Do you know the number one cause of hair loss, which causes the majority of the population’s hair loss in males and females? It’s called androgenetic alopecia. And all that term really means is genetic hair loss. It’s more commonly known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, but it’s all the same thing.
It’s all genetic hair loss. How can you tell with certainty if you have this? If, number one, your hair loss has occurred gradually over the course of years. You could check your photos from two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. Look at them closely. Has your hair density lessened over that time? If so, this is a clear indicator of androgenetic alopecia.
Number two have other family members shown signs of hair loss? How about your brothers and your sisters, your parents, your grandparents, maybe even your aunts and uncles and cousins? So, this is a clear indicator that your genetic makeup includes androgenetic alopecia, which means you are simply genetically programed to process a particular hormone called DHT in such a way that it causes slow, progressive hair loss.
Now, there’s only one way to know with certainty, and that is by visiting a board-certified dermatologist and having them do a scalp biopsy. This is going to have them using a medical punch tool that is going to remove a piece of scalp tissue, and you will need a stitch or two and it will leave a small scar and it can cost you a couple of hundred dollars.
Some people, their insurance will cover it. But I’ve got to warn you, I’ve had several clients who’ve had this done only then to be told by the dermatologist that yep, they have androgenetic alopecia, and they should try Rogaine, which is very disappointing and disheartening because you could have done that yourself.
The bad news is there’s no cure for hair loss yet and there’s no cure for any type of hair loss. But quite frankly, we have no confidence that there ever will be a cure for hair loss because there are simply too many contributors such as diet medications, thyroid issues, various medical conditions. Everyone has their own unique contributors. And so therefore, not everything is ever going to work for everybody. So currently all we can do is manage the conditions that create the loss and do our best to prevent future loss.
Now, the good news about Androgenetic alopecia is it’s the easiest form of hair loss to reverse and manage, especially for those with mild to moderate hair loss. Now what do I mean by mild to moderate? I mean you still have hair in your thinnest areas. Even if it’s thin, it can be improved. Now you may not get it all back, especially if it’s been gone for too long.
If it’s been gone for more than two years, it’s going to be very, very difficult, if not impossible, to get it all back. But it can be improved, and future hair loss can be stopped and at the very least significantly slowed.
Now, if you believe you have androgenetic alopecia, what should you do? First, don’t go out and just start using anything before you know it will work for you or not work with a certified trichologist to create and manage a custom plan to meet your needs.
Let’s talk about the single most important element to successfully or reversing hair loss, and that is understanding the causes and each of your unique contributors. And how can you possibly successfully reverse hair loss if you don’t even know why it’s happening? Well, we recommend that you do a trichologist assessment. Now, this assessment is in depth and it’s going to uncover and educate you on your unique hair loss contributors so that an effective treatment plan can be formulated.
Now, this trichology assessment is going to provide detailed information regarding each contributor and provide guidance on exactly how to move forward. Then you can work with the certified trichologist to carry out that plan. Now, I ask this all the time, people will say, “Well, why shouldn’t I just work with my doctor?” Well, some people should work with their doctor, those with certain scalp disorders or any type of scalp lesion.
But sadly, overall, doctors know very little about visible hair loss treatments. And why is this? Well, do you know that doctors only have on average 4 hours of study on hair? Whereas a certified Trichologist has hundreds of hours of study in the field of hair and scalp disorders and in my case, thousands of hours of study in the field over two decades of clinical research.
Oh, so why do doctors not help treat hair loss? Well there’s no billing code for hair loss treatments because it’s considered “cosmetic”. So scalp treatment for disorders, yes, they can help with scalp disorders, but not hair loss treatments. And they can bill for a scalp biopsy. So just keep that in mind. If you’ve got insurance, it will probably cover the scalp biopsy, but you’ll have to just speak with your physician to find out with certainty.
So overall, hair loss treatments generally just get a bad rap, mainly because a lot of people just simply use the wrong thing to treat their hair loss and can many times just make it worse. One example is let’s just say we have someone who goes and gets a hair transplant and they don’t address the actual androgenetic alopecia. Well, that can lead to more hair loss.
Now they’re out the money for the transplant and they’re right back where they started from with visible hair loss. Only now there are thousands of dollars less in their pocket.
Example two; Let’s say someone goes out and uses some type of over the counter treatment option and over time they notice their follicles are atrophying even more and their hair is even getting thinner.Sometimes some of the components can actually cause more hair follicle atrophy because of some of the ingredients. So you’ve got to know and understand your hair loss causes before you embark on a treatment plan. And a certified trichologist can customize a hair growth protocol based on your unique contributors that get you on the true path to hair recovery.
And the most successful protocols include ongoing guidance and adjustments as needed. And once you get to where you want to be and you get an acceptable result, your certified trichologist can educate and coach you on how to maintain it depending on how you did when you were regrowing the hair. Everyone is different, but in general, maintenance is pretty easy once you understand your contributors and know what works for you.
So just to recap, androgenetic alopecia is the genetic slow progression of hair loss and it can be reversed for those with mild to moderate hair loss. Those of you who still have hair, if you’re experiencing hair loss, do a trichology assessment to determine your hair loss causes and viable treatment options. Now we invite you to join us at an upcoming episodes to understand more about hair loss and how to manage, reverse and prevent future ones.