Thinning hair can have devastating results in both men and women that includes depression, anxiety and avoidant tendencies. And worrying about your hair can worsen the problem. Stress and emotional turbulence can hasten hair loss that then leads to a vicious cycle of more worry and more hair loss.
Predominantly thought to be a male problem, women make up a significant percentage of Americans suffering from hair loss. Forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they are forty years of age.
Unfortunately society has forced both men and women to suffer in silence. Since hair loss doesn’t appear life threatening, the medical community pays little attention to it. Complaints of hair loss are often minimized and people are often told that it’s something they have to live with. Being told to ‘live with it’ does nothing to alleviate the psychological impact and feeling unattractive can be just as devastating as a serious disease and can ultimately affect physical health.
A study out of the University of Pennsylvania a few years back found that men with male-pattern baldness or spotty patches of hair on their head were actually seen as weaker than those with a full head of hair or those who bit the bullet and went for the completely bald look. For women, however, going completely bald isn’t usually an option.
Types of Hair Loss
- Familial – This is the most common type. This is when you see your balding father in old photos and realize that that’s you now. It can also happen to women as well. With women it’s not so much as bald spots as general thinning of hair.
- Hormonal changes – Pregnancy, child birth, menopause or thyroid problems are the most common.
- Medications – Medications used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure can cause hair loss.
- Radiation therapy to the head – While it will grow back, it may not grow back the same as it was before.
- A very stressful event – This will generally happen several months after a significant physical or emotional shock. The good thing is that this type of hair loss is temporary.
- Certain hairstyles and treatments – Excess hairstyling or excessive strain on the hair – like cornrows or pigtails – can cause ‘traction alopecia.’ Hot oil treatments and perms can cause inflammation to the hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, it could be permanent.
Regardless of gender, if you’re noticing more hair in the drain and aren’t willing to shave your head quite yet there are options.
- Over the counter specialized shampoos and conditioners – At Strong Health and Wellness our favorite line is the Actiiv line of thickening hair products.
- Prescription hair regrowth solutions with combinations of different medications
- These are usually custom made by compounding pharmacies and will usually contain minoxidil, finasteride and other substances known to help hair regrowth.
- Laser Light Cap – also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). LLLT uses non-invasive, pain-free light technology to stimulate hair follicles and induce regrowth of thicker, fuller hair. It’s both safe and effective. The National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials demonstrated that LLLT safely stimulated hair growth in both men and women.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections into the scalp. Your own platelets are harvested and processed. Growth factors are contained within the platelets that are then are released when injected into the scalp. The release of these factors begins the healing process at the cellular level. It stimulates hair growth locally and improves the shaft, stem and caliber of the hair – making your hair stronger and shinier (less splitting and breakage).
- PEP factor – A uniquely formulated protein used for skin and hair rejuvenation. It contains the world’s first authentic, bioidentical, basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF). bFGF regulates a range of various biological functions – including the regeneration of tissue like skin and hair follicles. This formulation is reconstituted in a copper solution, which helps in preventing further hair loss, and is microneedled into the scalp where it stimulates the regeneration of hair follicles.
At Strong Health and Wellness, we believe in a multimodal approach to hair loss (among other things). For best results we will recommend some type of growth factor, either PRP or PEP factor, in conjunction with LLLT and hair regrowth solution applied to the scalp twice a day. This is not an overnight process, most patients will see a significant increase in hair in a few months.
If you’re ready to talk to someone about your hair loss, Give us a call at (262) 373-0169 and make an appointment. Then you can decide which treatment choice would be best for you.