Get Proper Treatment for the Roots of Hair Loss
Hair loss can have a range of causes from genetics to overuse of chemicals, but to get to the root of the problem and take meaningful, effective action you need the help of a dermatologist. A hair stylist or barber can help you with styles to make the hair loss less obvious, but cannot usually treat the underlying causes of hair loss.
The exact course of treatment the dermatologist choses will depend on the true reason for the hair loss, which oftentimes requires biopsy evaluation for accurate diagnosis. Simply stimulating new hair growth might not be the most effective treatment in all cases. If, for example, there is an underlying illness or infection, you won’t stop the hair loss until that is treated.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
Your hair stylist or barber has probably seen many types of hair loss and maybe have some good insight or recognize some of your symptoms, but really if your hair is falling out you need to be checked by a qualified dermatologist with the education and testing facilities to find out exactly what is happening. Most hair loss can be put into a few broad categories.
- Scarring of the hair follicles can have a variety of causes, and needs medical treatment to see what can be done. In some cases, it may be that the follicles are so severely damaged they cannot grow healthy hair anymore, so it is important to try to detect this type of destruction early to avoid progression to involve large areas of the scalp; act early if you notice hair loss. Traction alopecia is an unfortunate side effect of wearing braided styles too tight. Braids are beautiful, but they should not hurt and you should not see little bumps on the scalp. Those are two giveaways that the hair has been pulled too tight. Traction alopecia can cause serious scarring of the hair follicles, which becomes irreversible.
- Infections, including fungal and bacterial infections such as ringworm, can cause hair loss too, and will often require prescription medication to clear. Bacterial infections are usually associated with tenderness and pain which can be associated with pimples, pus bumps, bleeding or crusting on the scalp. When a fungal infection occurs on the scalp there can be areas of dryness, scaling, flaking, bald spots and at times pus bumps and raised puffy red nodules. In some cases an individual can have a bacterial and fungal infection mixed together on the scalp at the same time.
- Some hair loss is caused by autoimmune disorders ranging from Lupus to other conditions such as Lichen Planopilaris and Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. Each of these conditions has specific features that show up on a biopsy to help clarify the diagnosis.
- Overuse of hair chemicals such as relaxers can also cause hair loss in the form of breakage and thinning. However,
To get to the root of your hair loss and learn what you can do to promote healthy hair growth, it is important to see a dermatologist. Everyone loses hair on a regular basis, and that is perfectly normal. But if you are losing more hair than is normal for you, developing prominent thinning, or seeing bald patches, contact a dermatologist sooner rather than later. For more information about Dr. Weaver’s book on hair loss, CLICK HERE