doctorExam - Preventing Hair Loss
According to Johns Hopkins, there are 6 simple reasons for thinning hair and hair loss in both men and women. The good news is that many hair loss conditions can be treated and prevented.

There are many reasons you may find your hair thinning or falling out that can be resolved by your doctor and successfully treated. According to a recent article by Dr. Howard Levy, M.D. from Johns Hopkins, the main causes of thinning hair for both men and women are normal, common, and easy enough to diagnose and, perhaps, even treat successfully.

Hairstylists are very intuitive with their clients so ask yours for help as the first line of defense if you notice hair thinning or shedding. Many hairstylists find that they truly enjoy helping clients with thinning hair or that they’ve had a personal experience with the issue themselves. Elline Surianello, the owner of LeMetric Hair Center Inc. in New York City, started her hair replacement center after suffering her own experiences with alopecia areata and realizing there were no services to help women with hair loss and thinning issues. “Back in the 1980’s there was nothing out there except wigs,” she says. Shelly Beatty, owner and master stylist at Stylemakers Salon in Fort Worth, Texas, suffered hair loss after thyroid surgery and also searched for solutions. “In some cases, you can revive follicles before they die by treating hair loss right away. Don’t wait,” advises Beatty.

If you notice marked signs of hair loss and are concerned, a general rule of thumb would be to head straight to your physician and a dermatologist to rule out any serious health issues. That said, there are many changes you can make in your daily routines and habits that will improve the health and look of your hair.

If you notice hair thinning and fall-out ask yourself some tough questions and be honest with your answers!

Q: Are you aware of any hormonal abnormalities or are you already on any medication for hormonal issues?

Many different hormone fluctuations, abnormalities, birth control regimens and medications can be associated with hair loss so if you can see no other reason why hair loss would be occurring, check in with your primary care physician for blood testing, advises endocrinologist Geoffrey Redmond, M.D. who specializes in hormonal abnormalities and hair loss.

Q: How do you treat your hair on a daily basis?

Tight ponytails and headbands, chemical hair treatments, improper use of heated styling tools can all cause breakage, called local trauma. Discuss your daily regimens with your hairstylist who can identify local trauma by the patterns of breakage and teach you how to avoid and correct the problem. If they can’t help you, they will refer you to a physician or dermatologist who can.

Q: Are you currently taking any medications?

Many medicines have a side-effect of hair loss, with steroids and chemotherapy the most obvious culprits among a very long list. Check with your physician if you notice hair loss, especially when starting a new medication regimen.

Q: Do you feel completely stressed-out?

Stress can affect your hair the same way it affects other major organs like the heart. Physical traumas, as well as mental traumas, can cause hair loss and thinning and many times cause hair problems three to six months after a traumatic event has occurred. Try to identify if this is the case or if your life is just too busy and try to make some changes.

Q: Is something going on in your scalp you are unaware of?

Your first line of defense here is your hairstylist who can examine scalp and hair follicles and quickly identify product build-up, excessive sebum production, and fungal or other infections. These conditions can all reduce cell respiration at the bulb because sticky styling products not removed well enough attracts dirt and bacteria that plugs up pores and follicles leading to serious infections. If your hairstylist notices any signs of infection, he will likely refer you to a dermatologist for treatment to resolve the situation.

Q: Are you noticing your hair is getting thinner and shedding more than normal?

A single hair’s natural cycle is for it to grow for several years, then naturally fall out and be replaced by new growth. If hair fall-out exceeds hair growth then thinning or baldness may become noticeable. Hair thinning is also a common sign of aging as natural hormones reduce in production and can be seen by the pattern of the thinning. Women are predisposed to general thinning while men have genetically predisposed receptors located in certain areas which results in male pattern baldness.