Why hair falls out and what to do about it?
According to studies, at least 40% of women and 50% of men under the age of 50 experience excessive hair loss. In Moscow, the problem is progressing: trichological clinics have noted a multiple increase in visits in recent years, and the average age of patients is decreasing.
The full life cycle of a hair varies from two to seven years and is represented by three phases: anagen (active growth), catagen (dying off), telogen (falling out and formation of a new root). This means that the loss itself is cyclical and may well be physiological: the loss of those very 100-150 hairs per day is the norm. On average, 10–15% of hair is at the stage of farewell to our violent heads. “Thinning can also be caused by mechanical action: very tight hairstyles, afro-braids, as well as microcapsule extensions cause strong tension and injure hair follicles,” says Altana Bazyleva, cosmetologist-dermatologist, Vichy medical expert. “The immune system reacts to injury: part of the hair that is in the active growth phase prematurely enters the telogen phase.”
There are a lot of reasons for pathological loss: lifestyle, stress, hormones, genetics, diseases, taking “heavy” drugs. Not so long ago, statistics were replenished with new data – on reactive alopecia after covid.
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Where to run?
For a consultation with a trichologist. After collecting anamnesis and trichoscopy, the doctor will prescribe an examination to determine the cause of the alopecia. There will be a lot of laboratory tests: general and biochemical blood tests, thyroid hormones, vitamins and microelements.
And what to do?
In trichology, two formats of mesotherapy are used – classic injection and medical microneedling. The latter is gaining more and more evidence base.
“In fact, this is an injury to the scalp with a microneedle roller, after which the drug is applied on top,”Vladimir Vavilov explains., candidate of medical sciences, dermatovenereologist, trichologist GMS Clinic. – Trauma with microneedles triggers the activity of the hair papilla, provides the release of growth factors and conditionally “prepare the ground” for interaction with the drug. This, in my opinion, is the advantage of microneedling over mesotherapy.”
With her, according to the trichologist, everything is ambiguous. Cocktails that are used for therapy differ in composition (there is no single standard: each manufacturer claims uniqueness and effectiveness, which is difficult to prove) and in the direction of action – growth stimulation or antiandrogenic effect. Therefore, only a doctor can pick them up: the introduction without a clear diagnosis, for example, by a beautician in a salon, can be ineffective and even dangerous.
The same with plasma therapy.
“The technique is effective only if, as a result of blood centrifugation, the concentration of platelets in a microliter of blood increases, that is, PRP is obtained – platelet-rich plasma. Only a few such systems are registered in Russia,” says Vladimir Vavilov. – The second important condition is the correct diagnosis and an adequate stage. With autoimmune hair loss, PRP can even worsen the condition, and with advanced baldness, the procedure itself will not lead to growth, but can be used in preparation for a transplant.”
Most often, plasma therapy is prescribed to stimulate growth in the complex treatment of androgenetic alopecia and reactive hair loss.
“The effectiveness of the procedure is determined by the growth factors contained in the alpha granules of platelets. From these cells, the wound receives the first signals for healing – it is the regenerative ability of the platelet that formed the basis of therapy, Vavilov explains.
When is the result?
Visible to one’s own eye – after five to six months. “We, trichologists, see new hair with the help of video trichoscopy already two to three months after the start of treatment,” Nazar Gilmanov reassures. – The main thing is that there are live follicles. If they are not there, then the only method of hair restoration will be a transplant.” To wait for the result was more comfortable from an emotional point of view, stylist-hairdresser Katya Konoreva recommends a haircut: “For women, the average length is optimal: too long or too short hair will emphasize the problem. I advise men to cut their hair ultra-short or shave baldly – for many it suits very well.