This page contains information about the causes and types of hair loss, which may help you determine which types of treatments are worth considering.
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In the United States, roughly half of all men (and women, too) will start showing signs of baldness by their 40th birthday, according to one study performed by the Cleveland Clinic. Our physicians know the market is full of pseudo-science when it comes to hair growth remedies, and we’re here to set the record straight about what the science actually says – and the good news is, the science says that for the vast majority of patients, we can regrow their own hair and dramatically decrease, or even stop, hair loss. We are proud to be members of the American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, a group of physicians dedicated to scientific research and development of cutting-edge treatments that change the lives of our patients.
Those who have experienced thinning hair counts, a noticeable increase in the amount of visible scalp or other signs of hair loss, can experience emotional distress. If you are amongst the millions of men and women around the world who are experiencing hair loss symptoms, Reflections Center is here for you and offers a number of great hair loss solutions.
- 1 About Hair Loss: Why It’s Not Mom’s Fault (Or at Least Not Only Her Fault)
- 2 Treatment Options
- 3 BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
- 4 Causes of Hair Loss
- 5 How the Type of Hair Loss You’re Experiencing Affects Your Treatment Options
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Loss & Balding
- 7 Why Choose Reflections for Hair Loss?
- 8 Sources
About Hair Loss: Why It’s Not Mom’s Fault (Or at Least Not Only Her Fault)
We used to believe hair loss was inherited from your mother, but new studies show that hair loss is caused by a combination of inherited traits (from both sides of your family), diseases (especially those that mess with your hormones), age-related hormonal changes, and environmental factors, including stress and diet.
The healthy human is born with about 100,000 hair follicles and will normally shed an average of 50 to 100 hair follicles each day 1. Shedding hairs is part of the natural hair growth cycle and should not be a cause for concern. While shedding hairs is not the cause of hair loss, noticeable changes in your normal hair growth patterns can be a sign of hair loss.
At Reflections, we can address the early signs of hair loss and give you a fuller, thicker head of hair. For those who have sought out hair loss treatment, theyre probably familiar with how frustrating it can be wading through the countless over-the-counter topical medications and creams that make big promises but rarely deliver. Yet, hair transplant surgery, even though it is an outpatient procedure, is still surgery and has a long recovery period that requires patients to remain in hiding for at least a week in order to keep their procedure private, which makes it a less than ideal solution, especially when results are not guaranteed.
Professional treatment can provide the insight, guidance, and results youve been looking for in hair restoration treatment. The earlier that pattern hair loss symptoms are detected, the sooner hair restoration treatment can begin. Early symptoms of hair loss respond better to treatment – and, when hair loss is in its earliest stages, we have the best chance of stopping and reversing the issue over the long haul.
If you’re ready to learn more about treatments, visit our hair restoration treatment options page.
If you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation with a doctor who specializes in hair restoration and regrowth, please use the form at right to contact us.
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
Causes of Hair Loss
Hair growth cycles are affected by a variety of factors or a combination of factors that lead to hair loss. The exact cause of hair loss has remained elusive, but a combination of factors such as hormones, stress, and your genes. As much as fifty percent of adult men and women may experience some form of hair loss in their lives2.
Generalized hair loss is when more and more hairs stagnate in the resting phase, telogen. When these hairs are lost, they do not re-enter the anagen phase, leaving these areas of the scalp bald. Generalized hair loss, in many cases, is telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium can be triggered suddenly be stress, thyroid disorders, menopause, and age. Iron deficiencies are also known to have links to telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium, an increased pattern of thinning hair, may be diagnosed with a hair pull test. This test is performed by grabbing about 40 to 60s hairs and pulling along the length of the hair to see if there is an excessive amount of hairs lost. More than ten percent is an indication of hair loss.
If hair loss is the result of a disease, life stressor or injury, there is a chance that it may be reversed. Otherwise, hair loss is typically irreversible.
We all naturally shed hair every single day, but as we age, the rate of new hair growth slows and the rate of hair loss can increase, causing thinning hair, balding, or receding hairlines. Understanding the reasons behind your hair loss or thinning will help you start your journey towards hair restoration and regrowth4.
Androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness)
This is the most common type of hair loss that people experience. It’s often referred to as male or female pattern baldness – and while you likely know the pattern for males (bald on top with full hair around the sides of the head), many people don’t realize the pattern is dramatically different for women — so a lot of women who suffer from this type of hair loss often don’t realize this is what’s happening, especially early on when it only appears their hair is thinning along their part line.
Male pattern hair loss appears in nearly half of males over the age of fifty. With male pattern hair loss, sufferers can experience increases in low self-esteem, body-image dissatisfaction, and general psychological distress. In men, hair loss has a close relationship with androgen and the hormone dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Men with lower amounts of DHT typically experience less hair loss. Hair loss usually spreads in an M pattern where the hairline recedes backward. Hair can also thin around the crown, creating a bald spot on top of the head. Left untreated, male pattern hair loss will nearly always progress to full baldness. Once baldness has occurred in an area, only hair transplant surgery remains a viable treatment option. This is why early intervention is the key to keeping and restoring hair for men.
Female pattern hair loss is known to affect half of women by the time they reach the age of 653. The majority of women who do suffer from hair loss will experience it after menopause. The condition is hereditary but is also closely linked to hormone levels, specifically with testosterone levels. Female pattern baldness appears in three stages. First, thinning hair develops along the natural parting of your hair. Then, the part widens exposing more and more scalp. Finally, thinning spreads to the point where hair becomes sparse enough to see through to the scalp.
causes are typically the perfect storm (combo) of: environmental, social, genetic, psychological, hormonal, stress
despite different causes – but micro-inflammation is always part of the recipe
Hair loss is currently affecting 50 million US Men, 30 million US women. This represents about 20% of the general adult population in the US.
Alopecia areata is a sudden loss of hair resulting in patchiness, which is often temporary. This is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system attacks the hair follicle.
The good news is the follicles remain intact and it can be reversible, when the underlying condition is treated. It occurs when the signal that usually happens during the telogen phase of hair growth seemingly occurs earlier and for a high number of hairs in a given area. This causes the body to shed hairs from follicle, bulb and all.
This condition can be seen in adults, as well as young children. Usually, full regrowth of hair is expected.
this condition causes hair loss all over the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes
Trichotillomania is a condition that mostly occurs in children in which they pull out their own hair. This is typically an attempt to self-soothe through a period of extreme stress or even PTSD.
This fairly common condition is characterized by cyclical diffuse (all-over) thinning of hair on scalp. It’s a temporary hair thinning as a result of a change in the follicle growth cycle, usually caused by stress or disease. When someone has fallen ill and their hair thins, this is usually the cause. It will typically reverse itself once the patient is healthy again.
Scarring alopecias were long thought to damage the hair follicles in a way that was not treatable. But some patients have had success with nanofat stem cell injections, which work by isolating and concentrating your own stem cells for reinjection into the scalp. Nanofat has been used in many applications including poorly healed wounds, so it stands to reason that it may be a good option for these previously untreatable conditions. Scarring alopecias are often the effect of diseases, such as lupus, erthematosus, etc., and properly treating and controlling the underlying disease is an important key to any successful long-term result.
Infections: Ring Worm and Folliculitis
Ring worm and folliculitis are two of the most common infections which can cause hair loss. Usually this hair loss is temporary and resolves once the infection is treated.
How the Type of Hair Loss You’re Experiencing Affects Your Treatment Options
When it comes to treating any cosmetic concern, our doctors know that diagnosing the underlying issue is the key to natural-appearing and long-lasting results. Hair loss is no different.
There are certain treatments that work best for each cause of hair loss, and there are some treatments that won’t work at all for certain types of hair loss.
Here are some examples:
- Topical steroids, minoxidil (Rogaine), cyclosporine, oral steroids, or photodynamic therapy offer no results for those with alopecia areata, even when used over a long period of time6
- Minoxidil work amazingly well for hair regrowth in female pattern hair loss (even though it was originally marketed as Rogaine for Men!)7
- Where Propecia (Finasteride) works very well for male pattern baldness8,9, Finasteride is ineffective in postmenopausal women with female pattern hair loss10.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Hair grows in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Each hair on your head alternates between each phase in a regular cycle, throughout its entire life. The initial phase is anagen where the hair follicle is growing from the bulb of the hair follicle and may last as long as eight years. The next phase is the catagen phase is the catagen phase, a stagnant transitional phase. Then during the final telogen phase, the hair follicle receives a signal from the body to detach from the scalp. At this point, the hair and bulb detach from the follicle and fall out. The source and cause of the signal are not entirely understood. After each phase is complete, a healthy, active hair follicle will start its hair growth cycle over.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Loss & Balding
Are hormones the only cause of male pattern baldness and/or female pattern hair loss?
Male and female-pattern hair loss is also called androgenic alopecia. We know the hormone androgen plays a big role in how this hair loss occurs because those men who are castrated (typically only happens in cases of testicular cancer affecting both testes – not the same as vasectomy) or who have complete androgen insensitivity syndrome will not experience this type of hair loss. But while we know it is androgen-dependent, but that’s not the only factor at play. We also know that high androgen levels alone won’t necessarily cause hair loss. You need the perfect mix of receptors, hormones, oxidative stress, genetics, nutrition, health, and even prostaglandin changes working together to create hair loss.
Because we know that there are multiple forces at play causing the hair loss, we want to attack from multiple pathways when treating androgenic alopecea, or female and male-pattern hair loss.
Genetic factors predispose certain men and women to hair loss and balding, but the way in which we inherit these traits isn’t fully understood yet. For example, we know 80% of Caucasian men will experience male-pattern hair loss by age 70. That’s much higher than the average 50%
Why Choose Reflections for Hair Loss?
At Reflections Center, we pride ourselves on our commitment to offering the most advanced, scientifically-backed treatments. We are proud to offer proven regenerative aesthetics like PRP hair restoration that gives patients great hair restoration results.
- History of Baldness on Either Side of Family Increases Risk of Balding
- Delamere FM, Sladden MM, Dobbins HM, Leonardi-Bee J. Interventions for alopecia areata. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(2):CD004413.
- DeVillez RL, Jacobs JP, Szpunar CA, Warner ML. Androgenetic alopecia in the female. Treatment with 2% topical minoxidil solution. Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(3):303–307.
- Leyden J, Dunlap F, Miller B, et al. Finasteride in the treatment of men with frontal male pattern hair loss. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999;40(6 pt 1):930–937.
- Kaufman KD, Olsen EA, Whiting D, et al. Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998;39(4 pt 1):578–589.
- Price VH. Treatment of hair loss. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(13):964–973.