Like laugh lines and silver streaks, hair loss is a natural part of ageing, but like wrinkles and grey hairs, there are many things you can do to slow the process and ensure you age gracefully.
From hair transplant surgery to laser treatment, prescription medication to over-the-counter topical ointments, treating hair loss is increasingly accessible no matter your background or budget.
But where do you start? And how do you prevent further hair loss in a way that leaves you feeling confident? Let's dive in.
Let's talk about hair
Generally speaking, all people are born with hair, possessing roughly five million hair follicles all over the body at birth .
Like with most aspects of the human body, hair growth is cyclical, its lifespan consisting of three distinct phases — the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase.
The anagen phase lasts the longest (about three years on average) and is basically the time when the hair is active as it marks the period of hair growth, and is followed by the catagen phase, where the hair stops growing, and finally, the telogen phase, where the hair falls.
Then the cycle starts again, with the hair follicle generating a new hair growth to recommence the anagen phase .
In that sense, your hair follicle is the only part of your hair that's alive, and it's when that follicle is impacted that you can experience hair loss.
So, what is the cause of hair loss?
There are a few different causes of hair loss, from issues with your immune system to drug-induced hair loss most commonly experienced by people going through radiation therapy to injuries and traction baldness, to hair loss caused by psychological impulses such as hair pulling disorder.
Generally speaking though, hair loss is caused by androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary hair loss condition that is caused by your genes interacting with male hormones, in turn causing inflammation that closes hair follicles and as a result, causes permanent hair loss.
This condition is also known as male pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness .
How is hair loss diagnosed?
The condition behind your hair loss can be diagnosed by a medical professional.
When speaking to a professional, they'll look for any scalp irritation, including scalp disorders or scalp infections, vitamin deficiencies or hormonal imbalances, as well as at your family history as hereditary baldness is very common.
They'll likely ask questions, do a physical exam including a blood test, and test the health of your hair by gently pulling on it .
While there are many causes for hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is the most common diagnosis, affecting over 50% of men and women .
So hair loss is common?
Very! Male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss both affect the majority of people, being particularly common in caucasian men . That said, these conditions affect people to varying degrees.
While some people might simply have a receding hairline or some diffuse thinning, others will experience patchy hair loss, and others still will get full pattern baldness.
In extreme cases of androgenetic alopecia, people can experience hair loss across the entire body, including their eyelashes and eyebrows.
The good news is that is it possible to treat hair loss and many people experience positive results when treating male pattern baldness.
What are the best treatment options for hair loss and hair growth?
There are numerous medical treatments for androgenetic alopecia and other types of hair loss that are specifically designed to slow hair loss and even stimulate hair growth.
Like with most medical conditions, what's going to work best for you is going to depend on your health, your body chemistry and your family history.
Understanding all of those things are going to be crucial in your hair loss treatment and in encouraging the hair growth that you want.
Over-the-counter products, like minoxidil, are believed to enhance hair growth by reopening closed hair follicles, extending the anagen phase and shortening the telogen phase. In other words, it keeps the hair growing for longer .
Personalised prescription treatment
While over-the-counter medications can be helpful for some people, tackling hair loss with a personalised prescription treatment that is clinically proven and made for your particular hair loss experience can be life-changing.
Simply complete an online consultation and a practitioner will create a prescription based on your individual needs.
From here, your treatment will be compounded in an Australian lab before being delivered discreetly to your home.
And, the results speak for themselves — 83% of users keep their hair with this treatment and 66% experience hair regrowth.
Microneedling, also known as derma rolling, is the process of rolling tiny needles over your scalp to generate blood flow, stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth.
A recent peer-reviewed study found that microneedling was the most effective hair growth treatment, with 82% of people in the study finding over 50% improvement over twelve weeks .
A microneedling Derma Roller can be found in Pilot's Hair Growth Booster Kit, which is designed to help you achieve healthy hair.
When to seek help for hair loss
While there's no cure for hair loss, hair loss treatments can help slow the process and ensure hair grows in a way that leaves you feeling like your best self.
As a result, the earlier you seek help, the better. A positive place to start is with a consult with one of Pilot's specialist practitioners who can advise you on your options.