Dermatologists Can Get To Root Of Problem Provide Treatment
Losing hair, especially over time, is normal. But when it happens suddenly or without clear explanation, it may be quite distressing. In some cases, it may be due to an illness or underlying condition. Dermatologists are experts in the skin and its structures including hair. Often they can get to the root of the problem and recommend the best hair loss treatment approach.
There are a number of things you can do to slow or stop hair loss, says Daniel Zelac, MD, a dermatologist at Scripps Clinic. But before deciding what to do, its important to identify the type of hair loss you are experiencing.
When to consider hair loss treatment
It is normal for individuals to lose 50 to 300 hairs each day, often without noticing. New hair usually replaces lost hair, but even this can result in a loss of overall hair length and a sense of fullness. When hair loss increases suddenly, it can be alarming, especially if it appears to be happening rapidly.
Some types of hair loss are linked specifically to correctable causes while others are not, Dr. Zelac says. Your dermatologist can determine if your hair loss is caused by things like thyroid gland issues, stress, scalp infections, genetics or simply aging.
When hair loss is temporary, often no treatment is needed and the hair may regrow on its own. Other times, treatment may be needed to slow the rate of the hair loss. In particular cases, hair loss treatment may allow the thinned hair to be regrown.
Aging and hair loss
You’ve Been Super Stressed Or Ill
Stress or illness can cause hair lossit’s a process known as telogen effluvium, or the excessive shedding of hair induced by stress, Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, previously told Health.
“Our bodies perceive mental stress the same way it perceives physical stress, and any dramatic stressor on the body can cause hair growth to become arrested,” Dr. Henry said. “And when hair growth is arrested, it sheds.” Specifically, when the body is stressed it released the hormone cortisol, which can then affect the hair follicle and result in shedding or hair loss. That shedding typically occurs at least three months following a stressful event, Angelo Landriscina, MD, a Washington, DC-based dermatologist, previously told Health.
Of course, preventing stress is the easiest way to help prevent stress-induced hair lossbut that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you experience hair loss of any kind, it’s wise to check in with your dermatologist. Should they determine that your hair loss is stress-related, your derm may recommend a treatment called minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, to help grow hair back that you’ve lost. Also important: having patience and allowing time for hair growth.
Limit Your Smoking And Drinking
Its common knowledge that smoking and excessive drinking can do terrible things to our bodies, but you may not have realized that these habits can affect your hair as well. There is a growing list of studies that show that smoking and drinking can be a supplemental cause of hair loss. Smoking can be an issue because it impacts the blood flow to your hair follicles, while drinking alcohol in excess can cause dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.
Menopause And Hormone Imbalances
Women may experience hair loss during menopause due to reduced production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These changes also lead to symptoms like menstrual cycle irregularity, dry skin, night sweats, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. This added stress on the body may also worsen hair loss.
Some women may even notice thinning and loss after going off hormonal birth control pills. Why? Again, hormonal changes of any kind, particularly falling estrogen levels, can temporarily disrupt the hair lifecycle.
How Do I Make My Hair Grow Faster And Thicker
The most important factor in healthy hair other than genetics is diet. Many individuals experience hair loss when they indulge in crash diets or rigid fasting for weight loss. A diet rich in protein , calcium, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamin B complex, is essential to hair health.
Other tips, such as shampooing hair only two to three times a week, using special filters in the shower if the area supplies hard water, and avoiding hot water head baths all help to keep the scalp healthy. Avoid brushing and combing wet hair, and use a wide-toothed comb when possible. Always condition the hair after washing it. Tight hairstyles, braids, buns, or ponytails can cause hair loss and bald patches. Using curlers, hot irons, colors, hair rebonding and straightening can affect hair density and damage hair follicles. When the tips of the hair are persistently dry, they split resulting in breakage and, thus, thinning of hair.
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Do You Need A Hair Loss Doctor
Medically reviewed by Patrick Carroll, MD
If youve noticed your hairline starting to recede or your hair beginning to thin, one of the most important steps you can take in stopping any further hair loss is getting in touch with a hair loss doctor.
Hair loss can start as early as your teens, and some men experience the early signs of male pattern baldness in their 20s or 30s. The point is, with baldness, the earlier you take action and seek treatment, the more of your hair youll be able to keep.
Luckily, almost all male hair loss is treatable today. A hair loss doctor can work with you to find out whats causing your hair loss and put together a hair loss prevention protocol that helps you minimize further loss and keep as much of your hair as possible.
Not sure if you need a hair loss doctor? Below, weve listed the key benefits of talking to a hair loss doctor, as well as some signs you can look for to know when its time to take action and do something about your hair loss.
Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss Not A Trichologist
11 Mar 2020
If you are looking for the right person to treat your hair loss its important to know the facts so that you get the very best treatment available. Hair loss can be caused by a whole range of conditions, such as alopecia areata, many different autoimmune diseases, anaemia, thyroid disorders, traction, and baldness. While it can potentially be caused by one of these disorders, female hair loss can also occur as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome after pregnancy and during menopause.
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Signs That You Are Experiencing Medicine
- Noticing hair strands on pillow covers
- Extra hair in your combs and when you shower
- Hair fall from the temples of your forehead or your part-line
Your doctor will consider the following factors before diagnosing medicine-induced alopecia. He will take into account your medical history based on the following:
- New medications that you may have started
- Changes in any medicines/dosage
- Any recent illnesses or surgeries
- Family history of hair loss
Trichologist Is An Expert In Human Hair A Dermatologist Is A Medical Doctor
A trichologist is an expert in human hair, from making it look its best through to treating problems with your hair and scalp. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in skin, hair, and nails and has the training and expertise to conduct a full examination and any necessary tests to give an accurate diagnosis.
This training and depth of knowledge are vital. Typically a trichologist will train for up to four years. My training to become a dermatologist included six years of medical school, two more years of core medical training, four years specializing in dermatology, then another year on my special interest areas. Thats 13 years of medical training to specialize in skin and hair, giving a depth of knowledge that enables the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of hair loss conditions. I am one of the few dermatologists in the UK who specializes in hair loss.
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Be Gentle With Your Hair
At this time when your hair is at its weakest, you need to be gentle to prevent excessive shedding. During hair wash, massage your scalp in gentle circular motion. Wash in a downward direction instead of piling your hair up in order to reduce tangles. Consider having a haircut. Trimming away the dry ends of your hair may reduce tangles and pulling while combing your hair. Avoid ingredients like sulfates, parabens, alcohols and artificial fragrance in your hair products. Also, stay away from heat styling and chemical hair treatments such as perming and re-bonding.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Hair Loss
Just as there are many causes, there are many treatments for hair loss. Dermatologists recommend treating hair loss early, before you lose a lot of hair. Hair loss is harder to treat when a person has already lost an extreme amount of hair.
One or more of the following treatments may be part of your treatment plan.
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What Treatment Will A Hair Loss Doctor Prescribe
These medications work by blocking hormonal hair loss and regrowing your hair for a thicker, stronger and healthier hairline. Each works slightly differently you can learn more about the differences in our guide to Minoxidil vs Finasteride.
Sometimes, you might also be recommended a topical DHT blocker or anti-hair loss shampoo for extra protection.
If your hair loss is caused by stress or another health problem, your hair loss doctor might be able to prescribe something to treat the underlying condition. In some cases, they might refer you to a specialist for a specific treatment to end the underlying problem and the hair loss.
Use A Soft Brush Made From Natural Fibers
Using a soft brush with fibers that are natural will promote healthy sebum levels on your hair. The keratin proteins in your hair are stacked like shingles on a roof, so brushing them gently in one direction, starting at the top and continuing through to the ends, will help smooth and condition your hair cuticle on a molecular level. Brushing hair daily can also help you avoid seeing hair clumps in your shower drain.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
- Your hair loss is sudden, rather than gradual.
- You notice hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or if your hair becomes thinner or falls out.
- You are concerned that a medicine may be causing your hair loss.
- Your skin is scaly or has a rash, or you have any change on your skin or scalp with hair loss.
- Your hair is gradually thinning and balding, and you want to discuss treatment options with your doctor.
You Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is another imbalance in male and female sex hormones. An excess of androgens can lead to ovarian cysts, weight gain, a higher risk of diabetes, changes in your menstrual period, infertility, as well as hair thinning. Because male hormones are overrepresented in PCOS, women may also experience more hair on the face and body.
Treating PCOS can correct the hormone imbalance and help reverse some of these changes. Treatments include diet, exercise, and potentially birth control pills, as well as specific treatment to address infertility or diabetes risk.
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Go For A Complete Health Checkup
In addition to post COVID-19 telogen effluvium, your hair loss could be caused by a number of other reasons as well. The reasons include stress, poor diet, weight loss, hormonal fluctuations and other co-existing health problems. Health issues such as poor thyroid function and deficiency of vitamins D3 or B12 can worsen the hair loss that you are already experiencing. Consider seeking medical advice from a dermatologist or hair specialist to make your hair restoration journey easier.
Opt For Hair Health Supplements
You can boost your hair repair process by consuming hair health supplements. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, E, C fight oxidative stress and help your body heal faster. Biotin or vitamin B7 is important for producing keratin, a protein which forms the structure of your hair. Most Indian women have iron deficiency. In such a case, taking iron supplements may help control your hair loss much faster. Zinc too plays an essential role in repair of hair tissue. Other important nutrients that you can supplement are protein, vitamin D and fish oil.
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When To See A Doctor
If youre concerned that your hair loss goes beyond normal shedding or temporary telogen effluvium, you should speak to your doctor. Hair thats coming out in clumps and leaving bald spots, and hair thats growing in patches, could be symptoms of an underlying health issue. Speak to your dermatologist or primary care physician and describe your symptoms if you need more guidance.
Postpartum Hair Loss Can Be Severe And Devastating For New Moms
These days, Kate Reicker doesn’t have a lot of time to look in mirrors. But when the Ottawa mom of two does catch a glimpse of herself, she says she barely recognizes the woman with thinning hair and visible areas of scalp staring back at her.
“It’s like, is that me in there somewhere?” Reicker, 34, who has a two-year-old and a five-month-old, told HuffPost Canada in a phone interview about her postpartum hair loss.
“It cements in my mind that I’m no longer a person. I’m just a mom. I cannot look in the mirror without just being reminded constantly that, nope. Your old life is over. You’re not going back to who you used to be. You’re just a shell.”
Postpartum hair loss, also known as postpartum telogen effluvium, is the shedding of hair after giving birth due to changes in hormone levels. For some women, the hair loss is minor. But for others, it can be severe. And it can be extremely distressing, especially given the physical, emotional, and psychological vulnerabilities women already face in the postpartum period.
HuffPost Canada’s new parenting series, “Life After Birth,” is seeking to open up the dialogue on this and other rarely-discussed and sometimes unwelcome side effects of new-mom life.
WATCH “Life After Birth”: Postpartum hair loss isn’t funny . Story continues below.
“My hair is just see-through now,” Reicker said.
“I just found it to be sort of the icing on the cake on top of all the other challenges associated with being a new mom,” Reicker said.
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