What types of problems does a Hair Loss Specialist address?
A Hair Loss Specialist addresses the myriad of problems related to hair loss. This includes conditions such as excessive hair loss, thinning hair, hair falling out in patches, excessive oiliness of hair, scaling and many other issues. They may obtain hair specimens or samples to analyse the hair to understand the possible causes of the problems. They may even be able to help with problems such as an irritated or itchy scalp and hair that is prone to breakage. At the same time, they are able to advise people on the use of cosmetic solutions such as the wigs or hair pieces.
Does lifestyle play a key factor in hair loss?
Many factors have an impact on hair loss and one of these is lifestyle which includes diet, hormones, physical activity, sleep, social and psychological stress, and even hair styling products and techniques. One or more of these factors can cause hair loss.
How does diet affect hair loss?
There are many instances where an unhealthy diet can cause hair loss. The body depends on essential nutrients to be able to function well and hair growth is not exempt from this. Diets that are insufficient in essential protein and iron affect the normal growth of hair as these are primary nutrients needed by the follicles. Concurrently, bad practices such as not getting adequate rest and sleep can cause more hair loss problems. It is vital to get the optimal amount of sleep and abstain from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption which can increase hair loss.
Are male and female hair losses the same?
Male hair loss is most often due to genetics – androgenetic alopecia. This is caused by a trait that is inherent in males – the hormone DHT. Ninety nine percent of all hair loss cases in men are due to this cause. On the other hand, factors responsible for female hair loss include thyroid deficiencies, pregnancy, emotional and physical stress, hormonal imbalances and many other medical conditions/medications.
Are all hair loss cases the same?
Hair loss is different for everyone and it may be permanent or temporary. Hair loss may result from the shedding of hair from all over the head or from specific areas only. Of course, for many, permanent hair loss is the most worrying.
What is this Alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a very common type of hair loss. Here, patches of hair fall out in several places and it often results in complete baldness. It is a type of systemic autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its own anagen follicles which result in the suppression of hair growth. However, women often recover from this type of hair loss even without treatment although treatment can speed up recovery time.
Is hair loss a certainty?
Hair loss is a problem that most people face at one stage in their life. By the time people reach the age of 50, most will have experienced a certain degree of hair loss. Nevertheless, most cases of hair loss can be mitigated through identification of the cause and the use of proper treatment.
Does hair loss affect people’s lives dramatically?
In some instances, hair loss can be devastating especially for women. People suffering from hair loss may experience:
- Loss of self-worth
- Cause of Anxiety/ Depression
- Social Isolation
- Lack of Support
Is hair loss a result of genetics?
Ninety nine precent of male hair loss is due to genetic factors, i.e. they have inherited the gene that causes hair to “miniaturize” from the effects of the DHT hormone. This particular gene is passed on from one generation to another. Forty five percent of female hair loss cases are due to genetics and sixty five percent of all women may experience some kind of hair loss at one time or another.
Do young people suffer from hair loss too?
Hair loss is commonly equated with older people. It is considered one of the main signs of ageing. However, younger people experience hair loss as well. One of the main causes of hair loss for young men is male pattern baldness. Are you aware that around 25% of the male population will suffer from this type of hair loss? This type of hair loss can occur when men are in their teens and so half of all men will have had some type of hair loss by the age of 50. Other factors that cause hair loss in young men and women are one’s diet, drug use and nicotine abuse. Anxiety and hair pulling is also a cause of hair loss in young people and this is known as Trichotillomania. Alopecia areata can also affect the younger generation.
What causes hair loss in older people?
It is commonly observed that as one ages, hair becomes thinner. As people get older, proteins from food are absorbed at a lower level due to problems with one’s overall digestive system. Because hair is made up of mostly proteins and amino acids, hair growth is affected. Almost all amino acids are sourced from the intake of food. This deficiency can cause a decrease in the thickness of the hair strands as well as hair growth.
What causes sudden or excessive hair loss?
There are many factors which cause sudden hair loss such as psychological factors (stress, fatigue and anxiety) as well as physical conditions such as thyroid disorders, a hormone imbalance, medications, nutrient deficiencies, excessive or sudden weight loss and medical conditions.
Is hair loss a permanent condition?
Hair loss is not always permanent. Cicatricial alopecia/scarring alopecia can often cause permanent damage to hair follicles but other types of hair loss as a result of stress/hormone imbalances can often be caused by a change of medication/change in lifestyle.
Does stress play a role in hair loss or hair thinning?
Hair thinning as well as hair loss can result from stress. The body is not made to endure constant stress and needs sufficient time to recover from stress and this can cause problems. The body releases cortisol when it is overly stressed and this, in turn, causes hormonal changes that affect your hair follicles. Learning to control stress or to relax allows one’s body to renew and recover.
Does daily use of shampoo and conditioner help prevent hair loss?
Daily use of shampoos and conditioners does not help prevent hair loss or cause hair loss. Some of these products provide a protective coating on hair with protein to make it seem thicker and healthier but in reality, it doesn’t ‘fix’ any problems. People with dry or brittle hair should use products with care as some alkaline shampoos can cause hair to become dry and brittle, meaning that they are prone to breakage.
Is there any product that can prevent hair loss?
Hair loss is due to many different factors and because of this, there is no universal product to ‘cure-all’. Different treatment methods can have different effects on people with different causes of hair loss. More often than not, a combination of methods may be used to address the problem. This is why it is advisable to consult a Hair Loss Specialist.
How can one determine the right hair loss treatment?
What works for one person may not work for another. This also applies to over the counter products and home remedies. Because people react differently to different products, seeking the help of a hair loss specialist is one’s best option to determine the right hair loss treatment.
Will someone need different types of treatment?
Correct diagnosis is crucial in establishing the proper treatment. Causes have to be identified before treatment methods can be recommended. As each person’s situation is unique, treatment methods may vary hugely. Treatment methods may involve hair transplant surgery, medications, lifestyle changes, wigs or hairpieces.
When thinking about treatment options, ask your hair loss expert these questions:
- What kind of treatment would work best for me?
- How long will this take?
- How long will this last?
- Any side effects and other risks that should be taken into consideration?
Should one worry about complications in hair loss treatments?
It would be good to mention any allergies that one has before beginning any type of treatment. However, a good hair loss specialist should have taken one’s medical history and predispositions before suggesting any type of treatment. Hair Loss Specialists may want you to get a variety of tests done in order to better understand your personal profile before recommending treatment(s).
Can one reclaim original hair density with treatment?
This should be discussed with a hair loss specialist, as it depends on the cause, extent and type of hair loss.
How long after treatment to see visible results?
Usually, results can be seen after four to six months of treatment.
Can anyone do anything to prevent hair loss?
- Maintain a well-balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Supplement your diet with multivitamins
- Manage stress
- Take regular exercise
- Minimize exposure to bad hair care practices
- Do not use hair colour products that contain peroxide and ammonia.
- Ensure that you take note of any side effects related to oral contraceptives
- Ask your family about any history of hair loss and consult a specialist as soon as you see any telling signs.
- Have regular health checks to insure you are in good health.