Hair loss can be a devastating condition. But some solutions can help you feel more confident in your appearance. One such solution is scalp micropigmentation (SMP) at Dot Matrix. SMP involves a trained practitioner applying a numbing cream to the scalp before using a device that creates a stippled pattern of dots. It’s ideal for people who are non-candidates for hair transplants but want the look of fuller hair density.
Hair Loss in Women
The loss of hair in women can be as emotionally distressing as it is for men. It is also more
noticeable and has a greater impact on a woman’s quality of life. This is because of the cultural and social significance of a full head of hair for most women. The good news is that most types of female hair loss are treatable, and regrowth often occurs.
Most cases of hair loss in women are due to the hereditary condition called female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss affects 30 million women in the United States alone. It usually begins in women in their 40s or 50s, and it may get worse over time.
Another common cause of hair loss in women is telogen effluvium, which is the result of a hormonal imbalance. This condition causes the body’s hair follicles to switch from the anagen phase into the telogen phase, which means that fewer new strands of hair grow and more hair falls out. During this time, hair can become thin all over the head or in specific areas, such as the temples or crown.
In women, the most common treatment for hair loss is minoxidil (Rogaine, generic versions). This topical solution was originally used to reduce blood pressure, but research discovered that it could also stimulate hair growth in some people. It is available over the counter in a 2% liquid or foam that needs to be applied to the scalp twice a day. It is also available in a 5% solution by prescription when a higher dosage is needed.
Hair Loss in Men
Men lose their hair as they age due to genetics and changing hormone levels. The most common form of hair loss in men is called male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. This condition happens when the hair follicles produce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that shrinks them and eventually causes them to stop producing new hair. This results in a receding hairline, thinning hair and ultimately a bald spot on the top of the head. Male pattern baldness doesn’t usually cause the eyebrows, eyelashes or hair at the back and sides of the head to thin or fall out.
When you begin to notice a thinning scalp, it is important to see a dermatologist early to discuss treatment options before you experience more serious hair loss. During this time, the doctor can check for other conditions that might be causing your hair loss.
There are several treatments for male pattern baldness. The most effective include a topical minoxidil solution (Rogaine), oral finasteride (Propecia, Propecia), dutasteride (Avodart) and Platelet-Rich Plasma injections.
During the first stages of male pattern baldness, the hairline may begin to recede in a V or M shape and the crown may become thinner. As the condition progresses, the bald spot can grow larger and the hair above the temples and on the back of the scalp can become thinner. When a man reaches stage 4 (Norwood), the balding is more noticeable with a large bald area and little or no hair on the vertex scalp and crown. Hair transplants are an option for those who want to restore their natural look. Vitamins like biotin, folic acid and zinc are also recommended for healthy hair growth.
Hair Loss in Children
Hair loss in children is not uncommon and may be caused by a number of different things. It’s important to talk to your child’s doctor if he or she is losing patches of hair. In some cases, this is an indication of a serious condition and will require treatment.
In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s normal for kids to lose some of their hair every day. Kids’ hair has a predictable life cycle: each strand grows actively for about two to six years, then goes into a resting phase (called telogen). When the telogen phase ends, the hair falls out and new hair begins to grow in its place. The same process occurs in adults, but it happens at a much faster pace in kids.
Isolated bald spots on your child’s scalp are usually the result of physical trauma to the hair shafts, or a psychological issue. If your child is pulling out his or her own hair, for instance, this is a problem called trichotillomania and should be addressed with the help of a psychologist.
Some bald spots on the scalp may be caused by a fungal infection, such as tinea capitis or ringworm of the scalp. This is a contagious, but treatable condition that can be treated with antifungal medications taken orally. Your child’s doctor will examine the affected area and, if necessary, will scrape a small piece of the scalp to confirm the diagnosis. He or she will then prescribe a medicine to treat the infection. Children with this condition will usually see a full head of hair grow back within a few months. In some rare cases, however, the bald spots don’t grow back. This is known as alopecia areata and is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the follicles from which hair grows.
Hair Loss in Pregnant Women
While most women notice that their hair becomes thicker and lustrous during pregnancy, some experience thinning and even hair loss in the months following birth. This is due to a combination of factors, including hormones and medical conditions that can occur during pregnancy or in the postpartum period.
Hormones are key to most pregnancy changes, including the ones that affect hair. During the first trimester, high levels of estrogen slow down the natural hair follicle cycle, which may lead to increased thickness and lustrousness. However, during the second and third trimesters, these same hormones shift again, which can cause a sudden increase in hair shedding. This is a common condition called telogen effluvium, and it’s nothing to worry about as long as it occurs gradually.
In most cases, a woman’s hair will eventually return to its normal state once she has delivered and her hormones return to their pre-pregnancy levels. But, if the hair loss persists after this time, it may be a sign of a more serious medical issue.
In some rare instances, a woman may develop thyroid issues during pregnancy, such as hypothyroidism (too little hormone) or hyperthyroidism (too much). Both of these conditions can lead to significant hair loss, and they’re more common in the postpartum period, when the mother’s body is adjusting to the new hormones. If the hair loss is a symptom of these thyroid issues, it’s best to seek treatment from a physician. This may involve a blood test and medication to regulate hormones. It is also important to avoid nutrient deficiencies, which can cause additional hair loss. Taking iron supplements or using hair care products that are low in sodium can help.
Hair Loss Causes
Typically, people lose 50 to 100 scalp hairs each day, but this usually isn’t noticeable because new hair grows in to replace it. However, if you see unusually large amounts of hair in your brush or on clothing, in the drains of sinks or tubs or notice that your part is wider or that one or more bald spots have appeared, it could indicate a problem. A doctor will examine your hair and scalp, and may order a blood test to look for conditions such as thyroid disease, iron deficiency or sex hormone imbalances (especially in men). In some cases, doctors can help reverse hair loss that results from a health problem. This is particularly true for hereditary baldness and for conditions that cause scarring on the scalp such as folliculitis decalvans or discoid lupus erythematosus, which are characterized by scaly, itchy sores that can lead to bald patches.
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can cause permanent hair loss, as can autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata or the compulsive hair-pulling disorder trichotillomania. Hair loss from illness, such as fever or radiation therapy, is temporary and often goes away after the condition is treated.
Poor diet, which can lead to protein deficiencies, is another common cause of hair loss. Also, a high intake of certain nutrients, such as vitamins A and E, can trigger hair loss, Green says. It is important to talk with your doctor before taking supplements, he adds. A balanced diet that includes fish, berries and leafy vegetables can support healthy hair, he adds. In addition, avoiding heat treatments, such as blow-drying or exposing your hair to hot rollers and curlers, can prevent damage that may contribute to hair loss.