Having a baby is, of course, a joyous thing—but it’s not without some potential side effects. Hair loss is one that is especially frustrating. Here at HT&RC, we hear from many women who had a baby months or even years ago, and experienced thinning hair afterward. Often, these women wait, assuming the hair will grow back—but it doesn’t, perhaps because of stressful life events that further impact their natural hair growth cycles.
Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss in men affecting ~50% of men over 40 years of age and caused by the interaction of genetics, hormones, and lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol and stress from a hormonal perspective. The primary contributor, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), results from metabolized testosterone and changes gene expression, leading hair follicles to shorten their growth phase and to miniaturize.
The latest hairstyles and hair colors can seem exceptional in photographs splashed across magazines covers, and the internet, but creating these looks requires exposure of hair to heated styling devices and harsh chemicals that, in turn, can severely damage hair. Notably damaged hair can be suggestive of a disease, or a hair-shaft disorder, a condition our medical practice can diagnose and provide an individual treatment protocol for hair restoration.
How is it diagnosed? This third blog post in a series on cicatricial alopecia continues with new learnings regarding associations with other illnesses, diagnosis, and seeking treatment. Much of the information provided is from the Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation or CARF. Their website is www.carfintl.org, and I encourage everyone seeking more in-depth knowledge to visit the site.
What is it? Although the cause of hair loss varies patient to patient, I see many patients in my practice who have been suffering from hair loss, sometimes severe, for many years before ever talking to a hair loss physician. Because of this, I wanted to highlight a group of disorders that I frequently diagnose - cicatricial alopecias - which are a very misunderstood family of complications that can masquerade as androgenic alopecia.
Hair loss disorders are a large, heterogeneous group of conditions that have various clinical features, pathological findings, and etiologies. Hair loss may occur due to disorders of hair cycling, inflammatory conditions that damage hair follicles, or inherited or acquired abnormalities in hair shafts.