Understanding Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss can result from a genetic predisposition, or repetitive trauma to the hair, such as using harsh products. Malnutrition, medicine, surgery, and other factors can also cause hair to shed. As respected hair restoration experts, True & Dorin can determine the causes of hair loss in their patients, and develop an effective treatment plan.View transcript
There are many reasons why people could be going bald. One of the reasons is genetically inherited male and female pattern hair loss, in which case their follicles are programmed to respond to certain hormonal levels of DHT in their system. The follicles slowly shrink and grow less strong, and eventually stop growing and fall out. Other causes of hair loss could be actual abuses that people put their hairs through, whether they be certain dyes and chemicals and bleaching, and especially trauma. Repetitive trauma of traction and wearing their hair in tight braids or in tight, tight ponytails repetitively can actually damage the follicle and cause hair loss and hair shedding. There are other stressors in people's lives and medical conditions. Malnutrition, other areas of medicine such as surgery, all that could contribute to what's called the telogen phase of hair loss in which those hair follicles are not necessarily permanently damaged, but could go into a dormant phase and shed. They will perceive themselves as having less volume and the hair will shed. Sometimes if that medical condition is taken care of, or if the stressor is removed for a long period of time from their system, their hair recovers and the hair re-grows. Part of my job as a hair restoration surgeon is to diagnose and make sure that the patient coming to me is coming to me for the right reason, the right type of hair loss that will respond well to hair restoration surgery. Hair loss occurs in both men and women. Roughly 50% of men by the age of 50 will complain of hair loss, and 60% to 65% of females will complain of hair loss by the age of 60. So hair loss is not just in men but can occur in women, too. The most common form of hair loss in both men and women is genetically inherited pattern loss, male and female pattern loss. But in women, they tend to abuse their hair a little bit more than men in styling regimens, in cases like traction alopecia, and could actually damage hair follicles and cause hair loss and shedding. Genetic patterns tend to have a pattern, and that's why we call them genetic pattern hair loss. We can recognize patterns as they start to evolve, look at texture changes on certain parts of the scalp and hair, and project forward what their likely pattern is going to be. There are telltale signs of genetic hair loss. In some cases we're not certain exactly what the cause of hair loss is, especially in women who start to shed early on. It may be just a generalized diffuse pattern, in which case they typically are not good surgical candidates. Other cases are where they actually have scarring alopecia, medical conditions, immune problems that actually contribute to and cause hair loss in and of itself. There is a basic algorithm that goes through our mind when we start to look at hair loss. The first thing to do is, are people really losing hair? Is it perceived or are they just feeling like they're losing hair? If they are losing hair, is it a medical cause, such as any type of sarcoidosis, lupus, thyroid deficiencies, iron deficiencies, all of which can contribute to hair loss. If we suspect some kind of medical cause, we would have to send them out to a specialist to go ahead and elucidate the blood work and find out what the cause is. Sometimes hair loss is perceived to be hair loss but it's not true hair loss. It's just breakage and maltreatment of their hair, especially in women. You could have loss of hair volume because the hair shafts break in the middle, caused by heat exposure such as blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons, and misuse of chemicals on the hair shafts that actually cause them to just shear off and break. The volume of the hair wouldn't be the same. But in reality, under close inspection we see that they're not losing hair at the follicle level. It's because of maltreatment and trauma that's caused to their hair. If people are concerned that they're losing hair, the first thing they can do is ask their regular physician. If their physician is not interested or unable to answer their questions, they could seek out a doctor such as myself who specializes in medical and surgical hair loss. We have a free complimentary consultation in which we provide a comprehensive examination and elucidate if they are or are not losing hair and what can be done about it.