While the physical symptoms of hair loss can be traumatic for patients, the emotional impact of hair loss can be just as severe, especially for women.
The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary thinning or baldness but other conditions, diseases, and improper hair care can results in hair loss too.
Causes of hair loss, some of which are temporary, include:
- Excessive or improper use of styling products such as perms, dyes, gels, relaxers or sprays can cause weathering or hair breakage.
- Hairstyles that pull on the hair, like ponytails and braids. This is common with African American patients, unfortunately, tight hair styles worn as children can lead to hair loss later in life. We recommend a loose hairstyle like the below picture, especially for young children.
- A variety of diseases, such as thyroid disease.
- Following childbirth, major surgery, a high fever or severe infection, or even the flu.
- Inadequate protein or iron in the diet or eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.
- Certain prescriptions drugs.
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Alopecia areata, a type of hair loss that affects all ages, which causes hair to fall out in round patches.
Topical Treatments For Hair Loss
- Minoxidil(for men and women) and oral finasteride(for men only) have been shown to help in the regrowth of hair or to slow hair loss. Hair loss caused by diseases such as thyroid disease may be reversed with treatment of the underlying disease.
- Topical or injectable cortisone medications have been shown to accelerate regrowth of hair in some types of hair loss.
- Topical or oral estrogen, or female specific hormones, are sometimes prescribed for women experiencing hair loss.
While daily shedding is normal, people who notice their hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner of falls out, should consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
For more information watch Dr. Hooper discuss Women and Hair Loss on Fox 8 TV.