Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Will My Androgenic Hair Loss Stop?

I often hear from folks who ask me when, or if, their hair loss will stop. Usually, these folks believe that they either have telogen effluvium (TE) or androgenic alopecia (AGA.) For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing on androgenic hair loss.

In my experience, it's not that common for AGA to end on it's own (without any treatment) unless the reason for the reaction to the androgens stops. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Causes Of Androgenic Hair Loss And How Likely These Are To Stop On Their Own: Most AGA hair loss lies with the person's increasing sensitivity to the androgens that are just a part of life for our scalp. Everyone has some of these substances on their scalp. And even with regular hair washing, these substances are always continuing to be produced and continue to be present.

There is a common misconception that people with AGA have large amounts of DHT or "too many" androgens. This isn't necessarily true. Many people with this condition have normal or even low amounts of these substances. But, what is happening instead is that the person is overly sensitive and reactive to those that are present (even in small or normal amounts.) And because you can't completely eliminate these substances (which many people will try,) you're often better off addressing the sensitivity instead of the presence.

Sometimes, these androgens can be the result of medications that you are taking. And, in these cases, when the medication is stopped, this can help with lessening the substances. (You should talk to your doctor about your medications, of course. He or she might be able to help you come up with an acceptable alternative that is better for your hair.) However, if this is your scenario, what you've learned about this is that you do have this sensitivity which may come into play later in life.

Other times, these substances are not caused by medications. They are either hereditary, genetic, or the luck of the draw. Since there's no medication or practice that you can stop, having the hair loss just stop on it's own becomes less likely with this type of hair loss.

Why AGA Sometimes Requires Treatment For The Hair Loss To Stop: As I alluded to, if you're in a situation where the androgens are coming into play because of medication, then you're in a situation where you might be able to stop the process and the loss.

But, if the sensitivity is due to your genetic make up, then you'll often need to find a treatment that works for you to begin seeing a decrease in hair loss that is going to be acceptable to you. Successful treatment is often a three step process. It's somewhat unrealistic to think that you can eliminate all androgens and DHT on your scalp. These substances are naturally produced daily. So even with washing and topicals, you're dealing with something that is continuous and in my opinion, dealing with the sensitivity will often have better results.

Addressing the sensitivity is the first step. Addressing the inflammation that is often part of this process is usually your second step. It can be difficult to maintain or support a healthy scalp and head of hair when the inflammation from the sensitivity is thwarting the process and reinjuring the scalp. The final step is usually improving and focusing on regrowth. This is key. Hair can become miniaturized in androgenic loss. This means that your individual strands of hair can become more thin and fine and therefore don't offer enough coverage and volume. Addressing this and trying to stimulate more and healthier regrowth can really improve how your hair looks.

And think about it this way, no matter how much hair you're losing, if you're successfully replacing what you have lost, then your overall volume and appearance should be less negatively affected. Likewise, you can be only losing small amounts of hair, but if you're not effectively regrowing it, even small amounts of loss are going to be too much.

So, yes, in some instances where medicines are the culprit, AGA can improve on it's own. But many times, comprehensive treatment will allow for you to be proactive (rather than just hoping for the best) and will typically yield better and faster results.

How do I know all of this? Because I lived it. My hair loss and lack of decent regrowth went on for entirely too long before I got serious about addressing it. I finally looked at the possibility of AGA, possible agressive treatments, my triggers, and my scalp's health. It was a long, hard, frustrating journey which all but wrecked my self esteem but I finally found something that helped quite a bit. You can read a very personal story at waxing supply


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