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What is Hair Miniaturization?

Despite how drastic baldness can look when compared to a full head of hair, it does not occur overnight. At least not in most situations…Instead, it usually occurs over a duration of time. While it is perfectly normal to lose about 50-100 hairs daily, concern arises when hair loss exceeds far past this average per day. Roughly 50% of men will exhibit some type of hair loss by the time they hit 50 years old. Though this statistic sounds daunting, there’s no need to fret yet! To better combat hair loss’ natural course, it helps to know what to look for.

 

One of the key indications of hair loss is hair miniaturization. This can be defined as: a process in which your hair follicles slowly become smaller and less capable of producing new hairs. As time goes by, this can affect your hairs’ density, thus rendering it thinner and thinner. Obviously we want to keep our hair as healthy and lively as possible. That’s why we shared 5 ways to fight against hair miniaturization! These methods range from medications/DHT blockers, to finasteride, to more complex methods such as hair transplants.

 

What is Hair Follicle Miniaturization?

 

Hair follicle miniaturization is very much what it sounds like: a process in which your hair follicles constrict over time, which then impacts your ability to maintain normal hair growth. The hair follicles then become physically smaller, causing the new hairs to lose part of their hair shaft thickness and grow less effectively. This then eventually leads to the hair being unable to penetrate through the scalp.

 

Since this occurrence is very common, the causes for it are generally associated to male pattern baldness, female pattern hair loss, and alopecia areata (AA). The latter being a form of hair loss caused by an autoimmune reaction within your body.

 

What Can I Do To Stop Hair Miniaturization?

 

Finasteride

 

Finasteride was originally used to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), but a side factor of the medication included combating male pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines such as an alpha-blocker to treat BPH. For men with hair loss, finasteride will increase the number of scalp hairs but will not increase the amount of body hair.

 

Finasteride is an FDA-approved prescription medication that is used to combat male pattern baldness. It works by preventing your body from converting testosterone into DHT, the hormone that has the ability to miniaturize hair follicles.

 

Minoxidil

Originally created to treat high blood pressure, soon after that it was discovered that Minoxidil had properties that promote hair growth in patients. It is effective in helping promote hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia regardless of sex. About 40% of men experience hair regrowth after 3–6 months. Minoxidil must be used indefinitely for continued support of existing hair follicles and the maintenance of any experienced hair regrowth. The mechanism by which minoxidil promotes hair growth is not fully understood. Minoxidil is a potassium channel opener, causing hyperpolarization of cell membranes. Theoretically, by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, it allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the follicles. This may cause follicles in the telogen phase to shed, which are then replaced by thicker hairs in a new anagen phase.

 

Hair Transplant

 

Essentially, a hair transplant is a cosmetic procedure that involves harvesting hairs from a certain part of your scalp, and transplanting them onto a different part of your scalp. This donor area for the most part is usually the occipital (back of the head) area of your scalp since the hair here rarely recedes.

 

For some, the term “hair transplant” can conjure up images of bad, plug-looking results that show full transparency of a procedure having been done. This is no longer the case with modern transplants as the technology in this field has greatly advanced since the 1980s hair plugs’ days. 

 

There are two main methods of hair transplantation involved in the majority of modern procedures: FUE and FUT. If you’d like to learn more about the differences between these two methods, feel free to read our article on that topic here

 

At Hair By Dr. Max, Restoration Center, we choose the FUE method as a means of transplantation. We also greatly promote our use of the ARTAS iX Robotic Hair Restoration System which has very much improved the efficiency and accuracy of modern-day surgeries. 

 

Chill Out 

 

While it’s easier said than done, lowering your stress levels is imperative to not only your hair, but also your health in general. Stress is a common trigger for telogen effluvium — a form of temporary, sudden hair loss that’s often characterized by diffuse thinning across your entire scalp. Relaxation methods like yoga, meditation, and even breathing exercises are simply yet great ways to lower stress levels. In addition, physical exercise is also a natural mood-booster since it helps to reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol and increase production of mood-boosting endorphins. 

 

Keep Your Scalp Clean

 

It’s common to think that you are shedding hair during and after a shower. This is a misconception of course. On the contrary, keeping your scalp clean on a regular basis actually promotes healthy hair growth. Certain shampoos, such as those that contain active ingredients such as ketoconazole and saw palmetto, might also help slow the progression of male pattern baldness by reducing the effects of DHT.

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