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Am I at Risk for Hair Loss?

Am I at Risk for Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be traumatic and occurs in both men and women. Although some are able to embrace baldness, most feel a huge loss of self-esteem and there’s no shortage of scam treatments out there taking advantage of those losing their locks.  So much so, that the the hair loss treatment industry earns  $3.3 billion annually.

The marketplace is flooded with empty promises and expensive products that make it hard to know where to turn and who to trust. That’s why Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, offers medically proven, evidenced-based treatments that are tailored to address your precise condition.

During your visit, Dr Mittelbronn will discuss the circumstances regarding your hair loss and perform an examination and any testing necessary to help determine the cause(s).  Through these, he can help answer your questions, including:

Because many causes of hair loss can be permanent, it is important that you don’t ignore any early signs.  If you begin to address your problem early, you have the best chances of keeping your hair in the long run. As part of this early action, it is always a good idea to understand if you have any risk factors so you can take any preemptive measures available.

Risk factors for hair loss

The more risk factors that apply to you, the greater your chances of losing some or all of your hair. Here are the facts:

Demographics

Certain innate characteristics can make you more susceptible to hair loss, such as:

Overall, men tend to experience alopecia (the medical term for all types of hair loss) more often than women. Women who do lose their hair can often blame hormone fluctuations due to pregnancy or menopause.

And as you age, all your body’s systems naturally slow down, including hair growth, so you may notice less hair or thinning hair.

Cancer treatments

If you’re undergoing cancer treatments, such as radiation and/or chemotherapy, it’s likely you’ll lose your hair quickly — sometimes within a few weeks. This happens because the medications stop your hair from growing and it becomes so thin that it eventually breaks off below the skin.  

Although unproven, there are some strategies that may help slow the loss like wearing a cooling cap surrounding your chemo treatments or trying one of several topical agents, but there’s no guarantee. 

Fortunately hair lost due to cancer treatments is usually only temporary and hair typically begins regrowing a few months after your chemotherapy is completed.

Genetics

If hair loss runs in your family, you could be destined to follow suit. Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness occur in part when you inherit genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink. Men usually notice a receding hairline and significant loss at the crown, while women usually notice their midline part gets wider and they see more scalp.

With the right treatments, it’s possible to slow this process and maybe even regrow your lost hair, especially if you get started early.

Illness 

Some medical conditions, like thyroid disorders and anemia, as well as severe illness can lead to hair loss.  In addition, certain autoimmune conditions can cause hair loss, such as lupus and lichen planus.  Another, called alopecia areata, is due to the immune system directly attacking your hair follicles themselves! The good news is that regrowth is often possible, however this depends greatly on the condition, severity, and especially how long it has been left untreated.

Stress

If you live or work under high stress, you may be at risk for hair loss. Significant chronic stress, like a demanding job or financial struggles, and intense acute stress, such as childbirth and undergoing surgery, can cause your hair to shed in a condition called telogen effluvium. Fortunately, this type of hair loss usually improves a few months after the stress is over.

Hair care

If you regularly use hair products that damage your hair and hair follicles, such as perms, color, relaxants, and hot combs, you’re at risk for hair loss. 

Certain styles can also cause hair to fall out, including tight ponytails, braids, and cornrows.

Hormonal imbalances

Spikes and dips in your hormones put you at risk for hair loss. Whether during pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause, women are especially susceptible to this type of hair loss.

A particular hormone-related condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, along with rare hormonal cancers are other potential causes of hair loss in women.

These are just a few of the many things that can put you at high risk for hair loss. 

A few other causes include:

If any of these conditions apply to you, hair loss may be in your future or may have even begun already.  But knowledge is power, and knowing your risks can help you avoid hair loss, slow it down, or even reverse the process.  However it is imperative you get evaluated as soon as possible so you can start treatments early.

Depending on the cause and other factors, Dr. Mittelbronn may recommend lifestyle changes, addressing underlying medical problems, supplements, topical or systemic medications, medical device therapy, or even hair transplant. 

To find out more about your risks and the steps you can take to keep your hair, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mittelbronn today by calling us at 817-369-8098. 

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