Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss and causes a change in physical appearance that is often difficult to come to terms with. To avoid baldness, adopt a few good preventive habits and take action quickly if you are starting to lose your hair.
Caring for your hair each day is essential to reduce the risks of alopecia and keep your hair in great health. Be especially vigilant if alopecia or baldness runs in the family.
- Eat a balanced diet, especially ensuring that you are getting enough protein, iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamins, as these nutrients are essential for healthy hair.
- Avoid smoking, as tobacco significantly increases the risk of aggravating existing androgenic alopecia.
- Limit harsh hair styling practices: tight hairdos (buns, plaits, etc.), chemical dyes, hair straighteners, overly hot hair dryers, etc.
- Protect your hair from the sun, as UV rays can damage hair and contribute to hair loss.
- Where possible, avoid sources of stress, which can markedly exacerbate hair loss.
- Massage your scalp regularly to stimulate blood circulation: this will bring essential nutrients to your hair roots.
- Several times a year, take a course of hair-strengthening food supplements.
Treating full-blown alopecia
Don’t wait until your hair has thinned considerably to react: treatments are much more effective when started as early as possible and taken or applied regularly. See your skin specialist as soon as you notice the first signs. They will help you determine the cause of your hair loss through a clinical examination, blood tests and/or a trichogram (hair pluck test), a detailed hair analysis. They will then decide on a suitable treatment: topical treatments, oral medication, or even hair implants in the most severe cases.
Regular appointments will then enable you to track the progress of your treatment and how well you are tolerating any medications. Hair loss usually stops after 2 to 3 months of treatment and new hairs start to grow back a little later. Re-growth stabilises at its maximum level after another few months. Note, however, that there is currently no definitive treatment for alopecia: prescriptions must be renewed in order to maintain any results achieved in the long term.
Whether used alone or in combination with drug therapy, dermatological treatments (shampoos and lotions) and food supplements also contribute to treating hair loss: discuss your options with your chemist.