5 Simple Ways to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Hair Loss Treatment

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When you start a treatment, pharmacological or otherwise, to try to improve the condition of ours is normal that you want to see immediate results. The hair life cycle is a gradual process that takes time and patience to change. It is much easier to see hair fall out, which happens at a rate of 50-100 hairs per day, than to notice hair regrowth, as on average this happens at a rate of half an inch per month. It is important to document the evolution of the fall to ensure that you are using the best treatment for your hair care. In this article, we offer 5 simple ways to start checking the progress of your hair loss and the effectiveness of your treatment.

1 – Shower test

The shower is one of the best sites where you can check the progress of your treatment to combat hair loss. Weak or falling hair can remain on your head all day, partially hiding the information about how much hair you are actually losing. This hair will fall out during washing and end up in your shower tray. There is to be said, however, that it is not super easy to keep a record of how much hair is falling out while we are showering.

How to perform the shower test.

This method can be modified to find the solution that best suits your needs.

For example, the coarsest indicator is the frequency with which the shower drain clogs. Usually if you are losing a normal amount of hair, the drain will clog very rarely. If your drain clogs frequently, it is likely that your shedding is active and abundant.

Another version of the shower test involves taking a shower by plugging the drain, collecting fallen hair in the shower pan after washing, and keeping a daily log of the number of hairs lost. This will allow you to know what your daily fall standard is and assess any deviations.

You can also run this test after 5 days of not washing your hair to get a better idea of how much hair you are routinely losing.

2- Pull test

This test will give you information about the strength and density of your hair in different areas of your scalp based on how much hair you lose by pulling strands slightly.

How to perform the pull test

  • Pull lightly about 40 strands of hair from different areas of the scalp
  • If you find yourself holding 6 or more hairs in your hands, your fall is still quite active.
  • Keep a record of how much hair you lose each time you take the test, including specifying in which areas the hair loss occurs.
  • Test with clean, dry hair

3- Photo comparison

Through photographic analysis we rely less on personal perception and more on the evidence of images. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to take photographs of your scalp from every angle while trying to maintain good image quality.

The quality and clarity of photographs are obviously related to the conditions of the environment in which they are taken. We provide you with some guidelines to follow:

  • Location:define an environment in which to take photographs and try to do it always at the same time of day.
  • Light: Decide whether to use natural light (recommended) or artificial light. In any case, do not use flash
  • Tool: a digital camera is an excellent tool for taking very detailed photos but modern smartphones in some cases have nothing to envy and can perform the same function very well
  • Pose : always try to take photos in the same angles and keeping the same distance
  • Appearance: Wear a white t-shirt and take the pictures with dry hair

What kind of photographs do you need to take?

  • A close-up of the hairline
  • A frontal photo
  • The entire upper part of the scalp
  • Both full profiles
  • The posterior occipital area (commonly referred to as the donor area)
  • All areas where you have a line
  • A close-up of hair texture and ends
  • A close-up of any miniaturized or balding areas

Organize

You can print these photographs or save them in an album on your phone, you must be sure to date each photo set correctly. The information in the metadata should preserve this information but it may be useful to organize the images into albums or add notes to each photograph.

4-Comb Test

The comb test is a quick and easy way to figure out how much hair we are losing each day. This test can be helpful in getting a baseline on how much hair we lose on a regular basis and whether that number is increasing or decreasing over time.

How does the comb test work?

Rest your head on a sheet or other white, flat surface. Pass the comb through your hair combing from the back to the front (forward) for about 1 minute and check how much hair is left on the sheet or white surface

Usually if you are not suffering from aggressive balding you will lose less than 10 hairs.If you see more than 10 hairs after a minute of running the comb, it is a good idea to pay a visit to the dermatologist.

It must be said, however, that this is an average number and can have significant variations for example related to age. The older you get the more hair you lose, which could be well above the threshold of ten previously indicated. Other factors such as stress or pregnancy for women may cause them to experience more copious loss than the average number of 10 hairs.

Performing the comb test regularly can help you understand what your “normal” number of hair loss is and understand what situations are affecting the effectiveness of your hair loss treatment.

5-Pillow Test

Pillow testing can become part of your daily routine simply by taking an extra look at your pillow in the morning. When we sleep we subject our hair to a variety of stresses, and seeing how much hair remains on your pillow in the morning can be a good indicator on how well your anti-fall treatment is working. Specifically, during sleep our hair is subjected to friction from tossing and turning, the type of pillowcase we use, and the fact that we went to sleep with wet/damp hair after taking a shower.

How do you perform the pillow test?.

Choose a pillowcase whose color contrasts with that of your hair. Individuals with dark hair should use a white pillowcase while blond hair is best distinguished on a dark colored pillowcase. In the morning, when you wake up, look at the pillowcase to see how much hair you lost during the night. After taking note remember to clean the pillowcase so that you can repeat the test the next night.

When should you be concerned?

If you notice clumps of hair on your pillow, this is a clear sign that the fall is very active and that the treatment you are following is not having the desired effectiveness. On the other hand, in case you find yourself on the pillowcase with single hairs there are several factors that can affect the number of them:

  • Age: the older we get the more the number of hairs we lose increases
  • Shower:Wet hair is weaker than dry hair so those who shower at night before bed will see an increase in the number of individual hairs on the pillow the next morning.
  • Pillowcase Type:Satin pillowcases cause less friction and therefore lead to less shedding
  • Sleep Quality: people who sleep restlessly, tossing and turning are more likely to find more hair on the pillow the next morning.
  • Position: people who sleep on their stomachs will potentially see less hair on the pillow when they wake up

If you constantly find yourself with a lot of hair on your pillow when you wake up, it may be time to visit a dermatologist experienced in trichology, although it should not be forgotten that hair loss is greater during the night than throughout the rest of the day so there is no need to panic.

It should also be borne in mind that in some cases the treatments used can cause a phase of “induced fall” that can last up to several months in which the weak hair fall to make way for new healthy hair and terminals. In this case there should not be scared indeed this could be a positive sign of the effectiveness of the treatment.

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