Baldness – Why Hair Loss Occurs

Most people lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. The hair falls out naturally and is replaced when new hairs grow in. As we age, this natural growth slows down and thinning and baldness may occur. Hair loss can also be caused by illness, stress, medications and improper hair care.

Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss. Unfortunately, this is a hereditary condition and there’s little that can be done about it. Although it may start in the late teens, male pattern baldness usually begins around middle age.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT BALDNESS

  • Avoid over-brushing or over-combing your hair.
  • Keep your exposure to chlorinated pools at a minimum.
  • Wear a hat when you’re out in the sun.
  • Use mild shampoos.
  • Avoid blow-drying your hair.

ALTERNATIVES FOR BALDNESS

SURGICAL HAIR REPLACEMENT

- Available since the 1950s, this low-risk procedure involves transplanting small plugs of hair-bearing skin into tiny holes in the scalp. Local anesthesia and sedatives are given during the surgery. After surgery, scabs form around the transplanted hair grafts. When the scabs disappear, the hair falls out. New hair then starts to grow within a few months. It may take a year or two of waiting and filling in areas on the scalp before you’re pleased with your appearance. The cost can run in the range of $2,000 per surgery with three or four surgeries needed to cover the average bald area.

DRUG TREATMENT

- In 1988 a prescription drug called minoxidil was approved to promote new hair growth. This drug must be rubbed into or sprayed onto the scalp twice daily. New hair growth will cease if you stop using the drug. This treatment works for about 20 percent of the people who try it.

HAIRPIECES (TOUPEES)

This is the traditional way of concealing hair loss. A hairpiece is usually made up of human hair with a base of plastic, fiberglass, cotton, silk or nylon netting and is affixed to the scalp with double-sided tape.

HAIR EXTENSIONS AND HAIR WEAVING

- A hair extension is a hairpiece that is attached to the head by stitching the sides of it to the natural hair. Hair weaving involves stringing threads across the bald area and weaving strands of hair between them to cover the bald area.

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