Questions about hair loss
We at Occhi Lash & Brow Studio know: when you’re experiencing hair loss, there is a lot to consider before seeking treatment. Below are some answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you’d like to learn more, call Occhi Hair Institute today.
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common condition that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. While it is true that genetics play a significant role in male pattern baldness, the inheritance pattern is not solely determined by the maternal side of the family.
The primary gene associated with male pattern baldness is called the androgen receptor gene (AR). This gene can be inherited from either the mother or the father. Both parents contribute to an individual’s genetic makeup, and the inheritance of the AR gene can occur from either side of the family.
However, it is worth noting that certain studies have suggested that the genetic contribution to male pattern baldness may be more complex than a simple inheritance pattern. It is believed that multiple genes, as well as hormonal factors, interact to determine the likelihood and severity of hair loss.
In addition to genetic factors, other factors such as age, hormones (particularly dihydrotestosterone or DHT), and overall health can influence the development of male pattern baldness.
Yes, hair loss can be a symptom of various underlying health issues. While male pattern baldness is a common cause of hair loss in men, there are several other conditions and factors that can contribute to hair loss in both men and women. Some potential causes of hair loss include:
- Hormonal changes: Imbalances in hormones, such as those that occur during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can lead to hair loss.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder), scalp infections, psoriasis, and trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), can cause hair loss.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Inadequate intake or absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, vitamin D, and B vitamins, can result in hair loss.
- Medications and treatments: Certain medications, including those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, and high blood pressure, can cause hair loss as a side effect. Additionally, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy commonly result in hair loss.
- Stress and trauma: Physical or emotional stress, as well as traumatic events like surgery or a severe illness, can trigger temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium.
- Hairstyling practices: Excessive or improper hairstyling practices, such as frequent use of heat styling tools, tight hairstyles (e.g., ponytails, braids), and harsh chemical treatments, can damage the hair follicles and lead to hair loss.
Telogen Effluvium is a type of hair loss that occurs after a significant physiological or emotional stressor. Examples include childbirth, surgery, severe illness, or emotional trauma. The stress can push a large number of hair follicles into the resting phase, leading to excessive shedding a few months later. However, this type of hair loss is usually temporary, and the hair regrows within a few months.
It’s important to note that while some types of hair loss due to life events are temporary and the hair often regrows, others may be more long-lasting or permanent. If you are experiencing noticeable hair loss or have concerns about your hair, our Trichologist can evaluate your condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options. Call 630-785-6668 to book an appointment.
Hair growth occurs in cycles, which can be simplified into three main phases:
- Anagen Phase (Growth Phase): This is the active phase of hair growth. The hair follicles are actively producing new hair cells, and the hair grows longer during this phase. The length of the anagen phase varies for each individual and determines how long the hair can grow. This phase typically lasts for 2 to 6 years.
- Catagen Phase (Transition Phase): After the anagen phase, the hair follicles enter a short transitional phase called the catagen phase. During this phase, hair growth stops, and the hair follicles shrink. This phase lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks.
- Telogen Phase (Resting Phase): Following the catagen phase, the hair follicles enter the telogen phase, which is a resting phase. During this phase, the old hair remains in the follicle but is not actively growing. New hair starts to grow underneath the resting hair. This phase lasts for about 2 to 3 months.
After the telogen phase, the cycle repeats itself, and new hair starts growing from the hair follicles, pushing out the old hair. It’s important to note that not all hair follicles are in the same phase at the same time, which is why we typically don’t experience hair loss all at once.
On average, individuals can shed around 50 to 100 hairs per day, which is considered normal. However, if hair shedding exceeds this range or if there are noticeable changes in hair thickness or scalp health, this could be sign of hair loss. Give us a call at 630-785-6668 to get to the root of your hair loss.
No, hair loss is not always caused by a disease. While certain medical conditions can contribute to hair loss, there are various factors that can lead to hair loss without the presence of an underlying disease. These factors can include:
- Genetic Factors: Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) and female pattern hair loss are common conditions that can be influenced by genetic factors. In these cases, hair loss is often gradual and typically related to inherited sensitivity to hormones or genetic predisposition.
- Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels can contribute to hair loss. For example, during pregnancy or after giving birth, hormonal changes can lead to temporary hair shedding. Similarly, hormonal imbalances associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders can affect hair growth.
- Aging: As individuals age, hair growth can slow down, and hair follicles may become less active. This can result in thinning hair or gradual hair loss over time.
- Stress and Lifestyle Factors: Excessive physical or emotional stress, as well as poor lifestyle habits, can contribute to hair loss. Stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to temporary shedding. Additionally, factors like poor nutrition, crash dieting, smoking, and certain hairstyling practices can impact the health of the hair and contribute to hair loss.
- Medications and Treatments: Certain medications, such as those used for cancer treatment (chemotherapy), can cause hair loss as a side effect. Similarly, treatments like radiation therapy targeted at the head can lead to hair loss in the treated area.
While diseases can certainly be a cause of hair loss, it is important to recognize that hair loss can also occur due to other factors that are not necessarily disease-related.
Coloring or frequently shampooing hair does not typically cause permanent hair loss. However, these practices can potentially contribute to temporary hair damage or hair breakage if not done properly or excessively.
- Hair Coloring: Hair dyes and chemical treatments used for coloring can cause temporary damage to the hair shaft, making it more prone to breakage. However, hair dye does not directly affect the hair follicles or lead to permanent hair loss. It’s essential to follow the instructions on hair dye products, avoid excessive or overlapping applications, and consider using conditioning treatments to maintain the health of colored hair.
- Shampooing: Frequent shampooing alone does not cause hair loss. In fact, regular shampooing is essential for maintaining scalp hygiene and removing excess oils and buildup. However, harsh shampoos or excessive shampooing can strip the hair of its natural oils, making it dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage. It’s recommended to use a gentle shampoo suitable for your hair type and avoid vigorous rubbing or tugging when washing and drying hair.
While coloring and shampooing alone are unlikely to cause permanent hair loss, it’s important to be mindful of other factors that can contribute to hair damage or loss. These may include excessive heat styling, using harsh chemical treatments (such as perms or relaxers), tight hairstyles that pull on the hair (like braids or ponytails), or nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, if you notice excessive hair shedding, thinning, or other concerning changes in your hair, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist to evaluate the underlying cause and provide appropriate guidance.
Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is a genetic condition that is challenging to stop or reverse completely. However, there are several approaches that can help slow down the progression of male pattern baldness and manage its effects. Here are some common strategies:
- Hair Loss Treatments: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), scalp/hair treatments, and research-backed products may be recommended in certain cases. These treatments aim to stimulate hair growth.
- Healthy Lifestyle Habits: Maintaining overall health and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can support hair health. Ensure you have a balanced diet rich in nutrients, including vitamins and minerals essential for hair growth. Regular exercise, stress management techniques, and adequate sleep can also contribute to overall well-being, which can indirectly benefit hair health.
- Styling and Hair Care Practices: Be gentle with your hair to minimize damage. Avoid excessive heat styling, tight hairstyles that pull on the hair, and harsh chemical treatments. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner suitable for your hair type and avoid excessive shampooing or rough towel-drying.
- Hair Camouflage Techniques: Hairstyling techniques, such as toppers or strategic haircuts, can help create the appearance of thicker hair and camouflage areas of thinning.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of treatments may vary among individuals, and results may take time to become noticeable.
When experiencing hair loss, it’s generally advisable to minimize the use of heat styling tools, such as blow dryers, flat irons, and hot tools. Excessive heat can damage the hair shaft and make it more prone to breakage, which can exacerbate the appearance of thinning hair. Here are some tips to consider:
- Reduce Heat Exposure: Limit the frequency of heat styling and opt for heat-free or low-heat hairstyling alternatives whenever possible. Embrace natural air-drying methods or use the cool setting on your blow dryer. This can help minimize the potential damage caused by excessive heat.
- Use Heat Protectants: When you do use heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray or serum to your hair beforehand. These products create a protective barrier between your hair and the heat, reducing the risk of damage.
- Lower Heat Settings: If you must use heat styling tools, choose lower heat settings. High temperatures can be particularly damaging to already weakened hair. Use the lowest effective heat setting to achieve the desired style.
- Give Hair Breaks: Allow your hair regular breaks from heat styling. Embrace natural hairstyles or explore heatless styling methods like braids, buns, or twists. This gives your hair time to recover and reduces the risk of further damage.
- Gentle Styling Techniques: Be gentle when styling your hair to minimize tension and strain. Avoid tight hairstyles or pulling the hair tightly, as it can stress the hair follicles and lead to breakage.
Remember, while these practices can help minimize damage to your hair, it’s important to address the underlying causes of hair loss and consult your healthcare professional and a trichologist. They can provide specific recommendations based on your unique situation and help develop a hair care routine that supports your hair health.
Changing your diet alone may not reverse hair loss completely, especially in cases of genetic male pattern baldness. However, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is important for overall hair health and can support healthy hair growth. Here are some dietary considerations:
- Nutrient-Rich Foods: Include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your diet. These may include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats (such as avocados and nuts), and legumes. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support hair health.
- Protein: Adequate protein intake is crucial for hair growth as hair is primarily made of protein called keratin. Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and dairy products in your diet.
- Iron: Iron deficiency can contribute to hair loss. Include iron-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, red meat, beans, lentils, and fortified cereals in your diet. Pairing iron-rich foods with vitamin C sources (like citrus fruits or bell peppers) can enhance iron absorption.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts, can promote scalp health and hair growth.
- Biotin and Vitamin E: Biotin and vitamin E are believed to support hair health. Sources of biotin include eggs, nuts, seeds, and sweet potatoes. Sources of vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, and avocados.
While a healthy diet can support overall hair health, it may not be sufficient to reverse hair loss caused by genetic factors. If you are experiencing significant hair loss or have concerns about your hair, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a trichologist. They can evaluate your condition, identify any underlying causes, and recommend appropriate treatment options or lifestyle changes tailored to your specific needs.
Yes, laser treatment can be effective in addressing hair loss, particularly for certain types of hair loss conditions. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as red light therapy or laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-intensity lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth.
Here are some key points to consider about laser treatment for hair loss:
- Mechanism of Action: LLLT works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, promoting nutrient delivery and improving cellular activity in the scalp. This stimulation can potentially extend the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicles, leading to increased hair density and thickness.
- Effectiveness: While results can vary depending on the individual and the specific cause of hair loss, research suggests that LLLT can be effective in treating certain types of hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and female pattern hair loss. It may also be used in combination with other treatments, such as minoxidil or finasteride, to enhance results.
- Treatment Devices: LLLT can be administered using various devices, including laser caps, laser combs, or laser panels. These devices emit low-level laser or LED light that is applied directly to the scalp. Treatment sessions are typically repeated over a period of several months to see noticeable results.
- Consultation and Professional Guidance: It is important to consult with a healthcare professional, trichologist, or dermatologist to determine if laser treatment is suitable for your specific condition. They can assess the cause and severity of your hair loss, provide personalized recommendations, and guide you on the appropriate treatment options.
While LLLT has shown promise in treating hair loss, it may not be effective for everyone, and individual results can vary. It is important to have realistic expectations and follow the recommended treatment protocols for optimal results.
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