Hair loss affects over 80 million Americans. It’s so common, in fact, that by the age of 35, two-thirds of men will experience some form of hair loss. And it’s not just men – 40% of Americans who experience hair loss are women.
Since so many people are affected, the American Academy of Dermatology declared August National Hair Loss Awareness Month. National Hair Loss Awareness Month’s goal is to educate those suffering from hair loss on the causes and treatments of their issue and to empower those with hair loss to reach out and realize that they are not alone in their issue. In the spirit of providing education about hair loss, we at Southeastern Plastic Surgery, P.A. are sharing information on types of hair loss, causes, treatments, and tips for dealing with hair loss.
Hair Loss Treatments
Some treatments provide temporary regrowth, while others offer a more permanent solution. Hair restoration is the advanced surgical technique that transfers hair from the permanent hair-bearing scalp to bald areas.
Dr. Laurence Rosenberg, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at Southeastern Plastic Surgery, P.A., is an expert in hair restoration using both Micro-follicular Hair Transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction, resulting in a natural-looking, permanent solution to hair loss. Utilizing both techniques allows him the flexibility to perform any size hair restoration. The procedure is done under local anesthesia with light sedation. Patients can relax, watch a movie or sleep. There is minimal downtime, and, often, no time away from work is required.
Dr. Rosenberg is a knowledgeable spokesperson that can speak to the common types of hair loss and answer questions.
COMMON TYPES OF HAIR LOSS
Androgenic Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss, also known as male or female pattern baldness. In 95% of male hair loss cases, the cause is androgenic hair loss. Since androgenic hair loss is genetic, it is unfortunately not preventable.
People with androgenic hair loss have hair follicles that are sensitive to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Exposure to DHT causes the follicles to shrink and the hair to fall out. In men, androgenic hair loss can appear as a receding hairline or thinning on the crown. For women, androgenic hair loss results in widening the hair part or a smaller ponytail.
Involutional alopecia is the gradual thinning of hair due to age. Over the years, more hair follicles go into their resting phase, resulting in fewer hairs growing at any given time. Like androgenic alopecia, this type of hair loss is not preventable.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that results in hair loss on both the scalp and body. While the cause is little understood by scientists, alopecia areata is usually not permanent.
Traction alopecia is caused by over-styling and pulling the hair, resulting in damage of hair follicles and hair loss. In some cases, traction alopecia can result in permanent hair loss. Traction alopecia is most common in women who wear hair extensions or braids, which can pull on the hair and cause damage to the follicles.
In this type of hair loss, abnormal amounts of hair suddenly switch from the growing or resting phase to the shedding phase. Telogen effluvium is usually caused by a stressful event, such as major surgery, drastic weight loss, or giving birth. Although hair may fall out in clumps, it will eventually grow back when stress levels return to normal.
This National Hair Loss Month, we want to remind you that if you’re suffering from hair loss, you’re not alone. Although it may seem like no one else is struggling with thinning hair, keep in mind that hair loss is something that most people experience at one point or another in their lives.