Hair loss doesn’t always lead to total baldness, and even if it does, it starts as hair loss in patches, and the development of bald spots on the scalp. Bald spots can be cause by a range of factors including postpartum hormone levels, stress, and even male pattern hair loss. Regardless of the cause for bald spots, people affected often feel self-conscious about having a patchy head of hair.
Fortunately, there are options that can make hair grow in bald spots, and, depending on the cause for the bald patches, can even restore your scalp to its previous condtion. Here is everything you need to know about bald spots and how to overcome them.
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What causes bald spots?
Male Pattern Hair Loss
Also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern hairloss is a condition that affects 50% of men over 50. Male pattern hair loss is caused by a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. It is created when testosterone undergoes a conversion process with the help of a specific enzyme, called 5α-reductase.
DHT plays an important role in all men’s bodies, and is responsible for deepening the voice, increasing body hair, and increasing and maintaining muscle mass, but it also causes male pattern balding by shrinking the follicles on the scalp and affecting their ability to support hair strands until ultimately no follicles can grow or accomodate a strand of hair.
That's why people have been looking for ways to remove DHT.
Autoimmune alopecia, also known as Alopecia Areata, is a form of hair loss that can result in bald patches. This hair loss is caused by an autoimmune response, where the body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles, causing them to be damaged, your head losing hair and resulting in bald spots or patchiness. Autoimmune alopecia can affect people at every age and can impact both men and women.
Postpartum alopecia is caused by the formidable hormone fluctuations the female body experiences after giving birth.
High levels of hormones like Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, progesterone, oestrogen, oxytocin, and prolactin suddenly drop after birth and cause postpartum side effects like postpartum depression and postpartum hair loss that can last for up to 5 months after giving birth. Postpartum alopecia typically results in clumpy hair loss around the temples, creating bald patches in that specific area.
Stress can also result in patchy hair loss and bald spopts on the scalp. Stress-induced hair loss is called telogen effluvium. It can be caused by personal stress like family drama, work stress, or financial worries, or more traumatic events like the loss of a loved one, cancer treatment, or specific diseases (even COVID-19).
Telogen effluvium can affect any person of any age, but the good news is patchy hair loss and bald spots caused by stress can recover completely with time, resulting in a full, patch-free head of hair.
Your lifestyle doesn’t only impact your fitness level, it can greatly affect the health of your hair. An active lifestyle complimented by a healthy and nutritious diet is extremely important for good hair health.
Even if you develop hair loss or bald spots due to something else, the right amount of exercise and a healthy diet will help you recover faster and better. Always avoid smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, certain fitness enhancers, and too much junk food or processed foods.
How do I know if I’m developing bald spots?
If you are worried about losing your hair and growing bald patches, there are signs to watch out for. It is important to seek professional help at the earliest stages for best recovery results.
You are noticing abnormal hair loss
If you are noticing more and more hair being left on your pillow or around your home, or if more clumps are coming out when you wash your hair, you should speak to a professional. Excessive hair loss is one of the first signs of thinning hair and balding, no matter the cause for the balding.
As soon as you notice hair falling out more gratuitously, you should seek treatment. There are a range of effective hair care products specially designed and manufactured to prevent hair loss. Medically developed topical treatments are also effective, depending on the cause for your bald spots.
If you are not yet certain what is causing your hair loss, getting professional insights and seeking treatment early will give you the best shot at fully recovering lost hair and preventing further shedding.
You have a receding hairline
A receding and thinning hairline is the first sign of male pattern baldness. If you have noticed a receding hair line, you must get help as soon as possible as that will help stop the loss, prevent further loss, and will also enable you to regain most of what you have already lost. The earlier you get professional help when it comes to male pattern hair loss, the better.
Your scalp is in poor condition
Especially when it comes to autoimmune hair loss and post-partum hair loss, you know you can anticipate hair loss or bald patches when you see that your scalp is in poor condition. If the scalp is inflamed at all, itchy, or flakey, it is a sign that you could be developing bald spots or patchy hair loss.
Your hair is thin in places
If you can easily see your scalp through your hair, you may be losing hair in that region. Thinning hair is a sign of hair loss, and it’s easy to see if your hair is thinning by simply assessing how easy it is for you to see your scalp and how clearly you are able to do so.
Your hair takes unusually long to grow
Your hair taking longer to grow is an early sign of male pattern hair loss. DHT decreases the amount of hair that grows back on your head, so it may appear as though your hair takes longer to grow back after a hair cut than usual. If you have any suspicions of developing bald patches or losing your hair, it’s best to get professional treatment to that you are able to know your options and get early treatment.
How can I make hair grow in bald spots?
Seek treatment urgently
As discussed above, early intervention is key in securing the longevity of your hair. The sooner you intervene and seek treatment, the more likely it is that treatment will work, and the higher the chance of effective treatment.
Include hair-growth products in your hair care regime
Part of slowing and stopping male pattern baldness in your twenties is incorporating high-quality hair-growth products in your regular hair care routine.
Specially formulated hair growth serum can change the game with professionally curated ingredients that stimulate hair growth and aid hair loss recovery.
Incorporating conditioner designed to aid recovery of damaged hair strands and shampoo made to strengthen hair is another important addition to your hair care regimen if you want to retain your hair, encourage growth, and encourage strength in every strand.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
As discussed above, your lifestyle heavily affects your hair health, and staying away from junk foods, cigarettes, alcohol, and other substances will ensure the best chances of retaining your hair. Hair products and medications are obviously good at preventing and slowing hair loss, but a healthy and holistic lifestyle is also key and will enable the medications or treatments to work optimally.
What treatment options do you have?
Minoxidil is a popular, FDA-approved and widely-used over-the-counter treatment for hair loss. It helps those dealing with hair loss by specifically promoting new growth. It is an active ingredient in many hair loss shampoos, and can also be prescribed in stronger doses for those who need it.
Finasteride is another wellknown and highly effective hair loss treatment. It is specifically used to treat pattern hair loss such as male pattern balding or female pattern hairloss after menopause.
Corticosteroids are a strong medical treatment, mostly used for alopecia areata, or hair loss caused by autoimmune conditions. It comes in the form of injections into affected areas and in the form of a topical application.
Anthralin is another topical treatment effective for promoting hair growth in people with alopecia areata.
Methotrexate is an incredibly strong and powerful hair loss treatment to help grow hair in bald spots. It is generally a last resort medication as it is highly strong and is prescription only. Instructions must be strictly adhered to.
Real, effective hair care products
Incorporating growth-promoting products and hair-strenghtening products into your hair care routine can help your scalp recover from hair loss an bald spots. Hair growth serum helps to improve blood flow and promote new growth, and hair recovery conditioner helps the scalp recover. When used with hair strengthening shampoo and a scalp stimulating massager, these products create the optimal environment for the scalp to recover and flourish to support and sustain new hair growth.
Laser therapy has not been studied enough, but existing evidence suggests that it can help restore hair in parts affected by hair loss by encouraging circulation to the follicles.
Hair transplant surgery
Hair transplant therapy is generally a last resort when it comes to getting rid of bald spots because it can be uncomfortable and pricey. The surgeon removes and transplants hair strands or hair follicles from one part of the scalp (typically the back of the head) to affected bald spots.
What are some natural treatments for bald spots?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in arid and semi-tropical regions and it is widely used across the world for its soothing burn healing properties. A 2010 study concluded that it is also a safe and effective hair growth treatment when massaged into the scalp before shampooing.
Beyond the fresh smell, peppermint oil is used to help with a suite of health conditions from headaches to IBS. It is also an effective hair growth treatment when massaged into the scalp or incorporated as an ingredient for shampoo.
Massagin rosemary oil into the scalp is another natural way to promote hair growth. Rosemary oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and it encourages improved circulation, making it a great scalp treatment.
Massages all over the body have been known to improve circulation and cause a variety of associated health benefits. The same is true for massage of the scalp. Massaging the scalp regularly improves circulation in the scalp, providing the follicles with all the nutrition and oxygen they need to grow and maintain hair.
Bald spots can affect everyone and for a number of reasons. Men and women of all ages can experience bald patches due to a range of conditions from hormonal orgin like male pattern baldness and post-partum hair loss, to autoimmune and stress-induced alopecia.
No matter the cause, seeking treatment as early as possible and finding hair care products to support new growth is key to overcoming patchiness and bald spots.
Treatment may depend on the cause of your hair loss, which is why it is important to consult a doctor and establish the reason in your case. The idea of seeking treatment for bald spots may be daunting, but there are a range of treatment options available that can work for a variety of budgets, lifestyles, and hair health concerns.
With such an array of effective options out there, developing bald patches does not have to be a worrying experience, and anyone is able to overcome bald spots and regrow their hair!