As the end of the year beckons, it's helpful to take stock of what went well in the past year
Hair Loss & What You Can Do About It
This is a guest post by Simon Shamay who works at http://www.regenepure.com/.
As you age, it's common to begin to feel paranoia over the thickness of your hair. No man or woman wants to think of losing their hair, and as a result, many people worry over whether their hair is as thick and healthy as it once was. The likelihood of developing hair loss increases dramatically as you age; fortunately, if you know what to look out for and you notice signs of thinning hair quickly, you can often stop the progression of the problem with effective treatments.
For both men and women, androgenic alopecia is the leading cause of hair thinning and hair loss. While doctors don't fully understand the condition, it is widely understood that androgenic alopecia stems from hair follicles that are oversensitive to the effects of male sex hormones like testosterone. If you have androgenic alopecia, the presence of these hormones on your scalp causes your hair follicles to shrink in size. As a result, the hairs that emerge from them are smaller in diameter, creating that dreaded look of thinning. If the condition progresses without treatment, the follicles can become so narrow that hair growth stops completely, leading to baldness.
Hair loss can occur due to other causes as well, including stress, major surgery or autoimmune disorders. In some cases, medications or underlying medical conditions like thyroid disease are the cause of hair loss. Because there are so many possible causes of the condition, you should consult your doctor for diagnosis at the first signs of thinning.
Signs of Thinning
Androgenic alopecia progresses in different ways in men and women. For men, hair loss typically begins at the crown of the head outward in a bowl shape and at the hairline. Women tend to see the first signs of hair loss in a vertical band along the center of the scalp with hair loss spreading outward from the center in both directions.
It's important to keep in mind that it's normal to lose hairs every day. The amount of hair loss can change on a daily basis and typically is in the range of 40 to 120 stands. Often times, strands are shed under normal conditions when you're washing, combing or styling your hair. Because it can be difficult to judge how much hair you're actually losing, it's not advisable to gauge thinning based on how many hairs you find in the drain or on your brush or comb.
The best way to monitor thinning is to examine your scalp after you've washed and combed your hair into its normal style. Tip your head forward and look in the areas where hair loss begins. If you can see your scalp through your hair in these areas, your hair may be thinning. In cases where hair loss is suspected, it's helpful to snap a photograph and then take another one every month to look for signs of thinning. Also, thinning hair makes your scalp more susceptible to sunburn, so if you suddenly notice that your scalp consistently seems redder after spending time outdoors, your hair may have begun to thin.
Hair Loss Treatment Options
There are many highly effective treatment options available for hair loss, but not all of the treatments are appropriate for every man or woman. The first step in hair loss treatment is ruling out any underlying conditions that could be responsible for thinning. Once you receive a diagnosis of androgenic alopecia, you can consider treatments like:
- The oral medication finasteride (available only for men)
- Laser treatments and laser combs
- Hair transplants
The goal of most treatments is to block or decrease the effects of androgens on the scalp or to stimulate or simulate new hair growth in areas of thinning and baldness. Discuss the available treatments with your doctor to choose the one that is the best fit for you.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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