The Multifactor Causes of Hair Loss –
Hair loss affects men and women of all ages, and can dramatically undermine one’s self confidence and satisfaction with their appearance. And while most people simply associate thinning hair with aging, the causes of hair loss are much more complex than just getting older. Hair loss is actually “multifactorial” – meaning that there is not just one single cause of hair loss in most individuals. Hair loss can be the result of genetics, stress, nutrition, disease, and/or hormones – or any combination of these factors.
In this article board certified NYC dermatologist Gary Goldenberg discusses the many factors that can cause hair loss in men and women.
Genetics & Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss is indeed the kind that is inherited. Medically called androgenetic alopecia, “male pattern baldness” is a genetic condition that causes men and women to lose their hair gradually, with hair loss that increases with age. About 80 million men and women in the United States suffer from this type of hereditary hair loss.
Women with this type of genetic hair loss typically experience a widening of the part in the front, center of the scalp – as well as overall thinning. Men with male pattern baldness see bald patches on the head that are typically characterized by hair thinning in an “M” pattern on the temples and crown.
Alopecia areata is another more rare hereditary condition, characterized by complete hair loss. Although this type of hair loss is much more uncommon, it appears to be polygenic, meaning it is caused or influenced by multiple genes.
Hormones & Hair Loss
However, the very common androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) – is both genetic and hormonal. Starting at puberty, androgen hormones shorten the anagen phase of hair growth, resulting in shrinking of the hair follicles (follicular miniaturization) – leading to gradual hair thinning.
Women can also blame other types of hormone deficiencies for noticeable hair loss. Decreasing estrogen production can cause temporary hair loss after giving birth. And estrogen decline during and after menopause can also result in thinning hair.
Stress & Hair Loss
Physical stress – including surgery, pregnancy, malnutrition, exposure to toxins, and more – can also result in or accelerate hair loss. And, many people are surprised to learn that extreme psychological stress – such as divorce, death of a loved one, or job loss – can also result in hair loss, too.
Stress directly on the hair follicles, such as tight braids or a pulled-back “pony-tail” hairstyle, can also cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.
Nutrition & Hair Loss
Individuals who are not getting sufficient amounts of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in their diet can also suffer from loss of hair. For example, insufficient protein in the diet can damage healthy hair, as well as inhibit the body’s ability to build new hair follicles.
In cases of hair loss due to dietary deficiencies, nutritional supplements can often help restore hair growth or prevent further hair loss. We offer these highly effective hair regrowth supplements at Goldenberg Dermatology in NYC.
Disease & Hair Loss
Many medical conditions can also result in hair loss. Alopecia areata is one autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in small patches of baldness on the scalp as well as the body. If left untreated it can progress to complete loss of scalp hair and/or loss of all body hair.
Certain scalp infections like ringworm, or diseases that cause scarring (such as lichen planus or lupus) can result in hair loss as well. Hair loss can also be a side effect of the medications used to treat certain medical conditions, such as cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis.
Diagnosing & Treating Hair Loss
Since everyone’s individual cause of hair loss is different, the most effective form of treatment will vary from person to person depending on the cause. For this reason, seeing a dermatologist as soon as hair loss begins – to diagnose your specific type of hair loss – is the best course of action.
By taking a careful history, a close examination of the appearance of the hair loss, and conducting a few simple tests, NYC dermatologist Gary Goldenberg can quickly narrow down the potential cause(s) of your hair loss – and recommend the most effective treatment for your specific hair loss condition.
At our NYC dermatology office we offer stem cell hair restoration and PRP hair loss treatment, topical medications, nutritional supplements, and a wide variety of other cutting-edge solutions that can effectively combat the frustration of hair loss.
Hair Loss Diagnosis & Treatment – NYC
Don’t waste precious time randomly experimenting with various over-the-counter hair loss treatments that may not be right for your specific cause of thinning hair. Schedule an appointment and let the hair loss experts at Goldenberg Dermatology help you determine the specific cause of your hair loss – so you can obtain the best treatment(s) for your unique hair loss condition!