What Causes Hair Loss?

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Hair Loss Causes

Many patients who seek hair replacement treatment don’ know what causes their affliction. Balding occurs in 60-70% of men and 4-8% of women. Therefore, if you’re shedding handfuls of precious strands every time you bathe or draw a comb through your hair, it’s important to find out why.

Often, those who seek solutions don’t know what causes hair loss. If you suffer from this affliction, then you’ll know how frustrating it can be.

The Truth

Balding, in any form, affects about 60-70% of men, while only 4-8% of women are prone. Even today, medical professionals have varying opinions regarding hair loss causes.

Some maintain that balding or thinning is primarily hereditary and can be inherited from either the mother or the father’s side. However, a person may be predisposed towards hair loss even if both of his or her parents had full, luscious locks. This is due to spontaneous mutation, a process whereby the genetic information alters at conception.

Some of the common causes of hair loss include:

  • Trauma
  • Prolonged exposure to radiation therapy
  • Burns
  • Surgery

Interestingly, a variety of prescription drugs have also been found to cause excessive shedding. Some of the culprits are ulcer drugs, anti-depressants, beta-blockers, blood thinners and even Parkinson medications.

Dietary factors

If you don’t eat well, this could also be the cause of balding or thinning hair. A diet low in vitamins A, C, E and B12 often results in brittle, unhealthy tresses that can easily fall out. By upping your intake of whole foods, raw fruits and vegetables you can make a positive difference to the condition of your hair.

Unfortunately, once your hair loss has progressed beyond a certain point, dietary changes can’t help. The good news is that restoration surgery can go a long way to bringing back your former glory.

causes - diet

Combatting Hair Loss

While it’s possible for surgical procedures to remedy balding, it’s important to note that multiple drugs, illnesses and environmental factors can be reasons why hair falls out. In these cases, replacement treatment is not the answer. If you suffer from a scalp disease, you should consult a dermatologist.

The professional team at Medical Hair Restoration has helped many men and women to regain their confidence. Why not contact us today and arrange a consultation so we can help you combat the common causes of hair loss.

Women’s Hair Loss

Although balding is mostly associated with men, female hair loss is increasingly diagnosed and successfully treated using hair restoration procedures. To avoid confusion, it’s important to note that women’s hair loss doesn’t generally follow the same patterns as men’s. We can tell you how it differs.

While pattern balding is most common amongst men, women’s hair loss has become increasingly prevalent. Fortunately, with MHR providing a range of effective treatment procedures, an increasing number of ladies are opting for surgical solutions to restore their crowning glory.

Despite the fact that excellent medical care is available, having thinning hair is still a traumatic experience. Social norms dictate that ladies should have beautiful tresses and, as a result, those who don’t may feel exposed, uncomfortable and vulnerable.

In addition, female hair loss is often experienced differently to its male counterpart, making self-assessments difficult. Oftentimes, more information is needed and we provide just that.

Aspects of Female Balding

Although, some men and women experience hair loss in the same manner, certain balding aspects are unique to females. For instance, alopecia may:

  • Begin later in life, from age 50 and upwards
  • Have no genetic or hereditary origin
  • Not be limited to the frontal hairline
  • Follow an irregular or non-existent pattern
  • Be temporary, due to certain medical conditions

Factors Influencing Female Hair Loss

The most common cause of hair thinning in women is androgenic alopecia – follicle sensitivity to increased male hormone production. This can also be aggravated by other oestrogen imbalances, stress, thyroid and iron insufficiencies, and scars from facial plastic surgery.

Suitability for Hair Replacement Surgery

Hair loss treatment is particularly effective for women who experience the same balding pattern as most men, namely at the front of the head. This leaves the sides and backs as excellent donor sites. Alternatively, should you experience thinning in a different manner, consult a knowledgeable transplant specialist to determine the best treatment options available.

At Medical Hair Restoration, we understand the emotional investment that women have in their locks. Our dedicated team of professionals provides reliable scalp evaluations, accurate diagnosis and can recommend the appropriate course of treatment – whether this involves surgery or not.

Hair Surgery History

Hair loss has plagued mankind for centuries, and resulted in thousands of so-called “cures” to remedy the situation. Thankfully, from the 1700’s to the present day, treatments have evolved into innovative procedures that are effective in restoring your hair to its former glory.

If you’ve ever wondered about the history of hair loss surgery, it’s important to note that balding is not a new phenomenon. In the 1700’s, men wore curly powdered wigs to hide their affliction, but nowadays people have other options.

Unfortunately, many modern hair systems, such as high-end wigs and toupees, need constant maintenance. They may be excellent solutions for completely bald people, but for those with adequate donor follicles, hair transplantation surgery is a far more efficient option.

Hair Loss Today

The fight to stop balding continues. However, this has not prevented people from spending millions every year on so-called cures for hair loss. There’s been so much misleading information that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now bans claims that a product can regrow hair, unless it’s proven to be effective.

To date, there are only two products which have been licensed by the FDA, namely:

  1. PROPECIA
  2. REGAINE

High and Low Points in Hair Surgery History

While surgeries are commonplace now, they’re still less than 100 years old. In one of the first ever documented success stories, a Japanese dermatologist moved hair from the back of the head to areas of the face in 1939. However, this remarkable event was overshadowed by the outbreak of World War II.

Fast forward to 1959, when “father of modern hair-transplantation” Dr. Norman Orentreich, developed the theory of donor dominance. His concept maintains that follicles in certain areas of the head are genetically encoded to continue growing, even when transplanted to another part of the scalp.

Based on this, Dr. Orentreich pioneered relocating large plugs of skin, which contained up to 20 hair follicles. While groundbreaking in its day, this way of treating baldness sometimes created an unnatural hairline characterised by a “Barbie doll” appearance. The surgery was also painful and bloody, often leaving significant and visible scarring.

Other forms of surgical hair restoration, that are more harmful and invasive than successful, include:

  • Sewing flaps of hair-bearing skin onto balding areas
  • Implanting artificial hair into the scalp

Fortunately, specialists in the field were actively searching for better techniques, with the aim of getting more natural results.

Modern Solutions

Since the late 1980s, hair transplant surgeons have been using increasingly smaller grafts. Nowadays, these contain one to three hair follicles, and are used in every transplant session. They help to give natural heads of hair, so the patient looks good even when the wind is blowing or they’ve just climbed out of the pool.

What’s more, there’s minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.

The era of modern hair replacement surgery is now with us, and you can find outstanding solutions right here in South Africa.

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