What is hair loss?
Natural hair shedding is completely normal – the average person loses around 50 to 100 hairs every day without even noticing, as hair regenerates through 3 natural cycles:
- Anagen Phase: When the hair is actively growing. This can be for a period of up to 6 years.
- Catagen Phase: When the hair slowly stops growing which lasts up to one month.
- Telogen Phase: The final part of the hair cycle, the hair rests in position for approximately 3 months, at which point it sheds and the cycles begins again.
The issue arises when the miniaturisation process occurs. Miniaturisation is when over a period of time, the hair follicle grows back but is suffocated by Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which results in the hair follicle shrinking in size. The hair growth cycles continue though the visible hairs will be finer, and eventually the DHT will suffocate the hair follicle to the point it will no longer grow.
Male Pattern Baldness
Arguably the most common and well known form of hair loss, Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is characterised by diffuse thinning on either the crown or top of the scalp, and can also be seen at the temples creating the appearance of a receding hair line. Also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, this form of hair loss can begin as a general thinning of hair and take years to become pronounced, although it can present much more rapidly depending on the individual’s genetic disposition, lifestyle choices and nutrient intake.
Unfortunately male pattern hair loss is an inherited condition, meaning you may be genetically predisposed to hair loss. Up to 50% of men will experience male pattern baldness at some point in their lives and it can occur at any age, from 17 to 70.
If caught in the early stages, our combination Laser Therapy programme and Minoxidil topical treatment can prevent further hair loss and encourage new growth, though more advanced stages of MPB may be better suited to hair replacement systems. Concealment products such as keratin fibres can reduce anxiety and provide a confidence boost as a temporary quick-fix for daily or occasional use, as they give the appearance of a full head of hair in seconds.
If you’ve noticed your hair is becoming finer, or your ‘widows peak’ is becoming noticeably more prominent, get in touch for a free consultation and our specialists will be happy to go through our different treatments.
Female Pattern Baldness
Over 60% of women will experience Female Pattern Baldness (FPB) at some stage in their lives. Also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, this condition is genetically inherited, so if your parents or grandparents experienced hair thinning and loss, you’re more likely to experience it too.
It’s most common in women in their 50’s and 60’s as the menopause effects the hormone levels in the body causing Didhydrotestosterone (DHT) to begin the cycle of miniaturisation which eventually leads to very fine hair throughout the scalp; however it’s possible for FPB to appear at any age. Typically women will notice their hair beginning to thin evenly on the crown and top of the scalp whereas the front hairline and temples often remain unaffected.
FPB is combatable in the early stages using a combination of topical treatments and Laser Therapy, though advanced cases may be more suited to hair replacement systems. Some women find concealment products such as keratin fibres, which electrostatically charge to each hair shaft to give the appearance of fuller hair, a welcome break from the embarrassment of a visible scalp.
However you choose to combat your hair loss, we can help. Get in touch for a free, friendly consultation today.
Alopecia is the broad term for any form of hair loss, no matter how severe. Many people associate the word Alopecia with the condition Alopecia Totalis, which is the condition that causes complete hair loss of the scalp and facial hair, however there are a number of different forms of Alopecia.
Defined by hair loss which does not produce scarring, Alopecia Areata is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the hair follicle and it’s thought that genetics play a large role in the likelihood of developing the condition. Alopecia can appear at any age for both men and women.
Within the Areata family, there are three main conditions:
Localised Areata: Small, often circular patches of hair loss which can range in size from 1cm to 5cm in diameter. These patches can be singular or can present as multiple patches throughout the scalp. It is an unpredictable condition in that it’s impossible to know when or where the hair will be lost, and how much will be lost.
Areata Totalis: The most recognised form of Alopecia, Totalis is often the progressive result of Areata and causes complete hair loss of the scalp. Facial hair including eyebrows, eyelashes, and beards may also be affected partially or fully.
Areata Universalis: The most severe type of Alopecia, Universalis is complete hair loss throughout the body, including arms, legs, and pubic area.
Everybody has hair follicles all over their body except for the lips, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. When a hair follicle becomes inflamed this is called folliculitis, and can be itchy, red, and painful. When folliculitis occurs in the scalp it can result in permanent hair loss unless treated appropriately.
Most people notice small, raised, red bumps along their hairline, but they can appear anywhere on the scalp. If left untreated, these bumps can form scars which can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle and hair will cease to grow. The condition can be caused by a number of factors including an overabundance of oil on the scalp, bacteria, or staphylococcus aureus, but if you notice the condition early enough and commence treatment the prognosis is good and permanent hair loss should not occur.
Trichotillomania is the act of purposely pulling out your own hair. This Obsessive Compulsive psychological condition can begin as a coping mechanism for anxiety and gives the sufferer a sense of relief once the hair is pulled. Extreme cases can result in extensive hair loss which may not be localised to just the scalp, although that is the area most commonly affected. Cases of Trichotillomania mainly affect women in their late teens and early twenties, although anybody can be affected. Treating the condition usually involves cognitive behavioural therapy, however this can be a lengthy process and the embarrassment of bald patches can further inflame embarrassment and anxiety and is difficult cycle to break.
The stresses of life affect us not just emotionally, but physically too. While many people associate stress with massive life changes such as a new job or the death of a loved one, stress can manifest itself in many forms and can contribute to physical and emotional illness. Hair loss through stress is difficult to diagnose as there may not be one singular cause for the hair loss, however if you do not show symptoms of any of these other conditions, and your hair loss has a sudden and rapid onset, stress could be the cause.
Aside from the obvious emotional and physical toll cancer can take on the body, hair loss as a result of treatments is common, in particular with Chemotherapy, as the therapy works to attack the rapidly growing cancerous cells in the body. An unfortunate side effect of this treatment is that it also attacks the cells which create hair. Once treatment has commenced total hair loss can progress in a matter of weeks, so if you are concerned about losing your hair once a diagnosis has been made it makes sense to explore your options. Hair replacement systems are an excellent choice as they are custom made to your requirements and can bring a little bit of normality to an otherwise traumatic time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and are concerned about hair loss, please see our Charity & Funding page to see if you qualify for a free hair replacement system.