You cut, wash, twist, dry, and gel it. From treatments to damaging products, you spend a small portion of your life focused on it — and you probably don’t even notice. It’s your hair. For some people, their hair is part of their identity, while for others, it’s used as an accessory to express themselves. No matter how you use it, one thing always remains the same — losing it can be alarming. For some, it’s inevitable. They’ll lose their hair early or experience a receding hairline. For women, it can result in thinner, more brittle hair. So, how early can hair loss start? And, what are your options?
Signs of Balding in Men
Men typically begin balding in their thirties and forties, but it’s not uncommon for some to begin losing hair as early as their late teens and early twenties. This hair loss in men is categorized by the Hamilton-Norwood scale. This system recognizes the main possible patterns for hair loss, with the most common being:
- Receding hairline
- Top of the head
There are seven stages to hair loss — from stage 1, which has no hair loss to stage 7, which has full hair loss on the dome of the head. The vertex, which is the top, back part of your head, is often the first area to begin balding. As time progresses, the hairline behind your temples will begin receding back toward the vertex until the two meet — creating a bald dome on your head.
Signs of Balding in Women
Most women may notice balding while in their thirties, but some experience it as early as their twenties. Women use the Ludwig system for categorizing their hair loss. This scale focuses on the three main areas for balding, including:
- Thinning on top
- Widening part
- Thinning across the whole head
While hair loss in women is less common than men, it can still cause concern. There are eight stages — ranging from stage 1 with no hair loss to stage 8 with advanced hair loss, and the entire dome of the head is bald. The progression of hair loss in women typically occurs along the part. The hair will begin receding out until the top part of your head is bald.
Causes of Balding or Hair Loss
If you’ve ever had long hair and washed it while showering, then you know that hair loss is a fairly common occurrence. But, significant hair loss and hair loss that occurs because the follicles are dying is a different story. With the most common culprit being genetics, hair loss causes can also include:
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions
- Medications and supplements
- Radiation therapy
- Certain hairstyles and treatments
How to Prevent Hair Loss
Unless caused by genetics, most hair loss can be prevented. If you’re a smoker, cut back or quit smoking entirely. Talk to your doctor and avoid medications or supplements that may be causing hair loss — this option is not possible with radiation treatment. Avoid hair techniques and habits that may be adding to the additional hair loss, including:
- Tight hairstyles — such as braids, buns, or ponytails
- Compulsively twisting, rubbing, or pulling on your hair
- Harsh treatments — such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments, and perms
- Aggressive washing or brushing
- Sun exposure
Treatment Options for Hair Loss
If your hair loss is hereditary, changing your lifestyle and implementing preventative measures won’t slow the progression. While some men choose to embrace their genetics and shave their head bald, others may choose to combat it. Medication and other topicals can be used to help reduce hair loss and promote growth, but if your follicles have died, pills can only do so much. One of the most successful ways to treat hereditary hair loss is with hair restoration. Hair restoration for men involves either using a laser to improve blood flow and oxygen and promote growth or getting a hair transplant.
A hair transplant takes healthy follicles from the parts of your head where the hair is growing normally and replaces the dead follicles where hair has stopped growing. This process can take longer than laser hair restoration but has a higher success rate, and results in higher patient satisfaction. Hair restoration for women can also include laser and hair transplant options — with similar results.
Contact Innovations Medical for Hair Restoration
If you are balding and are looking for relief, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which hair therapy treatment is best for you — keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.