When it comes to hair loss, the results can be severely damaging to someone’s self esteem and mental wellness. Many people think of their hair as a part of their identity so losing part of that can be emotionally trying. There are a number of factors that can have an effect on hair loss such as overall health, stress, medications and genetics to name a few. Fortunately, there are minimally invasive treatments that can help patients regrow their own hair. Treatments such as PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, use the patient’s own blood to stimulate growth cycles in the affected areas.
Our very own hair loss expert Marisa Belaidi, MD FAAD was kind enough to sit down with us and share her extensive knowledge on the causes of hair loss and available treatments.
WHAT ARE THE TWO MOST COMMON CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?
In my experience, hair loss is either genetic or idiopathic. Idiopathic means that a particular reason for the start of hair loss cannot be pinpointed and that it may be random for that person.
SINCE HAIR IS CLOSELY TIED TO IDENTITY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU OFFER PATIENTS WHEN THEY ARE FACING HAIR LOSS?
The first thing I stress to patients is the importance of getting a diagnosis. Once we have an idea of what is going on with that patient, we can start tailoring therapy that has the best chance for hair regrowth. In some cases, such as with Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), the hair loss may become permanent. Early diagnosis is key for hair loss because it offers the best possible chance for saving the hair before it becomes noticeable or devastating for the patient.
ARE THERE PREDOMINANT FACTORS THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO CERTAIN TYPES OF HAIR LOSS?
Genetics and ethnicity can be factors as well as overall health, lifestyle and certain hairstyles. Hormones can play a big factor in hair loss for patients who experience endocrine abnormalities, vitamin deficiencies, large amounts of stress or trauma. Some women who have given birth recently can also experience increased shedding or hair loss.
BECAUSE RESULTS MAY VARY FROM PATIENT TO PATIENT, DO YOU RECOMMEND PATIENTS MANAGE THEIR EXPECTATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO RESULTS?
I like to stress that because everyone is different, their hair is different and therefore everyone’s hair may respond differently. What worked for one person may not work for another or may work better. Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter treatment for hair loss due to the tricky nature of the condition. I like to tell patients that we use evidence-based medicine and to treat with the most well studied and effective treatments available. We may need to try a couple different treatments to tailor a program that works best for them.
Hair loss is devastating for younger patients especially. I recommend that they come in for a consultation as early as possible if there are any signs of hair loss as that gives us the best possible chance for making a positive change. It’s reassuring that today we have so many new and minimally invasive therapies for patients to try so they do not have to feel like all hope is lost for their hair.
If you are concerned about hair loss or if you would like more information about discussing hair restoration treatment options with Dr. Belaidi FAAD, please call a Skin Solutions location nearest you to schedule your consultation. Our patients are part of the SSD Family and we love giving back in any way that we can! Do you have a hair loss story that you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you! Send your story or photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org