If there’s one thing about our appearance that we’d like a permanent solution for it’s the hair loss. We might have all the confidence in the world, clothes that fit us perfectly and the right kind of facial looks, but the thinning of the hair resulting into baldness has the power to ruin it all.
24-year-old Aniket Soni had just got into his new job when he noticed a bald patch on the top of his head. ‘I know this seems both melodramatic and shallow when an increasing number of men get on fine without hair – but it felt as if my youth had been cut short,’ says a depressed Aniket. It is often observed that when a man begins to go bald, two things go down the drain – his hair and his confidence. For a man, thick hair has always been associated with youth and masculinity.
For a man, baldness can be deceiving; study shows that two-thirds of men face hair loss by the age 35, and a bad genetic hand is often to blame. Skin and Liver converts testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. High Dihydrotestosterone levels affects the growth of the hair follicles which causes them to shrink (Telogen phase) and gives a scanty looking appearance of the scalp.
“Hair thinning that spreads across your scalp and not just to your crown or temples often indicates an underlying health issue. This often signals the presence of hormonal problems such as thyroid deficiencies or nutritional imbalances causing low iron or low protein levels, which can cause shedding of hair. Use of chemicals such as gel, serum, colouring agents and regular blow drying can also cause hair loss,” said Dr Mohan Thomas, Consultant Cosmetic Surgeon at The Cosmetic Surgery Institute and several prestigious hospitals in Mumbai.
Talking about patterned baldness experienced by women post-pregnancy, Dr Mohan Thomas, said, “During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses. After a woman gives birth, her estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon they experience more hair falling off while taking a shower or on the hair brush. In this particular stage, women develop diffuse thinning over the entire scalp that is most pronounced over the crown. Patterned baldness is a result of genetic and hormonal factors.”
“PCOS is often a cause for thinning scalp hair and increase in facial hairs in young women. As an off shoot of this newer research has shown that Insulin resistant Androgens are a causative factor as well and should be addressed- the advantages of being in a comprehensive hair loss management setting”.
While the majority of men develop temporal recession by their mid-20s and a noticeable balding by their mid-40s and 50s, for most women, hair loss is mild and only occurs later in life. However,
when hair loss is premature or severe, it can cause distress. Today, with the advancement in medical technology, a range of treatments are available to slow or reduce hair loss and stimulate partial re-growth. Surgical hair transplantation can help people with advanced balding.
“You have two good options. One is follicular unit transplantation, or FUT. Surgeons harvest a strip of scalp and cut it into groups of three or four hairs. The second option is the follicular unit extraction (FUE). The process involves harvesting individual follicles from the back of the head,” explains Dr Thomas, who has been doing hair transplant in India since 2003.
Dr Thomas added, “After surgery, it is often suggested to resist the urge to pick the scalp scabs. Shower every day. The scab will fall off more quickly naturally. Apply moisturizing cream to the removal site, and avoid intense cardio for three or four days and consume a healthy diet,” added Dr Thomas.
Today, Aniket cannot stop himself from thanking Dr Thomas for getting his crowning glory back. Aniket who had recently undergone hair transplant surgery has a wise take home message for boys staring at their bald father’s scalp and wondering what their genes have in store for them which is, ‘don’t panic, but don’t wait for too long,’ says Aniket.