Thinning hair is a pervasive problem worldwide; around 40% of women and 85% of men are afflicted with the condition. Although most cases begin during or after middle age, some men start losing their hair in their late teens. Although thinning hair has no medical consequences, it can cause serious self-esteem and quality of life issues. Currently, there are a number of medications that can help with hair restoration.
What Causes Hair Thinning?
Although there a number of different causes of hair loss, the vast majority of cases are caused by androgenic alopecia, more commonly referred to as male pattern baldness even though women are affected by the condition too. Normally, testosterone is converted into a hormone called DHT in hair follicles; one effect of this conversion is to produce the typical pattern of male body and facial hair. However, on the head, in genetically susceptible persons, the DHT causes the hair follicles to gradually stop producing hair.
The enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT is called five-alpha-reductase. One class of medications used for hair restoration acts to block the action of this enzyme; thus, little to no DHT is produced in the hair follicles. Examples of these medications include finasteride and dutasteride. These medications are taken orally on a daily basis and can be quite effective in men to stop hair loss and even encourage hair regrowth. However, for unknown reasons, they do not seem to be very effective in women.
Testosterone and DHT are both androgen-type hormones. A drug called spironolactone is an effective blocker of androgen hormones; it is often used to treat severe acne and excessive body hair in women. It has also been found to effectively stop hair thinning and encourage some hair regrowth in women affected by androgenic alopecia. It is taken orally on a daily basis.
Minoxidil is a topical agent that after application to the skin stimulates blood flow to that area, thus flooding the hair follicles with nutrients and oxygen. It has been shown to stimulate hair growth in both men and women affected by thinning hair, although it does not stop the underlying hair thinning process. It is commonly used in combination with one of the medications described above. Minoxidil is massaged into the scalp twice a day; the hair and scalp need to be dry and should not be exposed to water for at least four hours after application. Thus, a good regimen for most users is to apply it at bedtime and then apply it in the morning after washing and drying the hair. It takes three to six months of regular use before noticeable hair thickening occurs.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
If you or a loved one is troubled by thinning hair, we encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with Enhanced Wellness Living. Proudly serving residents in the Jackson, Ridgeland, Bolton, Brandon, Canton, Clinton, Madison & Vicksburg, Mississippi area. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Call 601-202-5978. We look forward to hearing from you!