Androgenic alopecia, usually referred to as male pattern balding and female pattern hair loss, is the most common cause of hair loss. Hair follicles of people affected by this type of baldness are sensitive to a naturally occurring hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in men and to other hormones in women. Exposure to these hormones will eventually cause the hair follicles to weaken. As the follicles shrink, the hair becomes finer, grows more slowly, and may ultimately disappear (also known as miniaturization. Hair thinning from androgenetic alopecia will continue throughout a person’s lifetime; however, the rate of thinning will depend on the inherited tendencies of each individual.
Genes for hair thinning can be inherited from both sides of the family, not just one side of the other, and there are multiple genes implicated in this type of hair thinning.
Treatment options for this type of thinning include hair transplant surgery, medications such as finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, laser hair biostimulation (Illumiwave), and camouflage such as wigs and scalp micropigmentation. For a more detailed explanation of these options, check out our dedicated hair restoration website.
There are many types of hair loss and all of these are referred to as types of alopecia. Alopecia can be scarring or non-scarring in nature.
Common causes of non-scarring alopecia include androgenic alopecia, as well as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, senescent alopecia, trichotillomania, and telogen effluvium. Another type of non-scarring hair loss is anagen effluvium, which typically occurs with anticancer therapies. Consultation with your dermatologist will help you figure out what is happening to you.
If the cause of your hair thinning is scarring in nature, there are many different possible diagnoses, including but not limited to discoid lupus, lichen planopilaris, folliculitis decalvans, and frontal fibrosing alopecia. Discussion with your dermatologist will help you determine the cause.
Hair loss of the eyelashes may also occur with age. Women, in particular, notice that their eyelashes are thinner, shorter, and less full. Over-the-counter products condition and moisturize lashes making them look fuller and mascaras add colour and volume. Extensions and false eyelashes will augment lost volume. Latisse, a prescription medication obtained through physicians, is now approved by Health Canada to grow fuller, longer, and darker lashes. These products vary in cost as well as the time commitment required to achieve the desired effect.