What to Do About Bald Patches and Thinning Hair

Aside from those who shave their heads bald (a number of people have been known to make this clean-shaved style look fashionable), adults have hair on their heads. This hair is more than a collection of protein strands; hair is central to a person’s self-image and even their self-esteem, and most adults and plenty of teenagers take their hair seriously. This is reflected in many trends, such as how hair styles may go in and out of fashion for men and women alike. The “beehive” was a popular look for women in decades past, and women in the 1970s loved the Farrah Fawcett look. A lot of hair care products and services are purchased and used by adults around the world, ranging from perms and hair dyes to gels, combs, electric clippers, and more. The barber industry is a big one, but a related industry has also proven robust: hair replacement.

Both men and women have been known to lose their hair as they age, and hair loss may start sooner in some individuals than others. This is a natural and harmless process, but many adults consider bald patches or thinning hair to be unsightly, and many are upset by their ongoing hair loss. Therefore, an entire industry based on hair replacement has sprung up, and hair restoration experts and hair loss doctors are hard at work helping their patients. What is there to know about modern trends in hair loss, and how may hair replacement be possible?

About Hair Loss

Most men, and some women, will experience hair loss as they age. As mentioned above, this is a natural process, but no one will appreciate it. Common male pattern baldness affects some 95% of men, and they start losing their hair as early as their 30s. By age 35, two out of three men are experiencing hair loss, and by age 50, some 85% of men are going through significant hair loss. At any given time, about 35 million men are going through hair loss, and around 21 million women are experiencing the same. When a person starts losing his or her hair, they may expect this hair loss phase to last around 20 years or so, and the Norwood scale exists to measure the extent of hair loss (hair replacement spec8ialists may use this scale for reference). On this scale, Type I is minimal hair loss, while Type VII describes the most serious and advanced hair loss.

A person will lose about half of the hairs on their head before their hair loss becomes visible, and this may result in bald patches of regions of thinned hair in both men and women. Men in particular may experience bald patches as they age, such as on the top of the head, and receding hair lines are common. Men may expect a receding hair line in their 30s or possibly even their late 20s, though some other men may experience this later. Overall, hair loss is not something most people desire, and surveys show that many people would go to great lengths to restore their hair. Nearly 47% of sufferers of hair loss report that they’d spend their entire life savings to restore a full head of hair, and over half say that they would prefer fully restored hair to money or friends.

Hair Follicle Replacement

While there is no “magic potion” to fully replace all the lost hairs on someone’s head, FUE (follicular unit extraction) methods prove popular and effective for filling out bald or thinning hair patches on patients. Hair naturally grows in units of one to six, and at a hair clinic, a patient may have these units removed along with a thin layer of skin, one to four follicles at a time. The hair specialist will transplant these units to bald patches or thin patches of hair, and orient the relocated hairs for a natural look. This doesn’t add hairs to the person’s head, but it may give the person’s hair a more full look. Only minimal side effects such as minor bleeding or itchiness may be expected after the procedure, and heavier bleeding may call for a return visit to the hair clinic for treatment.

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