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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


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