What causes hair loss?

What Causes Hair Loss? 

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic “M” shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.

The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.

Androgenetic Alopecia affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. Androgenetic alopecia can start as early as a person’s teens and risk increases with age; more than 50 percent of men over age 50 have some degree of hair loss. In women, hair loss is most likely after menopause.

Another cause is over-processing, from coloring, thermal straightening, or perming, which can cause so much damage that the hair literally starts to fall out. Wearing hair in a tight ponytail on a repeated basis or wearing heavy braids, weaves, or extensions also can cause profuse hair loss, especially along the hairline. The roots of the hair simply cannot take the added weight of these enhancements, and eventually it will fall out by the handful.

Medical conditions that cause hair to fall are numerous.

  • Hair loss can be the first sign of a disease. About 30 diseases, including thyroid disease and anemia, cause hair loss. By treating the disease, hair loss often can be stopped or reversed.
  •  Significant hair loss can occur after an illness. A major surgery, high fever, severe infection, or even the flu can cause hair loss. Your dermatologist may call this type of hair loss telogen (tee-lə-jen) effluvium (ih-flu-vee-uhm).
  •  Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause hair loss. This hair loss is often temporary, but it can cause great distress.​
  • Ringworm of the scalp: This disease is contagious and common in children. Without effective treatment, ringworm can cause balding.
  • Trichotillomania (trick-uh-til-uh-mey-knee-uh): This medical disorder causes people to repeatedly pull out their own hair. They often feel a constant urge to pull out the hair on the scalp. Some sufferers say they feel compelled to pull out their eyelashes, nose hairs, eyebrows, and other hairs on their bodies.

Dieting and poor nutrition

  • Some people see hair loss after losing more than 15 pounds. The hair loss often appears 3 to 6 months after losing the weight. This hair loss is common. The hair re-grows without help.
  • Too much vitamin A can cause hair loss. People can get too much of this vitamin through vitamin supplements or medicines. Once the body stops getting too much vitamin A, normal hair growth resumes.
  • When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to slow hair growth. About 2 to 3 months after a person does not eat enough protein, you can see the hair loss. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Meats, eggs, and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet.
  • Not getting enough iron can lead to hair loss. Good vegetarian sources of iron are iron-fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, and spinach. Clams, oysters, and organ meats top the list of good animal sources of iron.
  • When a person has an eating disorder, hair loss is common. Anorexia (not eating enough) and bulimia (vomiting after eating) can cause hair loss.
  • These are but a few of the reason people lose hair. If you find you are losing more than 150 hairs per day, consult a dermatologist, then once you understand the reason you are losing hair, you can make intelligent decisions as to what you might want to do about it. We believe knowledge is the most important tool you can have to either accept, or fight. Today there are some effective treatments, and options to consider if hair loss is changing the value of your life. We are here to help.

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Trichotillimania, compulsive hair pulling

What Is Compulsive Hair Pulling?

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, underarms, beard, chest, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Hair pulling varies greatly in its severity, location on the body, and response to treatment. For some people, at some times, trichotillomania is mild and can be quelled with a bit of extra awareness and concentration. For others, at times the urge may be so strong that it makes thinking of anything else nearly impossible.

Trichotillomania (also referred to as TTM or “trich”) is currently defined as an obsessive-compulsive RELATED disorder but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most recently, it is being conceptualized as part of a family of “body-focused repetitive behaviors” (BFRBs) along with skin picking and nail biting.

Research into treatments for trichotillomania and skin picking has grown steadily over the past decade. Although no one treatment has been found to be effective for everyone, a number of treatment options have shown promise for many people. At this time, management of these behaviors should begin with education about the disorders, followed by consideration of the treatment options listed below. Special considerations for treating children and adolescents are discussed in theExpert Consensus Treatment Guidelines for Trichotillomania and Skin Picking.

trich

At Chris for Hair we have a good understanding of Trich, and have helped clients who are also in counseling to temporarily replace the hair they have pulled, which can help them to refocus and stop the behavior. We do not work with clients that have not committed to counseling, as we feel that counseling is an integrative necessity in treating the disorder.

Should you have questions about how we might be of help, please call:

925 -245 -0194

or use the contact form below.

Myths about male pattern baldness

 “Male pattern baldness,” accounts for the majority of hair loss in men, but it can also affect women. It is usually caused by a combination of hormones and genetics. Male pattern baldness can have a negative effect on self esteem, and since often it is associated with aging, it causes people to assume that the person is older than his actual age.

Some men may start to notice thinning hair as early as their 20s, and by age 50, 50% of men see some hair loss. Hair is usually lost in a pattern, starting at the temples, revealing the classic “M” shaped hairline seen as men age.

 

There are many myths about male-pattern baldness.

Myths About Male-Pattern Baldness

There are many myths about male-pattern baldness.

    • MYTH: Baldness is inherited through the mother’s side of the family. If your maternal grandfather was bald, you will be too.
    • FACT: Genes for baldness can come from either parent.
    • MYTH: Wearing hats strains hair follicles and causes hair loss.
    • FACT: Unless your hat is so tight it cuts off circulation to hair follicles, it will not cause hair loss.
    • MYTH: Using a blow dryer causes hair loss.
    • FACT: Use of a blow dryer does not cause hair to fall out. However, frequent over-use of a hot dryer can cause hair to become brittle, damaged, and break, which may cause hair to appear thinner.
    • MYTH: Washing hair too frequently or using certain styling products can cause hair to fall out.
    • FACT: Shampoo and hair care products do not cause hair loss.
    • MYTH: Massaging the scalp will help hair regrow by stimulating circulation around the follicles.
    • FACT: It may make you feel good, but no studies have shown scalp massage helps regrow hair.
  • If you are experiencing male pattern baldness the options for non surgical hair restoration are far more realistic, affordable, and comfortable that ever before. Do something about your hair loss before it is an extreme change, and no one will ever know.
  • Call Chris at 925-245-0194 and set up a no cost.no obligation consultation to learn more.
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Hair replacement options to consider

images (1)Hair replacement, what does that mean? Truthfully it can mean different things to different people affected by hair loss. For some people, nothing short of growing the hair back on their head will make them happy. These are some of the most vulnerable, they search for tonics, shampoos that promise hair growth, meds, laser, surgical options, and can be taken in quite easily by unscrupulous vendors. The unfortunate truth for these people is that 99% of the options thrown at them do not work, or work in a very limited way.
Lets take the list from the top, tonics and shampoos are off the list. Period. No shampoo or tonic will grow hair. You can try Nioxin, onion juice, miracle herbs, essentail oils, but all are a waste of time and money. They will not give you back the head of hair you want.

Medications are the next step up, and as of today only two have been approved for hair growth by the FDA. Minoxidil(Rogaine)  and Finasteride (Propecia).

Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) is an oral medication approved for hair loss in men, but not for women. That, says Mirmirani, is because it affects the hormone, testosterone.
If a woman takes it and gets pregnant, it can cause birth defects in male children. The risk is so high that women of childbearing age aren’t even supposed to touch the drug. But some doctors do prescribe it to women when minoxidil doesn’t work or when they are past menopause.
Spironolactone ( Aldactone) is used to treat high blood pressure, and some women take it to stop hair loss. It can cause high levels of potassium to build up in the body, so it’s not the first thing a doctor would use for hair loss.
Like Propecia, spironolactone can cause birth defects in male children. Women of childbearing age either shouldn’t take it or must use birth control.

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Minoxidil ( Rogaine, Ronoxidil) can stop hairs from getting thinner. It also can help some women regrow hair on the top of their head, says Paradi Mirmirani, MD. She’s a dermatologist with the Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, Calif.. “Very good studies show that it’s effective and gets the hair root or follicle to become larger.”
Minoxidil 5% is considered safe for most women, and you can buy it without a prescription. It’s the only hair loss treatment for women approved by the FDA. You put it on your scalp once daily. A 3-month supply is about $50.
Cons: It doesn’t work for everybody. “About half of the people who use it do well and see new hair growth,” says Mirmirani. “Another 40% or so hold steady, not growing new hair but not losing more either. And about 10% find that it doesn’t help at all.”
Regrowth can take a while. It may be 12 weeks or longer before new hair starts growing, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD. She’s a clinical instructor in dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, and a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. She suggests using Minoxidil for 6 months and seeing what happens.
The most common side effect is scalp irritation. Some women may have unwanted hair growth on their forehead or face. The other downside: You have to keep using it or your hair will start thinning again.
Our next article will focus on laser treatments for hair loss.

Hair regrowth?

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Hair regrowth, is it possible or are all the fantastic claims you read about nothing but scams? Products and services that claim to give you back your crowning glory are a 3.5 billion dollar industry in the USA, and unfortunately 99% of these claims are false.

You can buy the expensive shampoo, drown your hair in magical oils, cover it with onion and garlic juice, and none of these will give you the hair regrowth you are looking for. I even question the value of laser treatments although they are a profitable service for studios such as mine.

Years ago when I decided to specialize in non surgical hair replacement, I committed to myself. I would not offer any service or product that was not proven to grow hair, and I would not use techniques that further the problem. Now, it is true that some attachment techniques can cause traction alopecia. Bonding and taping hair systems to the head may cause the hair to fall, but it has been my experience that if properly attached AND removed, hair loss can be prevented and in some cases with time, the hair can grow back. The regrowth happens very slowly, but it can happen even when wearing a hair system. I believe in total transparency, good communication, and not rushing the appointment to get to the next client. Some times, we must change our approach if it seems the product or method we are using is causing irritation, but with patience I have yet to find a client of mine that has lost hair from these attachment procedures.

Today, there are only four options that can be used to replace lost hair. Two are medications, one topical, one systemic. (Propecia and Minoxidil) Surgery, only possible if you have good donor hair and lots of time and money, and non surgical hair replacement.

I will acknowledge that the non surgical hair replacement field is filled with less than stellar providers, but there are those that like myself that have a genuine desire to help those that suffer with hair loss.

So, how do you know if your provider is one with the integrity and skills you need to have your replacement hair look good and work for you?

The American Hair loss Association has a good article about this topic:

caution

“As inferred earlier in this section, the non-surgical hair replacement industry is littered with some of the most unethical individuals and companies that the field of hair replacement has to offer. However, with that said there are some companies, usually the smaller mom and pop salons, that provide excellent service and really have compassion for their clients. It is possible to wear a completely undetectable hairpiece and not get ripped off or tied down by this industry, but you have to know what to look for.

What most companies will not tell you?

If you plan to wear a semi-permanent attached hairpiece (which is the most popular in this country) you will need to purchase two units. The reason for this is while one is being maintained the other is being worn.

Your existing hair on the top of your head cannot be integrated into the typical hair system no matter what they tell you during your consultation. Ideally, the stylist will want to shave off your reaming hair as well as a thin track of hair around the perimeter of your existing hair in order to affix the system properly. This is something the “clubs” rarely ever explain during their sales pitch.

There is no way that a bonded system will stay firmly attached to your head, especially on the hairline for 4 to 6 weeks. You will have to learn to do some of the maintenance yourself for your system to look natural.

In order to look natural your hair system needs constant attention and maintenance. It does NOT act like your own hair and cannot just be forgotten about for weeks. Expect to spend between$60-$300 dollars a month for proper maintenance.

Maintenance contracts

Avoid any companies attempting to sell you a maintenance contract. Once a hairpiece is purchased, the consumer should be free to go elsewhere for regular haircuts and maintenance.

Any company that insists on holding your second hairpiece in their facility, not allowing you to take it home if you wish, should be avoided. This is a very typical tactic of the larger chains insuring that their “client” returns and is locked in.

Once the consumer learns how to navigate through this treacherous industry, wearing hair can prove to be a positive experience. Realistic expectations and having a full understanding of the process will lead to successful hair replacement experience.”

I agree completely.

 

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