The most common cause of hair loss in both male and females is androgenetic alopecia aka male or female pattern baldness. As the categorisation suggests, males and females bald in very different ways.
Male patterned balding tends to occur from the temples leading to the formation of a widow’s peak. It may also begin at the crown of the head leading to a bald spot. Males are likely to experience it anytime after puberty.
Female patterned balding on the other hand tends to manifest in overall thinning of the hair. Females tend to experience it after menopause.
To properly curb hair loss problems, a basic understanding of the hair follicle and its growth cycle is required.
Each hair follicle contains a sebaceous gland that secretes sebum (oil that keeps the skin and hair from drying out).
Each hair strand is connected to capillaries that transport nutrients that it requires to grow healthily.
The anagen phase lasts about 2-7 years and will determine the length of our hair. This is when the hair attaches itself to the dermal papilla. As we get older, hair thins as the anagen phase becomes shorter.
At the Catagen or transitional phase, the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the walls of the dermal papilla and lasts about 10 days.
The telogen phase is the resting phase where the hair is no longer attached to the blood supply. Without nutrients to sustain it, it appears limp and lifeless. The cycle begins again when a new hair grows and pushes out the old strand of hair.
More than 80% of males will experience some sort of male patterned balding or significant hair thinning by the age of 50.
The hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is thought to be responsible for causing the follicle in which the hair resides to constrict, eventually causing hair loss. This is a derivative from the hormone testosterone which is found in large concentration in males as compared to females.
Research had also suggested another male sex hormone called androgen that helps to regulate the hair growth cycle. An abundance of this hormone weakens the cycle thus shrinking the follicle producing no new hair strands or shorter and finer ones.
In some cases, it may be indicative of more serious conditions such as cancer or thyroid problems. Certain medication can also cause hair loss.
In females, the hormone estrogen can balance out the effects of the small amounts of testosterone produced in the body. However, after menopause or after pregnancy, women begin to experience hair thinning as estrogen production falls drastically and thus the relative concentration of testosterone and in turn DHT increases.
Stress can also be a causal factor. Individuals facing elevated stress in their workplace, at home or in their personal life experienced heightened levels of adrenaline that signals the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This increases the rate of hair fall.
Lifestyle choices can also lead to hair loss. Having a poor diet that lacks sufficient protein and iron would also cause hair loss as the growth rate of hair is unable to outpace the rate at which it falls. Excessive hair products such as styling gels and hair spray can clog the hair follicles and impede hair growth.
Lastly, smoking can cause decreased circulation, reducing the amount of blood flow to the hair follicles. This would mean that insufficient oxygen is transported to the hair follicle for growth and maintenance of strong healthy hair leading to hair loss.
Minoxidil is a topical cream that is applied to the scalp that can slow down hair loss and stimulate hair follicles to grow new hair. However, results stop soon after you cease its application. Possible side effects of Minoxidil are weight gain, swelling of the face and limbs, rapid heartbeat etc.
Finasteride is an oral medication that helps to slow the hair loss process. This is known to be more beneficial than minoxidil. However, results stop soon after you cease taking it. Possible side effects of Finasteride are depression, itching, swelling of the face etc.
FUE or follicular unit extraction allows for existing hair follicles to be harvested from a donor area of the patient’s head to be transplanted in the area of hair loss. This allows for the hair to naturally grow back in the bald spots.
Cambridge’s new scalp treatment includes a unique combination of 3 highly effective technologies in the market.
Starting with the Venus GlowTM, it utilises two ultrafine jet streams to gently vacuum up dirt, oil, debris & other impurities to ensure the scalp is clean and ready for treatment. The next step would be to apply the patented Genosys HR3 Matrix which supplies supplements to the hair follicles coupled with microneedling to increase product absorption. Ending with the SMARTLUX Hair Laser Treatment to calm and soothe the scalp, it will increase the uptake of the nutrients by the cells.
Initially, patients are recommended to visit twice a week. After significant results are seen, they would only need to come for maintenance once a month to ensure longer-lasting results