Hair loss is a growing issue as clients age and also creates a valuable business expansion opportunity for your medical spa. Robert Dorin, D.O. Diplomat of the American Board of Hair Restoration, is co-partner of True & Dorin Medical Group with more than 11 years of experience as New York City’s trusted hair restoration surgeon. Dorin’s practice is dedicated exclusively to state of the art methods of surgical hair restoration, including the highly specialized and minimally invasive FUE process, as well as the traditional Strip method. Dorin is dual board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery and in Family Practice. He is also a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS), Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS), AOA, ACOFP, and New York State Osteopathic Medical Society. Here, Dorin shares his top ten reasons hair falls out and the cures.
1. Frequent Use of Chemical Products Hair treatments such as chemical relaxers and harsh chemicals (i.e. dyes and bleaching) have a very harmful effect on your hair over the years.
- Recommend a product line that helps maintain clean, healthy, full, luxurious, normal hair, while simultaneously repairing dry, dull, frizzy, heat-damaged and chemically damaged hair.
2. Harsh Weather Conditions The combination of cold temperatures and low relative humidity can sap moisture from hair and insight static flyway hair. Strands are less manageable and tend to tangle, resulting in more physical sheer forces that can break hair with combing and brushing.
- Recommend a sodium laureth sulfate free shampoo, and wash your hair with lukewarm water and again use a high quality reparative conditioner with each washing.
3. Family History This is one of the most significant reasons for true hair loss known as Androgenic Alopecia. It is also termed male and female patterned hair loss. Medications such as Propecia and Rogaine are used to stop and stabilize hair loss in men. However only Rogaine can be used in female hair loss, as Propecia is not FDA approved for use in women due to potential birth defect risks.
- This form of hair loss can be very successfully treated with hair restoration surgery to help replace the hair that was already lost as medications do not regrow new hair.
4. Hairstyling Tools Vigorous styling over the years can damage and eventually kill the hair follicle. Traction alopecia caused by tight braids, hair weaves or cornrows as well as any kind of harsh chemical or high heat can also damage and kill the hair follicle.
- Remind clients of the American Academy of Dermatology recommendations: using conditioner after shampooing and only using hot styling tools once a week. If this might not be possible, encourage clients to give themselves a hair holiday every once and a while.
- Caution patients of leaving hair in styles with constant tension for long periods of time (i.e. braids, cornrows, etc).
5. Hormonal Changes Menopause, pregnancy, thyroid imbalances and other hormone related conditions can trigger hair loss.
- Recommend they consult a physician for testing. Numerous screening tests can be done to rule out common medical conditions that can contribute to hair loss.
6. Junk Food Foods high in fat and sugar do not provide the body with the right amount of nutrients and do not help the body maximize its potential to grow healthy vibrant hair.
- Remind clients to limit junk food intake and to balance their diet with vitamins, fruits, and vegetables in each meal. A good rule of thumb to share is to "eat the rainbow" to help ensure they obtain vitamins and anti-oxidants to promote hair (and total body) health.
7. Medications and Treatments Drug-induced hair loss occurs when a patient is prescribed medications for a condition, and the medication has side effects that result in hair loss
- Tell patients to due their due diligence, research all medication prior to taking the prescription, read drug manufacturer’s warnings and possible side effects, and ask for alternative medications without the hair loss side effects, if possible.
8. Sleep Deprivation Severe lack of sleep can eventually lead to unhealthy hair by sighting a Telogen effluvium. Sleep Deprivation has been linked to show affects on the human body’s immune system, hormones levels, and physical appearance. These effects include hair loss, or poor hair growth.
- A good amount of sleep cannot reverse hair loss, but it can help prevent premature hair loss conditions. There are sleeping tests that evaluate if you are a good sleeper and if you sleep enough each night. Removing this stressor (lack of sleep) will help stop the Telogen effluvium.
9. Stress Stresses can insight hair loss via numerous mechanisms. Stress can start an autoimmune inflammatory type of hair loss like Alopecia Areata (AA), in which a person’s immune system attacks their hair follicles. Fortunately, this type of inflammatory hair loss is not necessarily permanent and usually grows back. A telogen effluvium, occurs when the hairs growth phase (Anagen phase) is prematurely shifted into its resting phase (Telogen phase) resulting in the shedding of hair. Physical stress, emotional/psychological stress (such as sleep deprivation) can cause hair to fall out as a result of Telogen effluvium. There can also be an occurrence of Trichotillomania, which is a condition in which a person pulls his or her own hair out in response to stress. Though it is an abnormal compulsion, it is still worth knowing and asking your doctor about.
- Some forms of hair loss can be addressed through simple health and lifestyle changes which place less stress on your body and your mind.
- Trichotillomania requires psychological intervention to help control and prevent it.
10. Diabetes The state of hair loss can start from the beginning of a diabetic condition if blood sugar levels are continuously uncontrolled and hormonal levels, such as insulin, are poorly maintained and have worsened as the disease advances. In this state, vital nutrients cannot be efficiently taken and utilized by the hair cells of the follicle and may lead to a shortened growth phase and a prolonged resting phase of the hair follicle. Bald patches and thinning hair start to get noticeable when the rate of shedding hair and the resting (Telogen) phase is faster than the rate of hair regrowth (Anagen) phase. As diabetics are more susceptible to infections of the skin and other related infections that affect the condition of the scalp, there is a higher possibility of experiencing hair loss due to inflammation as a result of the infection. Medications that are prescribed for diabetes can be a major factor in causing hair loss as a side effect.
- In order to keep clients hair from falling out as a result of this situation, the first thing they should do is to get the diabetes condition in check. By having blood sugar level under control and getting the body to operate in a relatively healthy level, they may actually keep the hair loss under control. Other causes like fungal infection on the scalp can be easily cured with medication and the right use of shampoos and hair products.
- Hair transplant is another option to suggest if the hair loss persists after trying all other less invasive methods. A hair transplant involves moving hair from permanent donor regions on the side and back of the scalp to the thinning areas. As hair restoration is a surgical procedure and involves some more minor risks and costs than other methods, suggest it as an option only if the hair loss seems permanent and other methods have failed to yield satisfactory results.