What causes hair loss?
People who suffer from hair loss and thinning hair typically lose 100 hairs per day. Because new hair is growing in at the same time, it isn’t always noticeable. Hair thinning occurs when hair follicles are destroyed and replaced with scar tissue, or when the cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted.
The most common cause of excessive hair loss is hereditary thinning or baldness. There are a number of other causes as well, some of which may be temporary:
- Alopecia areata (a type of hair loss that affects all ages, which causes hair to fall out in patches)
- Medical condition, such as thyroid disease
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy medications for the treatment of cancer
Inadequate protein or iron in diet or eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
- Certain prescription drugs, such as blood thinners, high-dose vitamin A, and medicines for arthritis, depression, heart problems or high blood pressure
- Use of birth control pills or other contraceptives
- Hormonal imbalances, especially in women
- Excessive or improper use of styling products, including dyes, gels, relaxers, and sprays
- Hairstyles that pull excessively on the hair (like ponytails and braids)
- Excessive or aggressive shampooing, combing, or brushing
- Ringworm of the scalp (a contagious fungal infection most commonly affecting children).
What kind of treatment is available?
With correct diagnosis, many people with hair loss can be helped. There are several treatment options available, depending on the cause. Topical minoxidil (for men and women) and oral finasteride (for men only) have been shown to help in the regrowth of hair or slow hereditary hair loss. Hair loss caused by diseases such as thyroid disease can be reversed with treatment of the underlying cause. Topical or oral estrogen, or other female-specific hormones, are sometimes prescribed for women experiencing hair loss.
At Dermatology & Skin Health, we also provide hair restoration. This cutting-edge, non-surgical treatment comes with many health and cosmetic benefits. If you suffer from hair thinning or loss, growth factors can be injected into the scalp to grow thicker, fuller hair.
Schedule treatments in New Hampshire or Massachusetts
Dermatology & Skin Health is located in Dover, NH, Newington, NH and Peabody, MA, and our board-certified dermatologists can help you. We can identify the cause of your hair thinning or loss and determine which treatment option is right for you. Book your appointment online or give us a call at (603) 742-5556 (Dover & Newington) or (978) 525-0100 (Peabody).