Frederick Watkins, M.D., F.A.C.S. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Hair Loss Treatment For Men

Understanding Male Pattern Baldness

Hair loss is an extremely common condition and affects both men and women in varying degrees. Some experience receding hairlines while others have thinning hair throughout.

Healthy hair follicles grow at approximately half of an inch every four weeks. Hair will grow naturally for many years before eventually falling out as it is being washed or brushed. New hair is continually growing in as older hair falls away. Hair is often lost as you brush or comb your hair. This process is known as shedding, and it is completely normal. Your hair grows in cycles. It is lost and replaced continually throughout your lifetime. However, if your shedding becomes excessive, you may have cause for concern.

The Growth of Natural Hair

Approximately 90% of your hair is in some stage of growth at all times. Each growth phase lasts approximately two to seven years.

  • Around 10% of your hair is in the resting phase. This is the final phase before the hair is released or shed and lasts between two and three months.

  • A new hair will begin to grow in the same hair follicle as a hair that was just lost. When this occurs the growing cycle repeats itself.

  • Hair on the scalp grows approximately half an inch every month. The older the strands get, however, the slower the growth rate.

How Hair Grows

The purpose of a hair follicle is to collect old cells and use them to grow hair. Each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland attached to it. Sebaceous glands are very small and produce a substance called sebum. Sebum helps to lubricate the hair and protect against breakage and excessive shedding. Sebaceous glands are found throughout the body except in the lips, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet.

Each follicle has a small bundle of muscle fibers connected to it. These are referred to as erector pili. As the muscle fibers begin to tighten, goosebumps form resulting in the skin rising in a perpendicular fashion. Stem cells are found where the follicle and the muscle fibers meet. These stem cells are used to grow new hair during the anagen stage.

What Causes Hair Loss?

People lose their hair for many different reasons. A few of the most common causes include:

  • Heredity
  • Thyroid gland disorders
  • Excessive stress
  • Alopecia
  • Hormones
  • Chemotherapy
  • Certain types of prescription drugs
  • Dehydration

Hair loss is more than just lost or thinning hair that occurs on the scalp, eyebrows, chest, arms, legs, or any other place where hair naturally grows on the body. The average person has approximately 100,000 hairs at one time. They lose anywhere from 50 to 100 of those hairs every day. When hair falls out at an excessive rate and is not replaced, it is considered to be abnormal. For some, this is a genetic trait that may not be able to be corrected.

Hair loss is common and can happen to anyone including men, women, children, and even infants. It does not matter where you live or your social status. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair loss due to genetics is the most common. It is sometimes referred to as male/female pattern baldness and affects approximately 80 million Americans.

Hair loss can occur suddenly or it can occur gradually over several weeks or months. When hair is lost suddenly due to an extremely stressful event it is referred to as telogen effluvium. Hair loss may also be caused by specific disorders. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks healthy hair. There are also psychological disorders like trichotillomania where individuals continually pick at and pull out their own hair.

Hair loss can occur suddenly or it can occur gradually over several weeks or months. When hair is lost suddenly due to an extremely stressful event it is referred to as telogen effluvium. Hair loss may also be caused by specific disorders. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks healthy hair. There are also psychological disorders like trichotillomania where individuals continually pick at and pull out their own hair.

When the body converts the hormone testosterone to DHT, a change is triggered in how the hair follicles at the front and top of the head function. How these respond to this change will depend on their genetic makeup. It is common for follicles in this area to slow the process of new hair growth. Eventually, they stop producing hair altogether and the follicles become dormant. Once a hair follicle reaches the dormant stage, it will not produce new hairs.

When you start to notice significant hair loss, your first step is to schedule a professional evaluation to get to the bottom of the problem. Once you know the cause, a doctor can create a treatment plan that will allow you to take control of the situation. The following medications may help:

  • Minoxidil – common topical over the counter treatment available for both men and women
  • Finasteride – oral medication only approved for men

Both medications work more efficiently at maintaining your current hair and reducing the amount of hair you lose rather than working to grow or produce new hair.

There are many other hair replacement treatment options for you to consider. They include:

  • Wigs
  • Hair Transplants
  • Weaves
  • Laser Hair Therapy

Hair Transplants

Many people often look to hair transplant surgery to help them regain some of the hair growth they have lost over time. This type of surgery will be more successful if the donor sites are healthy and productive. Once the transplants are in place, they will begin to grow naturally, filling in balding areas. Hair transplant surgery involves the following steps:

  • The removal of small strips of the scalp that contains healthy hair follicles from the donor region, often the back of the head (also referred to as follicular unit extraction)
  • Your plastic surgeon will make repairs to the scalp in the donor area (usually produces a small, hair-line scar)
  • Dividing the harvested strips into small grafts that can be placed directly into the balding areas of the scalp

The amount of area to be covered will be determined by the current amount of hair loss and the hair transplant procedure that the surgeon performs. It will take approximately one month for the transplanted hair to be lost. Approximately four months later, new hair will start to grow. The hair will begin to grow according to its natural cycle. To learn more about what you can expect after a hair transplant procedure, schedule your free consultation with us by calling 888-793-4769 or filling out our online consultation form. At Washington Medical Hair Clinics, we offer the highest level of patient care at all times.

Why Do We Lose Hair?

The Primary Causes Of Hair Loss Include:

For many, hair loss is something that they cannot avoid. This is often due to genetics. The genes that cause hair loss are passed down through your mother or father. You have a 50% chance of losing your hair if your father is bald. Some believe that the gene that determines hair growth and loss comes from the mother, but there is no proof that it is actually true.

There are also other hair loss factors that interact with genetics. Such factors include, but are not limited to:

Illness – Many illnesses can have an effect on how quickly your hair grows or is lost. Diseases that are accompanied by a high fever may increase your risk of hair loss. Poor nutrition, oral contraceptives, post-pregnancy hormone fluctuations, and general deterioration of the body due to aging are all possible causes of hair loss.

Stress – Excessive stress can cause hair loss to accelerate dramatically. Stress takes many forms. It can be caused by the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, studying for a major test, or extreme illness.

Age – Baldness can occur at any age when caused by an illness. When related to genetics, will normally begin to appear when the growth stage begins to slow down or stop.

Sex – Baldness is primarily associated with men, but can also happen in women as well. It is physiologically possible to begin to lose your hair at any age. It will all depend on how your body functions on an individual basis.

Why Hair Transplants Are a Good Option

Many people think about their hair as their crowning feature. Losing your hair can affect your self-esteem and completely alter your self-image. If you start to lose your hair, you have several different treatments available to you. The one you choose will depend on your lifestyle and the extent you want to go to keep your hair looking its best.

You can start with making positive lifestyle changes, medications, and if all else fails, hair restoration procedures like an FUT or FUE hair transplant. These treatments are quite effective and may help you regrow the hair you have lost, resulting in a thicker, fuller head of hair.

Men have been dealing with thinning or balding hair since the beginning of time. Why some men are able to maintain a full head of hair into their 90s while others start losing their hair in their 20s is a mystery for many. For those who are not able to maintain their hair as they grow older, a hair transplant procedure can help restore your confidence. If you live in Northern Virginia and want to learn more about follicular unit transplantation and how it can reverse your hair loss, call 888-793-4769 today.

Washington Medical Hair Clinics can provide you with answers and help you solve your hair loss issues. After a thorough examination, we will evaluate your condition. If you are a good candidate, we will begin to put together a hair loss treatment plan catered to your needs. As a Northern Virginia hair restoration clinic, we offer FDA-approved hair restoration procedures and serve many communities including Fairfax and Washington D.C.

To learn more about what you can expect after a hair transplant procedure, schedule your free consultation with us by calling 888-793-4769 or filling out our online consultation form. At Washington Medical Hair Clinics, we offer the highest level of patient care at all times.

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