What is premature balding?
Premature balding means losing the excess amount of hair at an early age, especially at teenage time or before age 20. Normally, hair falling is a common incident for every adult person. 100 hairs fall from our scalp every day. We lose dead hair follicle cell and grow new hair follicle cell at a regular interval. Premature balding is a physical signs of aging.
In premature balding, there are some characteristics such as: hair become thin, scalp become visible comparatively your age and hair strands are found in the comb.
Types of hair loss
There are different kinds of balding which has their own significant characteristics. It will help you to know which type of premature balding threat you are going to face.
- General hair loss is termed as Involutional hair loss or involutional alopecia. As we age, our hair thickness has been reduced.
- Genetic hair balding is known as androgenic alopecia. Both male and female are affected by it. Male alopecia is called male pattern baldness. In contrast, female alopecia is called female pattern baldness. It is characterized by losing hair from the hairline, crown for male. Female sees thinning of scalp hair after age 40.
- Another type is Alopecia areata in which people experience sudden hair loss at teenage or at a young age. Sufferers may lose all hair from head by this type of balding.
- People will lose all types of hair in Alopecia universalis. All hair includes eyebrow, eyelashes and normal scalp hair.
- Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder where children pull out their own hair.
- Changes in hair growth cycle cause baldness which is known as Telogen effluvium. It happens when a large number of hair goes falls comparatively a few numbers of newly grown hair.
Premature Balding Causes
There are many causes of premature balding which may be voluntary or involuntary. However, some we can resolve easily, some we have to fight for suppression.
Stress condition causes premature balding. It firstly generate androgen hormone and later it produces a chemical named Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is mainly responsible to lower scalp hair.
On the other hand, Coenzyme Q10 is required for scalp as it carries energy. It is found in whole grains, fish, meat etc. Stress causes oxidation which hampers coenzyme Q10. Hence, it leads to hair loss.
Lack of protein-rich food:
We need protein every day in our diet list. Our hair is made up of protein. This is why, protein-rich foods such as spinach, almond, walnut are important for the production of keratin, building block of protein.
Smoking & Drinking:
We know that smoking is injurious to health. It also impedes in the production of hair. Cigarette contains carbon monoxide, which creates obstacle in blood supply in the hair follicle. In contrast, nicotine narrows blood vessels. Hence, hair follicle face insufficient amount of oxygen.
Consumption of alcohol leads to dehydration sucks moisture from hair and leave hair weak. Drinking also hampers absorption of different minerals such as zinc, iron etc.
Excessive use of beauty products:
Beauty product and new style are invented so that you get an excellent hair. However, it is very unfortunate that, we lose our hair if we do use these products excessively. Hair treatment such as bleaching, dyeing, perms are not good practice for long term period. And excessive shampooing may also lead to premature hair loss. Moreover, tight braiding, using rollers, hot curlers is good for short period of time. But it’s better to avoid it.
Some medical conditions such anemia or iron deficiency, diabetes, thyroid disease, tinea capitis may inhibit the production of hair.
Different drugs may have adverse effect on health, especially on the hair. Drugs used for chemotherapy pull out hair. Moreover, beta adrenergic blocker (used for hypertension), a blood thinning drug is also responsible for premature balding.
Hair Loss Signs & Symptoms
Sign and symptoms of premature balding classified into two types according to gender.
- Thinning of hair
- Losing hairline
- Losing hair from temples & vertex of the head
- Crown of the scalp may lose hair.
- Thinning of hair in crown area of the head.
How to Prevent Premature Balding
Prevention is better than cure. Balding due to aging is difficult to avoid. But we can avoid balding which may caused from our unhealthy lifestyle. We use many treatments to hair for beautification purpose.
Reduce use of hair dryer : Hair dryer is used to dry hair. Continuous use of dryer damage health of hair. It weakens hair protein and leaves hair brittle and fragile. This is why, natural drying is better to remain hair well and good.
Avoid Perming : Perming means styling hair by special ways. It may be making hair straightening or curling. Chemical used in this process breaks bonds of the hair. Hence, hair becomes dull, dry and brittle.
Avoid hair dyeing : Many people use dye on hair to make it colorful and attractive. But this practice brings serious damage to the hair. This is why, try to avoid color your hair.
Avoid particular hairstyle: Particular hairstyle which pulls hair and tight hair must avoid. This hairstyle includes: tight ponytails, tight braids, cornrows, and plaits.
Avoid excessive use of shampoo: We have discussed earlier that overuse of shampoo is responsible for reducing hair. So, to prevent premature balding avoid excessive use of shampoo.
Avoid too hot water during bath: In winter season people use hot water for shower. But try to avoid too hot water during bath but to accept only mild hot water. Too hot water leads to overproduction of oil and shed hair from the scalp.
Premature Balding – Treatment
There are many treatments are found for premature balding. But it is difficult to find out perfect one. Available treatments may have both benefits and risks. Mainly drugs are used for the treatment purpose.
Drug – Minoxidil:
Minoxidil is a widely used drug to treat balding worldwide. It is mainly used for young people who are facing balding recently and who have small bald patches on scalp. Minoxidil helps to regrowth hair. Moreover, its vasodilation property helps to maintain good blood supply in the scalp.The mechanism is it shrinks hair follicle and stimulate to grow hair. However, scientists are not sure about its efficacy. However, survey says 50% users find their hair thickened and loss of hair fall.
In the United States it is used both as over-the-counter (OTC) drug and prescription drug. The Minoxidil solution having concentration 2.5% can be used as OTC drug and cream 12% concentration as a prescription drug.
To get primary result you have to use it twice daily for six months. To get the best result you have to use it for long time. If you stop using than hair growth will also stop.
Drug – Finasteride:
Finasteride is another drug which is USFDA approved uses for premature balding. This drug is applicable only for male not for female. It discards production of male hormone and hence prevents testosterone causing hair loss. It has serious side effects. Losing testosterone hormone means libido which also causes erectile dysfunction. The usual dosage guideline is once a day in pill form.
Drug – Corticosteroid:
Corticosteroid is highly effective for alopecia areata, which is small baldness. It should be taken orally. It is also found in injection and drop form. As for example, Prednisolone is an oral corticosteroid for premature balding.
Some side effects are appearing such as skin thinning on injection site, weight gain, metabolic abnormalities, menstrual disturbance, acne.
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure where hair follicles are transferred from hair area to no hair area. Normally, hair area is located at the back portion of the head. This technique is first introduced in the USA in 1950. In this technique hair starts to grow within seven months.
Two types of hair transplantation are available : 1) Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), 2) Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
In FUT, a long, thin tissue is removed from back, but it causes scar in the cut area.
In FUE, hair follicles are harvested. These follicles are transferred from the hair area (back of head) after shaving scalp.