When Hair Loss Strikes A Doctor Is A Girls Best Friend
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A COUPLE of years ago my hair started falling out. Not in clumps, but I noticed more hairs than usual in my comb and in the bath drain.
I went to a trichologist who tested my blood , told me some thinning was natural for a woman in her mid-40s and sent me home with expensive shampoo and a serum to use on my scalp. I used the potions. I took vitamins. I stopped brushing my hair.
I was a wreck. If someone had told me there was a cure in a remote village in the mountains of Bhutan, I would have put on my hiking boots and boarded a plane.
No one wants to lose their hair, but for women it is especially traumatic. Men can shave their heads and look hip, even sexy. Most women dont want to be bald. Though it is more common and visible in men, many women lose their hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 30 million women in this country have hereditary hair loss, compared with 50 million men. But many additional women experience thinning hair that results from menopause or health problems.
If your hair is coming out, be advised that of the multitude of treatments on the market for women, few are worth your money, says Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Americans spent an estimated $176 million on hair loss products last year, and chances are some of that money was not well spent. Dont let charming salon owners, seductive ads or fancy gimmicks convince you otherwise.
Thats the background. Now for some guidance:
How Is It Treated
Treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. It also depends on your feelings. You may decide that you need treatment, or you may not be worried about thinning hair or baldness. The choice is up to you.
If hair loss is caused by something that won’t last or can be treated, your hair is likely to grow back. For example, if an underactive thyroid is causing the problem, taking thyroid medicine may help. And most hair lost during chemotherapy will grow back after the treatment ends.
Hair loss that runs in the family can be treated with medicines or hair transplant surgery. Some people choose to wear hairpieces, like wigs or toupees. Finding different ways of styling your hair, like dyeing or combing, can help.
If hair loss is caused by something you can control, like stress or medicines, you can treat it by getting rid of the cause.
A Trichologist Is Not Medically Trained
A trichologist can of course help in some cases but can only give patients topical treatment for hair loss, as they are not medically trained. Unlike a dermatologist, they cannot perform tests that help with the diagnosis and evaluation of the condition and inform the best course of treatment these require special training.
For example, a dermatologist can perform a trichoscopy with a video dermatoscopy, a non-invasive technique that allows a rapid and magnified observation of the skins surface enabling the evaluation of hair thickness, presence of regrowing hairs and scalp inflammation. We can also perform a trigonometry, which involves an instrument that provides a numeric value of the hair quality. All of which are vital to in-depth diagnosis.
Dermatologists can also carry out a scalp biopsy, where a sample from the scalp is taken under local anaesthetic and tested under the microscope by a histopathologist. These tests are often necessary to evaluate cases of hair loss.
Only a dermatologist is qualified to carry out these tests, without which a full and thorough evaluation and diagnosis is not possible. Getting to the cause of your condition leads to better treatment. Furthermore, there are a variety of oral treatments available for hair disorders which a trichologist cannot prescribe but a dermatologist can so these are some reasons why you need a dermatologist for hair loss and not a Trichologist.
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Answer: Female Hair Loss
A hair transplant surgeon is an excellent provider to visit regarding female hair loss. A dermatologist is also a good route to go if one wants to rule out treatable or preventable causes of hair loss. If one decides on going to a dermatologist, it is wise to find one with advanced training or an interest in hair loss.
Answer: See A Board Certified Dermatologist
While surgical correction is a method for treating hair loss, ‘hair transplant surgery’ is not a diagnosis of the root cause of your hair thinning. Dermatologists are trained experts in the various causes of hair loss, including hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, and other ‘organic’ causes of hair loss, many of which can be corrected far easier than hair transplant surgery or simply injecting PRP into the scalp, which seems to be the new, expensive, and favorite treatment performed by non-dermatologists for the blanket diagnosis of ‘hair loss’.
Offer To Take Your Friend Wig Shopping Online
Going to a large wig store or wig salon can be scary.
Trying on wigs in public is often difficult for people who are new to hair loss. Some chemotherapy patients have even described the situation as akin to walking down the sidewalk without any pants on.
Trying on wigs in the comfort of your own home where no one is there to stare at your friends head can be a whole lot easier.
Order some wigs online and make sure theyre returnable.
Then buy a bottle of wine, rent a good movie, and head on over to your friends house. That way you can spend the night gossiping, laughing, and experimenting with new looks.
Helping People Of Color Pinpoint The Causes Of Hair Loss And Options For Treatment
How you wear your hair is highly personal. It reflects your sense of style, your identity, even your self-confidence. Thats why hair loss can feel devastating. It takes away from who you are and the image you want the world to see.
Stopping hair loss or reversing it takes some detective work to discover the source of the problem before looking at possible solutions. In the SLUCare Hair Loss Clinic,physician assistant and dermatology specialist Kimberly Brown helps people of color find out why they are losing hair or why their hair is not growing.
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Laugh At Your Friends Hair Loss Jokes
Humor, especially dark humor, is a common coping mechanism for anyone experiencing loss, so go with it!
Jokes are a great way to deal with awkwardness, defuse tension, and make light of a difficult situation .
Even if your friends jokes make you feel awkward, try your best to laugh with them. A simple that was really funny! or I see what you did there! can go a long way.
Just make sure you’re not the one telling the jokes. Trying to make similar jokes, no matter how well-intentioned they are, can come off as offensive.
Let your friend take the lead on this one, even if youre used to being the funny one.
How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.
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Should You See A Dermatologist For Hair Loss
Are you worried that you are losing hair rapidly? Are you overwhelmed and confused about what you are supposed to do and who you are supposed to talk to? Do you perhaps ask yourself Should I see a dermatologist for hair loss? Well, read on to discover the answer to that question in just a few minutes!
Rograine Is A Real Thing
While it may seem decidedly retro I cant help but flash to 90s commercials like this one Rogaine is very much a staple in Dr. Glashofers treatment arsenal. He notes, Rogaine minoxidil 5% is often the first line of defense with treating hair loss, specifically to help retain the hair you already have. Its not really effective for regrowth, but it is good to get into the regimen to slow down the hair loss. Another tried-and-true therapy? Propecia, a common medication prescribed in male pattern hair loss that is anecdotally effective when addressing womens hair loss.
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With Hair Loss The Goal Is Retention Not Regrowth
How do I regrow my hair? This is the first question Dr. Glashofer usually receives, and it is arguably a misguided one. He elaborates, Most people dont realize that is a much harder goal to achieve than retaining the hair that you already have. As a first step, Dr. Glashofer often resets expectations, advising his patients to focus more on slowing down hair loss, prioritizing therapies that help to retain as much hair as possible.
There is sometimes overlap between these different forms of hair loss its not always a clear-cut, single type of hair loss.
Do Women Like Bald Men
Many men who are losing their hair may ask, Do women like bald men? or, Do women find bald men attractive?
Every woman in the world has their own unique type, whether they prefer tall men, short men, bald or older men. Many women stated that the decisive factor in attractiveness is not hair loss, but the personality of the man. Another group of women stated that hair loss is a secondary and an insignificant factor. Moreover, they pay much more attention to a mans sense of humour and other personal characteristics, such as intelligence, sociability and confidence.
On the whole, women like when men take care of themselves, whether that is bald or with a full head of hair.
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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.
Understand What Causes Balding
In order to properly treat balding, it is important to understand why you are losing hair in the first place.
While the most common cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness, there are other potential conditions to make note of when considering why your hair falls out. Some of these include:
Thyroid conditions: Severe thyroid disorders like Hashimotos Disease can cause hair loss. However, if this is the cause, you will likely experience other symptoms, like fatigue or weight gain.
Malnutrition. Severe malnutrition, especially in protein, can result in hair changes. However, this cause is unlikely without extremely low intake of calories and protein.
Alopecia areata. This condition causes hair loss in small, typically unnoticeable patches. Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles
Telogen effluvium. This is a temporary type of hair loss often caused by very stressful, anxiety inducing or traumatic events, hospitalization, or even certain side effects of medication. It can be confused with permanent hair loss, but it is reversible.
Tinea capitis. This condition is a fungal infection on the scalp that causes small, scaly spots and pustules on the scalp. Tinea capitis, if left untreated, can lead to hair loss from permanent scarring.
Other Causes Of Hair Loss
Excessive styling with harsh products
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Hair Loss Can Be Attributed To Many Things
Genetics, hormones, lifestyle, environment and even harsh and aggressive hair styling all are contributing factors for various forms of hair loss. Dr. Glashofer notes that androgenic alopecia also known as female pattern hair loss is the most common diagnosis he doles out it encompasses both hormones and genetics. The second most common telogen effluvium usually occurs after a physical or emotional trauma, such as pregnancy, rapid weight loss or even surgery.
With that noted, its not always easy to attribute hair loss to one sole factor. He explains, There is sometimes overlap between these different forms of hair loss its not always a clear-cut, single type of hair loss. I saw a women today who has a little bit of stress-related hair loss, plus shes in the perimenopausal age, combined with an inflammatory angle. In short: If youre experiencing hair loss, be prepared to utilize a multi-pronged approach to address all possible root causes.
Finding Answers Starts With A Conversation
Having experienced hair loss personally, Kimberly Brown understands how thinning hair, balding and scalp problems can be painful to discuss. So when you visit the SLUCare Hair Loss Clinic for the first time, know that your concerns will be heard and you wont be rushed through an exam. Youll have time to talk about your symptoms, medical conditions, and hair care practices. The more we know about you, the better well understand whats causing your hair loss.
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Female Pattern Hair Loss Explained
Female Pattern Hair Loss specifically affects the hair life cycle and more directly the follicle in which hair grows.
FPHL delays the process between the anagen growth phase and the telogen shedding phase, resulting in stagnant hair growth. On a deeper level, the hair follicle will shrink, producing a thinner hair shaft that is also shorter. When this occurs, the hair follicle will begin to produce a different form of hair called vellus hair, also known as peach fuzz.
Anagen: active growth phase that lasts two to seven days.
Catagen: a transitional phase that lasts about two weeks. Hair will stop growing in this phase and the follicle will shrink.
Telogen: a resting phase that lasts up to three months until the hair falls out and the new hair begins the anagen phase.
One of the most effective ways to treat FPHL is to treat the hair follicle topically, by applying a serum to the affected area.