Is Hair Loss in the Donor Area Normal?'

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Name: Nathan

Question: I have thinning hair on top and it's been like this for a few years now so I suspect it's Male Pattern Baldness and I know that's pretty much normal. What I'm worried about is that I now have hairs coming out from my donor areas. When I brush my hair I notice I'm losing around 10 hairs each time (every day) from the back and sides of my head. I want to keep my donor hair healthy in case I ever consider a hair transplant so can you tell me what I can do to maintain this hair please and is it normal to be losing this much hair from the areas that don't have MPB?

Areas of the scalp affected by male pattern hair loss baldness - Belgravia Centre
Areas of the scalp that can be affected by male pattern hair loss

Answer: Hi, Nathan. The hair loss you describe from the back and sides of your head sounds absolutely normal; in fact, it is common for everyone to lose around 100-150 hairs per day as a regular function of the hair growth cycle.

Shedding 10 hairs per day from these healthy areas does not signal a hair loss condition or anything to be worried about.

The thinning on top that you mention does sound likely to be Male Pattern Baldness given the length of time it has been present and the fact that it only affects the areas affected by DHT in those with a genetic susceptibility. These are the top of the scalp (vertex), crown and hairline including the temples.

Waiting until you lose your hair in these areas before proceeding straight to surgery is quite a drastic approach and we would definitely advise you to have a consultation with a hair loss specialist or even an experienced hair transplant surgeon now.

The reason for doing this is to find out whether it is likely you may be a suitable candidate for surgical hair restoration or not; and, if so, at what point this may be most appropriate - as well as when this operation would not be possible.

It is always best to be fully informed of your options and have the details you need ahead of time so you can make the best decision about if, when and how to tackle your hairloss.

If you would like to explore non-surgical ways of preventing baldness, there are clinically-proven medications that are both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for this purpose, as well as an array of non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products, which can help.

Depending on your age and medical profile, there are oral and topical options which can be used individually or, as Belgravia specialists usually recommend, together as part of a combination hair loss treatment course, to encourage accelerated hair growth and to inhibit the formation of DHT.

DHT (dihydrotestosterone), as you may know, is the testosterone-derivative which, following puberty, attacks susceptible hair follicles in the areas outlined above. By binding to their receptors, it causes increasingly thinning hair that gradually becomes weaker over time and can lead to baldness through a process known as follicular miniaturisation.

Adjunctive follicle-stimulating low level laser therapy (LLLT), delivered via an FDA-cleared device such as the HairMax LaserBand can further assist in preventing hair loss and promoting stronger hair growth, whilst highly-targeted food supplements. Whilst not a replacement for a balanced diet, these can ensure the hair receives optimum amounts of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, selenium and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair growth.

These latter options in particular can also help what you refer to as your 'donor hair', keeping it in optimum condition.

Other day-to-day tips for healthy hair include washing your hair every day, or every other day (unless your hair type is Afro, in which case washing once a week is fine), to ensure your scalp is kept clean and in good shape; avoiding heat styling as much as possible or taking a sensible approach to this to prevent dryness and hair breakage, having a healthy lifestyle and diet - including getting enough sleep - so as to avoid emotional and physical stress and any dietary deficiencies which can cause hair loss all over the scalp.

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