The benefit of having a thick head of hair is that the top of your head stays protected from UV rays. But once your hair starts thinning and you begin to lose that protection, you’ll find that your scalp is more susceptible to sunburn. If you’re not spending more time outdoors than usual and your scalp is becoming more sensitive to the sun, you could be losing some of your hair.
Treatment of pattern hair loss may simply involve accepting the condition. Interventions that can be tried include the medications minoxidil (or finasteride) and hair transplant surgery. Alopecia areata may be treated by steroid injections in the affected area, but these need to be frequently repeated to be effective. Hair loss is a common problem. Pattern hair loss by age 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females. About 2% of people develop alopecia areata at some point in time.
Before you start hormone replacement therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor about the possible risks and negative effects versus the benefits of HRT. If you're already at an increased risk for health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and blood clots, HRT may not be the best hair loss treatment for you. If you are prescribed HRT, it important to take the lowest doses that are effective, and to only take the drugs for the shortest amount of time needed to control symptoms.
Prescription medications, while effective, can carry high risk and be incredibly expensive. The most common drug therapy for treating the 34 menopause symptoms in the U.S is hormone replacement therapy. This may be a quick and strong way to combat hormonal imbalance, but unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of blood clots and stroke, as the following study has shown.
If any of the above scares you because you recognize the symptoms, don't fret. The key to successful regrowth? First, admit you have a problem. Each day you dwell in denial, you're losing precious time. The more hair you've lost, the less likely it is to all grow back. Telltale signs, like a wider part or a smaller ponytail, don't show up until you've lost nearly half your hair! Seek out trichologists and dermatologists or endocrinologists who specialize in hair problems. (A good place to start is the American Hair Loss Association.)
Finasteride (Propecia) is a medicine taken in tablet form that partially blocks the effects of the male hormones (an 'anti-androgen'). Propecia has been shown to halt further hair loss and promote re-growth of scalp hair in approximately 80 per cent of patients after three to six months. The treatment benefits also stop when you stop taking the medication. Only available on prescription and is available on some NHS primary care trust lists for certain conditions.
It’s good to know that hair loss is a hereditary thing. My husband’s father has hair that is thinning out quickly, so I imagine that my husband will have a similar problem in the future. If that’s the case, then I should probably look into some preventative treatments to help him out. After all, the last thing I want is for my husband to start balding at age 40!