Medications are an important part of hair restoration treatment. There are dozens of medicines & oils which are advertised in media, and claim to be effective. Medicines for Hair restoration must be taken under physician supervision only, after diagnosis of hair loss has been made. Medicines used alone or in combination will help in making hair loss slow down/ halt. They may also stimulate some hair regrowth. Response varies individually. Medical treatment may be combined with hair transplant to achieve and maintain optimum results. At Harleys clinic, only medicines which are US FDA approved for treatment of Hair loss are prescribed. Approval of a drug by US FDA means that drug has been rigorously tested for it’s safety & efficacy.
Hair Loss Diagnosis & Evaluation
Most of the patients coming at Harleys Hair transplant in India with hair loss have male and female pattern of Hair loss, a condition which has to be diagnosed clinically. Extensive Diagnostic workup is not required. There are other causes of hair loss, however, and it’s essential that the cause of hair loss be evaluated before treatment is started.
HAIR LOSS & NORMAL GROWTH CYCLE
It’s important to understand the Normal hair growth cycle before knowing how hair loss occurs. The hair follicle (root) is an anatomical structure that produces & extrude (push out) a hair strand. Hair grows in a continuous cyclical pattern of Growth, Degradation & Rest known as the “Hair growth cycle”.
There are three phases of Hair Growth cycle:
- Anagen/ Growing phase
- Catagen/ Degradation phase
- Telogen/ Resting phase
About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. This Anagen (Hair growing) phase lasts for a period of 2-6 years. The hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month during this phase. This is followed by a brief period of Catagen (degradation) phase, of 2-4 weeks, in which the follicle is almost completely degraded. The Telogen(resting) phase then begins and last for 2-4mnths. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase.. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place. On average 50-100 resting hairs are shed every day. This is the Normal hair fall seen in everyday life. These hairs will regrow. A number of factors can affect the Normal hair growth cycle & cause temporary/ Permanent hair loss including Hormonal & nutritional factors, Stress, Thyroid disorder, skin diseases, medications, radiations, exposure to chemicals.
Male pattern hair loss (Androgenic Alopecia) is an inherited condition in which men may begin loosing hair any time after puberty. Androgens ( Dihydro- testosterone, Testosterone) are necessary for development of Male pattern baldness. The gene for male pattern baldness can be inherited from either the mother or father’s side. The first sign is usually recession of Temporal hair line .The density of hair decreases with time, but there is no way to predict what pattern of hair loss a youth with early male pattern hair loss will eventually assume. In general, the earlier age you began to loose hair the severe is going to be the hair loss.
If the androgens are present in normal amount & gene for hair loss is there, male pattern hair loss will occur. Receptors are there on cells that bind to androgen. The greatest affinity of these receptor is to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) followed by Testosteroe, estrogen and progesterone. Testosterone is converted to Dihydrotestosterone by enzyme 5 alpha reductase. After binding to the receptor, DHT goes inside the cell and alters the production of protein by the DNA in the nucleus. Ultimately the growth of Hair follicle ceases.
The hair growth cycle is affected in that the percentage of hairs in the Anagen(growth) phase and the duration of growth phase diminishes resulting in shorter hairs. More hairs are there in Telogen(Resting) phase and these are subjected to fall more aggressively. The hair strand becomes progressively miniaturized, smaller in diameter and length. All the hairs in the affected area will become gradually involved in the process , and will eventually cover the area with fine (villus) hairs. Pigment (colour) production is also terminated with this process. The light colour thin hairs cause the area initially to appear less dense/sparse. Involved area may completely loose all follicles over time and appear Bald.