Almost 70% of Males and 20% of Females will Experience Hair Loss at some point in their Life.
The Canadian Hair Research Foundation (CHRF) released a study revealing 81% of men believe that physical appearance can influence career advancements and 1 in 4 Canadians believe hair loss is an obstacle to having a romantic relationship. With hair loss affecting every aspect of your life and your self-confidence, it’s important to understand what causes it and what can be done.
Throughout thousands of consultations, our clients tell us they feel much older than they are and their peers who have a full head of hair. They lose confidence and become frustrated with the volume of information on the internet and in books.
The simple fact is, there is only one proven, permanent method for getting your hair to grow again on top of your head and that is a hair transplant procedure.
What is most exciting for our patients is the recent medical advances and innovative techniques that we use. This starts with a hair line that we construct.
All patients provide input and they approve its location and shape before the procedure begins. This all translates into a hair transplant that is virtually undetectable. Not even your hair stylist or barber will know for sure! You can forget the obsolete “plugs” or “dolls head” look that used to be the norm just a few years ago. Transplanted hair should look natural – wet or dry, and can be styled any way you like. It is yours to enjoy and be proud of for your lifetime.
Hair loss can result from many factors. These include thyroid disease, high fever, diet, childbirth and some medications. Burns and other causes of scalp scarring can also cause permanent hair loss. Stress is only implicated in certain, relatively uncommon instances.
Alopecia areata is an unusual condition involving patches of hair loss that is caused by problems in the immune system. Women can suffer from a condition known as “chronic telogen effluvium” where full-length healthy hair is shed from all over the scalp in continuous “molts” for up to 2 years. The cause is unknown.
Aging is known to cause hair loss in some men and women. It affects the entire scalp with gradual thinning being detected, usually after 50 years of age. Most men and women, experience some degree of hair loss in their lifetimes.
Causes of Hair Loss
Below are just some of the key underlying factors that can contribute to noticeable hair loss. Hair doctors usually undergo painstaking methods to identify which factors their patients are afflicted by so that they can come up with appropriate solutions.
The two thyroid diseases that are generally linked to severe hair loss are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Hair loss due to a thyroid disorder can take a long time to become apparent, and it is usually more akin to female-pattern baldness than male-pattern baldness.
Shedding a great deal of weight in a short period of time can be a huge shock to your system and can throw off your hormonal balance. Vast and sudden diet changes in conjunction with rigid exercise routines can sometimes cause a deficiency of important vitamins and nutrients that are essential to strengthening and reproducing hair. If you are planning on losing copious amounts of weight, do so within a reasonable timeframe and feed your body the nutrients it requires. Always keep in mind that the health of your hair is indicative of your physical health.
Many women do not realize that childbirth can contribute to hair loss. Like with weight loss or a thyroid disease, your body is going through an extreme hormonal transformation during pregnancy. During those nine months, your hair might become thicker and more vibrant. Even though this may be a desirable and welcome change, it is not necessarily a permanent one. About six months after childbirth, some people experience an overabundance of estrogen, which causes overactive hair glands. As your estrogen levels begin to normalize following childbirth, you may experience severe hair loss to the extent of scalp exposure. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and within the first year of your child’s life, your hair will start to grow back.
It is always important to read and understand the side effects of the medications you are taking. Certain active ingredients in your medications are known to interact with each other or the hormones that your body naturally produces. If you are concerned about this, consult your physician or a licensed hair doctor.
Stress and Chronic Telogen Effluvium
Hair loss is one of many symptoms of stress. You may find your hair falling out in large chunks due to stressful life situations, whether they are personal or work-related. Stress can also lead to chronic physical conditions, such as trichotillomania (the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair).
It can also physically manifest itself in the form of telogen effluvium. Hair goes through a growing and then resting phase. Sometimes, physical or emotional stress can prematurely push the hair into the resting phase and cause it to stay there longer than it should. When this happens, people usually lose large amounts of hair all at once. The condition does typically fix itself over time as people move through different stages in life; however, if it persists over a consistent period of time, then it is advisable to seek both mental and physical help.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the cells of the body in which it resides, including healthy hair follicles that it does not recognize or perceives to be diseased.
Hair loss caused by ageing is an unavoidable hereditary condition that can be exacerbated by external life circumstances. However, there are numerous solutions, such as hair transplants, hair surgery, and hair restoration treatments. Ultimately, your hair doctor will be able to determine the best course of action in your specific case.
Male- vs. Female-Pattern Baldness
Contrary to what you might think, male- and female-pattern baldness are two different kinds of beasts. The main difference, more than anything else, is the pattern each type of hair loss follows. For men, hair loss typically begins at the frontal lobe hairline and moves inward to the crown of the head. Female-pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia), on the other hand, starts at the crown of the head and moves outward in a spiraling pattern over time. Both forms of baldness are hereditary for the most part, but they are highly treatable. All you need is a qualified hair doctor to help you navigate through your hair loss treatment options.
Male pattern hair loss (or Male Pattern Baldness) is determined by a combination of heredity and the male hormone (or androgen) dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The tendency for male and female pattern hair loss is genetically inherited from either side of the family and begins to develop after puberty. The pattern of inheritance varies between families and in some cases can “skip” generations.
Hair on the scalp that is genetically affected by DHT (usually the front and top of the scalp), starts to shrink until it is lost. This can be a continuous process but commonly occurs as repeated episodes of rapid hair loss. Hair at the back and lower sides of the scalp is permanent because it is not affected by DHT. The posterior permanent scalp hair can be used as donor hair and is surgically moved to the upper scalp to replace the lost hair – virtually for life.
This restoration surgery offers a permanent, living solution to lost scalp hair in male-type pattern hair loss (or scalp scarring).
Temporary solutions to this hair loss include coloured creams, sprays, and powders that colour the scalp to match the hair colour and help conceal thinning areas. Hairpieces and weaves are also non-surgical means to restore hair (either synthetic or natural) by covering bald areas of the scalp.
Brushing Your Hair Makes It Grow Faster
This is false. In fact, brushing your hair too much can actually damage it and excessively pull on your hair follicles, thus weakening them. Only brush your hair when it is knotted.
Colouring Hair Makes It Fall Out
Bleaching your hair is very harmful because it strips the strands of their natural colour and this can dry it out and cause severe breakage. Colouring your hair, on the other hand, may actually be good for it because it thickens your hair strands, thus strengthening them.
Switching Shampoos Makes Your Hair Grow Faster
Switching shampoos does not necessarily have a positive effect on the growth of your hair. In fact, external products are for the most part ineffectual when it comes to giving you strong and healthy hair. A complete and balanced diet is more pertinent to healthy hair than any product you put in it.
Dandruff Means You Have a Dry Scalp
The truth is that dandruff is not a by-product of a dry scalp; rather, it signifies an oily scalp. Due to common misconceptions, many people are under the impression that a dry scalp leads to dandruff and therefore they need to cut back on washing their hair. Actually, you may need to just switch to anti-dandruff shampoo but you can keep washing your hair the same amount.
Hair Only Thins Out as You Get Older
This is not true. The rate and age at which your hair thins out is hereditary.
Over-Washing Your Hair Can Cause Hair Loss
Everyone’s hair is different and, therefore, they all require different hair care routines. Some people might need to wash their hair every day to keep it from becoming too oily, whereas other people can go about three or four days without having to wash their hair.
Stopping Birth Control Makes Your Hair Fall Out
This is not necessarily true. While birth control does increase your estrogen and progesterone levels, which is a contributing factor to some changes in your body hair, it does not necessarily make your hair fall out unless you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss.
Frequent Haircuts Allow Hair to Grow Faster
Frequent haircuts do not have any effect on the rate of your hair growth. However, they are helpful in removing split ends and dead ends, which ultimately weaken the structure of hair strands and make them more prone to breakage. In order to facilitate fast, strong, and healthy hair growth, you need to ensure that you are consuming a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in proteins, vitamins, nutrients, and essential minerals.