Articles Tagged with: hair loss
How The Pandemic Is Causing Hair Loss

How the Pandemic is Causing Hair Loss

We are a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. We are a year into lockdowns, school closures, social distancing, and endless Zoom meetings. We are a year into the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, and we are a year into constantly worrying about our health and that of our loved ones, many of whom we haven’t seen since this all began. Oh, and during that time, we had months of social unrest, a contentious election, and an attempted insurrection.

That is a lot to deal with over a long, long time – and it is taking its toll. Experts have seen significant increases in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and, unsurprisingly, chronic stress. In turn, this is causing unwelcome yet predictable consequences, even in people who remain otherwise healthy and manage to steer clear of the virus. One of those consequences is hair loss.

Hair Loss Is A Symptom of COVID-19

For those who get sick with COVID-19, hair loss is a frequent phenomenon. As recently reported in the New York Times, hair loss has become a common symptom of the recovery process, usually occurring three to four months after a patient gets infected but sometimes happening sooner. 

Post-viral inflammation from the coronavirus, and the fever and severe stress it causes the body as it tries to fight back, can cause a temporary hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. This condition pushes more hair follicles than usual into the shedding phase of the hair growth life cycle.

Stress-Related Hair Loss Due To The Pandemic

But even people who don’t get sick from COVID-19 are experiencing telogen effluvium due to the constant stress, anxiety, and pressures caused by the pandemic. As a story by NPR summarized it: “a growing catalog of research shows that high levels of stress over an extended period of time can drastically alter physical function and affect nearly every organ system.”

Whether caused by COVID or other factors, stress has a clear connection to hair shedding and loss. Overproduction of stress hormones can promote adrenal fatigue, which occurs when the body produces too much cortisol and underproduces other necessary hormones like aldosterone and androgens, resulting in thinning or balding hair. 

Stress can also lead to hair loss because it often keeps people from sleeping as much as they need to. Insufficient sleep causes hair to stop growing, weaken, and eventually fall out more than it otherwise would. Even hair that doesn’t fall out will noticeably suffer, losing shine and volume.

If the times we live in are causing you undue stress, find a stress-reducing outlet.  Exercise, meditation, or yoga can help relieve some of the mental anguish that stress causes. But do whatever works for you, whether being with friends (safely), being alone with a book, walking your dog, or doing nothing at all.

The Miami Hair Institute Is Committed To Helping Our Patients Through These Difficult Times

These have been challenging times for all of us. At the Miami Hair Institute, we know how difficult and stressful things can be as we cope with the ongoing uncertainties and disruptions caused by COVID-19. If you are experiencing hair loss, that can make matters even more stressful. We remain committed to helping our clients address their hair loss issues safely and effectively.   To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

4 Reasons Behind Female Hair Loss

4 Reasons Behind Female Hair Loss

For decades, stand-up comedians have joked about the many differences between men and women. But it’s doubtful that they would get any laughs if they started riffing about female hair loss. While many cases of hair loss in women arise for the same reasons they do in men, such as stress or genetic predisposition, the distinct nature of female biology and life changes are behind a significant proportion of female hair loss problems.

While you will need a professional diagnosis by a hair restoration physician to determine the exact cause of your hair loss, it is likely that if you are noticing an increase in hair shedding or thinning areas on your scalp, it is due to one of these common reasons behind female hair loss:

Menopause

Women going through menopause produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone – two hormones critical for hair growth and follicle health. As these hormone levels decrease, hair growth slows while follicles become thin, brittle, and more vulnerable to damage.

Making matters worse, the decrease in hair-promoting hormones is accompanied by an increase in androgens – hormones that trigger follicle miniaturization on the scalp. This makes hair more susceptible to falling out.

The hormonal fluctuations of menopause also contribute to other mental and emotional conditions and lifestyle changes, which themselves can cause hair loss. These can include:

  • Stress
  • Emotional decline due to diminished self-confidence
  • Lack of exercise
  • Imbalanced nutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Damaging hairstyles
  • Medication

Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes wild fluctuations in hormones, as every mom knows. But these hormonal upheavals don’t end after delivery. The months that follow childbirth also see dramatic changes in hormone levels as the body works its way back to its normal state. This hormonal whiplash can take a toll on hair as well. 

Many women notice that their hair seems thicker and fuller during pregnancy than it did beforehand. This is because of elevated estrogen levels that increase the percentage of hairs in the growth cycle while simultaneously freezing hair in the resting phase of hair growth. After pregnancy, estrogen levels fall dramatically, and all the hair that was growing so impressively starts to fall out. While we all shed hair regularly, at a rate of around 80 hairs per day, the extent of postpartum shedding can raise that number to closer to 400 hairs a day.

The good news is that this type of hair loss is almost always temporary, and hair growth will return to normal in short order.

Traction Alopecia

If you apply constant tension to your hair follicles, you will damage, weaken, and ultimately kill them. This is called traction alopecia, and it affects women who wear certain types of hairstyles or engage in other destructive habits.

The five primary causes of traction alopecia are:

  1. Wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for extended periods.
  2. Trichotillomania, a psychological condition characterized by constant (and often unconscious) hair twisting, pulling, or plucking.
  3. Hairstyles in which hair is tightly wound for a prolonged period.
  4. Hairpieces and weaves that are affixed/clipped to the hair.

Anemia

Anemia involves an insufficient amount of iron in the blood and is one of the most common causes of dietary-related hair loss in women. Low iron levels restrict proper blood flow and reduce the amount of growth-stimulating nutrients that hair follicles need. Changes in diet and iron supplements can help, including eating foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and other leafy greens.

No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help

At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.

To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Hair Loss

Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Hair Loss

The internet is full of shampoos and conditioners which claim that they will restore or grow your hair. However, as with anything on the internet, you should be a bit skeptical before shelling out your hard-earned cash on “miracle” cures.

That said, while shampoos and conditioners may not grow hair, some products can make your hair appear thicker and fuller, minimize follicle damage, and increase the strength and health of your hair.

Shampoos To Look For

When looking for a shampoo to improve the appearance of thinning hair, look for the following:

  • Mild shampoos. Many shampoos are full of harsh chemicals and fragrances which can build up on your hair and damage the follicles. Try switching to mild, organic shampoos; even baby shampoo is a great alternative that will thoroughly clean your hair without the downside risks of hair damage.
  • Hair-thickening shampoos. When you see the words “hair-thickening” when used with a shampoo, it is a bit deceptive. Such products don’t actually thicken your hair follicles, but they can do a good job of making your hair appear thicker, at least temporarily. Hair-thickening or volumizing shampoos work by artificially swelling the hair shaft and depositing a thin film of the active ingredients on your follicles. Again, such effects are temporary and cosmetic; these shampoos don’t do anything to slow or stop hair loss.
  • Shampoo with natural preservatives. Like many consumer products, shampoos can contain chemical preservatives that, while extending the shelf-life of the shampoo, don’t extend your hair’s life and, in fact, may do the opposite. Look for shampoos and other hair-care products that contain natural preservatives, including essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, or rosemary, jojoba, Vitamin E, and grapefruit seed extract.
  • Shampoos containing castor oil and argan oil. Castor oil is effective at killing bacteria which can cause hair folliculitis and also has the added benefit of relieving pain and itching where applied. Argan oil is rich in natural phenols which are beneficial to the strength and resilience of hair follicles. 

Conditioners To Look For

When it comes to conditioners that can best improve the appearance of thinning hair, you want one that is both lightweight and very moisturizing, and full of ingredients that increase volume.

Look for conditioners that are rich in natural oils while avoiding ones with harsh sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate. The latter can strip hair of much-needed natural oils. If you have a particularly oily scalp, you may want to consider using an exfoliating formula that can unblock your follicles.

Conditioners infused with biotin (a vitamin that helps build protein) and proteins can add volume and reduce breakage, while leave-in conditioners can also further minimize damage and split ends.  

Call The Miami Hair Institute Today To Schedule Your Personalized Hair Loss Evaluation

Our world-renowned hair restoration physicians at the Miami Hair Institute diagnose and treat hair loss cases that can’t be reversed at home. We can help patients suffering from hair loss through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

If you’re ready to do something about your thinning hair, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

Another Reason to Stop Smoking: Hair Loss

Another Reason to Stop Smoking: Hair Loss

You don’t need us to tell you how bad smoking is for your health. You already know that it causes lung cancer, heart disease, and a whole range of other serious ailments. But even if the risk of such chronic health problems isn’t enough to convince you to quit, perhaps the knowledge that smoking can contribute to hair loss will do the trick.

Research has established a significant connection between the harmful chemicals and other materials in cigarette smoke and hair loss in men and women. Here are some of the ways that smoking can kill your otherwise healthy head of hair.

Damaged Hair Follicles

Tobacco smoke contains a grabbag full of substances that are just awful for the human body, including nicotine, caffeine, acetone, aluminum, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, butane, cadmium, tellurium, carbon monoxide, goroside, and cyanide. Of these, nicotine is the biggest villain in terms of hair loss, as it damages hair follicles, making them weaker and more prone to falling out.

Reduced Blood Flow

Smoking limits the flow of blood in your body and reduces the amount of essential nutrients that make their way to your hair follicles. Without an adequate supply of those nutrients, your follicles will grow weak instead of just growing, and will ultimately fall out.  

Increased DHT Levels

DHT is an androgen that helps to give men male traits. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. As a result, the hair growth cycle is shortened, and eventually, new hair stops growing. As such, individuals with higher DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss. Since cigarettes increase the production of DHT, smoking can make hair loss and a receding hairline more likely.

Increased Oil Secretion

The nicotine in tobacco can accelerate the body’s secretion of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that promotes the production of adrenaline. In turn, the increase in adrenaline can cause more oil to be secreted on the scalp. Too much oil can block hair follicles’ ability to get the nutrients they need and make them more prone to falling out. 

Schedule Your Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

Of course, smoking is hardly the only factor that contributes to hair loss. At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration surgeons use the most advanced hair transplant techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments to help patients restore their hair and self-confidence.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

More Women Are Opening Up About Their Hair Loss Issues

More Women Are Opening Up About Their Hair Loss Issues

Unfair and wrong as it is, society treats hair loss differently in women than it does in men. No one bats an eye when they see a bald man or one with thinning or receding hair walking down the street. But women who suffer from hair loss often experience a different level of embarrassment and even shame because of societal expectations about feminine appearance. Finally, however, women with hair loss issues are speaking out about what is a very common phenomenon, trying to remove the stigma and change perspectives about female hair loss.

Earlier in 2020, Rep. Ayanna Presley made headlines by speaking openly and proudly about her struggles with alopecia. More recently, a series of TikTok videos have gone viral in which a young woman from Oklahoma discusses her hair loss journey.

What Makes Hair Loss In Women Different

The emotional and psychological impact of hair loss in women and the way it is viewed by society at large are not the only things that distinguish male and female hair loss. Many hair loss cases in women share the same cause as most cases of hair loss in men: androgenetic alopecia. But the way women typically lose hair – in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp rather than in distinct patches – is different than for men. And women also shed hair for reasons specific to their gender, including the hormonal fluctuations that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Diffuse Hair Loss Patterns In Women

Androgenetic alopecia in men follows a familiar and predictable pattern. It begins with shedding in the front that causes gradual receding of the hairline. This progresses to more noticeable hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. Hair remains relatively robust in the back and sides of the head of most men who have pattern baldness.

In women, androgenetic alopecia usually progresses differently. Instead of losing hair in isolated areas, women tend to experience hair loss throughout the scalp. This diffuse pattern of hair loss in women makes it a challenge to safely extract the donor hair necessary for a transplant. In women, potential donor hairs share space with thinning areas. That means these hairs also share the same problems that caused neighboring hairs to fall out. That also means the follicles won’t likely survive and thrive if transplanted to a recipient area.

Female Hair Transplant Candidates

While a relatively small percentage of women are good candidates for hair transplant surgery, the procedure can help restore hair in women with certain types of hair loss issues. Specifically, women with the following conditions should discuss the possibility of a hair transplant with their hair restoration surgeon:

  • Women who have suffered hair loss due to traction alopecia.
  • Women who have had previous cosmetic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around the incision sites.
  • Women who have pattern baldness that manifests itself similarly to how it does in men and have a donor area unaffected by androgenetic alopecia.
  • Women who experience hair loss due to trauma.
  • Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that appears very similar to traction alopecia.

There Is No Shame In Hair Loss. But If You Want To Do Something About It, Call The Miami Hair Institute Today

We are glad to see that female hair loss issues are emerging from the shadows and that women are opening up about their struggles. While there is no shame in hair loss, many women want to find ways to address it.

For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence.

Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.

Can Silica Help Fight Hair Loss?

When it comes to fighting hair loss, keeping the hair you already have is easier than replacing it after it falls out. That means doing what you can to keep your follicles strong and resilient. Recent studies have suggested that silica may offer significant benefits to hair health and can play a role in slowing down or stopping hair loss.

You may understandably have no idea what silica is or how you could use it to fight hair loss; it’s not something most folks have incorporated into their health regimens. But that may change as more people learn about its potential upsides.

Helping Deliver More Essential Nutrients To Your Follicles

Silica is shorthand for a trace mineral called silicon dioxide (SiO2) composed of a combination of silicon and oxygen. This compound has been found to facilitate the delivery of essential nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. In turn, the more efficient provision of these nutrients makes hair less prone to breaking and shedding. One study of women with fine hair concluded that their strands gained significant strength after nine months of taking 10mg of silica each day.

Not only can silica play an important role in hair health, but it can also help improve skin tone and texture, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and repair and restore sun-damaged skin by promoting collagen production. Additionally, silica can make for stronger nails as well.

However, many people do not get enough silica as it gets flushed out by the kidneys rather than accumulating in the body. That is why silica supplements and extracts made from bamboo or the horsetail plant are widely available. Incorporating whole grains and leafy greens into your diet can up your silica intake as well.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

While silica may help you strengthen and keep your hair, it may not by itself be able to reverse hair loss or stop it completely in its tracks. At the Miami Hair Institute, our skilled physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases that can’t be reversed at home. We can help patients suffering from hair loss through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding

Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding

When you walk out of your front door, that doesn’t mean you’re never coming back. Similarly, if you notice increasing amounts of hair stuck in your brush or the drain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from permanent hair loss. Not all hair that falls out never comes back. Sometimes, hair falling out – hair shedding – is a temporary phenomenon that is no cause for concern. Other times, however, it can indicate a chronic hair loss condition in which hair loss is permanent. Knowing the difference between hair shedding and hair loss can help determine what, if anything, you can and should do to address the issue.

Hair Shedding

As a preliminary matter, even folks who seemingly have full, robust heads of hair lose between 50 to 100 hairs a day on average. This amount of hair shedding is normal, expected, and part of the regular hair growth cycle. But physical changes, life events, and lifestyle choices can cause hair to shed at a significantly higher rate.

These issues can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium in which hair follicles are shocked into a resting state. Since the follicles stop actively producing more hair to replace normal shedding, the thinning tends to happen in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp. If the factors causing the shedding can be addressed and resolved, the follicles often return to their normal healthy state and fully regrow without treatment or surgical intervention.

Common reasons for temporary hair shedding include:

  • Excessive stress
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Prescription medication
  • Recent surgery
  • Stopping birth control pills

Hair Loss

As opposed to shedding, hair loss involves conditions that stop hair from growing entirely. By an overwhelming margin, pattern baldness – androgenetic alopecia – is the most common cause of hair loss. Over 95 percent of hair loss cases involve this hereditary hair loss condition that affects over three million Americans each year. Androgenetic alopecia causes hair miniaturization, a phenomenon in which follicles become thinner and finer each time they go through the hair growth cycle. Eventually, those follicles will die and fall out.

Another common cause of hair loss is alopecia areata, which is a hair loss condition that involves a direct assault on your hair follicles by your own immune system and white blood cells. This attack shrinks the follicles and subsequently slows down hair growth. In turn, this leads to sudden hair loss in quarter-sized patches that can progress across the scalp rapidly and unpredictably.

If you apply constant tension to your hair follicles, they will eventually experience damage, weaken, and ultimately die and fall out. This is called traction alopecia.

No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help

At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.

To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

What is the Norwood Scale?

Hair loss caused by male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process that takes a man from a full head of hair to increased shedding, thinning areas, bald patches, and receding hairlines. Understanding and measuring that progression over time is a critical element in developing an effective hair restoration treatment strategy.

Known as the Norwood Scale, this measuring system has been used by hair restoration physicians, researchers, and patients for the past 50 years to provide a reference point for diagnosing the extent of baldness, exploring restoration options, and measuring the effectiveness of treatment. A different metric – the Ludwig Classification – is used to diagnose female hair loss.

The Norwood Scale is comprised of seven stages of baldness, each represented by a standard image and each one more pronounced than the last. From earliest to latest, those stages are:

  • Stage 1. No significant hair loss or receding of the hairline.
  • Stage 2. The hairline is slightly receding around the temples.
  • Stage 3. In this first stage where clinically significant hair loss appears, the hairline becomes deeply recessed at each temple, looking like an M, U, or V shape. The recessed spots are either totally bare or sparsely covered in hair.
  • Stage 3 vertex. The hairline remains at stage 2, but the top of the scalp (the vertex) starts to experience noticeable and significant hair loss.
  • Stage 4. More pronounced hairline recession than in stage 2, plus a sparsity of hair or lack of hair on the vertex. A band of hair that connects to the remaining hair on the sides of the scalp separates the two hair loss areas.
  • Stage 5. Still separated a bit, the two areas of hair loss are larger than they are in stage 4.
  • Stage 6. The balding area at the vertex connects with the balding at the temples, while the thin band of hair across the top of the head is gone or barely there
  • Stage 7. This is the most severe stage of male hair loss, with only a band of hair going around the sides of the head.

When You Notice the First Signs of Hair Loss, Take the First Step Towards Fixing It

For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence.  Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair & Skin Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.

Does Washing Your Hair Everyday Cause Hair Loss?

Maybe a friend told you. Perhaps you read something on the internet about it. No matter what you may have heard about shampooing and hair loss, the truth is this: washing your hair every day – with the right shampoo will not cause you to lose your hair. In fact, keeping your hair clean and removing product, oil, pollutants, and other buildup can actually improve your hair and scalp health.

Like our faces, our scalps produce oil, also called sebum. In the right quantity, sebum can keep our skin moisturized and give our hair a healthy shine and soft texture. But too much sebum can make the scalp a breeding ground for the malassezia furfur yeast that is a primary cause of dandruff.

Similarly, the mousse, gels, hairspray, and even dry shampoo we use in our styling routines can buildup on the scalp, just like makeup can accumulate on the face if not adequately cleaned. This layer of residue can clog hair follicles, which can ultimately lead to hair thing and loss. Those who only shampoo once a week or so are particularly susceptible to this problem.

Washing your hair frequently can improve your hair health by clearing away all of that debris and giving your follicles room to grow and thrive. We all lose an average of 80-100 hairs a day as part of the natural hair growth cycle. The hairs we shed get replaced by new follicles. Regular shampooing helps get these falling follicles out of the way to make way for the new ones.

One reason folks may have a mistaken impression about shampooing every day is that they worry that doing so will dry their hair out, making the follicles more prone to damage and breakage. This is not caused by shampoo, per se, but by shampoos that contain too many harsh cleansers or chemicals. Of course, a shampoo that doesn’t provide enough cleaning agents won’t do you much good either. Most everyday shampoos do an excellent job of threading the needle between the two extremes, with mild cleansers that take care of business without leaving your hair dry or damaged.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

While washing your hair every day won’t cause hair loss, plenty of other things – like your genes – can. If you are concerned about your hair loss and are ready to do something about it, we invite you to schedule a hair loss evaluation at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute today.  To receive a personalized assessment and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss Pharmaceuticals in 2019

Hair Loss Pharmaceuticals in 2019

There are many roads you can travel to reach your hair restoration destination. Which path offers the best way to restoring your hair to its full, youthful look will depend on your specific condition as determined by an experienced hair loss physician. It may involve hair transplant surgery, low-level laser therapy, or cutting-edge treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem-cell hair growth.

But many patients who want to stop their hair loss and regrow the hair that has vanished can get outstanding results with prescription medication. Since Minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine®, was approved for the treatment of hair loss in the 1980s, pharmaceutical options for the treatment of pattern baldness in men and women have expanded, offering patients non-surgical avenues to address their hair loss issues.

Here are the most popular and commonly prescribed pharmaceutical hair loss treatments in 2019:

Minoxidil

The granddaddy of hair loss medications, Minoxidil works by converting vellus hairs –  short, fine body hairs –  to terminal hairs, which are fully developed “regular” hairs. This not only increases the size of hair follicles that have been affected by pattern baldness but also extends the growth phase of the growth cycle, resulting in thicker hair.

Minoxidil is typically applied topically to the scalp once or twice each day depending on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation. Application is easily done at home.

Individual users of Regular Strength Rogaine®  report success rates of 30-40% while users of Extra Strength Rogaine have observed success rates closer to 50-60%.

Minoxidil is not a cure for baldness. Rather, its real benefits are stopping or slowing down hair loss.

Finasteride (Propecia® and Proscar®)

Finasteride’s appeal is its effectiveness at maintaining existing hair for men with pattern baldness. 83% of men studied retained their original follicle count, and 64% experienced re-growth after two years.

Finasteride drugs like Propecia keep hair from shedding by inhibiting the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring derivative of testosterone. While DHT assists with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty, research has also linked it to hair loss. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes new hair to stop growing. As such, individuals with elevated DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss.

Reducing DHT levels is what makes DHT blockers such as Propecia and Proscar so effective. Some studies have shown that Propecia can lower DHT levels by as much as 70%.

It is critical to note that because finasteride and DHT blockers like Propecia affect the hormone system, pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should not handle the medication as it may increase the risk of birth defects in male babies.

Dutasteride (Avodart®)

Like finasteride, dutasteride is a DHT-blocker. While the FDA ultimately approved finasteride in 1997 for the treatment of male pattern baldness, dutasteride has yet to receive such approval. But that may come soon.

The lack of FDA approval of dutasteride for hair loss treatment belies the fact that it works really well as a DHT blocker, meaning it may be equally effective at slowing the progression of pattern baldness. One study found that dutasteride blocked 98.4% +/- 1.2% of DHT at a 5mg daily dose, compared to 70.8 +/- 18.3% with the same amount of finasteride.

Dutasteride not only is effective at slowing hair loss, but it may also be better at promoting hair growth. A 2006 study of 416 men between 21 and 45 years-old found that over a 12-24-week period, dutasteride produced better hair count results than finasteride.

Spironolactone (Aldactone® or CaroSpir®)

Approved by the FDA to treat fluid retention caused by a range of conditions such as Iiver disease and kidney disease, spironolactone is also used to treat other ailments beyond its approved use, including the treatment of high blood pressure, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism. In recent years, physicians have added female pattern hair loss to this list of “off-label” uses for spironolactone, usually after other medications or treatments haven’t worked for a patient.

Spironolactone is an “aldosterone receptor antagonist.” The “antagonist” part refers to the medication’s effectiveness at slowing down and reducing the body’s production of androgens. These male sex hormones, also found in women, are associated with hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. Reducing androgen levels can stop the progression of hair loss and even can encourage hair regrowth.

Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute to Learn More About Pharmaceutical Hair Loss Options

If you’re ready to do something about your thinning hair and want to learn whether medication offers a viable solution for restoring your hair, contact the Miami Hair & Skin Institute online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

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