Hair loss is a physiological process that occurs due to the change in growth phases and renewal of skin cells. However, excessive hair loss may indicate a disease of the hairy part of the head – alopecia. Without proper treatment and the use of hair loss remedies, alopecia progresses and, depending on the cause of the disease, leads to significant thinning of the hair or the formation of foci of baldness.
Each hair follicle has a life cycle. The phase of active hair growth (anagen) is 2-5 years. Then comes an intermediate phase (catagen), after which the follicle stops nourishing the hair and goes into a “sleeping” mode – the telogen phase. As the new hair grows, the old hair is pushed out of the hair follicle. The process ends with the loss of old hair and the appearance of a nehair on the surface of the skin. In healthy people, approximately 85% of hair is in the anagen stage, 1-2% is in the catagen stage, and about 13-15% is in the telogen stage. About 50-100 hairs fall out a day and new ones grow in their place, while the density of the hair practically does not change.
You can determine excessive hair loss with the help of a test at home. Since most of it falls out when you wash your hair, postpone this procedure for a few days. Then take the bundle on the top of the head and pull hard, repeat the test several times. If more than 5-7 hairs remain in the hand each time, it is necessary to consult a trichologist (a dermatologist who treats hair and scalp).
In the structure of all hair diseases, non-scarring hair loss makes up 80%, that is, it is the most common cause of hair loss, which affects 30-40% of people under the age of 50. The main cause of hair loss in men (80% of cases) is a hereditary predisposition. This form of alopecia is called androgenetic. The most significant risk factor for male pattern baldness is increased activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase type II, which metabolizes the hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in genetically predisposed hair follicles.
The development of androgenetic alopecia has its patterns: in men it ,”eats” the hair on the crown, and in women it ,forms a nest in the middle parting. In men, alopecia develops gradually over 5-25 years. For visual diagnosis of male pattern baldness, trichologists use the Norwood scale, according to which certain signs correspond to each stage of alopecia.
Causes of severe hair loss in women:
Androgenic, “male-type” alopecia, which develops in genetically predisposed women, is the second most common form of hair loss and is associated with an increase in the effect of the most powerful of the “male” androgen hormones – dihydrotestosterone. In some women with androgenetic hair loss, the presence of pathological changes in the metabolism of androgen hormones in the serum of peripheral blood is confirmed, and deviations from the norm in other parameters are often insignificant. As you know, male hormones in women shorten the growth phase (anagen) and prolong the shedding phase (telogen), which leads to a decrease in the size of hair follicles.
The causes of hair loss can be autoimmune pathologies (lichen planus, discoid lupus, scleroderma), seborrhea, syphilis, and fungal and bacterial skin infections. In lupus, erythematous, protruding foci spots are formed on the scalp, pale pink inside and crimson at the edges, with follicular hyperkeratosis, atrophy, telangiectasias (vascular stars), and dyspigmentation.
Lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory dermatosis with immune pathogenesis (mechanism of disease development) that affects the skin, scalp, mucous membranes, and nails. The disease manifests itself in the form of multifocal, asymmetric alopecia with follicular keratosis and particular bluish-purple erythema.
Sometimes cicatricial baldness is provoked by chronic rashes on the neck and back of the head – keloidal acne, as well as deep forms of folliculitis and perifolliculitis with a tendency to the formation of abscesses – abscessing (undermining) folliculitis.
Hair loss in seborrheic alopecia occurs due to a malfunction of the sebaceous glands. In men, seborrheic alopecia mainly affects the temples and parietal part of the head, in women – the frontal area. Hair becomes thin and thin, and quickly becomes greasy – with oily seborrhea, and with dry seborrhea it looks dry and splits. In 70% of cases, the disease occurs at a young age – during the period of hormonal restructuring of the body in teenagers.
To stop hair loss, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist and establish the cause of alopecia . For this purpose, trichology uses a number of studies:
The general management strategy of a patient with alopecia includes psycho-emotional support, nutritional drugs, systemic vascular and local therapy. In the fight against hair loss, such procedures as darsonvalization, mesotherapy, electrophoresis of bioactive substances, low-intensity laser therapy are effective.
To solve the problem of androgenetic alopecia , use:
When transplanting from the donor site – mainly the occipital, follicular junctions and grafts are obtained individually. Each graft contains 1-4 hair bulbs, which are transplanted to the places of greatest hair loss. After a few weeks, the transplanted hairs finally take root in the new place, and in 8-12 months, the head is again covered with thick, luxurious hair.
In the treatment of cicatricial alopecia, intrafocal injections of steroids and antibiotics, applications of medicinal ointments are used. The goal of such therapy is to stop the inflammatory process. Unfortunately, it is impossible to restore lost hair at the site of scars with the help of drugs. Therefore, when “suspicious” pustules and spots appear on the scalp, you should immediately contact a trichologist .
Hair loss vitamins and a special diet give good results in the treatment of seborrheic alopecia. Vitamin C strengthens the walls of blood vessels, and B5 – weakened hair bulbs; vitamin A is necessary for hair growth and maintenance of skin functions. However, if the baldness is caused by another reason – a genetic predisposition, an autoimmune disease or a bacterial infection, vitamin therapy will be ineffective.
Shampoo against hair loss usually includes warming and stimulating components that improve blood circulation in the capillaries of the skin and contribute to the normal nutrition of hair bulbs. This is menthol, onion or red pepper extract, coffee. Folk remedies for hair loss – decoctions of nettle, sage, burdock oil are used to stimulate the growth of “sleeping” hair follicles. But all means of cosmetology, including hair masks against hair loss, are not very effective in the fight against alopecia, which is caused by endocrine pathology or a genetic predisposition to baldness.