About Hair & Hair Loss
Essential Hair Facts
For each of our 100,000 scalp hairs there is a follicle under the skin that makes it grow.On the surface of the skin you can see separate clusters of 1 to 3 or more growing hairs. The corresponding hair follicles below the skin are also bound together in clusters called "Follicular Units". Using naturally-occurring follicular units as the basic building blocks for hair transplantation (with skilled artistry and advanced techniques) allows modern hair transplants to look virtually undetectable.
Hair has a growth cycle. Follicles typically grow hairs for 2 to 6 years then rest for 2 to 4 months before producing a new hair. New hairs push out the old hairs that had stopped growing. On any given day, 85-90% of hair follicles are growing, 10-15% are resting, and 100 hairs are shed as 100 new hairs start growing. Transplanted hair follicles typically go through a resting phase before they start to grow new hairs.
What Causes Hair Loss?
An experienced physician should diagnose the cause of your hair loss before you consider any treatment.
Well over 95% of hair loss sufferers have genetic hair loss called Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA). AGA is more commonly called male pattern or female pattern baldness. Fortunately, hair transplantation with or without additional medical treatment can be very effective for men and women with Androgenetic Alopecia.
Signs that you may not just have AGA include: sudden or rapid hair loss, excessive hair shedding, patchy hair loss, unusual patterns, loss of hair in normally safe areas, broken hairs, red or painful scalp, shiny or scarred scalp, and scalp rashes or infections.
Some other causes of hair loss that can be treated by hair transplantation include: Traction Alopecia from chronic pulling on hair roots, Traumatic Alopecia from injuries, chemicals, or burns, Surgical Alopecia, Congenital Alopecia (since birth), and Radiation-induced Alopecia.
Some other causes of hair loss that shouldn't be treated by hair transplantation include: Telogen Effluvium (Shedding), Anagen Effluvium, Active Alopecia Areata, Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA), Trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling, Loose Anagen Syndrome, and Active Primary Scarring Alopecias.
Hair Loss Treatment Options
Hair transplantation for appropriate patients is often the best way to improve the appearance of their hair. It is a minor skin surgery that moves long-lasting donor hair follicles from an area where you have more than you need to an area of noticeable hair loss that we call the recipient area.
At the Canadian Hair Transplant Centre, we excel at the art and science of hair transplantation to give you reliable, natural-looking results so you will look your best and feel more confident about your hair.
Non-surgical Hair Loss Treatment Options
Different approved medications for men and women may be used to slow hair loss and occasionally strengthen enough miniaturized hair to cause improvement. Hair loss treatment medications can be used for those who are not ready for hair transplantation or as supplemental treatment for those who wish to have a hair transplant.
Men may take Finasteride by mouth and/or use topical Minoxidil lotion or foam. For more about medical treatments for men click here (PDF).
Women can use topical Minoxidil lotion or foam. Other medications would only be helpful for women with elevated androgen levels. For more about medical treatments for women click here (PDF).
Early hair loss can often be camouflaged by colouring or styling hair differently. When there is less contrast between the colour of the hair and the colour of the scalp, the hair looks less see-through. Curly or wavy hair covers the scalp better than straight hair. The reflected overhead light often makes a centre part look wider than a side part. Styling hair forward or backward may also make the hair look thicker than parting the hair. Early on, longer hair covers better than shorter hair but for men with advanced hair loss, cutting hair very short or shaving hair makes the difference less noticeable. Finally, products like sculpting gel, pomade, or wax that clump the hair together make thinning hair look thinner. Using styling cream, mousse, or light gel and letting it dry, then brushing to separate the hair, can hold hair in place and make it look fuller.
Toppik or other similar products can coat existing hair to make it harder to see through to the scalp. Scalp make-up like COUVRé or Derm-Match can colour the scalp to match the hair and make the hair look less see-through. These products are often easier to find on-line than in stores. Obviously hair and scalp make-up looks most natural when there is existing hair in the area.
Alternative Hair Loss Treatments
There are many other lotions, tonics, herbal remedies and treatments such as laser stimulation or light therapy that have not been scientifically proven to help fight hair loss. At the Canadian Hair Transplant Centre we only recommend proven treatments.
Hair extensions, weaves, systems, and wigs
When hair transplantation is not recommended or desired, wigs or hair systems can be considered. Although we do not offer hair systems, we should recognize that improvements have been made in the hair system industry. When possible, most would prefer solving their problem with transplantation of their own hair because it looks more natural, requires less maintenance, imposes fewer lifestyle restrictions and is less costly over a lifetime than wearing hair systems.
|To receive an accurate diagnosis and to develop a long-term plan to counter hair loss, contact Dr. Cam Simmons in Toronto today at:
416-924-CHTC (2482), 1-866-924-8222, [email protected].