Over the years, it is normal to notice a thinning or loss of our hair called alopecia. This concerns 70% of men aged 50 and even affects women to a lesser extent.
In the vast majority of cases, these findings are completely normal and part of the expected signs of aging. This does not prevent a certain social stigmatization of people who are affected, pushing some to try to deal with the situation by using different treatments available, while other people accept these changes that come with age without bringing much attention.
Whatever way you approach this, we’re here to help guide you
Is your hair loss a sign of an underlying disease?
In some cases, hair loss is just a sign of an underlying condition such as thyroid problems, recent surgery, chemotherapy, fungal infection, severe stress, recent childbirth, or vitamin deficiency.
The appearance of the alopecia also informs your doctor about the probable causes, for example the hair loss can be very localized or it can be diffuse, each pattern of presentation having distinct causes that your doctor will be able to recognize.
However, in the majority of cases your doctor will diagnose you with androgen allopegia, the most common, which is caused by excess testosterone with age and is found in both men and women.
Is there anything to do doctor, can i slow down my hair loss?
The answer to this question will depend on the cause identified by your doctor. And while alopecia can be treated, the results vary greatly from person to person. Androgenic alopecia can be slowed with medication while alopecia caused by an underlying disease can usually be reversed.
What are my treatment options for androgenic alopecia?
Monoxidil is used to reduce hair loss related to androgenic alopecia. This over-the-counter medication appears to awaken dormant hair follicles. Monoxidil is mainly used by women because it is more effective in treating general thinning hair than hair loss.
Low-level light therapy, uses the absorption of photons by weak hair follicles in your scalp tissue to stimulate hair growth. This technique is considered safer and less invasive than surgical procedures (hair transplants). Is is also better suited for early-stage hair loss as opposed to late-stage hair loss.
When lasers work, it take about 6 months for patients to notice thick healthier hair.
Low-level light therapy takes a couple minutes a day and can be done while you’re sitting at home, in your sofa. It also costs a fraction of the cost associated to surgical alternatives.
Completely stopping your hair loss, might require a hair transplant. This is done by grafting healthy hair follicles from other regions of your body onto the bald portions of your head; hence new hair growth is encouraged. Both androgenic alopecia and trauma-related baldness can be treated successfully with this method. The procedure takes approximately half a day, often costs $10,000, and leaves your scalp painful for about a week.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP)
Growth factors found in your blood can promote the growth of existing hair or even transplanted hair.
The doctor will initially take some blood from your arm, in order to extract the PRP. Later that day, the doctor will inject iPRP in the areas of your scalp where your hair is thinning to promote hair growth.
It simply takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the process, after which patients can go home, and will feel minor bruising to the affected area of their scalp for 2 days.
Following a discussion with your doctor, he may decide to start you on a medication.
Finasteride (Propecia) : Research has shown a decrease in hair loss in over 80% of men who took this medication regularly. This same drug is used in other treatments, including that of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Spironolactone : This is the prescribed anti-androgen drug in women. This treatment works very well since the majority of cases of alopecia in women are androgenic.
Everything is not lost
Since the majority of cases of hair loss are a natural and harmless phenomenon, most people with alopecia decide to live with it without trying medical treatments. Alternatives such as wigs can be considered.
However, if you decide that you want to slow down this hair loss, you can consult a doctor via telemedicine and they will go more in-depth into the different options that are best suited for your specific situation.