There are many different causes of hair loss. Here is a brief summary of the main types and the best methods to treat them. If you are losing an excessive amount of hair, it is recommended you get a diagnosis from a hair specialist so that you can treat it successfully.
More commonly known as male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss, this form of hair loss occurs due to a genetic sensitivity to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which inhibits the growth of new hair follicles.
It is the primary cause of hair loss in men, affecting 40% of men by the age of 35. This rises steadily to 65% by the age of 60 and 80% of men by the age of 80. It follows a well-defined pattern which starts with hair receding above the temples and baldness at crown. If left untreated the entire top of the head becomes bald, often leaving hair at just the back and sides (the follicles in these areas are less sensitive to DHT).
For women, the condition usually starts in the 30s with visible thinning of the hair in the 40s. Women tend not to go bald but rather show thinness of hair across the top of the head. The menopause can often make the thinning more severe.
The good news is that genetic hair loss is treatable if diagnosed early enough. There are a large range of hair loss products but only two are proven to work. Minoxidil and Propecia have undergone clinical trials and been shown to be effective at stabilizing hair loss and promoting hair growth. As a result, they have both been licensed by the MHRA and ‘FDA-approved’ for the treatment of hair loss in the UK and USA respectively.
An autoimmune condition that affects men, women and children, Alopecia Areata occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. It causes hair loss of varying degrees of severity. It can occur as bald patches, and may go on to develop into Alopecia Totalis (total loss of scalp hair) or Alopecia Universalis (total loss of scalp and body hair).
It can be an acute condition whereby the hair re-grows after a short time, or it can be a chronic, long-term condition, and in some cases the hair never returns. There is no way of telling if or when the hair will re-grow. In some cases it can be successfully treated. At The Belgravia Centre, we have found that high strength minoxidil can be effective in many cases of mild alopecia areata or alopecia in its early stages.
Hair loss that is caused by a ‘shock to the system’ is classified as Telogen Effluvium. It can be brought on by a stressful event, certain medications, pregnancy or childbirth, rapid weight loss or depression. Certain hair follicles react by prematurely stopping growth and enter the telogen (resting) phase. The affected hairs stay in this phase for about 3 months after which time they shed. In many instances the person will have recovered from the event or shock before the hair loss occurs. Telogen Effluvium affects more women than men, possibly because of the link to childbirth. In some cases, a short course of Minoxidil may help to ‘kick-start’ the hair growth cycle and help restore a healthy head of hair.
Usually seen in women, Diffuse Thinning is most prominent at the centre of the scalp. The hair fall out rate increases and results in an all-over thinning across the scalp. It is essential that a woman sees a doctor or hair loss specialist who will take a detailed medical history. The following could be causing the problem: nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disease, haemoglobin and hormonal problems. Again, stress can exacerbate the condition. Once diagnosed, it can be easily treated with success.
If you are suffering from any excessive hair loss, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation with a specialist. We have a friendly team of experts who have helped thousands of clients, examples of the results they have experienced can be seen by clicking on the links below. To book an appointment, please call on 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, if you are unable to come to the London clinic, please fill out the online diagnostic form and submit with a photograph and an advisor will be in touch with you shortly.