Hair growth takes place in three very distinct cycles: anagen phase, catagen phase, and telogen phase. The anagen phase is the growth phase. This phase lasts from three to seven years for scalp hair. Approximately 80-85% of scalp hairs are in this phase at any given time. After the anagen phase, a transition cycle takes place. Catagen phase marks the end of active growth. Catagen phase is the shortest phase of the growth cycle, lasting only about two to three weeks, as the hair prepares to shed. The hair sheds and then the follicle rests and prepares for growth during the telogen phase. This resting phase lasts between two to three months before the cycle begins again.
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When hair follicles are susceptible, DHT eventually affects the anagen phase of the hair cycle. Miniaturization is the largest characteristic in androgenetic alopecia or genetic balding, causing the growing cycle to become shorter. The follicles become smaller and thinner, shrinking away. When many of the follicles become miniaturized, visible thinning or hair loss can be identified. With this process of miniaturization, eventually the hair follicles disappear leaving the scalp bald.
Some areas of the scalp are immune to the effects of DHT. As a result, hair in this area rarely becomes miniaturized. This hair is known as the “permanent zone” or “donor area”, in the back and sides of the scalp. While the front and top of the scalp are the first areas to experience thinning or baldness, the hair in the permanent zone will stay for a person’s entire life.
Since the hair in the permanent zone is genetically resistance to DHT, hair transplant is an effective treatment for hair loss. Hair transplant is simply moving hair from the permanent zone or donor area and placing it into balding areas. The DHT resistant hairs grow in the new location or recipient area the same way they grew in permanent zone.
Although it is not common, some patients experience miniaturization in the donor area. If a patient’s donor area exhibits miniaturization, it decreases the chances they will be a candidate for a hair transplant.
To determine if you are experiencing miniaturization, contact Hair by Robotics for a free consultation with our hair experts.