East Asians were the first (and only ones) to come up with a definitive prevention for hair loss. Since ancient times, castration was not only a method of punishment and an avenue to Imperial employment, but was noted as a means to retain ones hair, unless you’re a women of course.
Traditionally, hair loss is not as common in Asians as it is in Caucasians. In fact the racial differences in male pattern baldness, according to the McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine, see for every balding Asian man, three balding Caucasians. However, the incidence of hair loss in Asians has been on the increase and some researchers believe it may have something to do with the westernisation of Asian lifestyles.
Male and female pattern hair loss is a hereditary condition characterised by progressive thinning hair. Although risk for the condition is largely genetic, some lifestyle and environmental factors may also play a role.
There have been suggestions that a high fat diet increases DHT production (a testosterone derivative present in men and women) and speeds up baldness. Another notion is that excessive oestrogen seen in overweight men creates a hormonal imbalance that affects hair growth. It’s assumed that because most Asians are at their ideal weight and their diets tend to be lower in fat than many Caucasians’, the incidence of hair loss is lower. However, there is no proof that these theories hold any real significance.
Researchers have, however, discovered that smoking may be associated with age-related hair loss among Asian men. A study of 740 Taiwanese men age 40 to 91, whose risk for hair loss increased with advancing age but remained lower than the average risk among white men, concluded the association could be caused by several mechanisms. Smoking may destroy hair follicles, damage the papilla that circulate blood and hormones to stimulate hair growth or increase oestrogen production, which may counter the effects of androgen. This study would suggest that lifestyle and environmental factors do play a part in hair loss.
Asian hair follicles are almost always completely round which is why they typically have very straight hair. Their scalps also contain fewer hairs per square centimetre than Caucasians but because the individual hair shafts are thicker, it gives the impression of greater hair density.
On average, Asians shed fewer hairs a day but there is evidence that Asian women have an increased likelihood of experiencing more overall thinning hair than their Caucasian or Afro-Caribbean counterparts.
There is no specific hair loss treatment for Asians, rather, a personalised approach combining proven medicines and complimentary hair growth boosters suitable to the individual proves to generate outstanding results.
Also, Asian hair loss sufferers may see results faster than Caucasians and Afro-Caribbean’s. It usually takes anywhere between three and 12 months to see a great improvement but because Asian hair has the longest hair growth cycle, they’re perhaps more likely to see better results earlier. While hair typically grows for a period of two to seven years before it sheds to make way for new hair, Asians’ growth period can last up to nine years. In addition, their hair grows faster at about 1.3cm per month (compared to 1.2cm and 0.9cm respectively).
Hair transplants are a common enquiry for men and women who are losing their hair. However, they can be less forgiving for Asians if done improperly. The contrast between their light skin and dark hair means it can be more difficult to get great results, but it is not impossible. Also, Asians typically have a greater likelihood of developing keloid scars than Caucasians. These are irregular shaped and elevated scars with uncontrolled growth that result from excess fibrous skin tissue.
Those who start to notice a receding hairline thinning hair should consult a hair loss specialist for advice. There are other common causes for hair loss that may be responsible and knowing which type of hair loss is present is the key to knowing how to deal with it most effectively.
For more information about the causes and treatments for Asian hair loss, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. The UK’s leaders in hair loss prevention have been treating men and women from a variety of backgrounds all over the world for almost 20 years. For those who aren’t able to visit the London centre, the online diagnostic form provides a means of access to expert advice, recommendation and treatments.