A full head of hair is a source of pride to most men and women. Hair loss can be a major concern for personal and professional reasons. Although surgical hair transplant remains the only permanent option for reversing hair loss, many patients want to stimulate hair growth without surgery. Dr. Gordon Sasaki has been a clinical investigator and an early adopter for alternative methods of stimulating the growth of existing hair in men and women. He offers non-surgical hair restoration options for patients from Pasadena, Glendale, Los Angeles, and the surrounding area.
BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGES
Microneedling with PRP
Types of Hair
In a typical healthy adult, there exist about 100,000 hair follicles. These hairs can be grouped into the following 3 distinct types:
- Vellus hair is fine, short, and light colored; usually found on the forehead and sides of the face in front of the ears.
- Intermediate hair is longer with more pigment than vellus hair.
- Terminal hair is coarser, longer, and distinctly pigmented; and grows on the scalp, eyebrows, upper lip, chin, chest, arms, legs, and pubis.
The character and texture of hair vary in color, length, thickness, direction, and density, depending on the stage of development and location, as well as the person’s age, gender, and ethnic background. Hair characteristics are also influenced by environmental factors (sun exposure) and body metabolism (hormones, iron, and thyroid levels).
Phases of Hair Growth
Hair loss in both men and women creates a perception of aging and a loss of vitality. To understand how hair loss is treated, it is helpful to first understand how the hair grows. Hair on a non-balding scalp is found in the following 3 basic phases of hair growth:
- Growth phase: 90% of the hairs are in the growth phase at any time and remain about 3 years.
- Regression phase: Lasting only 2 to 3 weeks, during this phase the bottom of the terminal hair shortens and separates itself from its blood supply.
- Resting phase: This final phase lasts about 3 to 4 months, after which the hair starts growing back to its original self.
When a terminal hair is unable to regenerate, thinning and balding occurs in the scalp.
Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness, technically called androgenetic alopecia, is a hereditary condition that is characterized by a progressive loss of hair from the front to the back until only the fringes remain on the side and the back of the scalp. Instead of gradually falling out, affected hairs gradually convert from the terminal state (long, thick) to the vellus state (short, thin).
Hair loss in men is generally due to a breakdown of the male hormone testosterone that causes the hair follicle to irreversibly wither and die.
Female Hair Loss
Female hair loss is characterized by either a global thinning of hair or spotty loss of hair, leaving the frontal hairline intact. The causes of female hair loss are not understood and are variable in contrast to that found in male pattern hair loss. The following factors are believed to be associated with female alopecia:
- Hormonal changes
- Immune alterations
- Low levels of iron
Common Treatments for Hair Loss
Today, there are a variety of treatments that can achieve modest results in slowing hair loss and promoting regrowth on the crown, including:
- Topical solutions such as Rogaine® and Revivogen®
- Tablets such as finasteride and dutasteride
- LED red light therapy
The drawback is that when these types of treatment are stopped, hair loss resumes.