Here’s essentially a summary of what I’ve written in the past about miniaturization. This is just about as to-the-point as I can get with what the miniaturization mapping is and why it is important. For more in-depth text on miniaturization and mapping, please see: Miniaturization: Critical to the Master Plan for Hair Loss.
Miniaturization is part of the balding process where hair shafts become thinner over time before falling out. Thickness and the general health of hair can be measured by examining it under a special microscope, called a densitometer, for signs of miniaturization. Increased miniaturization in certain patterns, reflect a progression of balding. In addition, miniaturization and detectable hair loss is not evident to the naked eye until more than 50% of normal (non-miniaturized) hair is lost. As a result, many men/women do not seek help until significant miniaturization has already taken place.
At New Hair Institute, we feel that mapping the scalp hair for miniaturization is critical in establishing the guidelines for the treatment of hair loss. Mapping measures the miniaturization and density on different areas on the scalp, providing us with a ‘roadmap of data’ to quantifiably measure the current health of the hair. When a medical treatment (such as finasteride or Propecia) is started we can document its effectiveness with the initial and periodic measurements for miniaturization.
The responsiveness of each patient with drug treatment is different, so each patient must be diligent in acquiring follow up measurements to the degree of miniaturization and the location of the miniaturization by scalp area. Without quantifiable measurements for hair loss, there is no clinical science in the treatment, just hocus-pocus and blustering, a problem that is far too prevalent today.
If you are balding, you should have your scalp hair mapped for miniaturization to (1) estimate the pattern of hair loss now and for future loss, and (2) measure the starting point for miniaturization so that changes measured over time, can be followed. These measurements are very fast and easy. It is today’s Standard of Care that should be available to every balding patient wanting a Master Plan, for treatments appropriate to their future hair loss.
by Jae P. Pak, M.D., William R. Rassman, M.D.