Protecting Your Crowning Glory: How To Prevent Hair Loss
Although women are generally assumed to be more concerned with their looks, you’ll find a lot of men who worry when they start going bald.
The whole thing can be rather shocking; one moment you’ve got a great head of hair, and you don’t even think about baldness. Then a couple years down the line you look in the mirror and notice that your forehead turned into a five-head “What the hell happened!?”
But what if you could stop it? What if you could keep your glorious mane your whole life? What if we told you there’s a way for you to keep baldness at bay until you’re old and gray!
The Basics Of Hair Growth: The 3 Stages To A Hair Life Cycle
First off, a certain amount of hair loss is perfectly normal. There are three stages in the life-cycle of a human hair.
- The anagen, or growth phase, lasts anywhere between three to five years, depending on your genetics. The follicle grows hair out until it reaches its maximum length.
- After anagen is finished, the hair follicle enters the catagen or transitional phase. The follicle shrinks and cuts off blood supply to the hair strand it supports. This lasts for about two weeks.
- The telogen, or resting phase, is one to four months long. During this time, the follicle is dormant as it recovers and regrows to support another hair. When the follicle regrows another hair, it pushes out the old hair—and that’s what you’ll be seeing in the shower, and on your pillow at night.
The average person loses about 100 hairs per day. Aging will inevitably take a toll on your hair density, but if you start losing handfuls of hair per day, then you’re probably on your way to a slick bald head.
How To Prevent Hair Loss: 6 Techniques
There are many methods for keeping your hair nice and thick. These can range from simple everyday solutions to drastic but effective surgical options.
Stress Management Can Keep Help Prevent Hair Loss
Stress causes hair follicles to enter a rest period and cease hair growth, while anxiety releases a hormone called cortisol, which causes fluctuations in the levels of other hormones. This combination will cause the balding process speeds up.
Thus, stress management is a great way to keep your hairline intact. Control your stress however you can; whether it’s meditation, yoga, exercise, or whatever else.
Keeping your mind healthy and centered can significantly cut down on hair loss.
Cut Back On The Styling: Let Your Hair Follicles Heal!
Some of the things we do to our hair can do damage if done over a long period of time. Using a shampoo that’s too strong for your hair can dry it out and cause breakage. Applying high heat can also damage your hair, so go easy on the blow dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons. The same goes for chemical treatments like straightening, bleaching, and dying. The less stress you put on your hair, the longer it’ll last.
Use Minoxidil (Rogaine) To ‘Reset’ Your Hair Growth Cycle
In between the preventive lifestyle changes and the expensive surgical options, there’s one available over the counter. It’s best known under the brand name of Rogaine, and the generic name minoxidil. Most people who apply it see hair loss slowed or fully stopped, and in about 25% of those who use minoxidil, revitalized hair follicles grow new hair.
It comes as a foam or a lotion and is applied directly to the scalp. It works by ‘resetting’ the growth cycle of your hair, putting them back into the anagen phase. This does mean that you may experience slightly greater hair loss in the first few weeks after you start using, but that’s just the old hair giving way to the new hair.
Note that formulas differ for men and women. Men will be fine with the 5% formula, while women are better served by a 2% formula. This is because an excessive concentration of minoxidil leads to certain side effects in women like unwanted facial hair growth.
With that said, It isn’t a perfect answer to all hair loss. Minoxidil is most effective for people under 40, and it’s best used as soon as you see the initial signs of hair loss. It won’t help complete baldness.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Revitalises Hair Follicles
In this treatment, blood is taken from a patient and mechanically separated in order to create platelet-rich plasma which is then injected into the scalp. Simple right?
The platelets then revitalize the hair follicles, leading to healthier and stronger hair. The number of necessary injections will depend on the individual; your doctor will consult with you to see what’s necessary.
You can expect visible results in five to eight months, though new growth starts occurring at around two months. There is almost no risk of side effects, as it’s your own blood that’s being used; the most common side-effect is minor swelling for up to a week following the procedure.
Hair Follicle Transplants
Hair transplants have aged like fine wine! Once upon a time, they were a hack job that left you looking like a zombie. But technology and techniques have only gotten better and better. And now it performs miracles!
We use the Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE procedure, which harvests tiny punctures containing one to four hairs from a donor area, usually from the back of the head. These are then transplanted into the intended area to fill in thinning hair.
Before you undergo the procedure, our doctors will consult with you to identify what areas will receive the transplants, and plan with you to achieve a natural-looking hairline. Then the hair in the donor area will be trimmed to identify ideal donor hairs. Overall, it’s a minimally-invasive procedure, using a specialized tool for the task. The extraction causes no scarring, and no stitches will be needed after the procedure.
There are two downsides, one immediate and one long-term. The immediate downside is that, for a few days after your procedure, you’ll have to keep your head elevated and above your heart at all times, including while you’re asleep. This means sleeping upright or making similar arrangements. This is so that the blood pressure around your scalp does not affect the healing of the follicles transplanted there.
The long-term downside is that it takes a while for the transplanted hairs to visibly appear. There will be some minor hair growth after the procedure, but all the transplanted hairs will fall out, and proper growth will only start after that. All in all, it takes about a year for the final results to be visible. Hair grows slowly, after all.
Low-Light Laser Therapy Helps To Stimulate Hair Follicles
The newest addition to our treatments is one that doesn’t involve chemicals, medications, or even anything that penetrates the skin. That’s Low-Light Laser Therapy. As you’d guess from the name, this uses a low-level red laser to irradiate your scalp and stimulate the hair follicles. This encourages hair growth, leading to a stronger and healthier hair.
It might sound odd to use lasers to repair your body, but it all depends on what kind of laser you use. Lasers of a similar type have been used to alleviate pain, prevent tissue damage, and promote wound healing for decades now.
Hair regrowth is the oldest of these possible uses; in fact, it was how low-light laser therapy was discovered. Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician, experimented on removing skin cancers using low-level lasers, and while he failed to affect the tumors, he did notice much faster hair regrowth on the mice he had treated. Now, it’s a painless and non-invasive way to prevent hair loss.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Laser Hair Therapy
As with any treatment, there are upsides and downsides.
Advantages of Laser Hair Therapy
- It’s non-invasive with virtually no side effects. You just sit on a chair and the doctor does all the work with the laser running over your scalp. The laser itself is a low-level one, applied for a very short time.
- It’s completely painless and has no downtime. You won’t feel a thing! Just rest in the nice, comfy chair while the doctor takes care of your hair.
- Laser treatments slow hair loss and encourage hair growth. The laser strengthens the hair follicles, so the hairs that were in danger of falling out are now saved. Plus those follicles that were struggling to produce new hair get a boost!
Disadvantages of Laser Hair Therapy
- It’s time-consuming. The earliest you can see results is two months after you start, and the treatment itself takes about an hour each visit.
- It’s ineffective on patients who have already been severely bald for years. Not all treatments can work for everyone, and lasers can’t save a dead hair follicle.
Overall, LLLT is one of the most effective ways to stop hair loss in its tracks, especially when it’s paired with other hair restoration treatments like PRP and follicle transplants.
Learning How To Prevent Hair Loss Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful
Hair loss may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept a receding hairline. If you want to keep a full head of hair, we can certainly accommodate you. We have all the right procedures available, and with consultation, we can come up with an effective course to prevent hair loss.
There’s no need to worry about hair loss any longer; we’ve got the solution for you. Book your appointment now!
Dr Chen Tai Ho is the founder of Premier Clinic. He has over 18+ years of experience in aesthetic practices. Earned his double degree in 2001 from National University of Malaysia (UKM) and certificate and diploma in Aesthetic Medicine from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.