If your hair is not as dense and thick as it once was and is thinner overall, rather than in one focused area, it is import to differentiate between thinning hair and abnormal shedding hair. The discussion below deals with non-scarring alopecia.
Causes Of Hair Thinning & Shedding
The most common reason to have thinning hair is androgenetic alopecia, which can occur in men and women. This is a process that occurs over a number of years. In men, the androgenetic alopecia progresses in a fairly predictable pattern following the Norwood-Hamilton scale. In women, the female pattern hair loss follows a different scale called the Ludwig scale and occurs mainly on the top of the scalp with a widening of the part until the scalp becomes very visible through the thinning hair.
However, there can be other causes of diffuse alopecia, which can require blood workup or a scalp biopsy to determine if some other cause is at work. This blood workup can consist of a CBC, Thyroid profile, RPR, ANA, Zinc, iron, and ferritin level check. If there are symptoms of androgen excess in females, then other lab work is indicated to look at testosterone levels, DHEAS, and prolactin levels.
It is also important to determine whether there is hair breakage, as in anagen effluvium, hair shaft anomalies, or chemical or physical damage. If there is no hair breakage, the problem could be from telogen effluvium, diffuse alopecia areata, or loose anagen syndrome.
What To Do About Hair Thinning Or Shedding
The normal amount of hair loss is about 100 hairs a day. If you are loosing more than this amount then you may be experiencing shedding instead of thinning. To determine if you are loosing an abnormal amount of hair, collect all the hair you lose in a 24 hour period. This includes hair from your pillow, brush, and shower. Then count the hairs.
The cause of your hair loss will determine the best treatment options for you.
Dr. Gray is available for consultation to determine the right course of action for you hair loss. He offers both medical and surgical treatments. For appointment call the Hair Transplant and Restoration Center today at 478-751-9398.