Articles Tagged with: stress-related hair loss
prevent male pattern baldness

Can You Prevent Male Pattern Baldness?

prevent male pattern baldnessMany individuals are concerned about going bald later in life. To some degree, male pattern baldness (MPB) affects two-thirds of men by the time they reach age 35. By age 50, around 85 percent suffer noticeable thinning or balding. The odds of developing hair loss at an older age are high – so what can you do to prevent male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia?

Androgenic alopecia is an often devastating and emotionally grim condition to cope with, despite how prevalent it is among men today. Although certain medications, immune problems, cancer treatments and traumas can cause hair loss, male-pattern baldness is hereditary. Those who experience MPB have follicles that are inherently sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that causes hair follicles to miniaturize. Once these follicles shrink to a severe extent, regrowth is challenging. But, early intervention can slow or stop the miniaturization process altogether.

Consider the following treatments which can help prevent male pattern baldness progression.

Minimize Your Stress

Although you can’t change your genetics, you can adapt your lifestyle to avoid circumstances that exacerbate hair loss. Serious stress or emotional trauma can render hair follicles inactive. Unlike normal hair growth, more hairs enter the resting phase (catagen) at once and fall out (exogen) in larger numbers about three months following a tense event. If you’re already predisposed to male pattern baldness, high stress interferes with whatever partial hair growth remains. Managing anxiety through meditation and a healthy work-life balance lessens your odds of abrupt shedding. Trying to prevent male pattern baldness from escalating is a stressful situation alone. If you already suffer from noticeable hair loss, seeking treatment early on reduces negative emotions by restoring self-confidence.  

Improve Your Physical Health

Changing your diet and starting an exercise regimen has a profound impact on your internal health, which can help prevent male pattern baldness severity. Studies show that older men with a higher cardiorespiratory fitness level release almost half as much cortisol as men who aren’t in healthy form.¹ Cortisol is the stress hormone believed to be linked with sudden hair shedding. When it comes to non-hereditary hair loss – which can strike alongside male pattern baldness and make matters worse – maintaining healthy hormone levels with exercise and good nutrition can enable healthy growth.

Create a Better Environment for Hair Growth

Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, is a non-invasive technique used to stimulate underactive hair follicles. Through phototherapy, laser diodes interact with the scalp to promote better blood flow, helping follicles function properly. In some instances, LLLT helps prevent male pattern baldness from advancing. At-home laser caps can be used alongside other hair loss treatments, including prescriptions and topical foams. LLLT can also be used in conjunction with hair transplant surgery to reduce inflammation and nourish follicles for better results. Hair is stronger, thicker and more resilient to everyday damage.

Despite your genetics, hair loss does not have to become your destiny. To learn more about how to prevent male pattern baldness from worsening, or to discuss treatment options, call the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222. Through understanding, education and highly-effective treatment methods, we are determined to help patients attain a fuller head of hair and positive outlook on life.

 

¹ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141970

female hair loss

The Emotional Toll of Female Hair Loss

female hair lossAlmost 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers are women. Despite the astounding statistics, male pattern baldness is more commonly discussed – and aesthetically accepted – than female hair loss. Famous actors like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel make balding look fashionable. Women, on the other hand, rarely opt to shave their scalps, even while suffering with thinning or shedding locks. Instead, female hair loss sufferers are left with widening parts, limp locks and a diminished sense of self-confidence.

Men who suffer from hair loss can certainly suffer a blow to their self-esteem. For women, who often favor long and thick hairstyles, hair loss adds further psychological and emotional damage. Hopefully, better education and widespread discussion can normalize female hair loss and help patients find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone – and that treatment is available.

How Does Female Hair Loss Occur?

Female hair loss due to androgenic alopecia transpires due to the miniaturization of hair follicles, which causes strands to appear shorter, thinner or more delicate and prone to breakage. Over time, miniaturization encourages hair follicles to discontinue production, thus limiting the overall active follicle count on the scalp. Genetic hair loss in women rarely results in total baldness. Women who suffer from total baldness may have alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, or chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects roughly 30 million American women. Female pattern baldness is the most prevalent cause of progressive hair loss in women. The symptoms of FPHL are a widening part and thinning crown, generally differing from the receding hairline seen in male patients.

Like male pattern baldness, female hair loss is understood to be a genetically predetermined condition. But, other risk factors include the following:

Underlying Illness

Lupus, anemia, diabetes, ringworm, polycystic ovary syndrome and thyroid dysfunction are all commonly associated with hair loss, which is why visiting a hair loss specialist or physician to diagnose your condition is critical. Hair loss is often the first sign of a more serious illness, so ruling out other motivating medical conditions helps physicians determine ideal treatment options while minimizing further health damage. 

Menopause, Pregnancy or Post-Partum

Hair loss due to aging can worsen with menopause, particularly when considering the massive hormonal changes during the change of life. Estrogen levels fall during menopause around age 50, frequently manifesting as thinning or shedding on the scalp. Similarly, women who are pregnant or who have just given birth might experience hair loss due to hormonal shifts.

Stress

After a traumatic event like a death in the family or job loss, hair loss is common. When your body undergoes severe emotional shock, normal functions like hair growth are put on the back burner. In fact, serious distress “shocks” follicles into a resting state, which means they aren’t active to produce replacement strands after ordinary shedding. Stress-induced hair loss is known as telogen effluvium (TE) and can resolve itself, assuming anxiety and tension dissipates. 

Poor Nutrition

Eating too little to lose weight fast often means you miss out on key nutrients that keep the body functioning. Hair follicles require proper nutrition to function, and eliminating these from your diet can harm the growth cycle. If you see hair loss while dieting, consult a nutritionist to review your caloric needs, current intake and dietary recommendations.

 

Women’s hair loss is treatable. Early detection helps increase your odds of reversing follicle miniaturization and regaining a healthy, full head of hair. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, patients suffering from female hair loss can undergo both low-level laser therapy or hair restoration surgery, depending on individual candidacy and hair loss patterns. To schedule a consultation to diagnose your hair loss condition and move forward with treatment, reach out to us at 305-925-0222.

Adrenal Glands, Stress Hormones, and Hair Loss

The Science Behind Stress-Induced Hair Loss and Telogen Effluvium

Adrenal Glands, Stress Hormones, and Hair LossThe unwelcome feelings of stress and anxiety creep up when you least expect them. While intermittent feelings of worry are relatively normal, damaging stress levels are on the rise. These feelings of despair and anguish sometimes provoke thinning or shedding on the scalp. Stress-induced hair loss, called telogen effluvium (TE), can be short-lived or long lasting. Thinning or shedding inadvertently caused by anxiety and trauma is not only frustrating, but worrisome. In addition, trichotillomania is a less common but very serious hair loss condition perpetuated by stress. Unlike TE, patients suffering from trichotillomania actively pull hairs out habitually when facing stress and anxiety to cope.

A 2014 national poll from NPR in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found more than one in every four Americans suffered great deals of stress the month prior to the survey. Half of those adults, or 115 million people, experienced a major stressful event that year. [1] Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders – often explained as chronic high stress and worry – are the most common mental disorder in the United States. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18 percent of the total national population. [2]

The American Hair Loss Association says TE and stress-induced hair loss is likely the second most common form of hair loss seen by dermatologists. [3] Although little research has been done to help physicians understand why some patients see hair loss because of stress while others do not, three possible cause and effect scenarios exist:

TE Scenario 1: Environmental factors shock the hair follicle into a resting state. Because the follicles are not actively producing more hair to replace ordinary shedding, patients see diffuse patterns of thinning on the scalp. The effects of environmental “shock” show up two to three months after a major life event. Depending on the duration of the event, follicles can return to their normal healthy state without surgical intervention. Patients usually see their condition clear up in less than six months with full regrowth.

TE Scenario 2: Hair follicles enter their resting state as normal but do not regenerate properly, resulting in gradual hair loss. Rather than return to the anagen phase of hair growth, the follicles remain in the telogen state for prolonged periods of time. Thus, fewer anagen, or active, hair follicles are available. Because this scenario is prolonged, patients may not see immediate thinning. This is more common in individuals with chronic anxiety conditions.

TE Scenario 3: A less discussed form of telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles go through truncated cycles. This results in persistent shedding and thinning hair.

Many short-term hair loss cases are considered normal. For instance, many women experience short-term hair loss after giving birth due to fluctuating hormone levels – a condition called postpartum alopecia. Most women regrow their hair normally a few months later. Certain vaccines, antidepressants, extremely low-calorie diets and physical trauma are also common environemntal triggers of TE. Chronic illness, particularly chronic stress and nutritional deficiencies, are alternative instigators. Research shows a link between tension, hair follicle biochemistry changes and increased resting (telogen) hair follicles.

Treating Stress-Induced Hair Loss and TE

Luckily, treatments for telogen effluvium are available. Assuming your hair loss is stress-induced, regular exercise, therapy and meditation can help. When a specific cause is not determined and stress relief does not reverse telogen effluvium, doctors resort to treatments such as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). In cases where stress-induced hair loss transforms into an enduring condition, many patients turn to hair loss surgery.

At the Hair Institute of Miami, we welcome patients suffering from stress-induced hair loss to undergo a comprehensive evaluation. Our treatment plans include low-level laser therapy (LLLT) caps and advanced follicular unit transplant (FUE) procedures. Either alone or in conjunction with one another, LLLT and FUE helps patients suffering from lingering telogen effluvium regain their confidence and sense of well-being. Call us today at 305-925-0222 to schedule your personalized hair loss consultation in Miami.

 

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/07/07/323351759/for-many-americans-stress-takes-a-toll-on-health-and-family

[2] https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

[3] http://www.americanhairloss.org/types_of_hair_loss/effluviums.asp