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Archive for October, 2011

About Hair Loss

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Hair loss and hair thinning is a result of testosterone formed in different areas like the prostate gland or hair follicles, which is converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp area.  Hair follicles prone to genetic male patterned baldness contain DHT receptors, thus thinning hair and loss of hair can result.  Over time men produce an abundance of DHT and the molecules affect their hair follicles and cause a decrease in size and eventually see their natural hair fall out permanently. Because of this common occurrence, hair loss in men is frequent.

DHT and hair loss from having the gene for male pattern baldness are the most common factors for male pattern baldness. Women suffering from female-pattern baldness, unlike their counterparts with male-pattern baldness, are not usually characterized by higher production rates of DHT from lower levels of testosterone. On the other hand, if for a number of possible reasons, a woman has increased testosterone, she can develop female patterned baldness like a man does through the same mechanism.

Hair in the prone areas to male patterned baldness: Corners, top, and crown are filled with DHT receptors in men who suffer Androgenic Alopecia The hair on donor areas such as back and sides, however, have fewer DHT receptors.  This is precisely why hair is more permanent on the sides and back and not the top and front.

A man looking at the hair he had lost from his head

The distinction in the hair quality of different areas, such as the donor and recipient areas, allows for hair loss surgeons to remove the hair from one area and transplant it to the bald portions of the scalp.  These newly transplanted hairs are permanent and immune to DHT. Finasteride (Propecia) is a drug which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT as a result of it blocking the enzyme alpha reductase.  The amount of DHT in hair loss patients decrease when they are on Propecia and this helps to maintain healthy hair, and also helps some of the miniaturized hair become stronger.

We at US Hair Restoration often recommend medical treatment with DHT blockers in many of our patients who undergo a hair transplantation procedure in order to help maintain their own hair in addition to the newly restored, formerly balding areas because of a hair restoration surgery.

What is Alopecia?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Spotty Results of Alopecia AreataThe autoimmune condition known as Alopecia causes hair loss in different areas of the body. These patchy, bald areas tend to look normal and don’t show any signs of inflammation or irritation. There is a genetic correlation found in some cases which can be linked to other autoimmune disorders. This particular form, Alopecia Areata, is most commonly a disease which is self-limiting, yet can be treated if necessary through steroid injections or topical medications by a dermatologist.

The other form is known as Traction Alopecia which is common in children. This is a condition which is seen mainly in girls by having weak and fragile hair follicles. A common cause for this type of alopecia is tightly wrapped ponytails which in most cases affect the sides and front of the scalp. The initial sign of Traction Alopecia can be the elevation of the hairline. A way to treat this is by cutting the hair short and eliminating the strain the tightly wrapped hair causes on the follicles. The recovery time may take a few months and is spontaneous. In some of the longer term cases of Traction Alopecia, hair follicles are permanently damaged and a hair transplantation would be necessary to grow hair in the balding areas.