Our hair greatly influences our personal and professional lives, and hair loss can take a huge toll on our self-esteem. Our hair health and how well our hair grows is dependent on how well we take care of our scalp and sometimes, genetic disposition. Is hair loss really irreversible or do we have more control over how our hair grows?
This is a genetic condition that can affect both genders — more commonly known as male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness respectively. Men can experience this as early as in their teens or early 20’s and it’s often characterised by a receding hairline and a gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. Women, on the other hand, generally experience thinning hair beyond their 40’s throughout the entire scalp, with the most extensive hair loss at the crown. Depending on severity, this form of hair loss is usually reversible.
This type of hair loss is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the hair follicles. It is usually identified by a few patches of baldness and can occur at any age, though most common in people younger than 20. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for alopecia areata.
Also known as scarring alopecia, this form of hair loss is fairly rare but is a potentially permanent and irreversible destruction of hair follicles. Sometimes, the bald patches appear smooth and clean or one could experience redness, scaling, changes in pigmentation or raised blisters with pus.
A poor diet can cause a nutrient imbalance, which may affect your hair follicle structure. According to a 2017 study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research, following a Mediterranean diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help decrease the risk of androgenetic alopecia.
Our hair is essentially made up of protein, so incorporating this nutrient into our diet could help such as green leafy vegetables and fish rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Avoiding processed foods could also help promote healthy hair growth.
Excessive bleaching, perming of hair or chemical straightening can lead to damaged hair and breakage. Using flat irons, curling irons and tightly pulling your hair back could also cause damage when done too often.
Use hair growth treatment products
You could try over-the-counter haircare products or tonics specially formulated to help slow hair loss.
Depending on the type of hair loss, your doctor may prescribe medication that could help slow hair loss and may encourage new hair growth.
Ultimately, whether hair loss is reversible is dependent on what kind of hair loss you suffer from and the reasons for your hair loss. If you’ve maxed out all options in frustration and just want your luscious locks back, you could consider getting proper treatment — from minimally invasive treatments to surgical options, like hair transplantation.
Contrary to popular belief, there are effective ways to regain lost hair by addressing the medical condition on a cellular level.
This begins with a detailed consultation with your doctor for a proper diagnosis of your condition. This will help the doctor discern the best course of treatment that would benefit you the most.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen derived from testosterone. About 10% of testosterone in all adults is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase.
Although it is necessary, it is also the most significant cause of hair loss. You can be prescribed an anti hair-loss shampoo and serum that can reduce up to 56% in DHT production by inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme.
The scalp can also be nourished with the nutrients it needs to promote better scalp health and hence, hair growth. This can be done through scalp stimulation with medical-grade ampules, lower level laser therapy (LLLT) and hair supplementation with Viviscal Professional.
The FUE technique is a hair transplantation method that is safe and minimally invasive. When healthy areas with DHT resistant characteristics are transplanted onto bald areas, they will continue to grow naturally. This is a highly effective and permanent solution.
Dr Samuel Ho utilises the FUE technique for hair transplantation as it allows for more precise and natural placement of the hair grafts as micrografts of only 1-3 shafts are implanted each time. This minimises the transaction rate of the hair shafts cutting through the roots, resulting in the hair not surviving.
Although this procedure - as opposed to other hair implant techniques - is more laborious and time-consuming, it is more aesthetically pleasing, and Dr Ho tends to perform this method with a big team of professionals to speed up the entire process. Fret not, because you will be under mild sedation and kept as comfortable as possible.
If drugstore creams and hair tonics don’t seem to work, there are a variety of minimally invasive ways to promote hair growth, from serums to hair transplants. Assessing your eligibility for certain treatments and procedures is necessary, which is why it’s best to consult your doctor for a proper evaluation. Additionally, it helps to communicate both your desires and concerns with your doctor so that they can recommend a treatment plan that would best suit your needs.