What is hair loss?

Do you realize that hair loss also affects men? With today’s pressures of work and home, hair loss in men is becoming more common, and a testament to this is the increasing number of men on the street with thinning hair or who are bald. Of course, some men choose to become bald, perhaps out of convenience or to look sexier.

Your head’s crowning glory consists of around 100,000 hairs and normal hair loss is about 50 to 100 hairs a day, which isn’t noticeable as new hair normally replaces lost hair.

However, when sufficient new hair is not produced to keep up with daily hair loss, or when you see unusually large amounts of hair coming off after washing or brushing your hair, or when thinning spots appear, you should consult a doctor or a trichologist (a doctor specializing in diseases of the hair and scalp) as soon as possible.

Common causes of hair loss

There may be underlying causes for your hair loss which include:

  • Hereditary hair loss, i.e., family history of baldness
  • work or home stress
  • medications to treat cancer, blood pressure, depression, etc.
  • untreated medical conditions
  • traction hair loss, e.g., braids, ponytails or man buns
  • over usage of hair dyes or hair treatments
  • hair hygiene, i.e., hair left unmaintained for long periods of time
  • poor diet lacking in protein and iron
  • emotional or physical shock, e.g., a death in the family

Treatment options for male hair loss

Your hair loss may be temporary or permanent, and it is only after proper diagnosis that your trichologist will suggest hair treatment options that are suited for you. Treatment options can include:

*FUT and FUE hair transplants – In FUT (follicular unit transplantation), some skin is removed from the scalp where there is a good growth of hair. The hair follicles are removed from that skin and reinserted into the area where there is hair loss. In FUE (follicular unit extraction), hair follicles are removed from the scalp and transplanted onto the bald parts of the scalp.

Hair transplant is considered as a surgical procedure; hence it can be painful and expensive as multiple procedures may need to be done to see results. Risks include scarring and infection.

*Laser treatment – though widely promoted as a way to reduce inflammation in hair follicles that prevent regrowth, laser treatment procedures have limited studies to scientifically back up their effectiveness in treating hair loss. Risks are similar as in FUT and FUE.

*Medication – it may take upto a year to see results, and you will need a trichologist to prescribe the medication for hair loss. You may also have to take the medication on long term basis.

However, you must get clearance from your doctor if you are under medication to treat an ongoing medical condition, before starting on medication to combat hair loss.

*Smoking – research has determined a link between smoking and hair loss, so it may be good to stop smoking to save your crowning glory.

*A balanced diet – include a variety of vegetables, unsaturated fats, fruits, lean protein, seafood, nuts and whole grains. Limit your sugar intake. It is also important to stay well hydrated.

*Reduce your stress levels – some activities such as meditation and regular exercise are good at reducing stress levels.

*Sufficient sleep – get enough sleep for your body to recharge.

*Take care of your locks – be gentle when brushing or styling your hair, as constantly pressurizing them by twisting, pulling or braiding can lead to permanent hair loss. Chemicals in perms, hair straightening, bleaching or hot oil treatments can cause hair loss. Hair treatments should be done by a professional hair stylist, as most DIY scenarios often leave you with damaged hair or hair loss.

We hope this article has provided our male readers some general insight into hair loss and some treatment options. Please note the information provided should not be taken as medical advice, and you should consult your doctor or a qualified trichologist for proper advice and treatment options.

By Aaron
15th August 16:50 2020

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