Does Hair Loss Cause the Follicle To Die Completely?

Thu 11 Oct 2007

Referring to hair loss, does anybody know how long a hair follicle remains in “sleep” mode before it permanently dies?   I am asking this to see if  applying minoxidil makes any sense in the event the follicles are already dead.   Is there anyway a hair restorationphysician can see if they are in sleeping phase or gone forever.

In my research and experience, I have read two contradictory responses to this question.

The first response is  that the miniaturizing  hair follicle will  completely diminish/die over a period of time.    At what point the hair completely dies in this argument is unknown to me.

The second response to this question is that a hair follicle never fully dies but only miniaturizes.   The hair follicle can remain above or  below the skin surface.   The hair above the surface can be seen in the form of “peach fuzz”).

If the former is true, regrowing a nonexistant follicle will not be possible with any hair loss medication.   The only solutions at this point would be a hair transplant  or maybe in the future: hair multiplication/hair regeneration.     This is because nothing short of a transplanted hair or derma papilla cell (the cell responsible for hair growth)  can create a follicle.

If the latter is true, the hope to regrow these hairs with a “cure” of sorts remains.    Therefore there is a chance that hair loss medication such as Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxodil) may always work though it is admitted that the further a hair  is miniaturized, the less likely chance  that hair regrowth will occur.    Hair transplantation would still be an option and maybe in the future, hair multiplication/hair regeneration.

I believe however, that the hair follicle does eventually die (though it may still be alive under the skin for some time even if you don’t see the hair)  however, the hair bulb that gives life to the follicle can last a long time even after the death of the follicle itself.   Researchers are still coming up with new ways to combat hair loss and  regrow hair.

Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
View my Hair Loss Weblog

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