Hair Loss and Methods of Rejuvenation
Joseph Kozimbo, Priti P Patel MD
One fear of growing older is the potential for hair loss — will I be bald? But is old age the only cause of hair loss? And if you lose your hair, what methods of rejuvenation are there?
Most Common Causes of Hair Loss
Of course, age can cause hair loss. In fact, the most common cause of hair loss worldwide is hereditary hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia. In hereditary hair loss, your inherited genes cause you to lose your hair. Specifically, your genes cause your hair follicles, which hair grows out of, to shrink until they stop growing hair. This shirking often starts at an older age, which is why many people bald as they grow older.
However, there are other causes of hair loss besides hereditary hair loss. Some lose their hair because their body’s own immune system attacks their hair follicles, a disease known as alopecia areata. Another condition, scarring alopecia, can cause hair loss due to inflammation destroying hair follicles. Thyroid disease can also cause thinning hair and hair loss. Other diseases can cause hair loss because of the treatments and medications for them, not because of the diseases themself. For example, patients battling cancer with chemotherapy or radiation can lose their hair.
Lastly, life practices and events can contribute to hair loss. For example, after childbirth, surgery, or recovery from an illness, you may experience hair loss. This can also occur after any major stressful events in one’s life. Nutrition is another factor which can cause hair loss, such as insufficient biotin, iron, protein, or zinc. External and environmental factors such as continued hair damage from harsh treatments or even traumatic causes like weaves and wearing your hair tightly pulled back can affect hair loss.
What are some of the more common treatment options?
With a lack of nutrients, such as biotin, being a cause of hair loss, one way to treat hair loss is with biotin-based vitamins. If a patient is not consuming enough foods with biotin, such as eggs, fish, and nuts, they can supplement with mega-B vitamins, which include biotin. These vitamins can also contain other important nutrients for hair health, such as zinc. Ultimately, biotin can help your hair follicles and improve hair growth. Some of the more common vitamins designed for health health include Nutrafol and Viviscal.
Another method to potentially improve hair loss is through platelet-rich plasma, or PRP. Platelet-rich plasma contains two things: plasma, the liquid portion of the blood, and platelets, which trigger cell reproduction and promote healing. The important quality of platelet-rich plasma is that it contains elevated levels of platelets, meaning it better promotes healing and cell growth. To stimulate hair growth, the platelet-rich plasma can be injected into the patient’s scalp. Not all PRP is the same. Our technique provides on of the highest concentrations of benefits cells to improve hair.
When hair loss continues, hair transplant surgery may be an option to restore hair. To perform hair transplant surgery, small units with hair bulbs are removed and reimplanted into less dense areas of the scalp. The hair is generally “donated” from the back of the scalp where hair is more robust and resistant to loss. To stimulate hair growth after hair transplant surgery, PRP can be used.
Overall, hair loss should not make you fearful of growing up. There are many causes of hair loss besides aging, and, by seeking help from a professional like Dr. Priti Patel, you can find the treatment options that are right for you!