Hi David, I understand where you are coming from. Losing hair at a young age is not a nice experience. Luckily, there is a lot more you could be doing besides the shampoo. Honestly I don’t know how much this will help in the long term. To get you started, you’ll probably have to adjust a few things in your diet and lifestyle to stop further loss/ regrow lost areas. A simple thing to get started would be to use a dermaroller (or even better a dermastamp) along the hairline. Remember though, pattern baldness starts from the inside out. It’s basically a sign that your body is out of balance. So try to sort that out as well.
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle. Ordinarily, hair follicle renewal is maintained by the stem cells associated with each follicle. Aging of the hair follicle appears to be primed by a sustained cellular response to the DNA damage that accumulates in renewing stem cells during aging. This damage response involves the proteolysis of type XVII collagen by neutrophil elastase in response to the DNA damage in the hair follicle stem cells. Proteolysis of collagen leads to elimination of the damaged cells and then to terminal hair follicle miniaturization.
The important distinction between male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss is that, whilst men may develop absolute baldness – when the damaged follicles can no longer function so hair growth stops, and the skin takes on a smooth, shiny appearance – this is rare in women. Women’s hair loss may become advanced, but true baldness – as men experience it – is highly unlikely.
Trich is under-researched in the UK, with the NHS pretty pushed for resources to try and treat it. I was referred to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) when I was 10, which just made me more anxious and depressed. Trying to identify Trich-triggers is incredibly difficult; they can be emotional, physical, situational and differ vastly between individuals. For me, currently it's mostly when I come up against confusing stuff in my PhD research; anxiety and stress also induce it.
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Loose anagen syndrome, which most commonly presents in young children, occurs when hair that is not firmly rooted in the follicle can be pulled out easily. Most of the time, hair falls out after it has reached an arbitrary maximum length. Children with loose anagen syndrome often cannot grow hair beyond a relatively short length. The condition more commonly affects girls with blond or brown hair.
Finally, while it’s hard, it’s just as important to keep things in perspective with hair loss at 20. Yes, it’s creepy when you first see it, but you’re not alone. Many guys lose hair in their twenties, and a whopping one in every two will have it by 50. So you’ve got hair loss at 20. That’s a good thing. You’ve got a 30 year head start to learn how to rock that look over the guy who loses hair later in life.
I sat down, switched on my iPad and started to talk, explaining to people what I had personally been going through, what Alopecia was, showing them my hidden bald patches, and then sang a song as music had helped me through the toughest of times. I posted it on Facebook before really thinking. I had never been a public person, but for some reason, there was no doubt in my mind that my act of self-help had to be done in a very public way. We are all different, and this was my way of dealing with it.
Hair transplants relocate hair from a non-balding (called the donor) area to where it’s more sporadic. In this common surgical procedure, a medical team removes hundreds of tiny skin grafts from the donor strip and places them within just as many incisions placed on the recipient area. You’ll be anesthetized for this, and likely see new hair growth after about three months.
Trich is mostly considered untreatable; there's not enough research into the mental, or neurophysiological mechanisms of action to really underpin the cause. I suspect it works in a similar way to any other addiction; a stimulus like a small amount of pain induces a dopamine response, a pleasurable feeling. After a while, your physiological urge for the dopamine hit overpowers your reasoning to stop.