Androgenetic alopecia (commonly called male or female pattern baldness) is the most common form of hair loss. This occurs in men whose hair follicles are sensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Over time, DHT-sensitive hair (usually found on the top and front of the head) becomes weaker and finer, and eventually it stops growing. With female pattern baldness, thinning occurs on the top and crown of the head and can be caused by several factors, including changes in hormones, menopause, certain birth control pills and pregnancy.
If you’re living with androgenetic alopecia, you may experience regrowth of hair, but the rate of regrowth is different from individual to individual. Although androgenetic alopecia cannot be prevented, there are many hair loss treatments available to slow down the process of hair loss or to restore hair permanently.
Medications like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are best used to slow down balding and retain what hair is left, but they are not considered a viable solution for those looking to restore hair.
Rogaine is a topical treatment that works by stimulating the hair follicle itself to help encourage hair regrowth. Propecia, an FDA-approved tablet available by prescription only, is another option that promotes hair growth by inhibiting the formation of DHT — a hormone that weakens hair and halts its growth. Propecia works by attacking the problem at its source, in the skin.
While both Rogaine and Propecia can delay the loss of additional hair due to androgenic alopecia, discontinuing the use of either medication will likely cause you to continue losing hair.
The generic versions of Rogaine and Propecia, minoxidil and finasteride, have recently been made popular by telemedicine businesses such as Hims and Keeps. These medications are good options for early hair loss because they can slow or delay further hair loss. However, the only permanent solution to restore hair in areas that are thinning or bald is hair transplantation.
For those with more advanced hair loss who are looking to restore hair and not only retain their existing hair, hair transplantation is the best treatment. If you would like to learn more about the causes of hair loss and available treatment options, you can schedule a free consultation with a Bosley counselor. A Bosley physician can then help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
What is Involutional Alopecia?
If your hair has slowly been thinning over time or you’re noticing increased hair loss, you may be suffering from involutional alopecia. This is a condition that shortens the growth phase of your hair follicles and forces them into the resting phase faster than usual.
Involutional alopecia occurs naturally with age. This gradual thinning of the hair is caused by a shortened cycle of hair growth, known as the anagen phase, which leads to a higher rate of fallout and thinning of your hair follicles. Remaining hairs stay in the resting period, known as the telogen phase, but get shed more quickly than normal. Gradually, involutional apolecia will cause the hair not only to become thinner, but also to become shorter due to the abbreviated growth phase.
To learn more about your hair restoration options, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look. Or schedule a free consultation with a Bosley specialist today.
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