Whether you are a man or a woman, losing your hair is one of the more worrying aspects of getting older. At a time when your confidence is already taking a knock due to your ever increasing waistline and the odd grey hair, to find that you are also suffering from hair loss can be unnerving. But it doesn’t have to be. With the hair restoration techniques out there at the moment, losing your hair doesn’t need to mean a life of knitted hats and comb-overs; in fact, you could very easily live life in the same way you always have done.
So, what causes hair loss and why does it affect some people and not others? Thinning hair is a natural part of getting older for both men and women. We all lose around 50 to 100 hairs everyday and normally this won’t be noticed. However, as we age the re-growth rate slows down, making it more likely that thinner spots may emerge.
Baldness, though, is something quite different and can be caused by a number of conditions:
• Pattern baldness: This is usually age related and can be hereditary. It occurs in both men and women and means that the growth time of the hair shortens and it falls out at a more rapid rate. The pattern of the baldness is often confined to the front and top of the head and can eventually mean that almost all the hair will fall out.
• Alopecia: This can be caused by an auto-immune disease which may be triggered by a virus or can even be stress related. Alopecia isn’t necessarily permanent though and hair can grow back. Sometimes alopecia can be caused by scarring to the hair follicle caused by certain skin conditions.
• Telogen effluvium: This type of hair loss is caused by a shock or extreme stress to your system. This can include the death of a loved one or an extreme diet. Hair normally grows back in this case.
• General health: In many cases, hair loss is associated with poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances, scalp infections or certain drugs such as chemotherapy. Normally, the hair will grow back once normal health has returned but this is not always the case.
• Hair pulling: Some people develop an obsessive compulsive disorder which leads them to pull out their own hair strand by strand. The underlying cause of this condition needs to be dealt with to allow the hair to grow back.
For most men and women affected by hair loss, the main reason is simple pattern baldness, which is unfortunately the one condition where the hair is unlikely to grow back of its own accord. In this case, you might be searching for ways to improve the condition of the hair you have left to ensure it stays put and also hoping to find a way to restore the hair you have lost. There are a number of techniques to do just that.
• Your health: One of the easiest ways to ensure you are looking after your hair is to make sure you have an overall good standard of health and nutrition. While pattern baldness may not be helped by this, you will at least make sure that the hair you do have is strong and more likely to last longer.
• Reduce stress: Some types of hair loss are made worse by stress, even of the mild variety. Ensuring that you get enough sleep, don’t work too hard and exercise regularly will all help when it comes to reducing general stress levels.
• Hair pieces: Often made from real hair, these can actually be quite effective and unnoticeable. A good hairdresser will be able to produce a hair piece which fits your natural colour and does not contain too much hair.
• Hair weaving: This is where the hair you already have is used as an anchor point for the weave which is either sewn, knitted or glued to it. This needs to be repeated every six to eight weeks and can be loosened when washing. But it is a good technique, especially for women who want thicker and longer hair.
• Hair transplants: This is where plugs of hair are inserted into the scalp which eventually take root and begin to grow as normal. While expensive, this technique works well but will leave some scarring in the area where the hair has been taken from.
• Drug treatments: There are a few drugs on the market at the moment which can be used both as a preventative measure and to restore hair. They can lead to some side effects however, such as itching and rashes. These topical medications usually only work after several months of use and need to be used consistently. Once they have been stopped the hair will start to fall out again, but some oral medications have shown good results in studies. Once again, they can take up to three months for results to become obvious and will only last as long as the medication is taken.
• Hair laser therapy: When applied in a clinical setting it is possible to use laser therapy to improve hair growth. Results of this hair loss treatment will normally be seen within three months.
It does appear that there is no simple way to restore thinning hair and each method does involve some degree of persistence, but the results speak for themselves. Both men and women experience higher levels of confidence and just generally feel better and younger from their baldness treatment.
While thinning hair may be a natural part of ageing, our society has always fought against any of the signs of getting old whether it is skin creams, plastic surgery or going on a diet. Having your hair restored is one of those methods that will help you to regain your youth, and there is nothing wrong with that!