Hair loss is a problem that many people face. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, age, and lifestyle choices. The most common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, which is a result of the interaction between hormones and genes. Androgenetic alopecia accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men and women. In this blog post, we will discuss the different stages of hair loss, how it impacts diagnosis and treatment, and new products from Pharmacy solutions that are designed to improve hair loss!
When it comes to understanding hair loss and why it is occurring scientists and doctors typically refer to the hair growth cycle. This is a process that all hair follicles go through and can be broken down into distinct phases with which to understand the problem.
What Are the Four Stages of Hair Growth?
The hair growth cycle is divided into four phases: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen.
Anagen: Growing phase.
Hair follicle cells divide rapidly to produce new hair.
Catagen: Transitional phase.
Hair follicle cells stop dividing and the hair shaft starts to detach from the blood supply. The hair follicle shrinks and helps to rest and renew the follicle.
Telogen: Resting phase.
New hair growth does not occur during this phase. The hair follicle is dormant and the hair shaft is fully detached from the blood supply.
Anagen Restart (Exogen): Shedding phase.
The old hair is shed to make way for new hair growth.
Overall, how long is a hair growth cycle?
The length of each phase varies from person to person. The average hair growth cycle is about three years long, but it can be shorter or longer depending on a person’s age, health, and lifestyle choices. Overall there is a large margin between 3 and 5 years largely determined by the length of the growth phase
- Anagen is the growth phase. This phase can last for several years and is responsible for the majority of hair growth. During this phase, the cells in the follicle divide rapidly to produce new hair.
- Catagen is the transitional phase. This phase lasts for about two weeks and is when the hair follicle shrinks. This phase is important because it helps to rest and renew the hair follicle.
- Telogen is the resting phase. This phase lasts for about three months and is when the hair follicle rests. During this phase, new hair growth does not occur.
- Exogen is the shedding phase. This phase lasts for about two weeks and is when the old hair is shed to make way for new hair growth.
How do I know my hair growth cycle?
There are several ways to determine your hair growth cycle. One way is to look at your scalp. If you have visible hair loss, you may be in the telogen phase. Another way to determine your hair growth cycle is to ask your doctor for a blood test. This test can measure the levels of hormones that are associated with hair loss. Finally, you can also ask your doctor for a biopsy of your scalp. This procedure is usually reserved for people with severe hair loss or who do not respond to other treatments.
Understanding The Structure Of Your Follicles
The hair follicle is a small, cup-shaped structure that sits at the base of your hair. The follicle is made up of three main parts:
The bulb is the bottom part of the follicle and contains the cells that produce new hair.
The shaft is the middle part of the follicle and contains the hair that you can see.
The root, which is the top part of the follicle and anchors the hair in place.
Each hair follicle goes through its own individual hair growth cycle. The length of each cycle varies from person to person but is typically about three years long.
Diagnosing Hair Loss Using Hair Growth Cycle
There are several different types of hair loss, and the hair growth cycle can be used to help diagnose the cause.
Telogen effluvium is a type of temporary hair loss that occurs when a person experiences a stressful event, such as childbirth, surgery, or severe illness. This type of hair loss typically causes the follicles to enter the telogen phase and shed their hair.
Anagen effluvium is a type of hair loss that occurs when the follicles are damaged during the anagen phase. This type of hair loss can be caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Alopecia areata is a type of autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss. This type of hair loss occurs when the immune system attacks the follicles, causing them to enter the telogen phase.
Treating Hair Loss in Men and Women
- Minoxidil – Suppresses androgen receptor function, increases vasodilation and stimulates prostaglandin production. Helps to increase blood flow to the hair follicles and prolongs the anagen (growth) phase to promote hair growth.
- Finasteride/Dutasteride – Blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which binds to the androgen receptor and miniaturizes hair follicles.
- Spironolactone – decreases the production of hormones such as androgens which are responsible for causing AGA. It is used as add on agent for female-pattern baldness when minoxidil is ineffective.
- Latanoprost – Has a positive stimulating effect on the hair follicle and stimulates the transition of the hair from the telogen phase to the anagen phase.
- Corticosteroids – Reduces the inflammation and suppressing the immune system, to stop the body from attacking the hair follicles
- Progesterone – Naturally inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which works to block the harmful effects of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- Estrogen – Extends the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle and causes hair to grow faster.
- Azelaic acid – Inhibition of this enzyme by azelaic acid can reduce the concentration of DHT in scalp and therefore stimulate hair regrowth.
- Cetirizine – Topical cetirizine showed that cetirizine increased total hair density, terminal hair density and diameter.
- Biotin – Improves hair growth and helps with inflammation in patients with a deficiency.
Pharmacy Solutions Offers The Above Medications, as well as our
NEXT GENERATION OF HAIR LOSS TREATMENT
Prescription Triple Combination Therapy
Power of Three: Triple Combination Therapy for Hair Loss Treatment
Triple combination is a prescription we offer by combining the 3 most powerful ingredients into one powerful treatment for hair loss.
- The secret lies in the combination of 3 medications amplifying the effect of the other! In some cases almost 4X as effective:
- Combines Minoxidil, Finasteride, & Latanoprost
- Keeping it simple with 1 daily application
Designed for men 18-65 and post-menopausal women. Experiencing alopecia, hormone imbalance, or post COVID-19 hair loss.
Ask your doctor if Triple Combination Therapy is right for you!