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How Do I Know If My Hair Loss Is Due To Pattern Baldness?

How To Know What Type Of Hair Loss You Suffer From

Identifying the type of hair loss you have can actually be quite challenging, and even confusing at times. Just because you are experiencing thinning hair, that doesn't mean you are suffering from male or female pattern baldness.  Thinning hair could be down to a number of factors including:
  • Seasonal shedding
  • After-effects of illness or from treatments
  • Stress or other natural factors

How to know if your thinning is Pattern Baldness? 

One way to identify this type of baldness is to check where thinning occurs. Pattern Hair Loss is always confined to the area at the top of the head, around the hairline and crown. For Female Pattern Baldness it is slightly different - the thinning tends to start at the centre of the scalp, all the way along the parting, leading to eventual overall thinning.

The different stages of male baldness can be measured against the Norwood Hamilton Scale diagram. For women, the the same can be done by measuring the rate of pattern of shedding against the Savin Scale (see below).

There are cases of thinning where shedding is experienced all over the scalp, and it should be noted that this is not likely to be genetic, and is probably another form of hair loss, possibly one of the mentioned above. This is more common in women whilst genetic hair loss (Male and Female Pattern Baldness) is common in both men and women. There is no cure for Pattern Baldness, but both types of shedding can be treated by using a number of different products.

You may also like to read: What is The Best Treatment For Hair Loss?

What To Do About Baldness? 

We would always suggest being fully assessed by an expert who can advise on the causes and treatment options that suit your individual needs, but not all 'experts' will be able to 100% accurately advise you on the best way to go about it.  Treatments usually work differently on each individual, therefore trying different products and treatments is your best chance of finding something that works for you individually.

8 Solutions To Help Reduce Baldness & Thinning Hair

How to reduce hair loss and encourage hair growth

Losing your hair is seen as one of the most common problems worldwide; affecting over 60% of men and nearly 40% of women. It is normal to shed around 100 hair stands each day, but many of us are exceeding this amount at a worrying rate.

Not all shedding is the result of male or female pattern baldness.  In fact, it is possible that hair loss may be caused by other factors such as your diet, mineral deficiency, medications, stress, pollution and genetics.  So, to reduce the rate at which your hair is falling out, in no particular order, here's our list of eight solutions to help reduce or deal with baldness and thinning hair.

Add more protein to your diet

Eating lean meats, fish, soy or other proteins promotes hair health and in turn helps curb hair loss. Protein helps build and strengthen human cells, and the same goes for the follicles too.

Do not brush wet hair

Brushing your hair when it is wet can do serious damage to your strands, especially if they are already prone to shedding.  Be sure to let your hair fully dry before running a comb or brush through it.

Reduce your alcohol intake

If you are experiencing shedding or thinning strands then lessen your alcohol intake because drinking alcohol can dramatically reduce the rate of hair growth. So decrease or eliminate alcohol to see an increase in hair growth.

Get active

Make time for physical activity every day. Walk, swim or bike for 30 minutes a day helps balance hormonal levels, reducing stress levels besides reducing hair fall.  Stress can be the biggest cause of unnecessary shedding, and daily activity is proven to help reduce stress, thus promote hair growth.

Take vitamins

Multi-vitamin hair supplements have not become hugely popular for nothing - they can work in reducing hair fall and promoting the healthy formation of hair strands. There are a number of these products on the market, so be sure to consider one if you are suffering from thinning hair.

Avoid heat based styling products

Don't put your hair through the frequent stress of heating, styling and drying procedures. Heat weakens hair proteins, and constant heating and drying can lead to weakness and fragility that causes hair loss.

Go green

No, we don't mean go vegetarian, but green apples and green tea can both help promote the growth of hair cells and prevent the phase of shedding.  Green apples in particular contains key minerals that benefit the hair. It seems absolutely crazy, but it's true. 

Try a dermaroller

If you've not already done so, then consider using a dermaroller.  A dermaroller punctures tiny wounds into your skin, and then your body has a recovery boost where protein is produced, thus encouraging hair growth.

New Hair Regenerative Medicine To Cure Baldness

Japanese scientists have developed a new treatment for hair loss.

A complex process which involves regenerating hair follicles has emerged as a new therapy to treat baldness.  Hair regenerative medicine aims to help the reproductive source of hair follicles on a large scale.

According to researchers, this new method can help the mass preparation of cellular aggregates, also known as HFGs. And after much experimenting, there was reported new hair growth from the HFGs after transplantation into mice.

The choice of substrate materials for culture vessel was crucial in the testing phase, using oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of the culture vessel, which worked well. The research team evaluated whether the method can transfer the prepared HFGs from a fabricated approximately 300-microwell array, called "HFG chip", to generate hair follicles and hairs on the mouse body. The results confirmed black hair generation at both the back and scalp transplantation sites. - The Economic Times

So far, this method is very promising, and it could one day provide a viable treatment for hair loss and thinning hair.  Scientists are hoping that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to effectively treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.

We'll update you as and when this exciting research develops.

Spring Guide for Hair Loss

How to beat hair loss during spring season

Spring is the most anticipated season, and it is easy to see why.  This season also tends to be one of the most beneficial times of the year for our hair - well, for the majority of us, that is.

The majority of men and women experience a strong growth cycle during the end of winter, and beginning of spring. Shedding is perfectly normal, and in most cases does not relate to pattern baldness, but more of a natural process that we experience during the change in climate.

How to prevent hair shedding...

Our hair growth phase is usually at its strongest during the winter months, so it is normal to notice slight shedding as the season transitions. Make sure you use less product in your hair (styling products, dry shampoos etc.) over the spring season, and be sure to cut down on harsh conditioners that could potentially harm your hair and cause it to look thin and tired.  Again, do not grow concerned, as after particularly strong growth over the colder months, your hair is simply going through a cycle, which results in losing more strands than usual as the weather changes.

Some people try to tackle shedding by using Minoxidil (an FDA approved hair loss treatment). Minoxidil is known to cause severe shedding during early usage, therefore this may not be the appropriate treatment during a time when you are losing more hair than usual.

Experiencing stronger hair growth in the spring is normal, but that means you will probably be more prone to heavy shedding during the autumn months of the year. Experiencing good growth during March through to May does not mean you are out of the woods. Be sure to keep on top of your hair care routine with natural vitamins and enhancing shampoos to get the very best out of your hair during its peak season. That way, you will be far better prepared for the dreaded shedding phase.

One of the worst aspects about winter season is the fact we tend to spend most of our time indoors.  Being constantly exposed to central heating is not great for our locks.  We tend to sweat a lot, which can damage our hair and leave it looking lacklustre.  Be sure to  get out and give your hair plenrty of fresh air.  Your strands can only benefit from this and grow freely.

What is the Best Supplement for Hair Growth?

Can Multi-Vitamin Supplements Promote Hair Growth?

  • Q:  I am a 33-year-old female, and I have suffered from severe shedding for the past few years.  I have tried many topical serums and foams, but none of these have worked.  I have read a lot about multi-vitamin hair supplements, and I am very tempted to try some.  So, can you tell me what supplement is statistically the best for regrowing hair?

Answer: Firstly, we should clarify that although multi-vitamin supplements can have huge benefits for the hair, including promoting healthy growth, they can't in any way shape or form cure any type of alopecia.  These types of supplements are generally designed to help prevent hair fall in men and women who suffer from early stages of thinning hair.

In your case, we would certainly encourage you to try hair supplements in an attempt to prevent excess shedding.  We would need to know exactly how much hair you lose, and the exact cause of this, but it sounds like you could be suffering from one of two types of hair loss - Either severe seasonal shedding or female pattern baldness.

We cannot give you clear-cut statistics on what supplement works best etc. as these figures are usually kept in-house by the companies, but we can give you a rough idea about some of the best hair supplements on the market today.  The most popular multi-vitamin hair supplements are Nutrafol, Viviscal, and HR23+.  These products all contain similar ingredients, but each one is also unique in its own way.

Viviscal has the most financial muscle of the three, which is why you will probably see it advertised more than the other two.  Nutrafol is an excellent formula, but its high price and lack of availability outside of the US makes it less desirable for many men and women.  HR23+ is the newest and fastest growing supplement of the three.  Viviscal and HR23+ have the more positive reviews.

One thing to remember about these types of supplements is that results will always vary with each individual, so it is impossible to tell you what supplement will work best without you actually trying it.

Does Finasteride Cure Male Baldness?

How Effective is Finasteride (Propecia) for Treating Hair Loss?

  • Q:  I am only 22, and already I have started receding at the front of my hairline. I want to treat this problem as effectively as I can, and so I am considering trying Finasteride. I am aware of the potential risks involved with this drug, but with that aside, is it guaranteed to work?

Answer: Finasteride is the only oral drug that is medically approved as a hair loss treatment.  This potent drug can treat baldness in men, but it should not be mistaken for a cure.

The earlier in the balding process a man starts taking finasteride, the better the results. A controlled study of male pattern hair loss showed that men who were treated for one year with a placebo before switching to Propecia did not catch up to the men who started taking Propecia from the start of the study in terms of results.

A study with 672 men showed that during the first year of taking Propecia, 86% of men maintained hair density or had an increase in the number of visible hairs. Only 42% men treated with a placebo maintained hair density over a year. In a five year study of Propecia, 90% of men had visible regrowth or no further hair loss, versus 25% of men who took a placebo. So, it is evident that finasteride can be effective in men tackling hair fall.

A majority of men taking the drug self-reported that hair fall slowed down, their bald spot decreased in size, and the appearance of their hair improved. Finasteride can work, but the major concern for the majority of men was the potential side-effects that can occur when taking the drug.

The most common side-effects have included: Low libido; erectile dysfunction; severe headaches; emotional/mental complications such as anxiety and paranoia.  Because of these side-effects, most men therefore seek alternative options such as multi-vitamin supplements, that are safer and can be just as effective.

Male Pattern Baldness: Noticing The Early Stages

The early stages of male hair loss

Well over 60% of men will notice some stage of hair loss or thinning by the age of 40, and the majority of men start losing their hair in their 30s, with some even as early as their 20s.  Hair loss happens to the best of us, and unless we find a cure for it, it doesn't look like going away anytime soon. 

Although baldness is entirely normal and nothing to be ashamed of, a receding hairline or a thinning crown can be enough to fill most men with utter dread!  On the bright side, there are certain treatments that can slow down the shedding process, and there are also some easy steps you can take to slow down hair loss or reduce how visible it is.  But the key to treating your hair in the best possible way is knowing the early signs.  So, here’s what to look out for...

Frontal Hair Loss

For most men, male pattern baldness tends to begin at the front of the scalp.  Receding at the temples is followed by thinning at the crown, which in some cases can end in full baldness exceeding Norwood Hamilton 5.  In this instance, the hairline usually forms a rounded M shape at first, which will then change into a U shape as the middle point of the M recedes further.

This can be identified quickly just by looking at yourself in the mirror, and if identified quickly;y, it can be treated quickly, which is a huge benefit. Keep an eye on your hairline as that’s where you’ll first notice hair loss.

Excess Shedding

A little hair shedding is normal, but having a hairy pillow each and every morning, or finding clumps of strands locked in your hairbrush, is a sign that you’re falling victim to male pattern baldness.  The same can be said for seeing your plug hole in the shower blocked up after taking a quick shower.  Hair loss is evident in so many ways, and although many men choose to ignore it, it would actually be wise to take note of it, so you can treat it earlier and more effectively.

Thinning Hair Visible Under The Light

It’s hard to notice a change when it’s happening over the course of months and years – but standing under a bright light - a shaving light in the bathroom or standing with a mirror outside on a particularly sunny day will give you a fair idea of how much hair you actually have. If male pattern baldness is happening quickly, you’ll notice a difference immediately.

Run Your Hands Through Your Hair

Seasonal shedding is normal, and there are specific months in the year when most of us shed more hair, so this is nothing to worry about.  However, if, by running your fingers through your hair, you are shedding excessively (losing more than 50 strands), then your hair is particularly fragile, and you will more than likely need to start treating the problem. 

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