In order to fully understand the mechanisms linked to accelerated hair loss or alopecia, it is interesting to go into the anatomophysiology of the hair. The shaft is the visible part of the hair, it is made up of 3 tubular layers fitted into each other.
The spinal canal consisting of marrow forms a central hollow tunnel with loose cells. The cortex is a thicker part, it constitutes the body of the hair fiber, it gives the hair its resistance and its elasticity. These cells produce the melanin responsible for hair color.
The cuticle or bark consists of an impermeable protection enveloping the cortex with a layer of 6 to 10 interlocking cells like tiles. The discoloration process induces a destruction of this layer.
It is covered with epithelial sheaths and has a bulb at its lower end; the bulb is innervated and irrigated by blood capillaries.
The hair grows for 2 to 5 years (anagen phase), prepares for a period of rest and repairs for 2-3 weeks (catagen phase), and finally rests (telogen phase). In the telogen phase, the follicle is dormant; at the end of this 6-7 month period the hair falls out and will be replaced by a new one.
Baldness generally has genetic origins. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common and affects 70% of men, 20% of men aged 20-30 are affected. There are other types of alopecia, including acute alopecia, generated by stress or chemotherapy, localized alopecia, caused by skin problems and congenital alopecia or areata which seems to be of autonomic origin. immune.
Remedies for baldness, Minoxidil
Minoxidil is a topically applied medicine for baldness, a vasodilator that has been shown to reduce and often stop hair loss. Some patients will even have regrowth. The molecule opens potassium channels causing hyperpolarization of cell membranes. The mechanism by which this drug acts on hair loss is not completely understood. Orally, it is used as a remedy for hypertension. One of the best known brands is Rogaine; less expensive generics have demonstrated the same effects. Side effects are rare and often negligible; the most common are an itchy scalp. Minoxidil exists in concentrations of 2 and 5%, better results have been obtained with a 5% solution.
Remedies for baldness, Finasteride
Finasteride, sold under the brand name Proscar or Propéciais an oral medicine for baldness. It is an inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the active form of testosterone. DHT is responsible for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia. The drug is relatively effective but has side effects such as reduced libido, and in some cases causes impotence. The use of the drug is not limited to baldness; it is also prescribed for problems related to abnormal growth of the prostate, or prostatic hyperplasia, has been withdrawn from certain conditions by generating dramatic side effects in some patients.
The last resort against baldness: hair implants / hair transplantation
The follicular unit consists of a set of hair roots which are generally grouped in numbers of 1,2,3 or 4. The follicular units are taken from the back of the skull, ie the occipital area. This hair never falls out because it is insensitive to DHT. Hair implants will keep this property and will remain permanently. The grafts generally fall out, for the most part, within 2 weeks following the operation; however, the follicles remain intact. The hair grows back within 3 months, but the final result will be fully appreciated after a period of 8-12 months following the intervention.