Question: Is it true that the longer you wait before seeking treatment, the less effective the treatment will be? Even if your hair loss itself hasn’t worsened for a long time?
I have seen many examples of before and after pictures and have been impressed by them. What I mean to ask is, if a person just has a little thinning which hasn’t progressed for several years but has not sought treatment, will the treatment be as effective after waiting say 2 years, than it would have been if the individual had sought treatment immediately?
Answer: Hi Piper. When it comes to hair loss treatment, the general rule is ‘the earlier the better’ in terms of reversing hair loss and seeing positive regrowth results.
With regards to whether treatment would have been more successful two years ago, this is hard to know without first establishing your precise condition and level of shedding. As you don’t mention whether you are enquiring for yourself or on behalf of someone else, I’ll explain the case for both men and women.
If a man with male pattern baldness waits two years from when he first spots signs of hair loss, it may take longer for significant regrowth to become noticeable. This is because the level of thinning is highly likely to be considerably worse given hereditary hairloss is a progressive condition.
We have seen significant results in men whose hair loss has been ‘severe’, as well as those with more moderate levels, however there is a cut off point. Should the hair loss have progressed to total baldness, where the hair follicles die and the scalp takes on a shiny appearance, treatment is unlikely to be effective. Hair loss treatments require live follicles so cannot help once these have perished. In this instance, waiting two years may be the difference between regrowth being possible, and treatment no longer being an option.
In women, it is unusual for female pattern hair loss to present as or deteriorate to the point of balding. Usually it appears as thinning hair centred around the top of the head and, as with its male counterpart, it is a condition which generally worsens over time. Women tend to notice their parting becoming wider and, should their hair loss continue, their scalp may become increasingly visible. Continues below…
If the thinning has not worsened over two years it is unlikely to be genetic hair loss. A hair loss condition lasting that long with no signs of deterioration is more likely to be Chronic Telogen Effluvium (CTE). This is a more severe form of Telogen Effluvium (which lasts a maximum of six months) which causes follicles to prematurely enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. Resulting shedding becomes noticeable around three months following the initial trigger.
Although it primarily affects women, CTE can occur in men too, and displays as thinning hair all over the scalp – not just confined to the top of the head. For this reason it is also known as Diffuse Thinning. The reason CTE is more prevalent in women is because it can be triggered by hormonal changes, such as those brought on by pregnancy, birth control pills and the menopause. It can also be caused by long-term anxiety, stress, or nutritional deficiencies.
In cases of Chronic Telogen Effluvium it is important to address the underlying cause of the hair loss condition, such as stress or diet. Once this has been addressed, a comprehensive treatment plan featuring high strength minoxidil and hair growth boosters can prove effective in preventing further shedding and helping regrowth. With an expertly tailored treatment programme recommended by a hair loss specialist to specifically target your condition, pattern and stage of shedding, if the hair loss has not progressed in the last two years, it is likely that regrowth results will be similar now to what they would have been had you started earlier.
The Belgravia Centre
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.