Hair Loss Fall 2013 Newsletter

Hair loss is a sore subject for those who suffer from it. The most common types of hair loss are telogen effluvium (stress or medically induced hair loss) or alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss), androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern hair loss), telogen effluvium (stress or medically induced hair loss) or alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss.)

Telogen effluvium is usually experienced as a rather sudden loss of hair with significant shedding all over the scalp. Often one can see the bulb of the hair follicle attached.

Androgenetic Alopecia is due to genetic hair loss. This type of hair loss is slow and progressive and typically presents in a pattern and not all over the scalp; for men receding and loss at the back crown, and for women, a circle on the top of the scalp with the back crown and the front, preserving a fringe at the hair line. The most proven treatments for this are Rogaine® and Propecia®. Studies have shown that men’s Rogaine® used once per day works better for women than Women’s Rogaine® used twice per day. We recently introduced Nanogen® Hair Thickening Treatment Serum ($48 for 1.01oz) at skinfo® that has one study showing that it is more effective than Rogaine® at blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (the cause thought to lead to pattern hair loss.) In addition, we are soon going to be adding a red light device that has studies to back it up as a way to improve hair growth.

Our hairs have 3 cycles, anagen, telogen, and catagen. Anagen is the typical healthy hair, very analogous to a summer tree with green leaves. If you try to pull an anagen hair or a green leaf it will usually break as the roots are very strong. 85% of our scalp hair is in anagen cycle typically. Telogen is analogous to a brown leaf on a tree in fall. If you pull on it or brush it, it will fall out easily, much as a brown leaf on a tree will come down if you shake the tree or the wind blows. Usually about 15% of hair is in a telogen phase. Catagen is a brief phase between anagen and telogen.

Some things can cause an increase of telogen hairs resulting in a lot of hair to fall out: extreme stress such as hospitalization, high fever, childbirth, death in the family, etc. Medical conditions can also contribute to this such as too little iron stores, anemia, or low thyroid. We have found that low iron stores is a very common cause of hair loss. A simple blood test will determine this and iron supplements can often remedy it. Please have your iron checked by a medical provider first (do not take iron supplements without blood tests, it is not healthy to have too much iron).