The Fundamentals of Hair Loss
If an individual’s father or mother’s father suffered from hair loss or baldness, chances are good that they will too. A number of other factors also contribute to the occurrence of Androgenetic Alopecia, making it a complex condition to fully comprehend.
The process of Androgenetic Alopecia is quite simple to understand. The enzyme 5α-reductase causes the formation of DHT from testosterone, a male hormone, in certain tissues, including skin and hair follicles. The androgen receptors in the hair follicle (that we inherit) bind with the DHT hormone, causing the process of miniaturisation of the hair follicles. Miniaturisation causes the hair follicle to shrink over time, and the shafts of hair growing from the follicle to become thinner. Eventually the hair will become very thin, presenting as hair loss, and ultimately the hair will cease to grow from the affected follicles.
Luckily, this isn’t the end of the road for your locks of hair. There are many treatments available today for hair loss conditions – some solutions aim to block the formation of DHT (the culprit that causes Androgenetic Alopecia to begin with), while others help to create a better environment for hair growth, such as hair growth supplements and Trichological products. Then there is the more extreme, but permanent, solution to hair loss, namely a hair transplantation. There are however a few factors such as hair calibre and the hair mass index that need to be assessed before a hair transplantation can be performed.
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Hair Calibre and Hair Mass Index – The importance in hair transplantation
There are three types of hair follicles:
- Terminal hairs: Terminal hairs are considered healthy hair, and are present on a normal healthy head of hair. These hair strands usually fall in the hair calibre range of 60 – 84 micrometres.
- Vellus hairs: Vellus hairs are fine, short and barely noticeable, and can be found all over the body. The diameter of Vellus hairs are around 30 micrometers.
- Miniaturized hairs: Miniaturized hairs are hairs from terminal hair follicles that have been affected by DHT, causing thinner hair shafts. The miniaturized hairs are usually between 30 – 60 micrometers in diameter.
A hair transplant involves the transplantation of hair follicles from a donor area on the patient’s scalp, to the area where hair loss has occurred (recipient area). Thus, there needs to be a sufficient supply of healthy Terminal hairs to be transplanted to help create the appearance of a fuller head of hair.
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Hair Mass Index refers to the density and number of hair follicles per specified parameter, and is used to determine the extent of an individual’s hair loss. This method also assists to determine the type of alopecia, and can indicate the progress of hair loss treatments undergone by the individual.
Treating Androgenetic Alopecia
Male pattern hair loss, or Androgenetic Alopecia is quite a complex condition, that can be treated by a number of different approaches (usually a combination of treatments). If you are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, book a consultation with the leading hair restoration specialist at the Hair, Skin & Wellness Clinic in London, United Kingdom. A thorough assessment will determine the cause and stage