Hair Loss, Aging Hair & Hair Care As You Get Older Dr Lycka

Hi! This is Dr. Barry Lycka, Edmonton Cosmetic Dermatologist. I’m so glad to be writing articles for you about some of the newest advances in the world of beauty and cosmetic surgery. In this article I share the conversation highlights I had with Dr Alan Bauman, board certified hair restoration physician and world renowned expert in all aspects of hair loss, hair restoration, hair transplantation. We are answering frequesnt questions about aging hair and hair care tips for the aging population. When does aging hair happen? It can start any time after puberty actually; particularly hereditary hair loss, but even people in their twenties and early thirties can show signs of aging hair. What Are The Signs of Aging Hair? 1. Reduced pigmentation When our hair loses its natural color and begins to slowly turn grey. This is the process where the hair follicle stops sending pigment into the hair shaft. If its a hereditary problem it can occur as early as someones twenties or thirties. Some people are lucky and never lose their hair color. 2. Thinning, Receding Hairline, Loss of Volume & Coverage Across Scalp This is due to changes in the hair follicle, so it produces shorter, thinner, less pigmented hair. There maybe also less density of hair. The Differences Between Men & Women Losing Hair Men: the typical male pattern baldness starts with receding hair line and loss of coverage on the crown, gradually leading to total baldness between these 2 areas. But the sides are left intact. Women: Dont tend to get the movement of the hairline but will lose density and coverage of their hair across their scalp. Is it possible to assess the level of baldness that can be expected? Yes, there are a number of ways in which we can do this. Starting with the simple measure of looking at photos of family members who are already suffering from aging hair and baldness and getting an indication if it is a hereditary problem. We can also do genetic testing (like a DNA test) which will provide a result, expressed as a percentage likelihood of having a specific hair loss problem by age of x. We can also do Hair Check Analysis. This is scientific measurement, where we select several points across the head and take certain measurements in similar bunches of hair, we can .pare them and then also be able to predict the hereditary hair loss likelihood. Can Hair Loss & Aging Hair Be Prevented? We can prevent the thinning of hereditary hair loss but not so easy to prevent the loss of pigmentation. At the Bauman Medical hair restoration practice we apply medical therapies and cosmetic treatments to prevent the progression of hair loss in areas at risk and already thinning and then use hair transplantation to restore an area with depleted follicles. Non-Surgical Options For Treating Hair Problems We firstly take a look at a persons medical history, their medical conditions to check that there are no high risk factors that are accelerating the hair loss problems. We check aspects such as medication, stress levels, crash diets, poor sleeping patterns, hormone replacement, smoking, alcohol intake all of these can exacerbate the hair loss process in aging hair. We start with nutritional supplements. Dr Bauman is a big fan of Biotin it is easily absorbed and if taken at the right amount, twice a day then patients will get a noticeable improvement in hair thickness and strength. It has no side effects, except for some people are allergic to the products they are based upon one brand is based upon fish products (some people are allergic to fish products) and another brand can be a problem if someone is lactose intolerant. We also get good success with low level laser therapy this uses light to enhance the growth of hair follicles. There have been a range of devices available over the years and yes, they do work! In our practice we have had great success over the last decade with a range of laser devices to enhance thickness, quality and hair growth in patients. Remember that laser therapy only works in the follicles that you have. Does applying products directly to the scalp help? Yes there are topical liquids to help with hair growth BUT the over the counter products have 2 problems, they only work on about 30% to 40% of people who try it, AND people can also get a dermatological reaction to the products. We can however prescribe different, better formulations which are a much more sophisticated product than those available over the counter and we have seen very nice results with them. For both men and women, particularly for women, there are a lot of .plex issues regarding using hormone based products and also hormone levels and problems in women. Conditions That Contribute To Hair Loss To start, we need a healthy scalp to have healthy hair! If there is a lot of inflammation or dermatitis in the scalp, for whatever reason you are not going to grow healthy hair. We can deal with this by prescribing a medicated or tar-based shampoo to calm down the irritated scalp. In fact as we are discovering, the role of inflammation in the scalp has massive implications for hair loss. Beware however, of being over-zealous with the scalp, because there can also be too much of a good thing, and there can be a problem with hair dryness, breakage, frizzing. In fact these are other signs of aging hair, caused by the reduction in sebum production as we age. Women with curly hair seem very fond of trying to straighten it does that process cause damage? Yes those processes can cause damage to the hair fibers but it is different damage to the signs of aging with the hair follicles. Heat and chemicals degrade the cuticle (the outer layer of the hair) and the cuticle is the barrier that keeps the hair moisture intact lose the moisture and you get problems with dullness and more breakages. We need to build good hair from the base up, from the inside, out. Starting with good nutrition, then keep it in nice condition and not to torture the hair with heat and chemicals. There are some good over-the-counter products, targeted at women with long hair, which help to keep hair thicker and nicer. The Pantene Age Defy range is a product that Dr Bauman has performed clinical trials on and it does work. It helps protect hair and diminishes the effects of damage. What To Do When You Start To See Early Signs If you are starting to lose hair and seeing signs of aging hair, by all means work with your hair specialist to camouflage these early signs. However, if you are seeing a change in hair volume, you need to see a hair restoration physician, who has the tools and knowledge to measure and assess what is happening and to provide the intervention needed. They will start with the simple measures we have discussed, through to prescribing products and to final hair restoration techniques if and when needed. They will do what is needed to help the problem be better for you. Sometimes there are multiple problems in different areas of the scalp so only a hair restoration physician will have the knowledge and experience to be able to .bine and treat the different areas. I look forward to connecting with you and if you have any questions for me on cosmetic surgery procedures, liposuction, skin cancer, scars and skin care, then please contact me via any of the methods listed in the ‘About The Author’ box below, ask your question, (it goes directly to me) and I will be back with a private answer for you ! 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