Anyone who has experienced a disease like alopecia can tell you that it is the emotional pain that hurts the most of all. Losing one’s hair is like losing a part of your identity. Every time you take a shower a little piece of you goes down the drain. Your mind goes into a defensive mode and you want to stop the loss of hair any way you can. Suddenly, your life is dominated by constant thoughts of how to deal with your thinning mane. You turn to science and medicine in hopes of a cure…but their official answer goes something like this: nobody can stop the hair from falling out faster than it is growing back. They can tell you what the stars in a distant galaxy are made of but they can’t find a cure for hair loss. The cold reality of the situation is that there really is no cure for this problem. There are only ways to treat the symptoms of the disease and cover up the problem to make it look like there is no problem.
Some treatments of alopecia (baldness) are better than others. It all depends on how much money you are able to spend and how far you are willing to go with your commitment to battling your disease. Some men accept their fate and walk around bald and proud, while others take on the fight to reverse their fateful condition with a vigor and passion that would make you think their life depended on it. In the old days you just walked around bald unless you wanted to wear a wig or hat all the time. Now there are a few more choices to treat conditions and diseases of the hair and scalp.
If you happen to be one of those people who chooses to take advantage of the latest treatments available for hair loss, then your first step should be a trip to a dermatologist. A dermatologist deals with diseases and conditions of the hair and skin and they will be able to steer you in the right direction for treatment. They will do a thorough evaluation in an effort to find the specific cause of your hair loss. There are a lot of different factors that determine the causes of thinning hair such as diet, medications, family history, hair care habits and menopause to name a few. A dermatologist will ask you a series of questions, examine your scalp and take a few hair samples to put under a microscope for further analysis. They may also perform a blood test and a scalp biopsy if they feel it is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.
The most common cause of hair loss is a certain gene you can inherit from your mother or your father. In this case the disease is literally in your DNA and there is not much you can do about it. If you have a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle that has/had a problem with baldness then you are definitely at risk of having a problem too. The good news is that you can be ready to attack the problem right away if you know that your family has a baldness gene. Also, the mental anguish will be less if you prepare yourself psychologically ahead of time.
Hereditary balding can happen to women as well as men, but it is much less common. The official name of this disease is androgenetic alopecia and it can also afflict young women in their teenage years. This disease usually does not result in complete baldness with women. As is the case with men, there is no cure for women’s baldness. However, there are some very good treatments available these days and women are much better off regarding alopecia then they were just twenty years ago.
Another thing that causes baldness is poor hair care. Constant bleaching, dying, shampooing, straightening, combing and brushing can do damage to hair and follicles which leads to an excessive amount of hair falling out. A relentless use of pony tails and braids can also cause this to happen due to the constant pulling.
Once you have received your diagnosis from your dermatologist you will be ready to take advantage of the treatments that are available for hair loss. Minoxidil is a lotion that is used on the scalp. Both men and women can use this lotion and both have seen positive results. Propecia, or finasteride is a pill that men can take several times a day to block the hormone that causes alopecia (with most males). There have been some very positive results with men who have used Propecia and it is the most widely used treatment. Both of these products can be purchased at any brick and mortar pharmacy store. You can buy Minoxidil over the counter and Propecia can be purchased with a prescription. Propecia can also be purchased safely and securely online at an online pharmacy. This way you can have your hair loss product delivered right to your door which saves you the embarrassing trip to the local pharmacy where you run the risk of experiencing an awkward moment in public.
Getting a hair transplant is another option that is available for anyone seeking treatment for their thinning hair condition. This is definitely the more expensive and most ambitious choice. You have to be very serious about looking good to take on this option, for it requires actual surgery where they cut a strip of your scalp from the back of your neck at the bottom of the hairline. The idea is that you have an overabundance of hair on the back of your head so that area is not going to miss it if you cut a little strip away. The donors strip is then harvested of its follicles. The follicles are then surgically implanted on the bald areas of the scalp so that you will have your own actual hair growing in that area again. After surgery is performed it then takes a few months before you see any positive results.
Human beings can put enough information to fill a large library on a computer chip the size of a pinhead but they still have not discovered a cure for hair loss. Losing your hair may be inevitable, but there are ways to get some of them back. It may be in your DNA that your hair will start to thin, but fret not. There are a lot more choices these days for treatment than your poor ancestors had only a couple of decades ago. Science and medicine can help you out if you are willing to apply a lotion to your scalp, take a pill a couple times a day or go under the knife. You can be on your way to a thick head of hair again…depending on your bank account and your level of commitment.
Michael P. Connelly is an Author, Artist and award-winning Filmmaker who writes on a variety of topics that effect people in their every day lives.
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