Ask the doctor: Why is my hair thinning?

Q. Why is my hair thinning? How do I make it thicker?

hair loss 201x300 Ask the doctor: Why is my hair thinning? Photo

There are ways to reverse hair thinning

A. Hair is so wrapped up with attractiveness and sex appeal in our culture, that it’s easy to understand your concern. Knowing that our hair looks good, helps us feel radiant.

A survey sponsored by Rogaine in 2004 reveals that 24 percent of the 500 women polled across the U.S. actually equated hair loss with losing an arm or leg.  But, you’re not alone. As many as 30 million women in the U.S. have thinning hair so this is quite an important question that you ask.

 

First Step: Admit the Problem and Seek Help

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people lose 50-100 strands of hair every day with up to 250 strands when washed.

But when you see another clump of hair falling out in your fingers or find it on your pillow and brush, it’s time to take action. Each day in denial, you’re losing more hair and precious time.

 

Causes

An examination will reveal if hair follicles are uniform in size or hair loss is sudden which denotes a cause other than genetic.

Medical conditions associated with hair loss include:

  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. lupus)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Vitamin A toxicity

Other causes include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Reaction from certain medications/drugs
  • Trauma from surgery or chemotherapy
  • Manipulation from dyes, chemicals, blow dryers, flat irons

 

From Reason to Growing Season

A dermatologist will check your scalp to determine if hair loss is from genetics by examining the hair follicles for size and uniformity. Then an endocrinologist will take a sample of blood to check for the conditions we named. If a condition is discovered, reversing the problem will bring back lustrous hair in as little as 1-2 months.

Consider going natural with your hair and avoid chemicals and dyes. Avoid the hair dryer and curlers.

Don’t underestimate the effect that stress has on your body. We live and work in stressful times. Consider “decluttering” your hectic schedule and take up calming exercises like Yoga and meditation.

An alternative practitioner can also check you for DHT levels which shrink hair as we age, making it unlikely for healthy hair to grow. Supplements added to your diet may restore the hair to a youthful glow.

You’ll be relieved to know there’s hope for a return to a full body of hair if the cause is addressed.

 

Be sure to check out our hair loss patient guide.