Everyone loses hair. In fact, most people shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. This amount of hair loss is normal and shouldn’t cause noticeable thinning. When hair loss is excessive or unexpected, however, it is referred to as alopecia. Both men and women may experience it in varying degrees from a gradual thinning to complete baldness.
Although hair loss is common and often difficult to live with, the good news is that many cases of hair loss are treatable and even reversible.
What causes hair loss?
There are many causes of hair loss. In some cases, hair loss is only temporary, which is often the result of an illness, increased stress or a nutritional deficiency. In these situations, the hair usually returns once the condition is gone or has been managed.
The most common type of hair loss is inherited, also known as male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss. With this type of hair loss, men generally develop bald spots in the front, crown and sides of the hairline, and may become completely bald. Women may experience some thinning all over, but mostly on the top of the head. This type of hair loss is usually permanent.
Treatment for hair loss
The causes of hair loss are varied and a correct diagnosis is key for successful treatment. To get to the root of your hair loss, start by visiting your dermatologist. Your dermatologist will examine your hair and scalp and review your medical history to properly diagnose your type of hair loss.
Many forms of hair loss do not need any treatment, and the hair will start to regrow on its own. There are also types of hair loss that lead to permanent baldness, but can be slowed significantly through regular treatment. Common treatments include laser devices that stimulate hair growth, prescription medicines and scalp treatments. Surgical treatments may also be recommended, including hair transplantation. Your dermatologist will determine which treatment is best for you.
It is also helpful to share your hair care routine with your dermatologist. Make a list of the hair care products you use, such as shampoo and hair dryer, as these can help aid in the proper diagnosis of your hair loss.
While hair loss is usually not a threat to your health, it can have devastating effects on your self-image. If you are experiencing hair loss, talk to your dermatologist about your options for treatment. Your dermatologist will be able to identify the cause and discuss your treatment options.