab Tests

To learn more about any of these tests, visit this page on hair loss evaluation.

Hair Disorder Consultation in Miami

Don’t let a hair disorder compromise your sense of happiness with life. If you or a loved one is suffering with a hair disorder, our team has the experience and expertise to help. We hold every patient’s pursuit of a new head of hair in the highest regard, and we welcome you to contact our Institute to learn more about our approach to hair loss diagnosis and treatment.

Contact us online or call directly, (305) 925-0222.

Do Hair Transplants Work?

do-hair-transplants-workDo hair transplants really work? Increasingly, men and women are seeking treatment for thinning or balding hair. Hair restoration, both surgical and non-surgical, is becoming more widely recognized as a safe and effective way to develop a full, natural, and beautiful head of hair.

But do they work? Are patients satisfied? And if so, which hair transplant procedures are best?

How Do Hair Transplants Work?

How it works. Before anything, the patient must realize they are losing hair. For men, hair loss usually follows a pattern. Using the Norwood Classification, men can learn more about their stage of pattern baldness while also seeing how things might progress.

For women, detecting hair loss is a bit more complicated. Hair loss occurs in a more diffuse manner, making it difficult to see. Moreover, women are predisposed to experiencing temporary hair loss due to stress, hormonal fluctuations, and even pregnancy.

Learn More: Visit our free Infographic on female hair loss prevention.

Hair Transplant Evaluation. Once the patient recognizes hair loss, he or she must consult a licensed doctor for a professional diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Since hair loss is first and foremost a condition of the skin, it is wise for patients to consult a dermatologist. Dermatology is the only medical specialty with specific field of study in hair transplant surgery. This makes hair transplant surgeons the only professionals who specialize in skin/ hair conditions as well as corrective surgical procedures.

Choosing Transplant. If surgical hair transplant is recommended, your surgeon will plan the procedure and explain how everything works, including detailed instructions for pre-procedure and post-procedure follow up and care.

There are a few different types of hair transplant procedures that work. First is traditional strip donor procedure. Next is follicular unit extraction, or FUE. The newest procedure available is robotic FUE, during which the surgeon uses advanced robotics equipment to identify and extract ideal donor hair for transplant.

To learn more, visit this patient guide titled The Hair Transplant Procedure: What to Expect.

Is Hair Transplant Effective?

In many cases, hair transplant surgery works. It is a highly effective means of producing a full head of natural hair in both men and women—assuming, of course, your physician feels you are a candidate for transplant. For individuals who are not candidates for hair transplant, additional hair restoration options that work include:

  • Minoxidil topical foam
  • Finasteride prescription hair loss medication
  • Low level laser therapy (LLLT) for hair

Additionally, men and women who suffer with thinning or shedding often see results by making simple lifestyle changes. Proactively adjusting to a healthy hair diet to include more vitamins, minerals, and other important macronutrients is a vital first step. In addition to dietary changes, daily stress management can help to keep the hair, skin, and total body at peak physical health.

Schedule Your Hair Transplant Evaluation

If you suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding, rest assured you are not alone. Hair loss affects nearly 2/3rds of all adult men and more than 20 million adult women. For many, hair loss profoundly impairs personal, social, and professional life. But it does not have to be that way.

To see if you are a candidate for hair transplant or other non-surgical hair loss treatment, contact our Institute at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss During Menopause: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

hair loss and menopauseHair loss is a lesser-known side effect of menopause. Most commonly, women and physicians associate menopause with other side effects like hot flashes, emotional swings, and significant menstrual cycle changes. Unfortunately, hair loss during menopause is a common occurrence that presents a very real threat to mental and emotional health.

Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, occurs differently in women than it does in men. Simply compare the Ludwig Classification (for female hair loss) with the Norwood Classification (for males), and the difference is quite clear. For men, pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline and progresses toward loss of hair at the crown of the head. For women, however, hair loss can be much more difficult to detect.

When a woman begins to lose hair, it usually happens in a more spread-out and diffuse manner along the top portion of the head. For this reason, many women do not recognize the [signs of female hair] loss until long after it has already begun.

With this in mind, here are 4 things to know and understand about hair loss during menopause.

Menopausal Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hair Loss During Menopause is Hormonal

Hormonal fluctuations are known to cause hair loss in both men and women. For men, increased DHT production is usually the culprit responsible for the development of pattern baldness after age 40. Pregnant women sometimes experience the opposite, as pregnancy causes a surge in healthy hormones that can cause hair to become thick, rich, and vibrant.

During menopause, the body’s production of estrogen and other female hormones begins to decline. This causes a relative rise in androgens, or male hormones, which ultimate puts women at risk for developing hormonally induced hair loss.

Stress During Menopause Might Also Cause Thin Hair

Of course, hormones are not the only factor to consider. Certain elements of lifestyle might also contribute to hair loss during menopause. Most common is stress, which can lead to a specific type of hair loss referred to as telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium appears to occur when stress “shocks” the hair follicles into a dormant state in which hair no longer grows, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Taking proactive steps to reduce daily stress can help. Yoga, meditation, journaling, and quiet time alone are all activities that numerous studies associate with low levels of stress.

Psychological Effects of Hair Loss

Hair loss can cause serious mental and emotional health issues for both men and women. It’s vital to understand that such side effects are normal; the hair, face, and teeth are among the first characteristics one individual will notice about another. Together, they help to establish a first impression and, in some cases, a certain level of attraction. Not surprisingly, men and women can feel anxious, embarrassed, and depressed when the health and aesthetics of the face and hair are compromised.

There are two very important things to remember, however. First, stress has a way of exacerbating hair loss (see above). For this reason, women who notice symptoms of thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause are smart to remain calm and consult a physician. Second, women must remember that hair loss during menopause is treatable.

Menopausal Hair Loss is Treatable

There are a variety of treatment protocols available for women who notice thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause. When it comes to non-surgical hair restoration methods, Minoxidil (available by brand name Rogaine®) has been shown successful in halting hair loss for women. Minoxidil is a topical foam that must be applied to the scalp daily, however, which becomes tedious for some women.

Low level laser therapy for hair is a second non-surgical restoration method that has demonstrated an ability to reduce hair loss and, in some cases, stimulate new hair growth. LLLT exposes the scalp to safe, FDA-approved lasers that are designed to stimulate blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. Women are particularly found of these “laser therapies for hair loss” because they are quick, convenient, safe, and effective.

Finally, women may elect to have a surgical hair restoration procedure to permanently reverse signs of hair loss. Surgical hair restoration is most commonly performed as a hair transplant, a procedure during which the patient’s own hair follicles are extracted from areas of healthy scalp and relocated to areas of thinning or balding. Surgeons transplant each follicular cluster (sometimes as small as 1-3 units) by hand, effectively camouflaging bald scalp with real hair that looks, feels, and grows naturally.

Early Detection, Successful Treatment

Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring hair to its naturally full, resilient, and beautiful state. To move forward with a hair loss evaluation, schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Our team represents South Florida’s finest surgeons, registered nurses, and technicians, each of whom hold your pursuit of a fuller head of hair in the highest regard.

Readers may also call our Institute at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a member of our team.

Hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Are They Related?

Is Early Balding a Sign of Lou Gehrig's Disease? A new study has early hair loss sufferers looking in the mirror with added caution. According to a new study of more than a half million men who ranged in age from mid 40s to early 80s, signs of early balding or hair loss might be tied with the onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

For men, the new study provides a much needed wake-up call to be proactive in monitoring their own scalp for signs of early balding, as well as seek the guidance of a certified medical professional should signs of hair loss be detected. As for researchers, the team behind the new study says their findings might provide valuable insight for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, a relatively mysterious neurodegenerative condition that adversely affects an estimated 30,000 Americans (i).

Exploring the Link Between Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Hair Loss

The link between Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and hair loss was discovered after researchers performed a longitudinal study that compared the hair lines of men at two distinct stages in life: Mid-forties (age 45), and early sixties (age 61).

The study began with researchers asking men to describe the state of their hair at age 45. After polling more than 500,000 men, researchers found that men exhibited hair loss in the following proportions:

  • 44% of men reported no balding at age 45.
  • 42% of men reported moderate balding at age 45.
  • 14% reported extensive balding at age 45.

Sixteen years later, researchers examined the same group of participants for signs of ALS. The results were as follows:

  • 11 of those who reported extensive balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • 13 of those who reported no balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • As a result of these findings, researchers were able to determine that individuals who experience early signs of balding are up to 3 times more likely to develop ALS.

Researchers are quick to warn that there is no need to panic, however.

“This doesn’t mean that bald people should worry,” explains Elinor Fondell, the author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health (ii).

Despite the correlation, it’s important to note that at least 13 individuals who were surveyed had “no balding” at age 45 yet developed ALS by age 61. In light of these outliers, researchers believe a thorough series of follow-up studies are needed to more conclusively determine how hair loss might be related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, if at all.

How to Detect Male Hair Loss

Hair loss affects an estimated 20 million or more American men. While researchers need more time to determine how hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s disease are related, there is compelling evidence suggesting that hair loss might lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular system issues.

To detect hair loss, men as early as 20 years of age can do the following:

  1. Monitor for signs of hair accumulation in the shower (along the rim of the tub, drain, and personal hygiene products)
  2. Examine hair accumulation on combs and hairbrushes. Some accumulation is normal, however extensive accumulation could be a sign of thinning, shedding, or pattern baldness.
  3. Check your pillow for hairs in the morning.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the Norwood Classification to better understand what each stage of male pattern baldness looks like.

This health report has been produced by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. For additional information on our Institute, including hair loss evaluation and consultation services, readers are invited to contact our office directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed 23 August 2013.

(ii) “Early Balding Might be Linked with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Live Science. Accessed 23 August 2013.

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month 2013

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month 2013It’s estimated that hair loss affects 2/3rds of all men and millions more women. According to the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), approximately 25% of Americans feel insecure and self-conscious when losing hair, and 95% feel “bothered.”  And when it comes to restoring those luscious locks, 73% of hair loss sufferers say they would trade a valuable personal possession for more hair.

Hair loss can have a profoundly negative effect on social, personal, and professional life. Men and women do not have to suffer with a compromised self-image, however.

This August, the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami joins the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in raising awareness for hair loss. An annual campaign, Hair Loss Awareness Month aims to help men and women better understand the causes for this widespread condition, as well as effective treatments for restoring the scalp to its natural, beautiful, and youthful appearance.

Get Involved This August

There are many ways to get involved with Hair Loss Awareness Month. The Miami Hair Blog is a good place to start, as our archives feature valuable resources on hair loss, transplant techniques, hair restoration technologies, and much more. Below are just a few ways you can use our Institute’s resources to learn more about this serious condition, share important materials, and ultimately help hair loss sufferers overcome the negative side of losing hair.

Learn what causes pattern baldness.

There are several factors known to contribute to loss of hair among men and women. Some individuals seem to be hard-wired for hair loss, a specific type of pattern baldness known as androgenetic alopecia. Others experience hair loss in the aftermath of a serious and stressful life event, a phenomenon known as Telogen Effluvium. Still others experience thinning or shedding due to traction alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs when hair is styled, flattened, or held in a restricted position for a prolonged period of time.

Understanding the cause of hair loss is essential in determining an effective course of treatment. Learn more by reading our About Hair Loss section.

Understand the Signs and Progression of Baldness

Male hair loss progresses in a somewhat typical pattern depicted by the Norwood Classification. Physicians use the Norwood Classification to determine the extent to which a man has begun to lose his hair. It is also used to predict how hair loss will progress, providing the insight needed for surgeons to effectively plan and perform a transplant that is natural in appearance. Learn more about the Norwood Classification for male pattern baldness.

Female hair loss also occurs in a somewhat predictable pattern, however it differs drastically from male pattern baldness. Physicians use a different method of classification for women, known as the Ludwig Classification. Visit this article on diagnosing female hair with the Ludwig Classification loss to learn more.

Know when hair loss is a sign of a larger health issue.

One of the most important reasons to spread awareness for hair loss is because it could be a sign of a serious health condition. There are a number of studies that correlate hair loss with serious illness, making it critical that patients consult a physician when noticing signs of thinning, shedding, or balding.

Prescription Medications. In some cases, hair loss is the side effect of a prescription drug. If you experience hair loss, speak to your physician about alternatives to your current medication. Please Note: Always consult a physician prior to making changes to your prescription medication regimen.

Heart Disease. Recently, the University of Tokyo released findings that indicate bald men are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. The research was the culmination of studying some 37,000 men and indicated that chances of heart condition also increase with the severity of hair loss. Visit this article to read more on how bald men are at high risk for heart disease.

Share this article.

Finally, share this article to become actively involved in spreading awareness for health, hair loss, and effective treatment. Together, we can raise awareness for the serious health risks associated with this condition, as well as methods of diagnosis and effective treatment.

Take action.

If you or a loved one has noticed thinning, shedding, or balding hair, contact our Institute to schedule a hair loss evaluation. Our team proudly represents South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, and we stand committed to providing only the most advanced methodology and technologies to help men and women realize their dreams of a fuller, natural head of hair.

Readers are also invited to call toll free 877-443-9070.

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