For men and women, seeing more and more hair show up in the brush or the shower drain can be a distressing site. Hair loss can make a person feel anxious and less confident in his or her appearance. To counter hair loss, Dr. Ip has several hair replacement options to help patients regain their hair.
What causes hair loss?
Hair grows everywhere on the human species except on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Hair is made of the protein keratin (the reason you see that word in so many shampoo products) that is produced in the hair follicles on in the epidermis. As follicles produce new hair cells, the old cells are pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year. This means that the hair you see on a person’s head is actually just a string of dead keratin cells. Human heads have between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on them; we lose up to 100 per day.
Hair loss can be a result of stress and other lifestyle factors. The clinical term is alopecia and it occurs in many forms.
Involutional alopecia is simply natural hair thinning with age. As we get older, more of our follicles go into the resting phase of hair growth. Plus, the hairs that remain are shorter and fewer in number.
Androgenic alopecia is the genetic condition you’ve heard about. If your Dad was bald, you’ll probably be bald one day. In men this is called male pattern baldness and it can begin as early as the teens and early 20s. Androgenic alopecia is characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. In women with the same condition, the onset doesn’t start as early, usually delaying until the mid-40s or later. In women, most of their hair loss in on the crown of the head.
Alopecia areata starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss in children and young adults. In about 90% of the people with this condition the hair returns within a few years.
Alopecia universalis causes all of a person’s body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and public hair.
Telogen effluvium is a temporary thinning of the hair over the scalp. It happens when a large number of hairs leave the growth phase and enter the resting phase, causing more hair to be shed.
Hair replacement options with Dr. Ip
Dr. Ip has different approaches to hair replacement.
- Medication — Dr. Ip can prescribe and oversee the use of various prescription medications that either encourage new hair growth or reduce the rate of hair loss. Names of these drugs are Rogaine and Propecia.
- Hair transplants — In a hair transplant, Dr. Ip removes tiny patches of scalp that contain live hair and implants them onto areas of the scalp that have stopped growing hair.
- Scalp reduction — Dr. Ip surgically reduces the patient’s bald spots by removing those areas of the hairless scalp and then closing up the space between the hair growing areas. A flap technique is an offshoot of this approach, where hair-growing scalp is folded over a balding area.
Are you losing your hair? Call Dr. Ip at his Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, or New York offices and let’s discuss your hair replacement options.