Hair Loss Facts



Male Pattern of Baldness


Baldness involves the state of lacking hair where it often grows, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or "male pattern baldness" that occurs in adult male humans.

The Norwood Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in men.

NORWOOD`S CLASSIFICATION



Minimal or no recession of the hair line.



Triangular, usually symmetrical, areas of recession at the frontotemporal hair line.



This represents the minimal extent of hair loss sufficient to be considered as baldness according to Norwood. Most type III scalps have deep symmetrical recession at the temples that are bare or only sparsely covered by hair.



In this presentation, the hair loss is primarily from the vertex with limited recession of the frontotemporal hair line that does not exceed the degree of recession seen in type III..



The frontotemporal recession is more severe than in type III. There is sparse hair or no hair on the vertex. The two areas of hair loss are seperated by a band of moderately dense hair that extends across the top. This band connects with the fully haired fringe on the sides of the scalp. Type IV is distinguished from type III vertex in which the loss is primarily from the vertex.



The vertex hair loss region is still seperated from the frontotemporal region but it is less distinct. The band of hair across the crown is narrower and sparser. The vertex and frontotemporal regions of hair loss are bigger. Viewed from above, types V, VI, and VII are all characterized by surviving hair on the sides and back of the scalp forming a distinct horseshoe shape.



The bridge of hair that crossed the crown is now gone with only sprase hair remaining. The frontotemporal and vertex regions are now joined together and the extent of hair loss is geater.



The most severe form of hair loss presents as extensive loss. A narrow band of of hair in a horseshoe shaps survives on the sides and back of the scalp. This hair is usually not dense and may be quite fine. The hair is alos sparse on the nape of the neck and in a semi circle over both ears.


The Cause of Male Pattern Baldness

The main cause of baldness is heredity. It has been proven that Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia is directly related to the effect of hormones on the hair follicle. In genetically predisposed individual the hairs in the frontal area are sensitive to the male hormone DHT (di-hydro testosterone) because in these individual frontal hairs shows more number of hormone binding receptors so making these hairs more vulnerable to damage by the hormone, which causes reduced growth and thinning of hair in these areas. But no matter how extensive the baldness, there is always a “Horse-shoe” shaped area of permanent hair at the back and sides of the head. Scientists have found that these hairs are genetically programmed to resist the effect of male hormones. Such hairs when transplanted into areas continue to survive and grow permanently. This forms the basis of hair transplantation. Although anti-androgen drugs may slow or halt hair loss, they are really only effective at re-growing hair in the crown.

Treatment

Male baldness Treatments range from the medicinal to the surgical. FDA- approved medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride can provide effective short-term relief from baldness and have been a popular baldness remedy for years. Minoxidil is a topical solution that has proven to be one of many effective baldness treatments in that it helps follicle re-growth but works for only about 60% of all patients. Finesteride, on the other hand, is very effective in stemming existing hair loss but is most powerful when used in the early stages of male-pattern hair loss and baldness. Unfortunately both medications are temporary in nature, as results cease once use of the medication has been discontinued.

The Hair Transplantation is the most effective and permanent remedy for baldness. It involves transplanting hair follicles from healthy areas of the scalp, like the back and sides, to the bald areas, such as the temples and the top of the scalp. The Follicular Units Hair Transplantation (FUHT) provides undetectable and excellent natural looking results of hair transplantation, and it is considered to be world’s latest and best technique for permanent hair restoration.



Female Pattern Baldness


Female pattern baldness involves a typical pattern of loss of hair in women, caused by hormones, aging, and genes. The Ludwig Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in women.



Causes

Baldness occurs when hair falls out but new hair does not grow in its place. The cause of the failure to grow new hair in female pattern baldness is not well understood, but it is associated with genetic predisposition, aging, and levels of endocrine hormones (particularly androgens, the male sex hormones).

Changes in the levels of androgens can affect hair production. For example, after the hormonal changes of menopause, many women find that the hair on the head is thinned, while facial hair is coarser. Although new hair is not produced, follicles remain alive, suggesting the possibility of new hair growth.

Female pattern baldness is usually different from that of male pattern baldness. The hair thins all over the head, but the frontal hairline is maintained. There may be a moderate loss of hair on the crown, but this rarely progresses to total or near baldness as it may in men.

Treatment

The hair loss of female pattern baldness is permanent. In most cases, it is mild to moderate. No treatment is required if the person is comfortable with her appearance. The only drug or medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness is minoxidil, used on the scalp. For women, the 2% concentration is recommended. Minoxidil may help hair to grow in 20% to 25% of the female population, and in the majority it may slow or stop the loss of hair. Treatment is expensive, however, and hair loss starts again when minoxidil use is stopped.

Hair transplants consist of removal of tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring in the donor areas and carries a modest risk for skin infection. The procedure usually requires multiple transplantation sessions and may be expensive. Results, however, are often excellent and permanent.



Hair Loss Drugs


There are many so called "remedies" for hair loss but only a few that are effective at slowing or stopping hair loss. Hair loss drugs should always be taken under the care of a doctor and directions should be followed closely for maximum benefit. The following medications are proven effective, backed by clinical data.

Minoxidil

The hair loss medication Minoxidil was approved in 1988 for the treatment of pattern hair loss. Early studies showed significantly improved hair counts in both men and women using a 2% minoxidil solution. In 1997, the FDA approved a 5% solution which was shown to provide even greater hair growth stimulation for men (studies show 45% greater hair growth). In women, a 2% topical solution is most often used to minimize side-effects (women seem more susceptible to Minoxidil's side-effects than men). Minoxidil is often the choice of treatment for female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) and alopecia areata in women because Finasteride is not recommended due to the potential for birth defects. Minoxidil's effectiveness depends on the extent of hair loss and cannot restore full hair in those cases where hair loss is severe. Milder cases often see a greater improvement with treatment than severe cases.

Finasteride

Finasteride is approved for use in men only. Women should not use Finasteride, or handle tablets, doing so could cause birth defects in a male fetus. Finasteride is administered orally. Studies indicate that Finasteride is an effective hair loss medication, slowing hair loss in addition to stimulating hair growth.

Finasteride is best used to slow hair loss as soon as it is noticed, though is also effective in slowing hair loss detected at later stages. Finasteride is available by prescription only.

Both Minoxidil (for men and women) and Finasteride (for men only) are often suggested as an ancillary treatment to those receiving hair transplants.