Many people experience alopecia in their lifetime. Some causes are permanent, while others are temporary. Why are some people bald? How to cure hair loss?
Here is everything you need to know!
Why am I bald?
There are many different causes of hair loss. Some are genetics, and others are symptoms of autoimmune or hormonal disorders.
The first step of a baldness treatment is to identify the causes of alopecia. All baldness patterns are not the same.
Here are the most common baldness causes and their specificities.
- Androgenic baldness
Most bald men suffer from androgenic alopecia. This condition is due to androgen, a hormone group including testosterone and DHT. Androgen manages manly features, such as deep voice, body hair, and sexual function, and they often weaken hair follicles, leading to hair thinning and baldness.
Women may also suffer from androgenic alopecia. Female hormones protect hair follicles against androgens. During a hormonal imbalance or after menopause, those hormones are not produced in a sufficient amount to ensure hair follicles’ protection.
- Telogen effluvium
Telogen effluvium is a prevalent cause of non-permanent baldness. This condition is mainly due to physical or psychological stress, such as trauma or an illness. The triggering occurrence makes the hair follicles enter the hair life cycle’s telogen phase: the hair stops growing and eventually falls about three months later. This condition is often impressive but harmless. The hair grows back in the following months.
However, this condition has a variant named chronic telogen effluvium. In this case, the hair follicles keep entering the telogen phase, and the hair falls without reason.
- Alopecia areata
This type of alopecia is an autoimmune disease. The immune system targets the hair follicles, causing hair loss. It may affect both hair and body hair, causing bald patches. In the worst cases, this condition can lead to the loss of all the hair of the body.
- Nutrient deficiency
Severe deficiency may cause hair loss. Hair follicles need nutrients to grow healthy hair; without a proper nutrient intake, it may cause telogen effluvium as the body goes on “energy-saving” mode and sheds the hair like the trees lose their leaves in fall.
What are the treatments not to be bald?
Baldness treatment depends on the cause.
For androgenic alopecia, several drugs such as Minoxidil or Finasteride blocks DHT production. DHT is an androgen responsible for baldness. Those drug treatments are efficient. However, as DHT is a crucial hormone for many physiologic processes, they cause significant side effects, especially in sexual function and mood. The best way to get one’s hair back for patients suffering from androgenic alopecia is to a hair transplant.
Women suffering from androgenic alopecia cannot use most DHT blocker medicines manufactured for men. The best thing to do for them before planning a hair transplant is to do a blood test to ensure hormonal therapy cannot treat the hormonal imbalance.
There is nothing to cure telogen effluvium if this condition is not chronic. Managing stress and eating a healthy, full of nutrient diet may help. Better see a doctor for chronic telogen effluvium.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. This type of disease is tough to cure as the body is causing it to itself. Some medicines lower the immune system to prevent the reaction. However, they cause severe side effects as people with poor immune defense are susceptible catch many diseases, including lethal ones. Better see a doctor before going on that kind of medication.
The best thing to do for nutrient deficiency is to eat healthily. A diverse and balanced diet clear from the excess of fat, salt and sugar often do wonders on hair. Taking supplements in some vitamins, such as the B-group vitamin, may help grow luxuriant hair. Physical activity improves the bloodstream and helps deliver nutrients to the hair follicles.
Is a hair transplant efficient for all types of hair loss?
A hair transplant is very efficient on androgenic alopecia in males and females. However, a hair transplant is not a universal treatment for baldness: it requires having a suitable donor area on the back of the head. Moreover, hair transplant results are guaranteed for androgenic alopecia because this baldness pattern touches only the hair at the head’s top and front. Other types of alopecia have different baldness patterns and may affect all the hair, making hair transplant inefficient as all the hair may fall.