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Hair Loss & Hair Restoration

September 2, 2022
min read
Hair Loss & Hair Restoration

Hair loss is frustrating! As we get older, thinning, balding, and a receding hairline seem inevitable, and it becomes more of a habit to style your hair differently or find a way to cover it up. When your hair starts to thin or fall out, it can be troubling. If you are experiencing hair loss, a board-certified dermatologist can help determine what type of hair loss you have and recommend treatment options.

What is normal hair growth?

With more than 100,000 hair follicles on your scalp, about 85-90 percent of your hair is growing at any time. This growth phase lasts between two and six years.

Ten to 15 percent of your hair is in a resting (telogen) phase. This phase lasts two to three months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out. It is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day; this should not be cause for alarm.

When you shed a hair, a new hair from the same hair follicle (structure that contains the hair root) replaces it. This starts the growing cycle again.

The hair on your head grows approximately half an inch per month. As you age, the rate of hair growth slows.

What causes hair loss?

Hereditary Hair Loss

This is the most common cause of hair loss. It is also known as male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. You can inherit the baldness trait from either side of your family. Hereditary hair loss can start in your teens, 20s or 30s, or later, especially in women, who may experience hair loss after menopause.

Men with hereditary hair loss may see a receding hairline and bald patches, especially on top of their head. Women may see thinning hair and a wider part when they style their hair, but they usually do not become fully bald.

Telogen Effluvium

Illness, stress and other events can cause too many hairs to enter the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle. This leads to a large increase in hair shedding (effluvium) over a short period of time. This condition causes hair thinning, but it usually does not result in bald patches.

Some causes of telogen effluvium include:

  • Childbirth or menopause.
  • High fever or serious infection
  • Major surgery or chronic (long-term) illness.
  • Untreated thyroid disease.
  • A diet lacking in iron or protein.
  • Birth control pills and other medicines.
  • Cancer treatments.
  • Other stressful life events.

In many cases, telogen effluvium goes away after the cause is no longer affecting your body.

How does a board-certified dermatologist treat hair loss?

In some cases of hair loss, such as those caused by alopecia areata, hair will regrow on its own over time. While there is no cure for hereditary hair loss, treatment may help some patients regrow their hair. Because scarring hair loss has the

potential to become permanent if the hair follicle is destroyed during the active phase of disease, it is important to seek treatment early.

A board-certified dermatologist can identify the cause of your hair loss and recommend the treatment that is best for you. Your doctor may do a blood test to help determine the cause. 

Treatment plans may include:

  • Minoxidil: This topical treatment is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hair loss in both men and women. It is available both over-the-counter and by prescription.
  • Antibiotics: These may be given to treat hair loss and are often used for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Finasteride: This oral medication is FDA-approved to treat hair loss in men. It is only available by prescription.
  • Corticosteroids: These medications, which may be applied topically, injected or taken orally, can speed up hair regrowth in some patients whose hair loss is associated with inflammation.
  • Vitamin supplementation: Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies may contribute to hair loss. Your dermatologist may order blood tests to check your vitamin and mineral levels if this is suspected.

At Cortina, treating hair loss is easy. Simply take an online assessment, get a treatment plan from a Board-Certified Dermatologist, and your customized medication will be delivered to your door. Get started today!

How can I take care of my hair and prevent hair loss?

Your hairstyle and some of the products you use on your hair can cause hair loss.

  • At-home hair colors, straighteners and permanent waves: Follow the instructions carefully. When these products are used incorrectly or used too often, hair can become weak and break. If your hair becomes damaged and brittle from chemical treatments, it is best to stop using these treatments until your hair grows out.
  • “Long-lasting hold” styling products: Try not to use these products daily. Using a comb to style your hair after you apply these products can cause the hair to break, leading to hair loss over time.
  • Flat irons and curling irons: Use these on dry hair on a low or medium heat setting, no more often than every other day. Leave these tools in place on your hair for only a second or two. No matter your hair type, excessive heat can damage your hair.
  • Braids, cornrows, ponytails, buns, hair weaving and hair extensions: Avoid wearing these daily. These styles pull on the hair and can cause tension that leads to breakage. This may lead to a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia.

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