Thinning hair comes in various forms and has various triggers, which is why all hair loss is not created equal. In many cases, the right treatment can stop the shedding and allow new hairs to grow and flourish.
Thus, when you first notice that you're losing significant amounts of hair, you should see a doctor as soon as you can.
Below are descriptions of several hair loss causes and some effective therapies for each of them.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is the leading cause of balding in women, and it usually affects those between the ages of 40 and 70. It is especially prevalent in post-menopausal women.
This hereditary condition can lead to hair loss all over the scalp. Even so, FPHL patients don't go completely bald like some men do.
Dermatologists often treat FPHL with minoxidil, a drug that doesn't always require a prescription.
Iron allows the body to generate a protein called hemoglobin, which supplies oxygen to cells. Without enough hemoglobin, the cells responsible for growing hair cannot function correctly.
If your doctor determines through a blood test or other method that your iron level is low, he or she will suggest dietary changes or nutritional supplements that should correct the problem.
In a person suffering from telogen effluvium (TE), fewer hair follicles are doing their job; thus, shedding ensues.
Hair loss is often uneven with this affliction, although it's typically more pronounced at the top of the head. Also, if you have TE, you may notice that some of the hairs you lose have tiny globs on them; they consist of a protein called keratin.
In some instances, TE occurs when follicles go into shock after a taxing episode like a surgical operation or a major accident. When that happens, TE tends to go away on its own.
Other times, an ongoing factor induces TE. A certain diet, a prescription drug, or a stressful work situation could lead to lingering TE. Removing the trigger should ease the situation.
If you have traction alopecia, the way you care for your hair is making it fall out. Rollers, braids, and weaves can be culprits. Even a ponytail that's pulled too tightly may initiate this problem.
Traction alopecia can cause pain as well as scars and tiny bulges on the scalp. If a person acts quickly enough and switches to gentler hair care practices, the lost hair can return. If too much time goes by, though, the hair loss might be permanent.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) involves a slow but steady shedding of the hair on the head. Sometimes eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair fall out, too. There's not yet a cure for this uncommon condition, and its cause hasn't been firmly established. Most likely, it is instigated when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. Hormonal imbalances also seem to bring about this disorder.
FFA can disappear on its own, and certain anti-inflammatory drugs may slow its effects.
Trichotillomania is a mental health issue that prompts people to pull out their hair. Those with trichotillomania experience extreme difficulties in resisting this urge, and some yank out their hairs without even realizing it.
This problem could be genetic, and it may arise when the brain's chemicals aren't balanced properly. Trichotillomania often shows up in adolescents.
Fortunately, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications can dull the impulses associated with trichotillomania. What's more, patients often undergo behavioral therapy.
Hair Loss Treatment at CDCRI
Research into hair loss continues; if you have any of the above conditions, you can seek treatment from the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute in San Diego. In fact, an alopecia study is currently underway at the CDCRI. As medical researchers prove every day, you never have to accept baldness without a fight. Contact us today by giving us a call at (760) 203-3839.