It can be easy to believe that hair loss is something that will never happen to you, but for the more than 56 million men and women in the United States who are currently experiencing it, thinning or receding hair represents an almost constant battle. The specialists at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research can offer a variety of hair restoration treatments, ranging from oral and topical prescription medications to hair transplantation surgery, but these efforts can often be hampered by the difficulty in diagnosing the underlying causes. Even though androgenetic alopecia, or common genetic pattern baldness, accounts for nearly 95% of all hair loss cases, there are several other, lesser known conditions that can result in serious hair loss.
What Is It? A temporary interruption in the hair’s natural growth cycle, often caused by severe physical trauma, like a serious accident or surgery, by prolonged changes in diet that rob the body of vital protein, or by the dramatic hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy or menopause.
What Does It Look Like? Telogen effluvium usually manifests as diffuse and sudden hair loss leading to general thinning across the entire scalp.
How Is It Treated? Telogen effluvium is usually only temporary. Once the cause of the external stress has been dealt with, hair growth typically returns to normal. Certain topical medication or red light laser therapy may help stimulate follicles and improve regrowth.
What Is It? An autoimmune condition, not unlike rheumatoid arthritis, that causes the body’s own immune system to attack hair follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss.
What Does It Look Like? Typically alopecia areata causes hair loss in smooth, round patches. In rare cases, this can progress to cover the entire scalp, a condition called alopecia totalis, or even the entire body, including scalp, eyebrows, lashes, beard, and body hair, a condition called alopecia universalis.
How Is It Treated? Alopecia areata can, in some cases, go into spontaneous remission, allowing hair to regrow normally. Because it is an autoimmune condition, it is usually treated with corticosteroids, and in some cases Minoxidil (Rogaine®) has helped to encourage hair regrowth.
What Is It? Occurs when any one of several rare disorders or the prolonged tension of tight hairstyles, like braids or buns, destroy hair follicles, permanently impairing their ability to produce hair altogether.
What Does It Look Like? Can present in a variety of different ways, depending on which follicles are affected and how they have been damaged. Hair loss is usually irregular and may be accompanied by pain, redness, and or swelling.
How Is It Treated? Unfortunately, once hair follicles have been destroyed they cannot be repaired. However, if the condition is caught early, progression can often be successfully slowed so that hair loss is kept to a minimum, often through the use of advanced platelet rich plasma treatments. In advanced cases, hair transplantation surgery that moves hair follicles from the back or sides of the head to replace those that have been lost generally proves to be a very successful method of treatment.
If you fear that you may be starting to experience hair loss, or would like to learn more about the various hair restoration treatments that we can provide, please feel free to contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research or The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss to schedule a consultation so that we might accurately diagnose and then treat your concerns. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.