‘What is Follicular Miniaturisation in Relation to Hair Loss?’

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Name: Sheppard

Question: I have seen reference to 'follicular miniaturisation' being the cause of hair loss. Could you tell me more about this please? What is it and who does it affect?

Answer: Hi, Sheppard. Follicular miniaturisation, also known as 'hair follicle shrinkage' is a process involved in androgenetic alopecia. This is the genetic condition more commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss.

When a person has the relevant genetic disposition, the hair follicles along the top of their scalp, from crown to hairline, will have an inherited sensitivity to a hormone by-product, called dihydrotestosterone. This testosterone-derivative, which is largely futile after puberty, is perhaps more widely known as DHT.

DHT binds to the healthy 'terminal' hair follicles in the susceptible areas, gradually weakening them. This causes them to produce increasingly thinning hair, and/or a receding hairline, as well as slowing down hair growth until they are no longer capable of normal hair production.

These DHT-induced effects on genetically sensitive hair follicles make up the process known as follicular miniaturisation.

Diagram of Follicular Miniaturisation hair follicel shrinkage from genetic hair loss male pattern baldness
A quick visual overview of the Follicular Miniaturisation process which precedes shedding from genetic hair loss and can lead to eventual baldness

This hormone-influenced follicular shrinkage occurs in both genetically predisposed men and women, however, the end result - without any intervention - tends to differ in each.

Men usually develop defined areas of hair loss, focused on the hairline, a thinning crown, or along the top of the scalp, and the shedding may result in total baldness in any - or all - of these regions.

In contrast, women rarely go bald from genetic hairloss. Rather they can develop severe hair thinning which is spread along the top of the scalp and temple areas, rather than being confined to specific areas.

There are clinically-proven hair loss treatments which are authorised by both the UK's MHRA and the FDA in the USA. When used individually or - as is often recommended for medically-suitable men - together, these can help to stabilise this kind of shedding and promote hair growth.

When used on an on-going basis to address this permanent hair loss condition, this approach can also be helpful in preventing baldness.

If you are concerned about losing your hair or have noticed a drop in volume, a consultation with a hair specialist should prove useful. This can provide you with a professional diagnosis, advice and personalised recommendations for a tailored hair regimen involving the most appropriate treatments and supplementary hair growth supporting products, based on your condition, pattern of shedding and medical profile.

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