How Can I Tell If My Thinning Hair is Permanent or Temporary?'

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Name: Josh

Question: I have thinning hair and I want to know how I can tell if it's permanent or temporary hair loss. It's on the top of my head but my hairline still looks ok. What is it and how long will it take to grow back?

Answer: Hi, Josh. There are a number of issues which can cause thinning hair and one of the easiest ways to distinguish between the permanent kind - Male Pattern Baldness - and temporary forms, such as Telogen Effluvium, is to monitor where the hair is shedding from.

You have stated that your hair loss is concentrated along the top of your scalp - the vertex - but does not extend as far as your hairline. This sounds consistent with a diagnosis of Male Pattern Baldness as this hereditary condition only affects the follicles located along the vertex - from crown to hairline and temporal regions - though it may not present in all these areas at once. This is a permanent, progressive condition and causes the thinning on top that you mention.

In terms of how long it will take to grow back, this very much depends as - without any intervention - it is likely continue to thin and fall out. This is due to the underlying cause of male pattern hairloss - a testosterone byproduct called dihydrotestosterone, but perhaps better known as DHT.

When a man has an inherited sensitivity to DHT, any time following puberty it can start to bind to his hair follicles in the susceptible areas of his scalp. Over time this leads to the production of increasingly finer, weaker hairs - which displays outwardly as thinning hair and/or a receding hairline, as well as hair fall.

Left to run its course, this will continue with the hair becoming increasingly thinner and may cause baldness in some or all of the affected areas. For those wanting options for preventing baldness, there are clinically-proven hair loss treatments that are designed to inhibit DHT and promote normal hair growth.

Hair loss specialists can tailor custom courses around these two MHRA licensed and FDA approved topical and oral medications, and complementary non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products can also be added in, based on the individual's level and pattern of shedding, medical profile and any lifestyle requirements.

How long it takes for hair treatment to work depends on a number of factors including how extensive the thinning is when treatment is started, but generally we find Belgravia clients start to notice changes - from stabilisation of hair loss to regrowth - within three to six months.

A hairloss specialist will be able to discuss not only treatment recommendations, but also their prognosis with you during a personal consultation - and answer any questions you may have - which is always the first step.
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