Evaluate Your Hair Loss
In order to evaluate your hair loss we need to examine three areas:
- The type of hair loss you have;
- The extent of that hair loss and;
- How long you have been experiencing hair loss.
Male Hair Loss - The Types
Men lose their hair in several ways. The most common are:
- Receding Hair Line (Thinning Hair)
- Centralised loss on the top back of the head (vertex)
- Diffuse thinning where hair thins all over without losing the shape of the hair line
The Norwood scale is the most common way of identifying which type of hair loss, and the level of hair loss you are suffering. It also shows you what is the likely outcome should your hair loss remain untreated. It is also good once you have started treatment to evaluate the results of that treatment to see if the treatment has been a success or not.
Different treatments are better at treating different types of hair loss and we will examine those in the next section: Types of Hair Loss Treatments.
Male Hair Loss - Extent
The extent of your current hair loss is probably the most deciding factor on how well you will respond to treatment. A practically bald scalp with only microscopic hair follicles will not respond well to any treatment especially if it has been that way for several years. If your hair has only just started to succumb to male patterned baldness then you have an excellent chance of treating the condition successfully.
Male Hair Loss - How Long?
The longer you wait to treat your hair loss the harder it will be to achieve good results.
This is the hard and fast rule. The process of losing your hair takes years to progress so the sooner you do something about it the better your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Fighting hair loss is about prevention as well as reversal and this should always be understood.
If you are a young man in your twenties then you have a great chance of having a full head of hair in the next 20-30 years as the balding process has not had as long to progress yet. However, don't lose hope if you have been suffering from hair loss for more than 5 years - a successful combination of treatments can reverse this process.
We will examine these treatments in the next step to this guide - Types Of Hair Loss Treatments.
Male Hair Loss - Treatments
Now you should have identified the type of hair loss you are suffering; receding hair line, vertex loss or thinning hair. You should also be able to identify the extent of your hair loss from the Norwood Scale above.
The next step is to examine the types of treatments available to you. It is best to take a multifaceted approach when treating hair loss and use a combination of products.
Female Hair Loss
As with any change in your body, hair loss may be a symptom of an underlying disease such as anaemia or hormonal imbalance.
If hair loss persists or worsens you should consult your dermatologist who can refer you to the appropriate physician.
Blood tests can be useful but frequently they will not provide any more information than can be provided through a medical examination; your physician or specialist will advise you accordingly.
Female Hair Loss - Evaluate
There is a visual representation of female hair loss that will allow you to assess your own situation. It is called the Ludwig Scale of Hair Loss.
You can now compare your hair loss to the Ludwig scale above. It is also useful in understanding where you fall within this scale to assess any treatments you might participate in and their levels of success.
Female Hair Loss - Prepare!
Before you visit your GP/Medical Practitioner you should understand you need to prepare the facts for him/her so that they can refer you accordingly and your Alopecia can be diagnosed properly. These two things are:
- How long have you been suffering this hair loss?
- Is the hair falling out in full lengths or breaking off (partial hairs)?
- Have you recently commenced the menopause or given birth?
- What medications are you on, if any?
- Do you have a family history of diabetes, asthma, arthritis, vitiligo, anaemia lupus or Addison's disease?
There are a series of blood tests that may be required to help diagnose your Alopecia. The results need to be analysed by a specialist and your scalp examined accordingly. Your physician will be able to advise you if you need these tests.
- Hormone levels (DHEAS, Testosterone, Androstenedione, Prolactin, Follicular Stimulating Hormone, and Leutinizing Hormone)
- Serum Iron, Serum Ferritin, TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity)
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Complete Blood Count
Female Hair Loss - Solutions
Again, we need to reiterate that female hair loss should be examined by a specialist in the field and all the tests should be done before treatment begins. Once you have the results you can look to treatments.