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Understanding Hair Loss and How To Treat The Issue

Prevention is better than cure, but sometimes hair growth treatments work better.

By Azra Shuib | December 24th, 2021

Hair loss can be stressful and may interfere with someone’s confidence and self-esteem. Losing hair can happen at any age - and 3 in 10 males in their thirties are bald. In extreme cases, some males start losing hair as early as the age of 16 and are bald by their early twenties. Hair loss can affect women as well, and both male and female pattern baldness stemmed from inherited genes.

In men, genes can be handed down from one or both parents. For women, because of their greater amounts of estrogen, are unlikely to be impacted if only one parent inherits the gene. Other types of hair loss, such as stress-related hair loss, are not inherited.

Some facts about the hair:

· An average person has between 90,000 and 120,000 hairs growing

· Blondes usually have the most hair, followed by brown, black and red hair. They also have the finest hair.

· It is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day

Non-surgical hair replacement

There are 2 drugs approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness, which are Rogaine and Propecia. Rogaine is available over the counter at most local pharmacies. Propecia is only available with a doctor's written prescription. These medicines are more successful at preserving existing hair than at regrowing previously lost hair. Despite the fact that the medicines are advertised as remedies for hair loss, they generally only produce modest density restoration.

Another interesting non-surgical method is LED treatment. LED light therapy device delivers wavelengths of natural light safely to the scalp to stimulate the mitochondria in your cells through the process of photobiomodulation. This is similar to the process of plants converting sunlight into energy for them to grow. With LED, new hair will grow from your follicles which have been stimulated to expand. This is a suitable treatment for those who like to get thicker hair without undergoing invasive or long procedures.

Besides that, you can also consider fillers. For instance, DR. CYJ Hair Filler is a hair growth-stimulating filler with hyaluronic acid and peptides as its active ingredients. It is manufactured with sustained release and peptide technology. This hair filler functions to revitalize the scalp by providing nutrients to the scalp and hair roots for thicker hair, preventing hair loss and restoring hair growth by generating new hair follicles through stem cell activation.

Other hair-growth treatments

Sometimes, a non-surgical approach can’t help much. Luckily, there are other methods you can try. These treatments may be more invasive and take some time to complete, but they are proven effective and have high success rates:

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE is a minimally invasive procedure in which hair follicles are individually removed from the genetically stronger area of the scalp, called the ‘donor site’, and are then restored at thinning areas of your scalp, called the ‘recipient site’.

It is a method to combat baldness by transferring healthy hair follicles to the balding area, hence your hair growth will be restored naturally without any scarring. This method is considered an advanced hair transplant treatment with a massive success rate. In this treatment, a micro-needle will be used to extract the hair follicles individually, making this a delicate and time-consuming procedure. As anaesthesia will be administered, it is also regarded as a painless procedure.

Counting the amount of grafts needed is usually done by dividing the hair into parts/areas. 1 graft contains 2 to 4 strands of hair on average. Normally, 500 to 2000 grafts are recommended, depending on the areas of hair loss. 500 grafts can be used to touch up specific bald parts such as the upper forehead part, whereas 2000 grafts can be used to treat almost 3/4 of the hair. For a person with full baldness, up to 3,000 grafts are recommended.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)

Very similar to Follicular Unit Extraction, Follicular Unit Transplant is a hair transplant treatment that offers easy procedures and natural-looking results. The implantation process is identical by placing follicular grafts in the thinning areas or known as recipient areas.

Extraction wise, for FUT, all of your hair will be removed at once in a quick and simple process, unlike FUE, in which each individual hair graft is extracted one by one.

Counting the amount of grafts needed is usually done by dividing the hair into parts/areas. 1 graft contains 2 to 4 strands of hair on average. Normally, 500 to 2000 grafts are recommended, depending on the areas of hair loss. 500 grafts can be used to touch up specific bald parts such as the upper forehead part, whereas 2000 grafts can be used to treat almost 3/4 of the hair.

The results take time to be fully noticeable, usually after 3 to 6 months of the treatment. About 1 to 3 times of revisits are required to follow up the growth progress, depending on the hair condition.

PRP Hair Treatment

PRP is an abbreviation for platelet-rich plasma. Using growth factors present in your blood, PRP helps to accelerate and stimulate the regeneration of tissues in your scalp. Its application at the capillary level stimulates the formation of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, increasing vascularization at the level of the hair follicle. In the procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn from you, after which your blood plasma is centrifuged until the PRP is obtained. Then, your PRP is injected at the capillary level of your scalp, which helps to stimulate regeneration

PRP reduces hair loss by stimulating hair growth in thinning areas of the scalp. In addition, PRP improves the thickness of existing hair by restoring the density and growing ability of your existing hair.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

The procedure is a popular non-surgical hair loss treatment in which natural pigments are applied within the dermal layer of the scalp; the results replicate a natural shaved head look, creating a fuller hair volume appearance.

Which treatment is for me?

In general, FUT yields the most donor hair. Therefore, the procedure is best suited for more extensive hair loss and in patients where the main concern is the maximum use of one’s donor supply. The hair is maximized because of the precise nature of stereo-microscopic dissection and the fact that all the hair is harvested from the mid-portion of the permanent zone where the hair is most dense and stable. 

A limitation of FUT is that it leaves a line scar in the donor area. With normal styling, this is easily covered with hair, but it precludes someone from wearing their hair very short. FUE is more appropriate for patients who would like to keep their hair very short or who can’t limit strenuous activities in the post-op period. In general, younger patients who need to keep their styling options flexible choose FUE, whereas those who desire the most coverage opt for FUT.

Meanwhile, PRP is not a permanent cure for baldness and will not prevent new bald areas from forming. However, it does thicken the hair in areas that have been treated and help to reduce the amount of hair that is shed. Some advantages it has over FUE and FUT are that it involves no recovery period, no scarring and is incision-free / non-invasive.

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