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What is Hair Loss?
What is Hair Loss?
Pattern hair loss — also known as androgenetic alopecia — is a widespread genetic condition. In men, the condition can begin anytime after puberty. Risk of pattern hair loss typically increases with age.
Pattern hair loss is most commonly called male pattern baldness. Pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss and is usually permanent; however, treatment can slow hair loss and may help you grow new hair.
Pattern hair loss gets its name from the typical, well-defined pattern in which the hair falls out. In men, it usually starts with a receding hairline that forms a distinctive M-shape. Hair also thins out on the crown of the scalp near the top of the head, eventually advancing to partial or complete baldness.
In general, a variety of factors contribute to hair loss, including:
• Hormonal imbalance
• Medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation
• Certain medications
• Harsh hair treatments like perms, coloring, and hairstyles that pull on the scalp
• Underlying health conditions like thyroid disease
• Nutritional deficiency
Hair loss isn't only caused by physical conditions. Emotional issues like severe or chronic stress, depression, and anxiety can also cause hair loss in both men and women.
Hair loss from hormone changes, physical or emotional stress, medications, and medical treatments is often temporary.
The development of pattern baldness can occur gradually or rapidly, depending on your genes. One of the most commonly reported symptoms is hair thinning. This can manifest itself in various ways, including thinning or shortening of the hairs across the entire scalp area or just along the hairline.
In some cases, bald patches may start to appear on the head too. These may be small, circular areas that can spread across the scalp over time.
Other symptoms include:
• Increased shedding of hairs
• Changes in the appearance of hairs
• A decrease in the amount of hair that grows back
In some cases, you may even experience itching or flaking around your scalp.
Hair loss doesn't just take a toll on your scalp. It can also impact your confidence and affect your relationships. If hair loss is having an impact on your self-image, mental health, and social life, seeking a diagnosis and treatment is the first step toward finding a solution. The right hair loss treatment may help your hair stop thinning and even cause it to grow back.
Who It Affects
Pattern baldness is a common disorder, affecting nearly 50 million men in the United States.² Men experience hair loss more commonly than women because they have greater levels of testosterone. It’s usually triggered with age. Male pattern baldness often starts in the late 20s or 30s, though it can begin once puberty occurs. While the probability of experiencing pattern hair loss increases with age, it's possible to minimize the risk.
What Treatment Looks Like
If you think you have pattern baldness, you can try to slow down hair loss by using hair growth products. Keep in mind that effective hair loss treatment can take a few months to start working, and 6 months to a year to show full effects.
Once diagnosed, hair loss treatment for male and female pattern baldness includes:
• Topical treatment: Minoxidil (Rogaine), a liquid foam or topical solution that stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp
• Oral treatment: Finasteride (Propecia or Proscar) that you take every day to reduce levels of hormones that cause male pattern baldness. This medication is indicated for use by men only.
• Hair transplant surgery: Surgically removing hairs from the back of your head and implanting them in thin areas
Other possible treatments may include plasma injections, laser treatments, lifestyle changes, and psychological treatment to reduce the emotional stress associated with hair loss. Some treatments, however, have not been approved by the FDA for preventing or treating hair loss.
Contact a healthcare provider if your hair loss occurs in patches; you shed a lot of hair; your hair breaks; you have hair loss along with redness, scaling, pus, or pain; or you start losing your hair after you start a new medicine. These are signs that your hair loss might be due to other conditions.
How Cue Can Help You Find Relief
If you're experiencing hair loss, you're not alone. It's not easy to manage the impact that hair loss can have on your mental health, self-image, and social life.
Thankfully, there's a way to overcome the effects of pattern hair loss. Cue makes it easy to receive treatments conveniently from the comfort of home. Order over-the-counter treatments or consult with a clinician to get your medication prescribed (if appropriate). You can also chat with a clinician on-demand if you want to discuss treatment and if it’s right for you, all from the comfort of home. It’s fast, easy, and discreet.