It is estimated that about 80 million Americans, both men and women, are experiencing some level of hair loss. That’s a quarter of the population. By age 50, nearly half of us will have thinning hair.
Even more alarming is the fact that individuals can lose as much as 50% of their hair before hair loss even becomes noticeable. So you may not even realize it. With August being Hair Loss Awareness Month, it is an ideal time to focus on prevention and effective treatment.
While hair loss is not life-threatening, the health of your hair and scalp are not just a sign of age, but rather an excellent indicator of overall health and vitality. Put simply, a youthful head of hair makes people look good, and feel good too. Research has shown that an overwhelming majority of those who have undergone treatment for hair loss wish they had begun sooner.
As with any health concern, the key to prevention is having the desire to detect it early, and to seek accurate diagnosis and treatment if needed. Early detection and medical treatment can significantly slow and even reverse hair loss before it becomes noticeable. It’s important to begin monitoring the condition of your hair and scalp as early as possible and be attuned to changes in hair texture or shine, excessive shedding, decreases in hair volume or scalp coverage, widening of your part-line or a receding of your hairline or temple areas.
Fortunately, beyond blood tests and biopsies, there are an abundance of new medical measurement and evaluation tools available in the subspecialty of Hair Restoration, so it is now possible to accurately diagnose, measure, and monitor your condition like never before. Quick and painless evaluations such as HairCheck® provide doctors and Trichologists – professionals specializing in hair and scalp health – insight into your Hair Mass Index or HMI, a scientific measurement of the caliber and density of your hair at any point on your scalp. Knowing and monitoring your HMI is an easy way to keep tabs on the overall condition of your scalp, and may be the best way to detect hair loss as early as possible.
Of course, prevention and early detection are even more important if you have one or more of the risk factors that can affect hair loss. For instance, you are more likely to experience hair loss if your family has a history of hair loss. Other factors include illnesses, stress, side effects from certain medications, smoking, and a poor nutrition. Being aware of these risk factors and doing what you can to reduce them as much as possible will help shift the odds in your favor.
For those that are experiencing hair loss, the good news is that it is 100% treatable. Treatment options exist for all the varying degrees of hair loss, from simple thinning or shedding to extensive pattern baldness. There are even non-surgical medical hair replacement options available for those who are suffering severe hair loss from alopecia, radiation and chemotherapy, as well as burns and other scars.
The most important thing for those seeking the best chance at successful treatment is to work with a credentialed medical specialist. In today’s world, it is easy to be taken in by the false claims and promises made by “miracle hair-growth” cures and elixirs. However, there are no “one size fits all” remedies for hair loss.
Ideally, hair loss sufferers should seek out an American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery or ABHRS board-certified hair restoration physician for treatment. Hair restoration is a clinically recognized medical sub-specialty, and experienced professionals with the appropriate accreditation will be able to best guide you to the proper course of treatment. Be prepared to travel to visit in-person or begin online with a long-distance consultation, if necessary.
Your hair restoration physician will suggest treatments and procedures that are non-invasive or minimally-invasive, depending upon the type and degree of hair loss you are experiencing and your goals. Often, as it is in many areas of medicine, “multi-therapy” or a combination of several different treatments, may have the best success in cases similar to yours.
Non-invasive options include Scalp Makeovers, low level laser therapy, nutritionals and nutraceuticals, finasteride, and/or topical application of compounded Formula 82M Minoxidil. For those with more extensive or temporary hair loss, there are medical-grade prosthetic 3D-printed Italian Hair Systems available that are completely indistinguishable from natural hair, allowing patients to confidently shower, swim, (even skydive!) and live full, active lives.
Due to technological advancements in the field of hair restoration, non-invasive, “lunchtime” treatments are now available in-office. For example, Platelet-Rich Plasma, also known as PRP or “Vampire” hair growth therapy, works by leveraging the regenerating effects of your body’s own platelet growth factors from your own blood.
PRP is also used to enhance the effectiveness of an artistically performed FUE hair transplant procedure—the only permanent way to restore living and growing hair. Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE, harvests hair follicles for transplantation without leaving a linear scar. FUE can be performed comfortably and efficiently with sophisticated surgical instruments like NeoGraft or the ARTAS robotic-assisted system. For FUE transplantation, it is important to select an experienced and artistic physician with a proven track record of creating natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing results.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Because hair loss is generally considered more of an aesthetic issue than a medical one, people are often hesitant to talk about it, or to seek diagnosis or treatment for it. Yet, it can significantly affect your quality of life. In fact, a landmark 2005 study showed that hair loss can create an “enormous emotional burden” that can trigger depression or even a psychological breakdown. This is precisely why Hair Loss Awareness Month is so important.
Let August be the motivation you need to check your HMI, see an experienced, certified medical professional about treatment, or perhaps even just pass along this article to a friend. Today, modern, effective treatment options abound, and no one should have to suffer from hair loss.
A few of the cutting-edge treatment options to consider and ask your full-time, board-certified Hair Restoration Physician about:
– ARTAS Robotic-Assisted
– FUE Hair Transplant
– NeoGraft FUE Hair Transplant
– 3D-Printed Italian Hair System – Cranial Prosthesis
– PRP Platelet Rich Plasma
– “Vampire” Therapy
– Compounded Formula 82M Minoxidil
– Low Level Laser Therapy with LaserCap
– Nutritionals & Nutraceuticals
– Genetic Testing
– HairCheck® Hair Measurements
– Scalp Makeovers
Bauman Medical Group