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Hair Loss

Find out the main causes and available treatments for male and female hair loss here at LL Cheong Skin & Laser Clinic.

You inherit baldness through your mother's male relatives

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss is normal and rarely a cause for concern. On average, it is common for an individual to lose 50 to 100 hair strands a day. However, if you find yourself shedding more hair than usual, or notice bald patches on your head, a trip to your doctor is advised to help determine the cause of hair loss and how to best address it.

There are a number of things that can cause hair loss - the most common being male- or female-pattern baldness, which runs in the family. If your family has a history of baldness, it is more likely that you will have it too. Symptoms such as a receding hairline in men or thinning hair in women also naturally come with age, but typically to different extents.

Other causes of hair loss include:

  • Hormonal imbalance – Too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in men and estrogen in women can weaken and destroy hair follicles. Hormonal changes leading to hair loss may also occur due to thyroid problems, pregnancy and menopause.
  • Medical conditions – Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out in patches. Another condition is tinea capitis, in which hair loss is caused by a fungal scalp infection.
  • Cancer – The disease itself does not cause hair loss, but its treatments, specifically chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can cause hair to fall out. In this case, hair loss is temporary and the hair will grow back once the treatments have stopped.
  • Stress – A major shock or traumatic event may push our hair to prematurely enter the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair stops growing and starts falling. This hair loss condition is known as telogen effluvium.

How can hair loss be treated?

Treatment for hair loss depends on its cause. If it is caused by an underlying medical condition or medication, hair regrowth is possible once these things have been addressed or stopped, respectively. For hereditary and ageing-related baldness, treatments include:

  • Medications – Rogaine (minoxidil) is the most popular medicine prescribed to treat male- and female-pattern baldness. It works by stimulating and extending the growth phase of hair, thus preventing further hair loss while also facilitating the growth of new ones. Propecia (finasteride) may also be prescribed for those who want to retain their current hair.
  • Hair transplant surgery – Hair follicles are surgically removed from a section of the scalp and transplanted into the target site. Over time, the follicles will begin to function normally, with hair starting to grow.
  • Laser therapy – FDA-approved, low-level laser technology is applied to stimulate hair follicles to grow thicker hair. Please note that this treatment should only be performed by an accredited medical professional.
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