Hair Thinning? Here’s How You Can Slow It Down or Stop It Altogether

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Hair thinning and hair loss is very common among men. Nearly two-thirds of the males in the US experience some sort of hereditary hair loss or Male Pattern Baldness by the age of 35.
hairloss

Now, who do you blame for that? According to hairlossgeeks, 200 genes determine whether your hair is going to be straight or curly, and thick or thin. They also determine how soon you are going to start losing your hair. To make it even harder to place the blame, 50% of those genes come from your mother’s side, while the rest come from your father’s side.

Though it might sound a little silly, there is very little you can do to completely stop genetic baldness. Many alpha males take their baldness to a new level and make it a new normal with a dashing look, while others keep losing their remaining strands, worrying too much about the hair thinning.

If you are part of the latter, worrying too much about hair thinning, let me tell you that it usually takes years, or even decades, to go completely bald. So you have the time to take actions that can intervene in the hair thinning. The sooner you start taking action instead of worrying, the better.

Before we go into understanding how we can slow down hair thinning, it is very important to identify if it is a sign of permanent thinning or just normal hair loss to replace new hair.

 

The Science Behind Hair Growth

Everyone loses about 100 hairs per day in a normal hair life cycle. So it’s nothing serious if you are losing some hair a day if it grows back in a healthy way. If you are wondering what helps your hair grow back again, your follicles are the superheroes.

Our body may have up to 5 million follicles, with about one hundred thousand of them on our heads. Follicles on our scalp help to grow and shed hair. Anagen, catagen, and telogen are the three phases of healthy hair growth. I am going to describe these three phases so that you can clearly understand the hair growth cycle.

Anagen:

Anagen is the hair growth phase. On your scalp, about 80%- 85% of the hair remains at this phase, actively dividing and growing. This phase lasts an average of 2 to 6 years for hair.

Catagen:

Catagen is the second phase of the hair life cycle and is also known as exogen. In this phase, hair growth stops and remains for two weeks. Hair detaches from its blood supply during catagen.

Telogen:

The hair follicle remains inactive for one to four months during Telogen, which is the resting phase. Up to 20% of the hair on your scalp can remain in the telogen phase. Once the Telogen phase is over, the Anagen phase will begin eventually.

In the case of men’s hair loss, hair grows thinner due to the lack of follicles. At one point when you grow old, follicles stop growing hair leading to baldness.

Not everyone realizes when their hair starts growing thinner just by looking at it. So, let’s look at how to identify if your hair is growing thinner.

How to Know When Your Hair is Getting Thinner

If you find some hair in many places like your pillow or comb, it does not necessarily mean that your hair is getting thinner. But if you notice that your hair feels lighter, your forehead is becoming bigger, or you’re getting more hair on your pillow than usual, they might be signs of balding. If you are also losing hair around your temples (causing an ‘M’ shape) or at the crown (back top), these are also signs that your hair is thinning.

There is another sign known as Invisible balding which is very hard to notice. It’s where you lose hair at a gradual and balanced proportion. For that reason, you won’t suspect your hair getting thinner until you have lost almost half of your hair. The best way to spot it is to simply take a picture of your hair and compare it to pictures from a year back or so to see if it looks similar or thinner. If your hair looks significantly thinner than the other year’s picture, you are probably a victim of hair thinning.

Reasons for Hair Thinning:

Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) is responsible for 95% of hair thinning. MPHL is also known as androgenetic alopecia. The main culprit for MPHLis a type of sex hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or commonly known as androgen. Usual male features, such as voice tone, body hair, and so on are controlled by androgen. DHT causes baldness by miniaturizing the hair follicles to a level that stops producing back hair at all.

There are several other reasons for hair thinning apart from Male Pattern Baldness. They are;

* Alopecia areata: An autoimmune condition that can cause hair loss throughout the body. At its worst, one can lose all the body hair.

* Breakage of the hair shaft: When you often dye or style your hair, it can cause the hair shaft to break off.

*  Physical or emotional shock: Though it is usually temporary, a physical or emotional shock may lead to hair loss, even several months after the incident.

* Supplements and medications:  Many drugs that are used for treating heart problems, cancer, arthritis, depression, and high blood pressure can cause hair thinning.

However, if you are still not sure of the reasons behind your hair loss or hair thinning, it is best to consult a dermatologist who will be able to recommend the best course of treatment.

Ways to Prevent Hair Thinning

Banging your head on the table thinking how you can stop hair thinning? Don’t stress too much about something that you have little control over! While you can’t completely stop hair thinning, there are many ways you can slow down the thinning effect.

Please go over the following treatments that have been recommended by professionals and are highly regarded by many hair-thinning victims.

  • Low-Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT): This is an FDA-cleared way to prevent hair thinning. This is done using a red light therapy device that you have to point at the scalp. The constant red light emitted from the wand can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the hair follicles. Research suggests that LLLT is effective for promoting hair growth for Male Pattern Hair Loss cases.
  • Finasteride: Finasteride, also known as Propecia, is a 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) inhibitor. When you inhibit 5-AR, which converts testosterone to DHT in the prostate and testicles, DHT is prevented from shrinking the hair follicles. Approximately 80% of users achieve hair regrowth after using finasteride.
  • Minoxidil: Commonly known as Rogaine, this foam should be rubbed on the scalp twice a day. It has increased hair regrowth for 60% of the men who used it. But the downside is that your hair loss will come back once you stop using it.
  • DHT- blocking shampoo: You can find many DHT-blocking shampoos that can prevent DHT’s ability to miniaturize follicles. However, they are less effective than minoxidil or finasteride.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments: This is a form of highly delicate medical treatment that should be advised and conducted by highly skilled dermatologists. In this treatment, the patient’s blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, which is then injected into the scalp.
  • Cosmetic Treatments: Cosmetic treatments, such as Toppik, are a popular hair thinning solution that is used by celebrities, actors, and newscasters. It is a form of make-up that makes hair-thinning less noticeable. But, remember that this temporary solution has no medical benefit to prevent hair thinning.

Hair Thinning – What Future Holds:

Considering that major medical advancements, such as LLLT, finasteride, and minoxidil, were made in recent decades, it is highly likely that there will be major ground-breaking inventions preventing hair loss altogether.

I am sure you will find one or a combination of these solutions mentioned above to bring good results for your hair thinning.

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In case you are thinking about why your hair looks thinner, you can find everything you need to know about slowing down your hair thinning from the article.
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