WHAT CAUSES HAIR LOSS OR HAIR THINNING?
Hair loss or hair thinning can be a troublesome ordeal for a lot of people. Looking at the mirror and seeing your hair thinning out, may cause fear, anxiety and stress, which ironically may contribute to even more hair loss. Though it's a pretty common condition, science has yet to produce medication to conclusively help prevent or stop hair loss, or have the hair grow back. According to an article by The Guardian, there are medications that can help with hair loss, namely minoxidil and finasteride, however, the effects are marginal and cannot completely stop hair loss.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
Age is one of the most common factors for hair loss, for both men and women. As we age, the rate of hair growth slows down, and has less pigment, thus resulting in thinning hair.
Though age is a natural factor for hair loss, what plays a bigger factor is heredity. If you have people in the family that experience pattern baldness, there’s a strong possibility that you may genetically acquire the trait as well, especially if your parents have it. Pattern baldness happens to both male and female, but it is more prominent in men.
- Medical Conditions
There are medical conditions that may lead directly to hair loss or thinning hair, such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles, and ringworm, a type of fungal infection on the skin.
- Hormonal Changes / Imbalance
Changes in hormones may also cause, or be a contributing factor to hair loss. Factors that may cause hormonal changes include pregnancy, menopause, childbirth, and stopping the intake of birth control pills. Thyroid disease can also lead to hair loss at it affects the body’s management of hormones.
- Health conditions may also cause or contribute to hair loss. Treatments for health conditions such as cancer, arthritis, heart problems, depression, and high blood pressure.
TYPES OF HAIR LOSS TREATMENTS
Hair transplant is a procedure done by a plastic or dermatological surgeon that involves moving hair from a specific part, typically from the side or back of the head, and surgically placing it in the region of the head with significant hair loss. There are 2 basic types of hair transplant procedures, namely Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and Follicular unit extraction (FUE).
In Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) the surgeon will use a scalpel to remove a piece of the scalp around 6 to 10 inches long, typically from the back of the head, then stitch and close the area where it was taken from. The surgeon will then proceed to separate the scalp strip into tiny pieces using a scalpel, which will then be implanted in the holes made in the part of the scalp with significant hair loss, in a process called grafting. After the procedure the surgeon will proceed to bandage up the operated part.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) involves shaving the back of the head, individually taking the hair follicles from the scalp skin. The grafting process is done here as well, making holes using a needle or blade in the area with hair loss, and transplanting the hair follicles.
Platelet-rich plasma or PRP treatment is basically a three step procedure (done by doctors) that involves taking the patient’s blood, processing it and injecting it through the area with hair-loss. Though there is not much significant research done to prove these claims, some medical professionals believe that this procedure helps promote natural hair growth, as it increases the blood flow through the hair follicles and increases the thickness of the hair shaft.
This process involves drawing blood from the arm, placing it for 10 minutes in a device called a centrifuge, which rapidly spins the blood inorder for the platelet-rich plasma to separate, which is then injected to the scalp.
This process involves the use of a type of roller, with microneedles attached, which is then rolled on the desired area in order to stimulate hair growth, especially for cases of Alopecia Areata, which is a type of autoimmune disease that leaves bald patches on the scalp. The minor skin injuries from the roller can help induce stem cells in the hair follicles, and stimulate the area in order to promote hair growth.
Microneedling can also help in the absorption of nutrients that promote hair growth, which is why it is commonly used with products such as Swiss Color Hair Vitalizer, that contains active ingredients to stimulate hair growth.
Scalp micropigmentation or SMP, is done to recreate the look of hair follicles, for people who are experiencing hair loss. This procedure is perfect for people with thinning hair or bald spots, as it makes them virtually unnoticeable by filling-out the spaces. If you have completely lost your hair, this procedure can be done to give you a fuller looking scalp, or the look of a shaved head. Do note that this procedure is not a solution to hair loss, as it does not promote the growth of hair follicles.
Scalp micropigmentation is done by certified PMU (Paramedical Makeup) Artist, and involves the use of microneedles and a smart device to place specialized pigments into the portion of the scalp with hair loss, thus creating the look of hair follicles.
Hairline microblading is almost the same procedure as scalp micropigmentation, with sight differences in technique, device and purpose. The purpose of hairline microblading is to create a fuller, thicker looking hair line, especially for people with long, but thinning hair. This procedure can also be done for people with a receding hairline. Again, this procedure is not a solution to hair loss, as it does not promote the growth of hair follicles.
As opposed to scalp micropigmentation which recreates the look of hair follicles, hairline microblading involves doing gentle strokes, to recreate what looks like strands of hair. This is basically the same procedure for eyebrow microblading, but for the hairline. This process involves a manual technique, as the PMU artist will recreate the strands of hair by hand, using a gentle stroking motion.
The length of each session depends on the condition of the scalp, but typically lasts between 1 to 3 hours, and multiple sessions may be done for the best results. The great thing about scalp micropigmentation and hairline microblading, is that you can see the results right after the first session. Don’t worry about pain as a topical anesthetic is applied before the procedure.