COLUmN bY DR. LEE MOON WON Hair loss! Let’s treat it and disp el some misconceptions W hen I have conversations with the people who visit my clinic because of hair loss problems, I see that some of them have misconceptions about hair loss. One such misconception is that genetic hair loss is incur- able, which is why many people give up on treatment. Hair loss can be genetic, but the notion that genetic hair loss is incurable is grossly inaccurate. There are many serious diseas- es that may also be hereditary, but even if a disease is genetic, there is often still hope that the disease can be cured. Hair loss is also a disease, and should be approached similarly. Despite the fact that one of your parents may have experienced hair loss, you should approach hair loss like a treatable disease. Besides heredity, there are a variety of other factors that can contribute to hair loss; just because one of your relatives has experienced the disease does not necessarily mean that this gene has been transmitted to you. According to a recent study conducted in the United King- dom involving two twins experiencing hair loss, the twins had both inherited hair loss from their parents, but each twin had a different response to the disease. This means that, even though heredity cannot be avoided, a disease’s transmission depends on a variety of factors. In other words, even wi th the hair loss gene, the external factors are more important in terms of further contributing to hair loss. As a result, if you are having a hair loss problem, there is no need to be afraid that the problem is unresolvable, and certainly no need to complain to your parents! Another common misconception is that patients think they’ll need to take medicine for the rest of their lives, assuming that drugs for male hair loss are only effective while actively consumed. These days, however, there are a lot of treatments that are effective in preventing hair loss and can main- tain their effects for a much lon- ger time, eliminating the “lifetime of treatment” stigma. The same goes for female hair loss treatment: Some forms of treatment are perfectly capable of long-term effects. In short, hair loss does not necessarily require continuous treatment or medication; after the treatment, a patient simply needs to keep up proper maintenance and sensible hair care. Nowadays, as technology has advanced, if you start treat- ment in the early stages, it is possible to not only cure hair loss, but to prevent hair loss and keep your hair for a long time.