A receding hair line, thinning hair and hair loss can affect men of all ages. Whether through stress, genetics or other conditions, this process can be incredibly upsetting and extremely detrimental to an individual’s confidence. As opposed to those that begin to show signs of hair loss trying to come to terms with what used to be considered as irreversible process, now there are a variety of different options to consider.
I spoke to hair loss expert Dr Raghu Reddy at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, to find out about the very latest treatment available.
What are the causes of hair loss and why do they occur?
There are a combinations of factors which lead to hair loss. It is mainly a genetic issue which can be encouraged further through stress, poor diet, hormones and/or lifestyle.
Are there different methods of preventing the hair loss?
There are many practical hints and tips which can be incorporated into everyday activity which can help maintain a healthy scalp and the hair you do have, such as a high protein diet, washing your hair on a daily basis in warm/coll water and avoiding the excessive use of straighteners and hairdryers. If you are concerned about hair loss or it runs in the family, using Regaine daily can help to encourage hair growth and prevent future loss. However it should be noted that medical condistions like anaemia and thyroid abnormalities can cause hair loss, so it pays to see your doctor and get a few tests.
What are the current UK statistics of hair loss sufferers in the UK?
By the age of 50, as many as 50% of men have suffered some degree of hair loss. However, for lots of men it can start much sooner – the youngest patients I have treated is an 18 year old.
Are there any tests that can be carried out to ascertain whether an individual is likely to lose the vast majority of their hair? What are the first signs of hair loss that you should look out for?
For patients considering treatment for hair loss, The Private Clinic can perform a scalp analysis which can map future hair loss. This is an extremely useful process, after which I can advise the patient of practical tips in order to maintain the hair they do have and discuss treatment options.
Male Pattern Baldness is down to genetics – it can be inherited from either the mother or father – or other factors, including hormones, age or stress. Stage 1 of male patter balding is frontal recession of the hair line. Over time the hair line recession increases and gradually the hair line will move further back across the scalp (this is stage 2). At stage 3 there may also be thinning on the top of the crown and this will gradually increase in size. The final stage of Male Pattern Baldness is when the hair is lost completely from the crown and frontal region, leaving the familiar horse shoe shape due to hair on the back and sides of the head usually being thicker, stronger and more densely packed.
What is the latest treatment available that hair loss sufferers can consider?
The Private Clinic offers a permanent non invasive solution called Third generation FUE; a process carried out under local anesthetic. The treatment uses patients’ own hair which can be sourced from the back of the head or body e.g chest hair. A specialised punch less than 1mm in diameter is used to extract individual hair follicles which are then individually inserted into miniscule holes in the treatment area. This treatment has 100% success rate at an average cost of £3,000 – £3,500.
How does the FUE treatment differ from the commonly known hair plug surgery?
With the plug surgery, punches as big as 4-5 mm were used. This meant that grafts were extracted as large tufts and placed as large tufts, giving the appearance of doll’s head at the top and huge gaps in the donor area. What the FUE tries to imitate is extracting hair and reapplying it in a much more natural way.
Are there cheap and affective alternatives to the FUE treatment?
Following the lifestyle advice given above is a cheap way to try and combat hereditary hair loss, and the over-the-counter product Regaine is also an option. However, once hair loss has occured, if you want a natural looking return to a fuller head of hair then a more expensive treatment is the only answer.