What causes excessive hair loss?
A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive,your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment thyroid disease. Hairloss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.
Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.
Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, medicines used in chemotherapy to treat cancer, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants.Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children. The infection is easily treated with antifungal medicines.Finally, hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Since hair loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.
Can improper care of my hair cause hair loss?
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia (say: al-oh-pee-sha). If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in permanents (also called “perms”) may cause inflammation (swelling) of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.
What is the normal cycle of hair growth and loss?
The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 6 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter (less than half an inch) per month during this phase. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase. After 2 to 3 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive (more than normal) hair loss. Hair loss of this type can affect men, women and children.
What is common baldness?
The term “common baldness” usually means male-pattern baldness or permanent-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hairline and baldness on the top of the head. Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair becomes thin over the entire scalp.
Are there any non-surgical treatments for hair loss?
There are currently two FDA-approved medications that can be used to prevent hair loss:
- Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine), is available without a prescription. It is a foam or lotion applied directly to the scalp, and can be used by both men and women.
- Finasteride (brand name: Propecia) is available by prescription only and is only for men. It is a daily tablet that helps prevent the formation of the hormone that contributes to hair loss. It may take up to 6-9 months before you can tell if one of these medicines is working.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Hair Therapy
Recent scientific research and technology provide the medical community with new understandings of wound and tissue healing. As a result of these scientific studies, we know PRP is an all-natural medical procedure performed in physicians' offices for hair loss or conditions causing hair thinning.
Human blood contains mesenchymal stem cells and autologous blood products containing essential and specific growth factors that assist tissue regeneration and healing. Published medical literature from Europe and the United States confirms the safety and use of PRP therapy. PRP therapy has established itself to be effective as a medical treatment modality in the specialty fields of oral surgery, neurosurgery, plastic and cosmetic surgery, sports medicine and orthopedics.
Laser Hair Loss Therapy
Low level laser light hair loss therapy can be an important adjunct to help support thinning hair. LaserCap® LCPRO™ uses low-level laser light therapy to improve cellular respiration and function by stimulating the hair follicle cells. Better breathing cells make for a better functioning hair follicle, and produces a happier, healthier hair! LaserCap is backed by experts in the fields of science, medicine, and technology. Optimal power and ease of use are at the heart of the LaserCap, giving our patients the best results possible.mulate cellular growth factors.
Is there a permanent solution?
The only form of permanent hair restoration is hair transplantation surgery. Performed by a skilled surgeon, today’s ultra-refined follicular hair restoration surgery can achieve a full and natural appearance for most individuals..
Non-genetic Causes for Hair Loss
Trichotillomania— compulsive hair pulling. Hair loss due to trichotillomania is typically patchy, as compulsive hair pullers tend to concentrate the pulling in selected areas. Hair loss due to this cause cannot be treated effectively until the psychological or emotional reasons for trichotillomania are effectively addressed.
Alopecia areata— a possibly autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss that can range from diffuse thinning to extensive areas of baldness with “islands” of retained hair. Medical examination is necessary to establish a diagnosis.
Triangular alopecia— loss of hair in the temporal areas that sometimes begins in childhood. Hair loss may be complete, or a few fine, thin-diameter hairs may remain. The cause of triangular alopecia is not known, but the condition can be treated medically or surgically.
Scarring alopecia— hair loss due to scarring of the scalp area. Scarring alopecia typically involves the top of the scalp and occurs predominantly in women. The condition frequently occurs in African-American women and is believed to be associated with persistent tight braiding or “corn-rowing” of scalp hair. A form of scarring alopecia also may occur in post-menopausal women, associated with inflammation of hair follicles and subsequent scarring.
Telogen effluvium— a common type of hair loss caused when a large percentage of scalp hairs are shifted into “shedding” phase. The causes of telogen effluvium may be hormonal, nutritional, drug-associated, or stress-associated. Loose-anagen syndrome—a condition occurring primarily in fair-haired persons in which scalp hair sits loosely in hair follicles and is easily extracted by combing or pulling. The condition may appear in childhood and may improve as the person ages.