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Facts About Baldness & Hair Loss

Hair loss in men

In most cases male hair loss is caused by hereditary Androgenetic Alopecia, more commonly known as “male pattern baldness”. The tendency for male pattern baldness is genetically inherited from either side of the family and begins to develop after puberty. The presence of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), in a genetically susceptible man, is necessary for male pattern baldness to occur. There is no cure. Many myths exist regarding hair loss and baldness but it is most definitely NOT caused by poor circulation, clogged hair follicles, frequent shampooing, the wearing of hats and helmets or the presence of mites. Good nutrition can positively affect the quality, but not quantity, of hair.

Hair loss in women

This condition is still being researched, but the hormone influences in hereditary hair loss in females are suspected to be different from those in males. Some of the less common causes of hair loss and baldness, which are reversible with treatment, include thyroid disease, iron deficiency, high fever, surgery or general anaesthesia, “crash diets”, childbirth and certain medications. There are also certain dermatologic scalp disorders that can result in temporary or permanent hair loss and baldness, such as Lupus, Lichen Planopilaris, and Alopecia Areata.

Because some hair loss in women can be caused by underlying medical conditions, it is important that women with undiagnosed hair loss be evaluated by a dermatologist.

Hair loss and hair transplant surgery

Hair transplant surgery is all about compromise, creating an illusion of fullness and density. The surgeon takes a strip of dense hair bearing skin from the donor area and transplants the follicular units from this strip into the recipient balding or thinning areas. Donor hair, which is permanent and unaffected by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is redistributed to the balding (recipient) area. The art of transplant surgery evolves from the angulation of the grafts and the placement of the 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair follicular grafts in different locations. No new hair is created during the procedure. When transplanted, the density of follicular units is less than the original but the eye can have difficulty in detecting this.

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