Hair loss affects more than 40% of the general population. Its prevalence is more or less even among men and women. Although hair loss can affect any part of the body (eyelashes, facial hair, body hair etc.) but its mostly the scalp hair loss that most people seek treatment options for. There are several causes of hair loss ranging from self-inflicted (trichotillomania) to chemotherapy, radiation, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances such as Testosterone and Thyroid hormone. Baldness or s-called androgenic alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs due to high susceptibility of the hair follicles to undergo shrinkage due to influence from the androgenic hormones. Male pattern baldness affects nearly 70% of men and 40% of women at some point in their lives.
Hair Loss: Recent Advances in Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Female pattern hair loss
Androgenetic alopecia affects about 30% of women in their lifetime. Because it tends to present as diffuse thinning over the entire scalp, and because women generally do not lose their frontal hairline (as men do), the thinning may not be as noticeable, particularly in its early stages. Women generally lose hair gradually, with the rate accelerating during pregnancy and at menopause.
Women’s hair loss can also show seasonal variations and is more easily affected by hormonal changes especially due to Thyroid hormone imbalances, medical conditions, and external factors such as certain hair grooming and styling habits, hair relaxers and frequent use of metallic hair coloring routines.
Male pattern hair loss
Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is determined by three interdependent factors: genes, hormones, and age. The genes for androgenetic alopecia can be inherited from either the mother or father’s side of the family. Male pattern hair loss is caused by the affects of androgens on susceptible hair follicles. Most men will experience some degree of balding as they age, with more than half displaying signs of genetic baldness by the time they’re in their 50s.
Recent Advances in non-surgical treatments for Hair Loss
Treatments for hair loss vary widely and so does the results. Most commonly employed treatments are OTC topical Rogaine, oral vitamins, massage therapies, to treatments offered at doctors offices such as low level light therapies, injections of ones own platelets called PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injected on a monthly basis, etc, to rather invasive surgical options such as hair transplants. Sometimes a combination of all these treatments is necessary to achieve the desired results. The results of all the aforementioned treatments vary from person to person. Not to mention, these treatments can be quite expensive as one must undergo therapy once ever 4-6 weeks to two in order to see the results. Research studies performed over a period of more than 6 years have shown that office based treatments such as PRP if performed on a monthly basis, can stimulate hair regrowth in a selective group of patients who have significant hair thinning, scarring or even localized patches of hair loss, especially in women. However, the PRP treatments are expensive ($1500-$2000/treatment session) and time consuming. New research shows that if the PRP is combined with human amniotic tissue matrix with stem cells and then injected into the scalp, that it can not only provide better results but the results tend to last longer even with only 2 or 3 compared to 12 sessions of PRP alone per year. This latest treatment is also offered to patients at a significantly lesser cost per year and increased compliance rate. This unique treatment is offered at very few offices across the country.
M Khan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery is well equipped in providing these treatments that have helped a lot of our patients especially women with androgenic alopecia and with Thyroid abnormalities causing diffuse hair loss.
The results of all procedures are patient specific and will vary depending upon patient's specific situation.