Male & Female Pattern Hair Loss
For men, male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss. It is characterized by thinning hair beginning at the temples and the crown of the head. Over time, the hair at the temples continues to recede, leaving a central patch of hair at the front of the hairline and a growing bald spot at the crown. Eventually, as the hair loss in these areas widens, the baldness at the front and crown meet to form one large bald spot. Depending on the rate of progression of the hair loss, all that remains is a ‘border’ of hair around the side and back of the head. Male pattern hair loss is a concern for many men because as the hairline recedes, the face takes on a more aged appearance. Hair loss is seen by many as an unwanted sign of ‘premature’ aging.
Male Pattern Hair Loss is “Chronic” and “Progressive:” It is well documented that men who are prone to male pattern hair loss will continue to lose more hair if the condition is not treated.
Norwood Classification Chart – Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, it has been determined that Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a breakdown product of the male hormone Testosterone, is the ‘trigger’ that causes the progressive miniaturization of hair follicles. If you are genetically susceptible to male pattern hair loss, DHT works to progressively miniaturize follicles (which then grow a shorter, thinner, less pigmented hair) until they finally die. Certain prescription medications, like Propecia/finasteride, work to prevent and reverse the miniaturization of hair follicles by blocking the conversion of Testosterone into DHT. Finasteride often is considered the ‘cornerstone’ of medical therapy because it is safe and effective for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Rigorous scientific data reveals that if a man takes finasteride for five years, he has a 90% chance of looking the same or better than he did when he started the medication. The same studies showed that 75% of men with untreated male pattern hair loss looked “much worse” at the end of the same five years. Treatment of male pattern hair loss should always include a long term ‘hair loss prevention’ therapy, like Finasteride. Other therapies may include prescription topical minoxidil, laser therapy, PRP, nutritional supplementation and/or hair transplantation.
If you are a woman experiencing shedding or thinning hair, you are in the company of an estimated 20 million American women who also suffer from hair loss. Unfortunately, many women mistakenly believe they are the only female with this condition because it is a common misconception that hair loss is something that only happens to men.
While women typically experience a somewhat different hair loss pattern than men, the onset of hair loss in both sexes can occur any time after the teenage years. Because of the effect of hormones, for some women, hair loss can become more evident:
• When starting birth control
• After the birth of a child
• Around menopause
• When starting hormone replacement therapy
• After a total hysterectomy
While female hair loss can present in many ways, the most common types of hair loss in women are:
• Diffuse hair loss, in which hair loss is evident all over the top or crown of the scalp, resulting in decreased hair density, coverage and volume
• A slight recession of the hairline, and/or
• Loss of density and coverage at the frontal half of the scalp–starting just behind the hairline and extending toward the crown.
In most cases, unlike male pattern baldness, hereditary hair loss in females does not typically result in a total balding of the affected area.
Because medical research has yet to identify the specific trigger for female pattern hair loss, there is no one particular treatment option that is the ‘magic bullet.’ While most women are looking for the ‘miracle cure,’ unfortunately the answer for the vast majority of hair loss sufferers will be a multi-therapy approach. A “multi-therapy” approach, like the one advocated by Dr. Sefrioui, uses a combination of available technologies that have been shown to have positive results for patients. Just like the classic combination of ‘diet and exercise’ for weight control and general health, most often it is a combination of various treatments that yield the best results.
A complete medical history, hair loss history, scalp exam (with and without a microscope), laboratory tests, etc. may be required to ‘get to the root’ of your hair loss problem. Dr. Sefrioui may then recommend one, two or more various therapies designed to maintain and enhance the hair you have as well as restore hair you may have lost. A multi-therapy regimen may include nutritional supplementation, medications, laser therapy, PRP, specific haircare products or regimens, and/or hair transplantation. For some, a non-invasive approach will be worthwhile and for others invasive treatments may need to be added to the regimen. Note: Without exception, all non-invasive treatments will need to be continued in order to maintain the results you achieve. Discontinuing a non-invasive hair restoration treatment will likely lead to a regression (loss) of results*. How quickly the ‘results’ are lost varies depending on a variety of factors including the severity of the hair loss process and the specific treatments being discontinued.
For more information on what combination of treatments may be right for you, contact Dr. Sefrioui for an online or in-person consultation.