If you’re losing your hair, you’re not alone. Hair loss is more common than you might think: Eighteen percent of men under 29 have moderate to advanced hair loss, and that number jumps to 53 percent for men in their 40s. Between 15 and 20 percent of women under 50 experience hair loss. The good news is, there are tools to manage hair loss, and aid in hair regrowth. Here’s why hair loss happens, and what you can do about it.
Is There A Limit To How Long Hair Can Grow?
Perhaps you’re wondering: Is there a limit to how long hair can grow? In other words, what determines the length of anagen phase? And, in reality, we don’t know.
Researchers do know that some type of signal is sent to the follicle which indicates when active growth has stopped. This triggers the beginning of catagen phase. And while we don’t know what that trigger is, we do know that when it’s sent is genetically determined. That’s right – your genetics determine the length of each hair cycle phase.
The Four Stages Of Hair Growth
The hair growth process (or hair growth cycle, as it’s often referred to in medical literature) has four different stages:
- The anagen, or growing phase, during which your hair grows.
- The catagen, or regression phase, during which your hair follicles shrink and detach from your skin.
- The telogen, or resting phase, during which new hair begins to grow under the older, detached hairs.
- The exogen, or shedding phase, during which the older hair falls out from your scalp and is replaced by the new hair.
Each of these stages lasts for a different amount of time, meaning your hair can grow for years before it enters into the catagen, telogen and exogen phases. Below, we’ve explained each phase in more detail to help you better understand the hair growth process.
Also Read: Bald Men Have A Higher Risk Of COVID-19
The 3 Main Causes Of Slow Hair Growth
Perhaps you think that your diet is varied enough to avoid major vitamin deficiencies. And you may be right. However, even the slightest deficiencies can lead to slowed, or even stopped, hair growth.
Vitamins play a critical role in the way the body functions. While the majority of first world inhabitants aren’t likely to suffer from malnutrition, they can still be deficient in many of the most important nutrients.
Some nutrients which are most important for hair growth include iron, vitamins A, B, C, and D, niacin, and zinc.
In some cases, even minor deficiencies can throw the body’s systems out of whack. This is true for even hair regrowth.
Stress And Illness
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but it’s also something which can cause health problems if not treated accordingly.
One such health problem? Hair loss. The reason for this is probably not what you think.
When people are under stress, there are a number of undetected changes that take place within the body. One of these changes is how we breathe – in particular, we tend to take shallow breaths, which results in less oxygen intake.
As oxygen is crucial to all of our body’s systems, this means that the acquired oxygen must go to the most important organs first – namely, the heart, lungs, brain, etc.
This means there is less oxygen that can be delivered to less significant organs, such as the hair follicles.
Stress impairs our general health and impairs our ability to fight disease and to heal ourselves because it reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Also, stress isn’t just a mental condition. It can also happen as a result of illness or injury.
While the human body is capable of incredible things, it’s also quite delicate. By that, I mean there’s a balance that must be present within the body at all times for it to function properly.
There are many things that can throw off the body, but a very common one is hormonal imbalances. In fact, hormonal imbalance is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women .
How To Regrow Hair?
There are several ways to regrow hair. The most effective way to regrow your hair depends on how you lost it, whether the root cause is your diet, stress levels or androgens.
If your hair loss is caused by stress, the best way to reverse the effects and help in hair growth is to remove the source of stress from your life. For severe stress, it’s always a good idea to speak to a doctor and learn more about the best solutions.
If your hair loss is caused by a nutritional deficiency, the best way for your hair regrowth is to make changes to your diet and supplementation regimen. Again, it’s always a good idea to speak to a doctor for an expert opinion.
If your hair loss is the result of male pattern baldness, the best way to start hair regrowth is by blocking dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), which is the root cause of male pattern baldness.
You can also use topical sprays and gel products such as minoxidil, which shortens the telogen phase and causes old hairs to shed and be replaced by fresh, new hairs in the anagen phase.
It’s important to know that you can only regrow from areas where the hair follicles are still active, healthy and capable of producing new hairs. If you’ve lost hair in an area for several years, there isn’t much chance of hair growth even with a full dose of finasteride and daily minoxidil usage.
There’s also no guarantee that any of the hair you’ve lost as a result of male pattern baldness will regrow, even in areas where it’s only recently started to thin.
Understanding Hair Growth
The better you understand the hair regrowth process, the easier it is to tell the difference between regular exogen shedding and hair loss.
This can help you take action sooner if you notice your hair starting to thin. It can also save you a lot of stress if you notice shedding but recognize that it’s just the natural result of your follicles entering into the final phase of the growth cycle. For the most part, it’s best not to panic about your hair’s growth rate or male hair loss. Instead, take a reasoned approach to your hair and approach hair loss as a choice by taking action to limit your future hair loss and help in hair regrowth and retain as much of your hair as possible.
Non-Surgical Solutions For Hair Loss
Non-surgical options can be a good choice for those who simply wish to maintain as much hair – and their current appearance – for as long as possible. This group of clients is satisfied to simply slow down the rate of hair loss. Think of it much like an insurance plan.
Platelet Rich Plasma (Prp)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treats thinning hair by using a concentrated source of your own blood plasma to stimulate cell repair by releasing multiple different “growth factors” contained within your platelets.
These growth factors regenerate and repair damaged/dying hair follicles, resulting in both hair regrowth as well as the thickening of existing hair follicles
Hair Growth Laser Therapy
Laser hair therapy uses medical-grade lasers to deliver safe, low level laser light to your scalp. Laser therapy is similar to watering plants. Like the water and nutrients absorbed by plants, the light energy is absorbed by your hair follicles so that your hair can continue to grow.
As the light is absorbed, microcirculation increases, therefore distributing a more abundant blood supply and nutrients to the hair follicle. Low level laser light stimulates cellular activity in your follicles to help diminish hair loss while helping in hair regrowth.
Hair Growth Products
Hair regrowth treatment includes clinical strength products designed to nourish thinning follicles, prevent additional hair loss and stimulate growth, resulting in your hair growing thicker and denser.
Surgical Treatments To Control Hair Loss
There are several different types of hair transplant surgery options available in India today. The most common types of hair transplants are FUE and FUT hair transplants.
FUE Hair Transplant
The second method is the FUE method of hair transplantation Follicular Unit Extraction involves taking the individual Follicular Unit grafts from the back of the head one by one by cutting around it through a tiny specialized instrument or robotic machine and removing the hair follicles. The process can be tedious and will takes a few hours but is painless after a few numbing injections are given. Once removed from the donor area, the follicular unit is then transplanted.
Also Read: How to Sleep After FUE Hair Transplant?
FUT Hair Transplant
FUT stands for Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation. Follicular units are hair groupings as they occur naturally on the scalp and typically contain 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs.
By means of the removal of a thin strip of scalp from the back of the patient’s head, the hair follicles are taken from a donor area.
This is not susceptible to balding and dissected into individual grafts. They are then transplanted to the balding area of the scalp.