Hair Loss in Atlanta, GA
Men can experience hair loss as early as their 20s and women may see the initial signs of hair loss in their 30s. As treatment options have evolved, men and women now have many more choices for remedying thinning and baldness that are detrimental to their self-image. The Hair Transplant Center of Atlanta, led by Dr. Frederick T. Work, Jr., offers surgical, non-surgical and medical hair loss treatment for men and women who live in and around Buckhead, Vinings, and Sandy Springs.
What Are the Causes of Hair Loss?
Alopecia is the medical term that describes hair loss that occurs naturally. On average, up to 100 hairs are lost each day and replaced with new hair growth. Baldness and thinning occurs when the body does not generate an equivalent number of new hairs to replace the lost hairs. The body’s ability to replace lost hair is affected by many factors, such as hormonal changes, medical conditions, illnesses, genetics and certain medications. If you have permanent hair loss, the Hair Transplant Center of Atlanta can help you regain a fuller head of hair with today’s most advanced hair restoration treatments.
Determining the cause of your hair loss is critical to proper treatment and optimum results. Because hair loss can be triggered by a number of causes, Dr. Work performs a thorough examination of your scalp and hair during your consultation appointment. In some cases, he may biopsy the scalp tissue for proper diagnosis.
Are Only Men Affected by Hair Loss?
Hair loss has been traditionally associated with men, with female hair loss being a less discussed subject. As the topic becomes more mainstream, research has found that an estimated 40 percent of women live with balding and thinning hair.
How Much Shedding Is Normal?
Hair growth occurs in three distinct stages:
- Anagen during which the hair grows about a half inch per month in younger men and women, slowing as we get older.
- Telogen during which the hair is at rest.
- Shedding during which you lose about 50 to 100 hairs each day.
At any given moment, approximately 85 to 90 percent of your hair is in the anagen stage and the remaining 10 to 15 percent is in the telogen stage. After the resting period, the hair falls out of the follicle. The combination of resting and shedding lasts about two to six months. After the hair is shed, the follicle returns to the anagen stage where a new hair begins to grow.
Male/Female Pattern Baldness: Androgenic Alopecia
Unfortunately, the most common cause of hair loss in men and women stems from a factor that we cannot control — heredity. Known as androgenic alopecia, the genetic predisposition for hair loss can be attributed to the family history of your mother or father and there is no known cure for the condition. People with androgenic alopecia may experience the initial stages of permanent hair loss between the ages of 20 and 30 and the hair loss may or may not lead to complete baldness. Treatment is possible, though.
Hair loss due to androgenic alopecia is the result of excessive levels of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. At healthy levels, DHT supports hair growth. When you have a genetic predisposition for thinning and balding, the hair follicles in certain areas of your scalp become overactive in their absorption of DHT. The high levels of DHT cause the follicle to shrink and become less viable for hair development. The growth cycle of the hair is shortened, leading to thinner, more fragile hair. Over time, the hair follicle is severely damaged and unable to support new hair growth. A secondary effect of high DHT levels is that more of your hairs are in the resting and shedding stages relative to the percent of hairs in the growth stage. If new hair does develop from the damaged hair follicles, they are very light colored and thin, a condition known as “vellus hair.”
In advanced cases of balding, the blood supply to the areas with thinning hair is diminished. The scalp responds by contracting the skin and stimulating oil glands. The combination of these factors is why your scalp appears shiny in the areas of balding.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
In addition to androgenic alopecia, hair loss can be caused by many other factors, including:
- Alopecia areata describes a condition in which relatively large round, smooth spots develop in areas of hair loss. Men and women with the condition may experience hair loss on their body and scalp. The cause of alopecia areata is believed to be related to an immune response and some patients respond well to steroid treatments to slow hair loss and possibly regrow hair.
- Childbirth may trigger hair loss by increasing the number of hairs that are in the telogen stage. Women may see a significant increase in hair loss for the first one to six months after giving birth. In most cases, the hair growth cycle returns to a balanced state without treatment.
- Fevers associated with certain illnesses, such as the flu, may trigger an increase in hair loss. The hair loss may last one to three months after the illness, and treatment is typically not required.
- Thyroid disorders may cause hair loss, both in cases of an underactive and overactive thyroid. Treatment for the thyroid condition typically resolves the hair loss.
- Nutrition deficiencies may lead to hair loss, especially insufficient levels of protein and iron in your diet. As part of the survival response, your body will cease all non-vital processes, including hair growth. Anemia, or low iron levels, is common amongst women who experience heavy menstruation. Improving your eating habits and taking supplements can stop the hair loss and give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow healthy full hair.
- Certain medications have been shown to cause temporary hair loss. The most common conditions that are treated with these types of medications are hypotension, depression, heart conditions, arthritis and certain bleeding disorders. Even some supplements, such as vitamin A and selenium, may lead to temporary hair loss when taken in excess.
- Medications for cancer treatment interfere with the process that promotes hair development and growth at the cell level. Cancer patients typically lose approximately 90 percent of their hair over the three weeks following treatment. Once treatment with the cancer medications is complete, the hair regrows.
- Oral contraceptives may accelerate hair loss in women with a genetic predisposition. Your gynecologist or primary care physician can prescribe an alternative birth control pill to alleviate the hair loss.
- Major surgery triggers a shock response in the body that may lead to hair loss. Typically, hair growth returns after one to three months.
- Chronic illnesses often lead to hair loss that requires treatment. Even when the illness is well-managed, the body may continue to lose more hair than what is replaced through the growth cycle.
- Traction alopecia is caused by a consistent pulling of the hair, such as women who regularly wear their hair in a very tight ponytail. Traction alopecia leads to hair loss in the areas where the tension on the hair is greatest.
- Trichotillomania describes a condition in which an individual pulls out the hair in response to anxiety. Children are most prone to developing trichotillomania, but the habit may develop or continue in adulthood. The most common indication of trichotillomania is a stubbly regrowth of hair and the condition is often misdiagnosed as alopecia areata.
- Fungal infections known commonly as ringworm are contagious conditions that cause scaly, round patches on the scalp. The infection typically causes a donut-shaped area of hair loss. Ringworm can be prevented with proper hygiene. Once the condition is treated, the hair in the affected area grows back normally.
- Excessive processing, such as coloring, bleaching or relaxing, leads to hair that is brittle and breaks easily. Reducing the amount of processing will allow the hair to return to a healthy state. Even washing your hair too frequently or brushing the hair too rigorously will cause the hair to break. Dr. Work recommends that you be especially gentle with your hair when it is wet and more prone to damage.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome, affects six to 10 percent of women in the childbearing years. The condition is caused by hormonal changes and imbalances that lead to unexplained weight gain, increased hair development on the body and face, insulin resistance, irregular menstruation and male pattern baldness. The exact cause of PCOS is not known, but research indicates that high insulin levels may trigger the condition. Genetics may also play a role.
- High insulin levels, or hyperinsulinemia, have been linked to male pattern baldness in men and women who eat higher levels of starches and refined sugars. The early research may lead to recommendations for dietary changes and medications, such as Metformin and Rezulin, that could prevent or slow male pattern baldness by controlling insulin levels in the blood.
- Sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer and researchers in Australia are now discovering that high levels of exposure to UV radiation may also lead to thinning hair and balding. The studies are showing that sun exposure damages the hair follicles on the scalp and people with a history of hair transplants are at the greatest risk for sun-related hair loss. Dr. Work recommends that you apply sunscreen to your scalp and protect it with a wide-brimmed hat.
What Is the Cost for Hair Loss Treatment in Atlanta?
Because hair loss is caused by a wide array of conditions, hair loss treatment must be customized to the individual patient to achieve the best possible results. During your consultation, Dr. Work determines the cause of your hair loss and recommends the most effective solution. After the appointment, our patient coordinator explains the cost of treatment and our payment options, including personal check, cash, and major credit card. We also offer convenient financing options for hair loss treatment.
Dr. Work specializes in hair loss solutions for men and women who live in and around Buckhead, Vinings, and Sandy Springs. If you are looking to combat your hair loss with hair restoration treatment, please contact Dr. Work today at the Hair Transplant Center of Atlanta.