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May
02
Losing Hair? Here’s Everything YOU Need to Know About Hair Loss

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No one (at least as far as we know) like's the thought of losing their hair. It doesn't matter if you are in your 20's in the prime of your life or about to retire at the ripe old age of 65, a man or a woman, or even your sexual orientation. Hair loss is real and it doesn't discriminate. This article aims to accomplish one thing, give you a better understanding on balding, complete with relevant statistics, diagnostic criteria, available treatment options and more.

Main Cause of Hair Loss in Men

One of the major leading causes of hair loss in men is Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). MPB, also known as androgenetic alopecia is an inherited trait that causes hair follicles to shrink and affects all men (to some degree) as they age (source). Over time, progressive thinning of hair on an individuals head eventually leads to some form of baldness.

This process is caused by an androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has many roles apart from being the cause of MPB it is also responsible for many of the biological characteristics of males, this includes body hair, increased muscle mass, and a deeper voice. The problem with DHT is that it is a more powerful version of testosterone, meaning that when it binds to receptors on your hair follicles it stays bound longer. This causes the hair follicles to shrink over time, weaken and eventually die.

Almost all of the severe cases of male pattern baldness typically occur when men are either in their late teens or early 20s (source). From what we at Gerow Hair Ink have seen after treating over 10,000 individuals is that the sooner that male pattern baldness starts the greater the hair loss will be (source). That being said however, there are plenty of exceptions to this. You could be well into your 60s with a full head of hair only to lose it all extremely fast.

How to Know if You're Balding

The typical M.O of male pattern baldness begins at the hair line, more specifically, the area around your temples leading to the formation of an "M" shape orientation (source).

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John Travolta (pictured above) had at this point begun to experience the receding of his hairline

As can be seen in the image above, one can clearly spot the early beginnings of the formation of the "M" shaped hairline mentioned earlier. This process would continue until a more dramatic "M" shaped hairline is formed. The previous example is just one of several different outcomes of male pattern baldness that occur.

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The Hamilton Norwood Scale has been used as the hair loss industry's preferred method to assess clinically the severity of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) since the 1970s.

Hamilton Norwood Scale

The Norwood Scale is a great tool to use as it displays the seven most commonly observed patterns of hair loss with the inclusion of some variations. A short list can be found below:

  1. Stage 1: Minimal hair loss
  2. Stage 2: Insignificant hair loss at the temple region
  3. Stage 3: The first signs of clinically significant balding appears. The hairline at both temples recede further back resembling an M, U or V shape. The effected areas are completely bald.
    Stage 3 Vertex: The hairline stays at stage 2 but there is a noticeable amount of hair loss on the top of the scalp (vertex).
  4. Stage 4: The recession of the hairline is more severe than stage 2 with little to no hair on the vertex. The two areas of hair loss are connected by a thin band of hair remaining at the sides of the scalp.
  5. Stage 5: The two areas of hair loss are larger than what is found in stage 4. They are still separated but the band of hair between them is more narrow and thinner.
  6. Stage 6: The areas of hair loss area at the temples join with the balding area at the vertex. The small band of hair across the top of the scalp is now almost entirely gone.
  7. Stage 7: This is the most severe stage of hair loss, where only a band of hair going around the sides of the head remains.
  8. Norwood Class A.:The class A variation of the Hamilton Norwood Scale is a slightly different and less common type of hair loss. The main difference is that the hair line recedes back uniformly. Meaning that the hairline progresses directly from front to back.
    (source)

Ask Those Around You

Still not 100% sure that you're losing hair? Ask your local barber, especially if they have been cutting your hair for a long period of time. The reasoning is that because of the nature of their business, they are in a unique position to see hair loss in individuals at different stages and if they have been cutting your hair for any period of time they would be able to let you know if you have signs of hair loss.

Lastly, if you really want to get an official diagnosis, you can visit your doctor and get relevant testing done to determine what exactly is going on.

Other Tell-Tale Signs of Hair Loss

  • Losing significant amounts of hair from a particular area while combing such as around your temples and crown
  • Noticing excessive hair build-up in your shower drain
  • Losing a bunch of hair while combing your hands through it. A common sign of an early and aggressive onset of male pattern baldness.
  • Noticing lighter, smaller and shorter hairs. If you notice this, you have already lost roughly 50% of your hair in that area.
  • Experiencing difficulty when trying to achieve/maintain hairstyles that were previously easy for you to do.
  • Waking up and noticing an abnormal amount of hair on your pillow.

Hair Loss By The Numbers

Over the decades the statistics on balding have varied a large degree. This is because there have not been a lot of effective/clinically sound long-term studies done on hair loss. For example, the American Hair Loss Association asserts that male pattern baldness accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men.

Furthermore, it was found that by the age of thirty-five, two-thirds (roughly 66%) of American men will experience at least some degree of hair loss. That figure increases to 85% of men once men reach 50 years of age (source).

Hair Loss Treatments

With the recent advances in technology men alive today have access to a wide variety of treatments that aim to be the solution to hair loss. Hair transplants have come a LONG way from the disastrous 'Plug' approach.

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The image above is the result of a hair plug transplant. As you can see, the hair is bunched together creating an unnatural look.

The treatment involves the gauging out of circle sized chunks of your scalp that contained hair follicles. The area of the scalp that had no hair was then cut in such a way as to allow the plugs to be put in. As you can imagine, this left massive circle shaped scars at the donor site. These later formed thick-skinned dimples that protruded from the scalp.

Individuals looking for an invasive procedure can choose between Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT).

  • Follicular Unit Extraction – individual follicular units containing 1-4 hairs are removed under local anesthesia. The surgeon then punches them in to the target area using a specific device.
  • Follicular Unit Transplant – the traditional hair transplant method. It involves the extracting of a linear strip of hair bearing skin from the back side of the scalp. The strip is then processed in order to obtain individual hair grafts.

For individuals looking for a non-invasive and cost effective solution for their hair loss symptoms, scalp micropigmentation is an appealing option.

What is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation is the fastest growing solution in the history of hair loss prevention – that is a fact. From thinning hair and male pattern baldness to scarring and the various forms of alopecia, scalp micropigmentation is the only solution that provides results.

In just the last decade, the industry has grown from zero to over 1500 technicians worldwide. With more than 150,000 men and women now thought to have had the procedure, the industry is experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth.

At Gerow Hair Ink we've always said that we love what we do and that seeing our clients happy was our only satisfaction. When we started on this journey, scalp micropigmentation was a grass roots movement.

We were committed to make hair loss a thing of the past and provide both Men & Women with a better option that didn't involve invasive and in most cases damaging surgery.

Now looking back after nearly a decade of excellence and dedication we feel honored to be widely recognized as the worlds leading Scalp Micropigmentation Provider. We've been to conferences from Brazil to Poland, featured on popular accounts on Instagram like The Shade Room, El Profe Show, Mr.Commodore and now more recently featured on BET.

Hair Loss Summary

  1. 95% of hair loss found in men is caused by male pattern baldness
  2. The earlier symptoms show themselves the more severe the hair loss will be.
  3. Male Pattern Baldness also known as androgenetic alopecia is an inherited trait
  4. Most men, roughly 66% will see signs of hair loss starting from their teens until the age of thirty-five
  5. By the time you notice any thinning, there is a good chance you've already lost more than 50% of your hair
  6. Male pattern baldness is not an illness so don't be ashamed nor worried!
  7. Common signs of hair loss include but are not limited to: combing out excessive amounts of hair, shedding on pillows, and difficulty maintain hairstyles you had in the past

If you are going to take anything from this piece it should be the hair loss summary. These are tell-tale signs that you are losing your hair. It should be clear however, that while we outlined ways to self-diagnose, it should not take precedence over being seen by a qualified medical professional.

Is male pattern baldness preventable? Unfortunately no, there is no way to completely prevent MPB. While hair loss isn't a nice thing to go through, it should be made clear that from a medical point of view there is no need to treat MPB. However, with that being said, there are (as mentioned above) plenty of options one can explore to treat male pattern baldness or any other form of hair loss.