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What is Invisible Hair Loss and How Do You Tell if You Have it?

In what could be the oddest bit of “rebranding” for some time, an article on a US website has given a new name to the genetic hair loss condition, Male Pattern Baldness.

The Fox News website explains how a typical healthy scalp has around 100,000 hairs and that around half of these can be lost before signs of thinning are apparent. This, says their headline, is “invisible baldness”, and they go on to list the clues that it might be happening to you.

Warning signs

The warning signs are those that are associated with Male Pattern Hair Loss, the genetic condition that affects around half of all men by the time they are 50. These signs include a change in hair texture (specifically, the hair is not as thick as usual and there is likely to be reduced hair density), a family history of thinning hair, excessive hair shedding, and noticing that your hair seems thinner in certain places after a cut. All are well known telltale signs that a man’s hair could be starting to thin.

The serious point, perhaps, is that these changes can happen quite gradually, and it is possible that each of them could be observed before a man starts to think that he is indeed losing his hair. This can make its more visible onset appear quicker than it actually has been.

Hair loss in men due to a genetic predisposition that causes an inbuilt sensitivity to the enzyme DHT, doesn’t happen overnight. Whilst it can sometimes be observed relatively quickly – a matter of months, say – more commonly it can take years for hair to become noticeably thinner. The best time to consult a specialist to talk about treatment is at the first signs of shedding, because the clinically-proven products available have the best chance of working when taken early. Continues below…

Norwood Scale for Assessing Levels of Hair Loss Baldness in Men

When these first signs of hair loss start to appear, whether it be the initial thinning edges signalling the beginning of a receding hairline or a lack of density on top of the scalp – the area affected by Male Pattern Baldness – or an increasingly thinning crown, if what you see or feel is of concern, this is the point at which to take advice. Not just because there is a lot of truth to the old adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’, but also because receiving a professional diagnosis and advice as to preventing baldness and future hair loss management options can also save you money.

Minoxidiil and Finasteride 1mg tablets - hair loss treatment SMALLWhen they first start worrying that they are losing their hair, many men start off by trying thickening shampoos and hair care products that claim to prevent shedding, but this can end up being a waste of money when they don’t see the results they were expecting. Cosmetic products can improve the look of the hair but cannot treat male pattern baldness as they do not address its underlying genetic cause. There are, in fact, only two clinically-proven male pattern hair loss treatments that have been shown to do this: finasteride 1mg and minoxidil.

Finasteride 1mg is a tablet taken once daily to inhibit the production of the DHT that causes hereditary hair loss; high strength minoxidil is a topical hair loss solution which comes in a number of formulations, all of which are applied directly to the scalp. This is a vasodilator that helps to increase bloodflow to the scalp and promote accelerated, localised hair growth.

These products have been licensed for use on genetic hairloss by the MHRA, the UK government body which regulates medicines and healthcare products, and approved by the FDA, its American equivalent. They have shown themselves to be effective as long as they are used consistently, as directed, and where the hair follicles are still functioning. In addition, a number of hair growth supporting products can also be used alongside the pharmaceutical options for a fully-rounded approach.

Hair Loss - BrushInvisible hair loss in women

The Fox article notes that women aren’t immune from “invisible hair loss”, and states that a thinning ponytail can be a sign that a woman is losing her hair. This is correct, and it would likely be an early warning sign of a condition named Female Pattern Hair Loss, another genetic condition that affects millions of women.

Many women are not aware that genetic hair loss can affect them, too, although it is worth pointing out that the signs are slightly different. Shedding in women is normally seen across the whole of the top of the head, as opposed to defined areas such as the crown or hairline as is typically the case for men. Although they can experienced advanced shedding and acute hair thinning, women are unlikely to go bald from this condition, unlike their male counterparts.

Female Pattern Hair Loss treatment courses do not feature finasteride as this is only suitable for men, however high strength minoxidil can be used by the majority of women. This can be further backed by non-medicinal supplementary hair growth products, from in-clinic therapy to at-home LLLT, and nutritional support from Hair Vitalics food supplements.

In order to find out about the best hair loss solutions for thinning hair, anyone concerned should consult a specialist in order to obtain a professional diagnosis and tailored treatment recommendations for consideration.


circ - Mens and womens hair vitamins Hair Vitalics for Men Women Belgravia Centre hair growth supplementThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


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