Let’s understand Alopecia

Alopecia

Alopecia known also as androgenic/female pattern hair loss affects everyone in their lives to a greater or lesser extent.
Majority of women are not affected by baldness as observed in men – hair in women tends to thin. The most common problem that women experience is receding hair line, broadening of hair partition and general hair loss in the central area of their scalp. Here we recommend instant fix and this is where Volume Hair Plus comes in. It can be combined with more expensive treatments described below. Use of Volume Hair Plus before, during and after these treatments doesn’t intefere or affects any treatments or medication.
Alopecia may occur anywhere on your body, not only on your head. The term Alopiciea commonly refers to loosing hair on your head.
We are born with about 100000 hairs on our heads. Every single hair can be in one of the three stages:

  • alagene phase;
  • catagene phase;
  • telogene phase.

90% of our hair is in alagene – growth phase, 10% is either in catagene – resting phase or telogene – exfoliating phase. When a hair falls out the whole process starts again. New strands of hair have an average life cycle of 2 to 7 years. Every day we loose on average 80 – 100 hairs which are constantly replaced by new hair. Hair follicles produce new hairs, which then grow in successive cycles before falling out.

In the growth phase hair actively grows between 1 to 4 years at a rate of 1cm per month. In the rest phase which lasts 2 to 3 weeks the hair bulb stops producing hair fibres. In the exfoliating phase the hair is still attached to it’s follicle but doesn’t grow. This phase lasts about 3 months.

Looking at the timescale of the growth of a hair we can deduct that our hair is in the growing stage 90% of the time it lives.

The flow of nature

The most common type of hair loss is androgenic/female pattern. The majority of men start loosing their hair in their 20’s. Women don’t loose their hair until their 40’s and 50’s. It’s said that only up to 50% of women loose their hair but looking at statistics it’s much more than that. As you grow older you are going to loose hair and this is unavoidable. Simply an older woman or a man is not going to have a head full of hair. This is, in other words, a natural process that affects everyone. I will touch upon psychological side of hair loss in one of my future articles. Some studies showed that Alopecia is a hereditary problem. If in a family a father is bald the chances are his son will be bald too. It doesn’t have to be the father, it could be the grandfather from either maternal or paternal side.

Female and male pattern hair loss

Let’s look closer at differences between female pattern hair loss and male pattern hair loss. Men tend to loose their hair in the temporal region and ultimately will be left with a horseshoe ring on their heads. Women tend to loose in the central part of the scalp. It tends to thin instead of going completely bald. Scientist don’t quite understand the process of hair loss in women. In men on the other hand it is closely related to male hormones – androgens to which hair follicles are sensitive.

Treatments

You have to loose about 50% of your hair before you start to notice that your hair is falling out. This means we usually notice hair loss too late. This might have implications in the effectiveness of currently available treatments.

Propecia which stands for androgen inhibitor is often recommended to men in the early stages of hair loss. This is considered to be the most effective treatment for male pattern hair loss. It stops the hair falling out, it thickens hair and causes it to regrow. As mentioned earlier the treatment is not going to give noticeable results in men with so called “shiny hair” – which is hair that have gone completely dormant and it’s very hard to revive it using this method. The sooner a patient finds out about their hair loss the more chance they stand to have regrowth and prevent hair from falling out.

Rogaine has been used for a long time now and it comes in many forms and brands. Nobody really knows what causes it to work although there are plenty of very convincing theories. I will look closely at this particular treatment in following articles.

Another treatment is the low level non-laser energy LED that stimulates hair regrowth. It is usually recommended in the early stages of Alopecia. If a patient is in the bald phase or when their hair is scarred down they are probably not going to get as great of a result.

For men there are also hair transplants. The hair is transplanted from the resistant strip in the back of their heads(the remaining hair shaped by the horseshoe ring). This treatment is usually combined with other treatments to maintain even hair coverage. Volume Hair Plus is recommended by the Dutch Hair Foundation that supports patients who have undergone hair transplantation. The product is safe to use, it gives up to 50% fuller looking hair and doesn’t affect hair regrowth.

In case of women propecia treatment is not very successful. Rogaine is here probably the best option. If you have hormone imbalance, for instance too many androgens, studies show that propecia might be very effective in women. Most women however don’t have hormone imbalance (unless after pregnancy which was covered here) therefore propecia is not suitable option. Rogaine has very good success rates in post menopausal women. In young women who are child bearing Rogaine might cause birth defects in the child. Men can use is as it doesn’t cause a dramatic drop in sperm count nor infertility. Women can still benefit from hair transplantation. Since women’s hair loss is not as visible as in men pros and cons of hair transplantation should be carefully considered. It produces long-term results and there is no need for repeated treatments once the full procedure has been completed. The transplanted hair folllicles start to naturally regrow usually within three to six months. Some of the side effects could be so called shock loss – loss of transplanted hair, itching, numbness of the scalp, swelling, scarring or transplanted hair looking unnatural.