How to Prevent Hair Loss

If you’ve been noticing more hairs collecting in your brush or shower drains, you may be concerned about hair loss. Everyone sheds hair continuously, and it’s normal to lose 50 to 100 strands per day. Here’s what to do if your hair loss seems more pronounced.

What Constitutes Hair Loss?

Hair goes through normal growth cycles. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, hair typically grows for several years, then rests for a few months, sheds, and begins growing again. The resting stage is known as “telogen.” When hair enters the resting stage prematurely, it’s known as telogen effluvium. This condition can be chronic or acute.

Acute telogen effluvium is usually a result of some sort of shock to the body. Childbirth, severe illness or surgery, high fever, and psychological stress are possible triggers. Certain medications, nutritional deficiencies, and problems with the thyroid gland can also cause temporary hair loss. Characterized by hair falling out in clumps, this issue usually occurs two months after the initial shock, but decreases within six to eight months.

Chronic hair loss, on the other hand, may have underlying medical or genetic causes. For example, hereditary pattern baldness is marked by a receding hairline and/or thinning hair at the top of the head. While it’s more common in men, it can also happen in women. There are also fungal infections and autoimmune diseases that can cause hair to fall out.

No matter its underlying cause, the following symptoms indicate hair loss beyond the normal levels of everyday shedding:

  • Bald patches
  • Pain or itching on the scalp
  • Receding hairline
  • Widening part
  • Loose hair strands in your comb, hairbrush, or drains

What Should You Do if You Notice Hair Loss?

The good news is that many causes of hair loss can be managed when caught early enough, and further loss can usually be slowed or prevented. If the hair loss is due to a lifestyle or behavioral factor, such as taking certain medications or nutritional imbalances, addressing the underlying cause may be enough to restore hair growth. If hair loss has been triggered by a certain stressor, as in the case of postpartum hair loss, no treatment may be needed; normal hair growth cycles are usually restored within 18 months.

To prevent further hair loss caused by a factor such as age or something hereditary, regrowth may be possible with treatment when caught early. For example, topical treatments may be applied to the scalp to encourage regrowth and prevent further loss. There are also prescription drugs available, including oral medications, to slow hair loss.

Depending on the severity and cause, some people may also opt for hair restoration procedures. For example, platelet-rich plasma treatment for hair loss uses the body’s own natural growth properties — concentrated platelets — to promote hair regrowth at the cellular level. This simple, nonsurgical procedure is an in-office treatment that requires a blood draw followed by application to the affected area via microneedling.

As leaders in aesthetic dermatology, Olansky Dermatology can help slow the effects of hair loss and increase hair density to help you look and feel your best. If you’re concerned about hair loss and would like to discuss your options with one of our providers, book an appointment online or call (404) 355-5484.