Dealing with Hair Loss

Dealing with Hair Loss
 

Types of Hair Loss

There are many types of hair loss, or alopecia, with different symptoms and causes.

The most common type of hair loss is male-pattern baldness, and this affects about half of all men by the age of 50. It usually starts in the late twenties or early thirties and most men have hair loss to some extent by their late thirties.
 

Other Types of Hair Loss - Alopecia

Other types of hair loss - Alopecia

 


Hair Loss in Men

Male-pattern hair loss generally follows a pattern of a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples, leaving a horseshoe shape around the back and sides of the head.

Male-pattern baldness is hereditary, which means it runs in families. It is thought to be caused by oversensitive hair follicles and has been linked to male hormone levels.

Hair loss in men



Hair Loss in Women

Women can sometimes be affected and this is known as female-pattern baldness. In women, hair usually only thins on top of the head. The causes of female-pattern baldness are not well understood and it is unclear if it is hereditary. It tends to be more common after the menopause, and could be related to changes in the female hormone levels.

Hair loss in women



Causes of Hair Loss

Other less common causes of hair loss include having a condition that affects your body’s immune system, some other medical conditions and receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer.  

Hair loss, such as male-pattern baldness, is part of the aging process and doesn’t pose a risk to your health. It can however be very distressing.



Hair Loss Treatments

There are two main treatments available for male-pattern baldness. One of these is available over-the-counter – minoxidil. The other is called finasteride and is normally only available on a prescription, however some pharmacists are authorised to supply it to suitable patients.

Hair loss treatments

It’s vital that you ask for advice before you buy any hair loss treatment/product for the first time. This is to ensure you get the right product for your condition and understand how to use it. These treatments don’t work for everyone and need to be used regularly as they only work for as long as you continue using them.  

There are also surgical options available such as hair transplants and artificial hair implants. These are not available on the NHS. 

If you are concerned about hair loss, speak to your pharmacist or GP. They will be able to give you advice and information about treatments available. Your GP may refer you to a skin specialist for treatment if you have hair loss other than male or female-pattern baldness.

 

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