The Effects of Hair Loss
By Patti Wood
The 7 H’s of hair loss are:
The most common type of hair loss is a condition called androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss can affect both men and women. Other terms for androgenetic alopecia include “male pattern balding” and “female pattern hair loss.”
For many people, losing their hair is a frustrating experience. Fortunately, treatments are available that can help to regrow hair or prevent further hair loss.
The hair follicle is a structure that encases the lower part of the hair shaft. Each follicle contains blood vessels that nurture new hair growth. All hair follicles are present at birth; throughout the lifetime, each follicle grows and sheds single hairs in a repetitive cycle.
● The growth phase for a single new hair lasts two to three years.
● At the end of this time, growth ceases and the follicle enters a resting phase.
● After three to four months in the resting phase, the hair is shed and the next growth cycle begins.
On a normal scalp, approximately 80 to 90 percent of follicles are growing at any time. Each day, about 75 follicles shed their hair while the same number enters a new growth phase.
In men with androgenetic alopecia, hormones related to testosterone (also called androgens) cause hair follicles to have a shorter-than-normal growth phase, resulting in hair shafts that are abnormally short and thin. These follicles are said to be "miniaturized." The reasons why some men develop androgenetic alopecia and others do not are not fully understood. It is generally accepted that genetic background strongly influences the development of androgenetic alopecia in men, but the exact way in which family history affects a man’s chance of developing hair loss has not been determined .
Genetics also appears to play a role in the risk for androgenetic alopecia in women, although other factors (some of which remain unknown) may also be important. As an example, abnormal levels of androgens in the blood are the cause of androgenetic alopecia in a minority of women. Additional research is necessary to provide a better understanding of the role of genetics and other factors in androgenetic alopecia.
The psychosocial impact
The psychosocial impact of hair loss can be severe for some people, especially women, since there is little understanding or acceptance of the condition. Women may have difficulty with issues of low self-esteem or feeling unattractive.
If you are having difficulty with the psychosocial impact of losing your hair, speak to a healthcare provider about your feelings. Providers can offer support and may recommend that a patient work with a therapist, clinical psychologist, or support group; individual and group therapy can help patients adjust and cope with hair loss, and may also provide tips on cosmetic coverings.
Where to find help
First see your doctor or dermatologist, next see a Trichologist.
What is a trichologist?
A trichologist is a hair and scalp specialist. Trained in life sciences, they look at hair loss problems in a holistic way by evaluating clients on the basis of personal history, lifestyle, genetic factors and environmental conditions. Based on this information, a trichologist is able to suggest individualized treatments, give nutritional advice and recommend lifestyle changes to improve the health and appearance of the hair and scalp.
Like other para-medical (non-physician) health specialists such as nutritionists, a competent trichologist should work closely with your medical doctor to find out whether any medical problems are associated with your hair loss. Your physician should also be willing to work with your trichologist with respect to taking and analyzing blood tests that your trichologist suggests.
A competent trichologist should be able to genuinely empathize with you. He or she should also spend time advising you on how to best cope with your condition as part of the treatment regimen.
Trichology is the para-medical science of the hair, hair loss and associated scalp problems. It encompasses the study of the diseases of the human hair and scalp, as well as the assessment of the cause(s) and treatment of these disorders.
The word “trichology” comes from the Greek word, ‘Trikhos’, meaning ‘hair’, and was first conceived as a specialty branch of study in Britain in the late 19th century. It then became a specific para-medical discipline in 1902.
Today, trichology is perceived as the “bridge between cosmetology and dermatology.”
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Patti Wood WTS, Owner of Off 5th Avenue Salon, is a professionally trained hair stylist and a certified Trichologist specializing in Hair Replacement therapy and solutions. Patti has helped many clients solve hair loss problems ranging from cancer treatments, male or female pattern baldness, hair thinning, and Alopecia Areata. She works closely with Dermatologists and Physicians in treatment plans.