Having done around 10,000 hair loss consultations over the past 6 years – I have seen and heard every type of hair loss question that one can imagine. I wanted to take a few minutes to address some of the basic questions I get. What causes hair loss? What type of hair loss do I have? What can I do about it?
One of the most common questions I get is: what causes hair loss and why do my siblings not have it?
Male pattern baldness/androgenic is a genetic disorder which means they have higher levels of 5-alpha reductase in their bodies. 5-alpha reductase is an enzyme that converts the male hormones or testosterone, into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Just like any genetics, certain genetic traits will not appear in all family members. A perfect example of this is where an entire family may have black hair and brown eyes and only one sibling has blond hair and blue eyes. Just because the rest of the family does not have those traits does not mean the mailman was involved! It simply means that recessive traits in this instance tend to show up less in certain families. Whereas you may see an entire family with genetic hair loss (dad, grandpa, 2 brothers) and then one brother has a full head of hair. There’s no rhyme or reason nor way, as of yet to predict who will have MPB and who will not in a given family. What we do know is that if you do have it – about 1/4 of all men will suffer this type of hair loss before their mid 20’s and upwards of 85% of all men will experience hair loss due to this type of hair loss and one point in their life or another.
Preventative therapies such as Laser Light Therapy, Rogaine©/Minoxidil©/Propecia© are very effective at combating hair loss but an early start on these therapies are a must as they simply hold on to and slightly thicken thinning hair will not regrow hair once lost.
However, there are many other types of hair loss as well. Some not so understood in the non hair loss community. Other types of hair loss are DUPA (Diffused Unpatterned Alopecia) which more commonly appears in women than men. Alopecia Universalis and Alopecia Totalis which consists of hair loss above just head hair. These other types of hair loss usually mean that they are not good candidates for any therapy as they are lesser known and understood.
In sum for this article: if you have traditional MPB you are potentially a good hair transplant and therapy candidate. If you fall into the other type of categories it is almost certain you are not eligible to have a hair transplant.