Stress just one of the causes of hair loss

General Hair Loss

In a society where tresses are a high focal point of any complete look, thinning hair and hair loss can be a source of fear and anxiety for many.

In a society where tresses are a high focal point of any complete look, thinning hair and hair loss can be a source of fear and anxiety for many.

Dr. Jennifer Smith, a dermatologist at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, said hair loss is most commonly related to recent changes in health such as illness or stress.

“The first thing they should do is look at their past few months of medical history and see if they noticed any changes in their health at all,” Smith said.

Childbirth, new medication and sudden weight loss are all health changes that could cause people to suffer hair loss, according to Dr. Smith.

“The hair loss won’t happen until several months after the fact,” Dr. Smith said, “due to the growth cycle of the hair.”

Aalon Salon owner Tommy Talley has encountered a good number of people suffering from hair loss in the 23 years he’s been styling hair.

“Typically, the first time I see somebody I won’t come right out and say it,” Talley said, “but if they’ve been coming to me I’ll casually bring it up. You know, ‘I notice you’re kind of thinning on top. Is it something that bothers you or are you comfortable with it?’”

From what he’s seen, Talley said men’s hair loss mainly stems from DHT – Dihydrotestosterone.

“What that does is, it builds up in the follicle and starts choking the hair off,” Talley said, “and then it falls out and the next hair that comes in is not quite as thick.”

For women, Talley said the main causes of hair loss have been stress-related.

“With women it can be environment, medication, thyroid problems, and excessive weight loss,” Talley said. “Really, I’d probably say more than anything else, stress is probably the main one.”

Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick to avoid hair loss.

“There’s not really a lot of prevention,” Dr. Smith said. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

She said the best thing people can do, as far as prevention goes, is to follow a good diet and take a multi-vitamin with biotin.

However, for those who have already begun to notice thinning of the hair, it can be hard to decide which product might work best.

Put quite simply, products work differently for different people, Dr. Smith said.

“For men, there’s Propecia, which is a pill,” Dr. Smith said. “Women’s treatment is a little more difficult.”

According to Dr. Smith, this is a result of how different hormones interact with hair growth. Treatments that work for men just aren’t as effective for women.

Talley said professional hair products such as Nioxin, Biogenal and Rogaine do work; they just might not work the same for everyone.

“I’ve had clients that have actually used the products,” Talley said, “and I’ve seen definite improvement.”

For those who are suffering from more serious hair loss, there are other options, such as hair transplant surgery, which Dr. Smith said could be successful in the proper patient.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, a hair transplant is performed by harvesting DHT resistant hair from the back of a persons scalp, and then transplanting it into the balding areas.

“They would need to go see a certified hair transplant specialist to decide if hair transplant surgery is right for them,” Dr. Smith said.

The nearest hair transplant surgeon certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is located in Dallas.

Talley said he has had clients who have undergone hair transplant surgery, each with differing results.

“The first guy it didn’t work very well at all and then another one of my clients did it and it worked amazing,” Talley said. “I mean it grew back and it looked healthy and everything.”

Ray Beair, owner of Apollo Hair Center in Lubbock, said Apollo does not do hair transplant surgery but is aimed towards those who have already suffered major hair loss.

“Apollo is more for the people who have already lost a significant amount of hair,” Beair said. “We do more cosmetic answers.”

According to the company’s website, Apollo has various hair-loss solutions, such as Apollo Cosmetic Reconstruction, that is said to restore thinning or balding areas on the head without giving up any existing hair.

Dr. Smith said many people could save a trip to the doctor, however, if they follow a good healthy diet, take control of stressors and stay aware of their medical history.

“Surgery, illnesses, and pregnancies can trigger hair loss,” Dr. Smith said, “that can save them a lot of worry and a trip to the doctor and that will fix itself. It will get better.”

If a person hasn’t experienced any recent health changes, Dr. Smith suggests going to a doctor and getting blood work done to see if the hair loss could be stemming from a more serious issue.

There are tricks for hiding thinning hair such as tucking hair behind the ears or blow-drying it 80 percent before putting any product in it, Talley said, but when it comes to hair loss products; he doesn’t recommend store bought ones.

“It’s hard to recommend anything that’s store bought because all they’re doing is mass producing for the masses,” Talley said. “Professional products go through a more rigorous testing and refining of the products so they’re more expensive because it cost more to make it.”


Previous Post
Exploring treatment options for hair loss
Next Post
Does the water in Dubai cause premature hair loss?