Among the many biological occurrences that manifest differently for men and women, one that is especially different is cycles of hair loss. The idea of male pattern hair loss (MPHL) is widely known and often discussed. But just as there are measurable configurations of male baldness, there exist patterns for female hair loss as well. In fact, over 55% of women experience some measure of hair loss throughout their lives.

Just as Hamilton and Norwood developed a scale for male hair loss (developed by Hamilton in the 1950’s then updated by Norwood in the 1970’s), in 1977 Ludwig developed a similar scale for female pattern baldness.

Though there are other scales for both MPHL and female pattern hair loss (FPHL), these two are the most popular among practitioners and researchers when attempting to classify hair loss.

The Hamilton-Norwood scale: The Hamilton-Norwood scale has seven types of classifications and several stages within those classifications. For example, within stage 5 there are 3 levels of progression including 5, 5A, and 5V, which show variations on a receding hairline with hair loss also in the crown of a man’s head. Androgenetic alopecia, or MPHL, can begin for some men even in their teens and continue on throughout their life. The rate and onset of androgentic alopecia is highly individualized. However, it is widely accepted that there are biological determinants for hair loss and the best indicator of a man’s potential for hair loss is in his family history.

The Ludwig scale: The Ludwig scale has three primary classifications that display thinning hair, diffuse hair loss, as well as frontal hairline recession. Each image in the scale display a woman’s head with her hair parted down the middle. As an example, images I-1 through I-4 show the progression as a woman goes from no hair loss to increasingly thinning hair as indicated by a widening part. Further along in the scale, the hair loss becomes increasingly drastic. As compared to male hair loss, FPHL is not as wildly expected or accepted in society. Thus, women affected by androgentic alopecia can experience emotional and psychological distress over their condition. This scale helps to normalize their condition and provide a point from which to discuss treatment with professionals in the field of hair restoration, dermatology, and other medical professions.

The comparison: The same process of miniaturization of hair follicles and development of terminal follicles is present for both male and female pattern hair loss. Many, but not all, treatment options are comparable for men and women including medications that contain androgen enhancers, hair replacement accessories, and surgical options. Though there are similarities between MPHL and female androgenic alopecia the primary differences are that women tend toward early detection and thus early treatment; males have a higher rate of progression and earlier average age of onset; there is lower percentage of women affected by FPHL compared to the percentage of men affected; and finally, the patterns themselves are different as displayed in the two scales. Research continues to be performed on both male and female and androgenic alopecia. For now, the best way to combat it is through early detection. In both cases, treatment options are more effective and available when you begin early. Is it best to consult your physician on which treatment options might be best for you. You can also contact a hair care expert in your area to learn about hairpieces as you navigate these difficult waters.

References:

Dinh QU and Sinclair R. “Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts”. Dove Medical Press Limited, 2007 Jun, 2(2): 189-199

Camacho FM, Garcia-Hernandez MJ, Fernandez-Crehuet JL. “Value of hormonal levels in patients with male androgenetic alopecia treated with finasteride: better response in patients under 26 years old”. British Journal of Dermatology. 2008 May;158(5):1121-4.

 

Trichotillomania is a prime example of the type of hair loss disorder that can benefit tremendously from an awareness week. Despite notable prevalence in the United States (2-4% of the population), Trichotillomania remains under the radar for most individuals, including many quality stylists and medical professionals. This lack of awareness fuels misunderstanding and shame while simultaneously impeding personal progress and community support. So let’s spread the awareness!

First, what is Trichotillomania?

  • Well, this mouthful of a disorder is pronounced trick-oh-till-oh-MAY-nee-ah, but most people shorten it to simply trich or TTM. What a relief, right?
  • Trich involves the BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior) of chronic, compulsive hair pulling. It can include hairs on the scalp, face, arms, legs, and pubic area and can feel like anything from a strong, distracting urge to an entirely unnoticed action. There is a lot of variation in its manifestation.
  • People of all ages have been diagnosed with Trichotillomania. It impacts both males and females, but by adulthood, prevalence is much higher in women. Trich is found in happy, well adjusted individuals as well as those whose pulling began as a result of high levels of anxiety or stress. According to the Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC), “preliminary evidence indicates TTM is a nuero-biological disorder and that genetics may play a role in its development.”
  • Treatments and solutions vary from coping mechanisms and resource support to therapies and medication applications. A definitive cure does not yet exist.

How can you participate in Trichotillomania Awareness Week?

  • Understand the need for awareness. Like the TLC, we want to “envision a world where BFRBs are not a source of shame, and treatment that works is accessible to everyone.” The more we talk about trich, the more it becomes part of a norm rather than an embarrassment or affliction to hide, paving the way for those suffering from Trichotillomania to find a support system and resources for improvement.
  • Share a video. How about this one (shown below) from last year’s campaign?
  • Tell one person a day what you have learned. Set a goal to do your part in spreading awareness about trich by telling one person about the disorder each day during Trichotillomania Awareness Week, starting a week from tomorrow, October 1 – 7. It can be a friend, a family member, or a coworker and is as easy as opening with, “Hey, I read that today is the first day of Trichotillomania Awareness Week. Are you familiar with the condition?”
  • Print and post these cards. The TLC created small cards that can be printed and shared on public bulletin boards at your place of work, church, gym, or community center.

For more ideas on how you can get involved, visit the TLC’s website at trich.org. If you or someone you know is struggling with Trichotillomania, there is help available. Reach out and open the lines of communication today.

Restore Your Hair. Restore Your Life!

With more than 40 years experience, Van Scoy Hair Clinics has offered the latest advances in hair restoration for men and women in our state-of-the-art facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio. Schedule a FREE hair loss and scalp analysis today.

consultation

Fall is upon us, and with the change of seasons comes a change of styles. Yes, green leaves are turning orange, hot summer days are cooling into enjoyable autumn ones, and short-sleeved shirts are being covered by sweaters. Why not go with the flow of the shifting seasons and their sweeping transformations this year and opt for a new do to usher in the autumn months? Today we highlight three trendy men’s styles to consider for this coming fall. If you are struggling with hair thinning or loss and are seeking a way to keep your look current, schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists today.

Go for Lift

The pompadour has been popular all year (and worldwide, as we noted during this summer’s Cup), and the style is still going strong as we swing into fall. Consider an undercut of any variety, which allows for whatever combination of lift and length you prefer. This prohibition cut featured on Behind the Chair is a slick look for the working man while the looser version shown on Men’s Hair Style Trends can be perfect for a relaxed evening. Already rocking an undercut? Try pairing it with a beard as the months get cooler.

A Caesar with Bangs

If a typical Caesar is your go to style, make the jump from average to awesome this autumn by simply allowing a bit more length in front. This small shift can make a man look stylish without much styling, and your hairdresser can work the change in over time by allowing for more drama every time you come in for your next cut. Perhaps you will decide you are happy with just a little bit of additional length, or maybe by the time winter rolls in you will be sporting a cool side swept look like this GQ style or something more rock-n-roll like this D’Marge favorite.

Alright, we get that this is a stretch for most men, but for those who do have long manes, fall is the time to let the ponytail down and feel the wind in your hair. As Esquire says in this Game of Thrones based hair guide, “It’s hard to pull off long hair, but if you can, it’s perfect for fall, adding a rich, hearty element to your overall style.” If you go this route though, “keeping it clean, without letting it get dry and brittle is a must”. Guys who are especially focused on styling their locks can take some notes from Schwarzkopf here. For everyone else, at least make sure you take care of any damage or thinning you have been able to hide by pulling it back all summer!

It is a widely accepted misconception that hair thinning and balding are problems that are unique to the male gender. Though still not desirable, there is an expectation of sorts that hair loss comes with age for men, but not for women. In actuality, hair loss does not discriminate and a notably high percentage of women will experience some degree of thinning or balding during the course of their lifetime.

The single largest cause of hair loss in women has hereditary origins and is known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). This type of loss is usually identified by thinning along the part rather than the thinning at the hairline that is frequent in its male counterpart, Male Pattern Hair Loss. The degree of a woman’s hair loss with FPHL is measured using the Savin Scale. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami, some 21 million women in the United States alone are suffering from FPHL with 12% of women seeing signs by the time they are 30 and upwards of 30-40% of women dealing with FPHL in their 60s. These numbers are astounding when one considers how little female hair loss is discussed and acknowledged in today’s society!

In addition to FPHL, hair loss in women can also be attributed to a number of other causes including hormonal changes such as postpartum, birth control, or menopausal hair loss, extreme stress, regular overstyling, medications including, but not limited to, chemotherapy, underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or lupus, other known hair loss conditions, such as alopecia areata and trichotillomania, and the list goes on and on. It can seem a bit daunting to pinpoint a specific cause with so many possibilities, but a doctor or specialist can help individuals to understand their unique diagnoses and the potential solutions that are suited to their condition.

It is true that certain medications or procedures that are successful in men are not as broadly applicable in women. For example, some medications simply do not treat FPHL and others have female specific side effects that deter doctors from prescribing them. This is not to say that there aren’t a range of options for women dealing with hair thinning and loss, because there absolutely are. From hair transplantations and medications to laser therapies and high quality human hair wigs, opportunities for female hair restoration have never been so plentiful. Like diagnoses though, these prescribed treatments require the expertise of a specialist who understands how to accurately match the unique details of a woman’s hair loss with the dynamic impact and effectiveness of various solutions.

Last, but certainly not least, the social and emotional impact of hair loss in women is a fundamental piece of the challenge faced by females who are enduring ongoing thinning and baldness. For centuries, hair has played an enormous role in defining self-image, femininity, youthfulness, and beauty, and despite how one categorizes things like beauty and femininity, losing the opportunity to decide for oneself can be remarkably difficult to overcome. Frequently women seek to hide their thinning scalp with a new style or limited public exposure, and these temporary solutions leave them feeling vulnerable and isolated. By increasing awareness and initiating conversations about hair loss in women, there is potential to not only limit the loss and commence restoration, but also to minimize the negative social and emotional strains on females that are caused by unwanted hair-based changes. Women struggling with hair loss are not alone!

With more than 40 years experience, Van Scoy Hair Clinics has offered the latest advances in hair restoration for men and women in our state-of-the-art facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio. Schedule a FREE hair loss and scalp analysis today.

consultation

There are a number of solutions available for specific types of hair loss and styling needs, and speaking with a specialist is the best way to decide which hair restoration avenue is the best for you. Today, Van Scoy takes a look at Micro Point Extensions for Thinning Hair.

The use of extensions for fullness and length can actually seem a bit counterintuitive once you start doing some research. Not surprisingly, glue and other chemicals used to attach older types of extensions can cause damage to both your follicles and your scalp. Heavy extensions, regardless of application style, can pull on and weigh down natural hairs that are more lightweight than the added pieces, causing strain, stress, and breakages. Of course, a less-than-excellent stylist can add to the issues too by causing hair and scalp damage with careless application and removal, not to mention the extra tension from the additional styling that follows in an attempt cover up the shoddy work. Putting already weak hair into a damaging system in an attempt to make it thicker is kind of illogical, right?

Right. Fortunately, glue and chemicals, heavy strands, and inexperienced stylists aren’t requirements for modern extensions. In fact, breakthroughs in synthetic hair technology and contemporary application practices actually make certain extensions, such as Micro Point Solutions®, into healthy, successful, and recommended hair restoration options instead. Micro Point Solutions® is a practically invisible solution to thinning or fine hair. It is a non-surgical procedure that utilizes micro-mini extensions to create a fuller head of hair without causing damage. No damaging glues or solvents are used and the system as a whole doesn’t cause any additional hair loss or breakages. This is more like it!

Micro Point Solutions® is offered by and made with CyberHair®, a top choice for non-surgical hair restoration. CyberHair®, which uses state-of-the-art technology to mimic human hair, succeeds impressively in looking, feeling, and behaving like human hair. It even absorbs water, reflects light, and holds style while being two times stronger but lighter in weight than human hair! That means that the problem of heavy extensions is gone and so is any worry about the Micro Point Solutions® looking less than natural. Many individuals with thinning hair avoid situations in which their locks will get wet, forcing them to miss out on what could have been fantastic memories or even unexpected opportunities. With CyberHair® extensions from Micro Point, one can run in the rain, answer the door before their hair is styled, and even go for a swim every single day.

It is still imperative that a highly-trained, experienced, and talented stylist applies the extensions and tailors them to the needs of the individual. With Micro Point Solutions®, only certified studios can apply or refresh extensions. In Ohio, the Van Scoy Hair Clinics in Ashland, Cleveland, and Columbus are all certified studios that employ the finest hair replacement and wig stylists in Ohio. Get in touch today for a free consultation to learn more about Micro Point Solutions® and if CyberHair® extensions are a good fit for you.