Simply put, hair miniaturization is the technical term for balding or thinning hair. The process causes the hair follicle, which once produced healthy hair, to constrict, making it more difficult for hair to grow. Instead, the hair that does grow is thinner with a more fragile shaft that can easily fall out.
Hair follicle miniaturization is extremely common and results in several common types of hair loss, including male pattern baldness, female pattern hair loss, and alopecia areata, a form of hair loss caused by an autoimmune reaction.
What Causes Hair Miniaturization?
Overtime, just about everyone will experience some amount of hair loss. For men, this process starts earlier in life while others may not notice hair loss until their 50s, 60s, or even 70s. Hair miniaturization can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Age – Older people are more likely to experience hair miniaturization
- Genetics – Baldness is an X chromosome gene, so if your mother’s father experienced it, you’re more likely to as well
- DHT – Dihydrotestosterone is a sex hormone that contributes to “male” sex characteristics
- Or a combination of all three factors
Am I Experiencing Hair Miniaturization?
The most common symptom of hair miniaturization is hair loss. It can develop near your hairline, on the top of your scalp, or in the form of diffuse thinning – spread out hair loss that affects the entire scalp. However, signs can be quite subtle, developing over a long period of time. Pay attention to these changes:
- A receding hairline
- Thinning hair at the crown (top of your head)
- More hair than usual on your brush or in the shower
- More hair on your pillow
- A widening hair part
If you suspect you’re experiencing hair follicle miniaturization, grab a section of your hair and hold it in both hands, one at the tip of the hair and one at the root. Gently pull upward to see if any strands break or come out. If more than three or four strands fall out, you may have hair miniaturization. You can also take photos of your part, hairline, or top of the head every month to see progress.
While a variety of hair loss treatments may be effective in slowing down progression, in some cases only surgical hair restoration can fully restore healthy hair follicles. If you’re noticing signs of excess shedding or hair loss, first talk to your doctor to make sure it isn’t caused by a medication or an underlying health condition. Then, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the hair restoration experts at DiStefano. We’ll conduct a thorough scalp analysis and recommend the best course of action so that you can get back the fully, healthy, permanent hair you love.