Hair shedding

A common problem persons affected by hair loss present with is hair shedding. The human hair cycle comprises of a growth phase ‘anagen’ whereby approximately 90% of hair follicles on the scalp are in this phase. Sometimes, certain factors can increase the proportion of shedding hairs, called Telogen effluvium. This can arise after stressful life events, medical illnesses, surgery, medications and sometimes other underlying causes e.g. low iron stores. Management focuses on treating the underlying cause if found and sometimes, when there is no cause identified treatment focuses on promoting hair growth.

How is hair loss treated?

The treatment for hair loss depends on the underlying cause.

Some common treatment options include:

Topical Minoxidil

This is a medication that is applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. It is available over the counter in lotion and foam and in prescription strengths.

Low Dose Oral Minoxidil

Minoxidil tablet form is prescribed by hair experts and is found to be effective in treating hair loss disorders.


This is a prescription medication that is taken orally to block the hormone DHT, which is responsible for shrinking hair follicles and causing hair loss.

Hair Transplant Surgery

This involves taking hair follicles from a donor area of the scalp and transplanting them into the bald or thinning areas.

Low-level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

This involves using a device that emits low-level laser light to stimulate hair growth.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

This involves injecting concentrated platelets, which contain growth factors, into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy may be recommended for women with hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with menopause or PCOS.

Managing Underlying Medical Conditions

If hair loss is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder or scalp infection, treating the underlying condition may help to improve hair growth.

Hair Care and Styling Practices

Certain hair care and styling practices, such as using gentle products, avoiding tight hairstyles, and limiting the use of hot styling tools, can help to prevent further hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

Cosmetic Camouflage

There are multiple options for cosmetic camouflage of hair loss these include options such as eyebrow transfers, permanent and semi-permanent make up options, Hair fibre sprays, Hair weave systems, Wigs and hair pieces.

It is important to talk to a healthcare provider or a dermatologist about the best treatment options for your specific type of hair loss, as well as any potential risks and benefits of each treatment.

How Does Topical Minoxidil Work?

Minoxidil is a medication that is commonly used to treat hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). It is a topical solution that is applied directly to the scalp.

Minoxidil is thought to work by 1) increasing blood flow to the hair follicles by dilating the blood vessels supplying the hair follicle. This may help to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth 2) Lengthening the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle resulting in longer hair 3) Increasing the size of hair follicles allowing them to produce thicker, fuller hair.

Minoxidil is typically applied twice daily to the affected area of the scalp. It will take several months of consistent use before results are noticeable, and the medication must be used continuously to maintain any hair growth that occurs. Like any medication, minoxidil may have side effects, such as scalp irritation or itching, and it may not be effective for everyone with hair loss. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any hair loss treatment.

How Does Oral Minoxidil Work?

Oral minoxidil is a medication that is sometimes used to treat hair loss, although it is not as commonly prescribed as topical minoxidil. Unlike topical minoxidil, which is applied directly to the scalp, oral minoxidil is taken in tablet form. As oral minoxidil is taken systemically, it can have more widespread effects on the body than topical minoxidil. This means that it may be more effective for hair growth, but it may also have more side effects, such as low blood pressure, fluid retention, and hair growth in other areas of the body. For this reason, oral minoxidil is typically only prescribed for severe cases of hair loss that have not responded to other treatments. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any hair loss treatment, including oral minoxidil.

How Does Stem Cell Treatment Help Hair Loss?

Stem cell therapy is a relatively new and promising treatment for hair loss. The idea behind stem cell therapy for hair loss is that stem cells can differentiate into various types of cells, including hair follicle cells, and may therefore help to regenerate hair follicles that have stopped producing hair.

There are several ways in which stem cell therapy may be used to treat hair loss, including:

  • Stem cell transplantation: This involves transplanting stem cells directly into the scalp to promote hair growth. The stem cells may be obtained from the patient’s own body, such as from adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow, or from a donor.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: This involves using the patient’s own blood, which is processed to concentrate the platelets, which contain growth factors that may help to stimulate hair growth. The concentrated platelets are then injected into the scalp.
  • Growth factor therapy: This involves using growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), to stimulate hair growth. These growth factors may be delivered directly to the scalp through injection or applied topically.
  • Stem cell therapy for hair loss is in the early stages of research, and more studies are needed to determine its safety and effectiveness. However, early studies have shown promising results, with some patients experiencing increased hair growth and thickness after stem cell treatment. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of stem cell therapy for hair loss.

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