Hair loss causes are varied, spanning from genetics to illnesses, hormonal imbalances to certain medications. A few common types of hair loss are androgenic alopecia and telogen effluvium. Androgenetic alopecia is a condition resulting from a genetic predisposition to the effects of DHT, an androgen or male sex hormone, on the hair follicles, while telogen effluvium is diffuse hair loss resulting from stress on your body. Our leading hair loss specialists at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration believe that in order to successfully understand and subsequently treat your hair loss, you must first consider all possible contributing factors. Included in these factors is stress, which can wreak havoc on hair growth in a number of ways.
There are three phases of hair growth: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), and telogen (resting phase). During the anagen phase, new hair is formed and continues to grow. The hair then moves to the transitional catagen phase, where the hair stops growing. When the hair growth cycle goes into the final telogen stage, the hair remains in the follicle and subsequently falls out about 3 to 5 months later. When we enter extremely stressful situations, the body can trigger a large number of hairs to move into the telogen phase and about 3 months later, the hairs begin to fall out in large numbers. Shedding occurs in a mass of telogen hairs, recognizable by the small white bulbs of keratin you see at the end of a hair detached from the scalp. During telogen effluvium, there is a diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp, but most people notice more loss on the top.
In order to begin to determine if you may be experiencing telogen effluvium, evaluate your recent experiences. Have you recently experienced the death of a loved one or divorce? Have you recently gained or lost a significant amount of weight? Prolonged, highly traumatic events can trigger this, though once they cease, you are likely to see hair regrowth over time and daily shedding decrease. In many stressful situations, diet is neglected. If your diet is neglected and you consume an insufficient amount of protein for more than a couple of months, you will likely see hair growth slow as the body rations protein. This can be fixed by adding healthy proteins back into your diet, such as meats, eggs, nuts, beans, and fish. In general, there is no specific treatment for this sudden hair loss condition. With time and decreased stress, the hair will naturally regrow. This is similar to the hair loss seen after childbirth, which takes about 6 months to peak (maximum loss) and another 6 months to resolve and regrow.
In order to gain full understanding to appropriately diagnose hair loss, board-certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis discuss with patients the numerous life factors that could contribute to their hair loss. To find the right treatment for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation. To learn more about hair loss, be sure to connect with The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.