Hair loss is a phenomenon that normally occurs on a regular basis, both in men and women. In fact, every day, an average of 30 to 150 hairs fall out and are renewed cyclically, independently of each other. But in addition to this natural renewal, certain situations can induce greater hair loss, often irreversibly (traumas, and certain dermatological or systemic conditions). Although some people seem to adjust well to it, alopecia (hair loss) is often still difficult to come to terms with completely. Aesthetic pains are accompanied in most cases by conscious or unconscious psychological repercussions. Fortunately, effective options now exist to overcome hair loss.
Why is hair loss not always assumed?
Whatever the cause, hair loss is difficult to assume, first of all because of the aesthetic damage for which it is responsible. It is now accepted that hair fully participates in individual appearance and charm, both in men and women. In fact, hair loss is considered by both sexes as a real attack against physical integrity. It is a generally bad experience, even traumatic, responsible for anxiety, loss of confidence and self-esteem, depression.
If the existing solutions are now effective, until recently they were inconsistent, insufficient, with annoying side effects as a corollary. However, it is clear that the situation has changed in recent years, with the appearance of increasingly effective solutions to remedy alopecia.
Live better with your baldness…
Once it occurs, hair loss does not give us many options: either we hide it, or we accept it and learn to live with it. In the second case, the complete shaving of the head is one of the solutions most demanded by men.
A study (1) conducted at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) investigated this, as well as society’s perception of bald men. The conclusion ? While men with incomplete or sparse hair looked sickly and presented a degraded image, clean-shaven men were quite dominant, strong, imposing and even more beautiful.
According to the author, the bald man’s face would be associated with images of professional athletes, soldiers, movie stars and other virile artists (Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, or even Booba, to name just those). Thus, for men who accept their alopecia, completely shaving the skull would improve the social perception of their baldness.
That said, it is generally out of the question for women to adopt such a solution. And even on the side of the male sex, not everyone has such a harmonious skull as Bruce Willis.
Fortunately, several effective therapeutic alternatives now make it possible to compensate for hair loss and are increasingly being considered.
How to remedy hair loss?
Treatments with medicines to hide hair loss
Instead of having to take responsibility for hair loss, science now makes it possible to remedy it, particularly through drug treatments. Since hair needs sulfur amino acids and vitamins (B5, B6 and PP) in particular for its natural growth, food supplements containing these micronutrients are often prescribed.
A local treatment that includes Minoxidil can be associated. This molecule acts by dilating the nourishing vessels of the hair, thus favoring the entry of nutrients and, in turn, optimizing hair growth. However, it should be noted that this molecule is not 100% effective and that the benefits disappear when treatment is stopped.
Another possibility of pharmacological treatment, finasteride, reserved exclusively for men. It prevents the fixation of a testosterone derivative (hormone responsible for the decline of the hair implantation line in almost 90% of men) on the hair. Finasteride thus stabilizes alopecia and regrowth is seen in 40% of men, after two years of treatment on average. But like any other molecule, it is not without side effects: a decrease in libido and erectile dysfunction are to be feared, among others.
The absence of immediate and, above all, lasting results, as well as the possibility of undesirable effects, are forcing more and more people to resort to hair transplantation, which is much more effective.
Hair transplant, a revolution in the management of hair loss
Practiced since the 1930s, hair transplantation has become more accessible to people who want to hide their alopecia or baldness. Over the years, production techniques have diversified and democratized. The main variants of hair transplantation are the follicular unit extraction technique or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), direct hair implantation or Direct Hair Implantation (DHI), as well as DHI Sapphire (Direct Hair Implantation Sapphire).
FUE consists of extracting the hair one by one from an area called «donor» (still well furnished) of the scalp. The extracted follicles are then individually re-implanted in another area called a «recipient», which includes the parts of the scalp affected by hair loss. Derived from FUE, DHI combines the follicular unit extraction method described above, with the use of a pen for the implantation of follicles in the bald area. The pen increases precision and ensures greater efficiency in graft handling.
Evolution of the DHI, the DHI Sapphire consists of using a Sapphire blade instead of metal for the collection of follicles in the donor area, initially. Then, in a second step, it involves fine incisions in the recipient area before depositing the harvested grafts there, using an ultra-fine pen.
The DHI Sapphire thus allows to have a much more precise result and considerably reduce the recovery time. It optimizes the survival rate of the grafts, and guarantees an almost immediate, long-lasting and realistic result, all the more so since this method respects the direction of the hair for a more natural effect. All these are advantages that make this technique the best therapeutic choice for hair loss, whatever its cause.
Interesting prospects for the future.
With scientific progress, other innovative solutions could expand the palette of existing hair loss treatments. In particular, other pathways such as the prostaglandin pathway are contemplated. In fact, American scientists have identified a type of prostaglandin that is found in high levels in the cells of hair follicles in bald areas of the scalp.
Mice subjected to high levels of this prostaglandin would have lost the vast majority of their hair, and transplanted human hair would also have stopped growing after administration of this type of prostaglandin. Therefore, prostaglandins could also control the speed of hair growth, in addition to their many other functions in the body. This would absolutely constitute a promising field of research in the treatment of alopecia and the relief of men and women who suffer from it and want to hide it!