Understanding Hair Loss and Available Treatments
Most of us have suffered from hair loss at some point in our life. Hair loss can be temporary or
permanent. Keep reading to learn more…
Let’s talk about the statistics first-
- What is normal hair shedding? It is normal for us to lose 50-100 hair each day.
- Did you know that by the age of 50, 85% of men are experiencing balding?
- Approx. 50% of female experience balding.
What are the most common causes of balding?
- Androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men (accounts for about
95%!). This is also commonly known as male pattern baldness. This occurs from elevated
levels of hormone DHT( dihydrotestosterone). When DHT increases, it shrinks the hair
follicle. As a result, the hair follicle falls out earlier than normal. In both men and
women, this causes gradual hair loss. In men, they experience receding hair line and
thinning; in women, they notice widening hair part.
- Stress can be a contributor to hair loss because it can affect hormone levels. Any
number of stressful events such as physical or mental stress or severe weight loss can
lead to sudden loss of hair, although in those cases the hair typically grow back over
- Other causes include medical conditions such as thyroid problem, iron deficiency, other
nutritional deficiency, or diet poor in protein.
- Less common causes include Traction alopecia (traction on the hair follicles from certain
hairstyles like tight ponytails); Tinea capitis (fungal infection of the scalp); Alopecia
areata (autoimmune disease where your own body attacks the hair follicles); Anagen
Effluvium (toxic effects of chemotherapy or radiation).
What can you do to maintain healthy scalp and hair?
- Maintain good hair care and hygiene habits:
o When you wash, avoid pulling back on your hair because they can put traction
on the follicles.
o When combing, it’s less stressful on the follicles to comb your hair in the
direction of growth out of the scalp. Also, long hair weighs more, so on it’s own it
can put more traction on the follicles.
o Brushing your hair regularly is good because it massages the scalp and improves
blood circulation to the follicles.
o Avoid overusing the hot iron or dryer and chemical products. This can make the
hair weak and brittle.
o Quit smoking. Smoking can cause or accelerate hair loss.
- Treat health issues: get evaluated by your doctor to make sure the cause of your hair
loss is not a medical condition.
- Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine): this is a topical medicine available over the counter
that both men and women can use. It can take 6 months for the hair to regrow.
-Finasteride (brand name Propecia): this is prescription medication that can treat hair
loss in men. Talk to your doctor to learn more.
- Platelet Rich Plasma: this powerful treatment uses injections of your plasma (derived
from your own blood) into the scalp. The plasma is rich in platelets- these cells are rich
in growth factors that stimulates the hair follicles hence causing hair regrowth. 3-4
monthly treatments are needed initially followed by maintenance treatments every 6
months. Talk to Dr. Bhogal to see if this treatment is right for you.
- Laser caps: this can treat both male and female pattern baldness. It uses low energy
pulses of light to stimulate hair follicles. Talk to Dr. Bhogal for more details.
- Certain nutritional supplements may benefit your hair health.
Come in for a free consultation today!
Author- Dr. Bhogal