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 will 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 will cause 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. At Belgravia our hair loss specialists tailor custom courses around these two established topical and oral medications, and complementary non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products, 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 our clients start to notice changes – from stabilisation of hair loss to regrowth – within three to six months.
A hair specialist will be able to discuss not only treatment recommendations, but also their prognosis with you during a personal consultation which is always the first step. You can arrange a consultation in person at one of Belgravia’s London hair loss clinics or, if more convenient, you can use the online consultation form here on our website which allows you to upload photos towards the end; in both instances this initial assessment, diagnosis and treatment recommendations are free of charge.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.