Category Archives: Hair Loss Causes

How to Stop A Receding Hair Line?

How to Stop A Receding Hair Line?

If you are beginning to notice your hairline receding a bit, you might find your confidence shrinking right along with your hairline. You are not alone if your receding hairline causes you to feel self-conscious. A European study examined the impact of hair loss on self-esteem in men. Researchers interviewed 1536 men from five countries in Europe. The study found that 70 percent of men consider hair to be an important feature of their image. Sixty-two percent of men in the study felt that hair loss would affect their self-esteem.

A receding hairline is often caused by a combination of genetic factors, hormones and aging according to MedlinePlus. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to keep your hairline from receding. Board-certified Hair Restoration Surgeon Dr. John Frank explains some options to help you deal with your receding hairline.

Follicle Unit Extraction

This is a new minimally invasive hair transplant procedure that involves taking healthy hair follicles from the scalp and grafting them onto the bald areas of the head. A specialized tool is used in follicle unit extraction that allows the surgeon to remove hair from the skin without causing damage. With follicle unit extraction, the scalp heals much faster than traditional hair transplants. With Follicle unit extraction, new hair growth usually shows up between four and six months time.

Follicle Unit Transplant

This procedure is also known as “strip surgery”. It is a type of surgical hair transplant that involves transplanting a strip of hair and tissue from the “permanent zone”, which is more resistant to balding, and implanting this hair to the balding areas of the scalp. The “permanent zone” is located on the sides and back of the scalp. This type of surgery is popular as it minimizes trauma to the scalp and produces natural looking results.

Is Hair Transplant Surgery Right for Everyone?

There are contraindications for hair transplantation surgery, including cases where the donor area is completely depleted of hair follicles. To determine if hair transplantation surgery is right for you, it is best to contact a skilled surgeon who can determine the cause of your baldness and help you discover the best treatment option for your particular case.

Experiencing Hair Loss?

For more information about either follicle unit extraction or follicle unit transplantation, contact Dr. John Frank, M.D.

Dr. Frank has offices in both New York and Ohio and has performed thousands of hair transplants. Dr. Frank can help you determine the cause of your hair loss and talk to you about your treatment options.

How to Know if You are Destined for Thinning Hair

How to Know if You are Destined for Thinning Hair

Everyone experiences some form of hair thinning as they grow older. This could be from a number of factors, but if you have thinning hair concentrated in certain areas, it may be something genetic, or hereditary-pattern baldness.

What is hereditary-pattern baldness?

This is one of the most common causes of hair loss. It is caused through a combination of aging, genetics and varying hormone levels. For women, this may be called androgenetic alopecia. For men, it could be referred to as male-pattern baldness.

There are specific symptoms to look for, including thinning of the hair, then complete hair loss in certain areas of the scalp. This is diagnosed by patterns in the hair, and the history of your family.

How to know if you are destined for thinning hair?

It’s important to understand a few things:

  • Normal life cycle of the hair follicle
  • Every person has a certain number of hair follicles, which varies per individual
  • There are different symptoms for men and women

Women have androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness. This is a hereditary condition. A woman could inherit those genes from one parent, or both. Hair thinning could also result from a decline in estrogen. In most instances, women do not experience bald spots, nor do they experience a receding hairline.

Men with male pattern baldness has been confirmed as a hereditary condition. In most cases, this condition begins at the front hairline, causing the hair to recede.

Although having thinning hair is a touch or go condition, you can look at your immediate family members and make an assessment about whether or not there is a probability of you having a genetic trait that could potentially affect your hair in later years.

Symptoms of Thinning Hair

  • Bald Patches
  • Shedding
  • Smaller ponytails
  • Visible Scalp
  • Weight

All of these are symptoms that warrant a closer look into what’s going on, and your genetic makeup. The little changes that take place can have a lasting effect, but determining whether or not you are having any of these symptoms before it becomes a serious issue is key. There are a number of things you can do to help hair growth and circumvent this occurrence as best as you can. You will never fully know if you are destined for thinning hair, but knowing your genetic history will help you gain the information you need so you can better prepare in the future.

With today’s technology, thinning hair does not have to be the end result. Consult with your doctor to see how you can work at ensuring your hair is healthy and growing.

Are You Experiencing Hair Loss?

Hair loss is frustrating no matter the season, which is why Dr. John Frank is always ready to restore your hair with high-quality hair transplants. Visit our website today to learn more about restoring and protecting your hair.

cold weather cause hair loss

Climate Considerations: Does Cold Weather Cause Hair Loss?

The key to solving any problem is to find the cause, but this is hard to do with hair loss because of the multitude of contributing factors. In addition to genetics, diet, and lifestyle, many wonder if cold weather may be a cause of hair loss. If your hair thins in cold months, is the weather to blame?

The Short Answer

The short answer is “no.” Cold weather by itself does not cause your hair to fall out, and may even protect against hair loss. A study of women in Switzerland found that rates of hair loss were lowest during the winter. This suggests that warm weather may be a greater risk for hair loss, at least for women.

The Long Answer

Just because cold weather does not cause hair loss directly doesn’t mean it can’t indirectly contribute to it. Cold temperatures spur a number of behavioral and lifestyle changes, which can contribute to thinning hair in the following ways:

  • Hat Tension – During the winter, many people wear tight hats or caps to keep their heads warm. These can pull or press against your hair, increasing the pressure on hair follicles and damaging the scalp. This causes hair loss over time.
  • Skin Infections – In addition to putting physical pressure on your scalp, hats can also be a source of disease. Many people fail to wash their hats regularly or share them with other people, and thus risk transmitting ringworm and other skin diseases. This can cause your hair to fall off in patches.
  • Other Illnesses – Serious illnesses that cause fever can also contribute to hair loss. Some of them, such as the flu, are especially likely to happen during the winter.
  • Dryness – Though the cold air does not directly cause hair loss, it can dry out your scalp, making your hair brittle and more likely to break. Even if you stay out of the cold, indoor heating systems are not much better, often depriving your hair of moisture.

You can minimize winter hair loss with a few simple steps. Only wear hats that fit comfortably on your head, and consider sewing silk or satin inside the hats to reduce pressure on your hair. Wash your winter hat regularly, especially if you borrowed it from someone else. Moisturize your hair, wash it at least twice a week, and practice good hygiene to avoid getting sick. These tips will keep your hair healthy, full, and safe during the winter.

Are You Experiencing Hair Loss?

Hair loss is frustrating no matter the season, which is why Dr. John Frank is always ready to restore your locks with high-quality hair transplants. Visit our website today to learn more about restoring and protecting your hair.

hereditary-hair-loss

Hereditary Hair Loss Demystified

Worried that your hair is thinning? You’re not alone. Hair growth creams and other products are a 4 billion dollar a year industry in the United States. A full head of thick hair is popularly associated with youth, health, wealth, and even sexual potency. Many men spot hairs in the drain or an unflattering photograph and worry that they are on the same path as their male relatives who experienced balding.

Hereditary hair loss affects many men. By the time he is in his 50s, the typical American male has a 50% chance of some hair loss. That number rises to an 80% chance when he reaches his 70s. However, male pattern baldness can begin at virtually any age, even during the teenage years.

How does your body maintain its hair?

The average person has about 100,000 hair follicles and loses up to 100 of them a day. These hairs are usually shed when they reach the end of a growth cycle. The hair follicles then grow a new hair shaft to replace what was lost.

What happens during hereditary hair loss?

For some people, the process of hair regrowth breaks down. Their hair follicles are more susceptible to hormones such as androgen. Over time, the androgen flooding the hair growth cells damages them. They produce thinner and weaker hairs and eventually stop functioning. Hair that is naturally shed is no longer replaced.

Click here to learn more about genetics and hair loss.

What causes hereditary hair loss?

Scientists suspect that hereditary hair loss is caused by a number of genes. These genes are inherited from both sides of the family. Researchers have isolated an important gene contributing to hair loss on the mother’s side of the genetic pool, but the father’s family tree also has an influence.

What doesn’t cause hereditary hair loss?

Age
The chance of developing hereditary hair loss rises as you age, and a man in his 80s will typically have finer hair than one in his 30s. However, hair loss is triggered by genetic factors, not simply getting older.

Hats
Hats and helmets are commonly blamed for hair loss. Now, too-tight or ill-fitting headgear may damage the hair and cause it to break off, but your follicles should be able to regrow it. The only exception is a scalp infection, often caused by dirty hats. That might damage the hairmaking cells enough to shut down their growth cycles. The easy solution is to keep all headgear clean.

Trauma
Serious illness, injuries, major changes in weight, or personal tragedies can put the body under a lot of stress. Your system may respond by shedding more than 100 strands a day. However, a healthy scalp will begin regrowing what has been lost.

Hair styling
Generally speaking, this is a myth. Using a certain kind of shampoo, hair gel, combing the hair frequently, and other hair care activities shouldn’t cause damage. However, aggressive hair straightening techniques and overuse of curling irons may eventually lead to permanent hair loss.

Testosterone levels
This is a bit more complicated because the androgens that damage faulty hair-producing cells in the scalp include testosterone. However, there are many men with high testosterone levels with a full head of hair, and just as many with low levels who are experiencing hereditary hair loss. Genetics underlie the problem, not hormone levels.

Are You Experiencing Hair Loss?

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to talk to an expert to find the right treatment for your condition. Contact Dr. Frank toll-free at (877) 751-4246 to for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Hair Loss Associated With Dry Scalp and Dandruff

Dry Scalp, Dandruff, and the Connection to Hair Loss

For those experiencing hair loss, it’s natural to want to pinpoint the cause. Ideologically, if you can find out why you’re losing your hair, you’ll be able to prevent it and, hopefully, grow back the hair you’ve already lost. Alopecia, or hair loss, can be caused by a number of factors. Women are just as likely to experience hair loss as men. Causes can range from hereditary conditions to more environmental. Some things, such as stress or hormone levels can be better controlled than a hereditary condition. Often, though, there are issues of dry scalp or dandruff that coincide with hair loss. Many patients will wonder whether the balding process is caused by dandruff, dry scalp, or psoriasis on the scalp.

We addressed a number of underlying issues in our 25 Hair Loss Hacks Cheat Sheet. Ideally, you should see an expert to diagnose the issue so that you can better treat and prevent further loss. Here we’ll talk more about scalp issues associated with hair loss.

Dry Scalp and Links to Baldness

People often ask whether dry scalp or even patches of psoriasis can cause hair loss. There are very rare cases where the cause of the baldness and the cause of the dry scalp are the same. Often dry scalp can be a result of another underlying condition and it’s separate from the issue causing the actual hair loss. Though dry scalp can make the area sensitive and irritable.

In cases such as these, it’s important to see an expert. They can determine the pattern of baldness and recommend further testing and treatment. In some cases it may be a symptom of a larger problem, such as endocrine or thyroid issues. In other cases, the dry scalp may be environmental and completely separate from a case of hereditary balding.

Dandruff and Hair Loss

Quite often hair loss coincides with dandruff. In some cases, hair loss can be caused by blocked follicles. But the dandruff may simply be a side effect of the types of products you’re using to stop hair from thinning. Many medicated shampoos and treatments can irritate the scalp and cause dandruff. For some people with serious dandruff, the scalp can become so sensitive that it results in thinning hair. Dandruff isn’t serious by itself but, for those who have chronic bouts, it’s important to treat the condition. Many hair loss sufferers will wash their hair less frequently to try to stave off baldness. The truth is that it’s less healthy to leave hair dirty and is likely to result in itchy scalp and clogged follicles which can exacerbate the problem. Dandruff is a common condition and in most cases it won’t have anything to do with causing baldness. But it is important to keep the scalp clean and healthy to encourage strong hair growth.

Are You Experiencing Hair Loss?

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to talk to an expert to find the right treatment for your condition. Contact Dr. Frank toll-free at (877) 751-4246 to for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Hair Loss is Out of Control

7 Reasons Your Hair Loss is Out of Control

If what’s left of your hair is turning gray because of hair loss, you shouldn’t worry — it’s an experience millions deal with because of how common it is and how many causes it has. Arm yourself with knowledge as to how and why hair loss is happening to you. With the power of knowledge, you can help stem the causes and better facilitate your scalp’s future success.

1. Severe Weight Loss

Though many view weight loss as a gain, your body often sees it as a physical trauma — especially when it happens over a short period of time. The added physical stress or possible lack of vitamins or minerals in a new diet may cause hair to shed along with the pounds.

If this is your hair loss cause, you should see the problem cease and repair itself within several months.

2. Stress

Hair has a normal life cycle with three phases: growth, rest, and shedding. When your body encounters incredible stress, your hair often leaps prematurely to the shedding stage through a type of hair loss named telogen effluvium. Though not identical, a similar event happens during severe emotional stress too. More often than not, emotional stress just exacerbates a current problem.

The best solution to these problems is just to focus on reducing your stressors.

3. Nutrient Overdose or Deficiency

When it comes to nutrients, there actually can be too much of a good thing. Too much vitamin A, a nutrient that bolsters vision and develops bone tissue, may lead to hair loss. On the flipside, too little protein may cause your body to sacrifice hair growth as a means of preserving the rest of itself.

Carefully monitor your vitamin A and protein intake to limit these shades of hair loss.

4. Too Much Styling

Hair can do almost anything — it can twist, turn, curl, roll, spike, and even pull off a beehive — but doing too much of everything can leave you with little to work with. Years’ worth of tight braids, corn rows, chemical relaxers, and weaves can damage hair roots. Too much root damage and those patches of hair may never be the same.

5. Feminine Hormones

Hormones control much of the body’s functions, including hair growth. When pregnant or even switching (or dropping) birth control medication, women may experience a hormone imbalance that leads to the aforementioned telogen effluvium.

6. Aging

Even when kept in good health, all aspects of the body experience degeneration with age. There’s little to do to prevent hair loss that comes with aging, so just make sure you keep yourself in best shape. Your scalp should reflect that work.

7. Heredity

Sometimes the strength of your roots is what’s causing the weakening of your roots. For both men and women, hair loss may arrive as a factor of genetics. Male pattern baldness usually results in men experiencing a receding M-shaped hairline, while female pattern baldness tends to weaken women’s hair at the part.

You Are Ready to Take Action

For a precise diagnosis over what’s causing your hair loss, consider reaching out to an expert. Contact John Frank (877) 751-4246, a hair loss specialist who will work with you to find the option that works best for you.

Hair Loss is Ruining Your Life

4 Signs Hair Loss is Ruining Your Life

Hair loss can negatively impact feelings of self-esteem and can contribute to behaviors that reduce an individuals’ quality of life. Hair is a visible part of our appearance and has particular associations in our society. Whether the hair loss is a temporary condition or a permanent state, a person can become increasingly insecure as they lose the lush head of hair that they previously had. Hair is one of those things that you value much more once it is gone. Know when the effects of hair loss are impacting your personal life.

Avoidance of People and Activities

Your hair loss changes how you once lived your life. You shy away from activities where your hair loss would become more apparent. Instead of jumping in the pool with friends and family, you sit on the sidelines. If your hair isn’t wet, the full extent of your hair loss is not apparent to the casual observer. However, a life spent on the sidelines is no fun at all.

Depression, Anxiety and Loss of Self-Confidence

Hair loss can impact both men and women. Hair loss or alopecia may prompt anxiety, depression and other emotional behaviors. We are a product of our society and for most societies a full head of healthy hair is associated with health a beauty. Robert T. Brodell, MD, professor of internal medicine of the dermatology section at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, stated:

“For centuries, humans have adorned themselves in a variety of ways- tattooing, nail cosmetics, and most universally, hairstyles of all sorts. For many people, their hair is what makes them feel beautiful.”

The change in the condition of their hair can make people feel less attractive to others and to themselves. They may spend excessive amount of time dwelling on the condition and avoiding certain social situations. The confidence that can be lost can influence how they feel about themselves, their initiative and self-confidence in relationships, and how they interact with co-workers and higher ups. As an individual fixates on the condition, they believe that everyone else is focused on it as well, somehow negating in their minds the rest of their valuable attributes and appeal.

When to Turn to Hair Restoration

If you are beginning to experience depression, social avoidance, anxiety and preoccupation with your balding or thinning hair, hair restoration may be part of the solution. As an individual with permanent and progressive hair loss and not a temporary condition that can be associated with pregnancy, medications, hormonal changes or a medical condition, you can regain hair and self-esteem with a hair transplant. Take control of the situation today.

We Are Your Hair Loss Prevention Experts

Struggling with hair loss is common and treatments are available to help. We encourage you to find out more about the variety of options available to treat hair loss in men and women. It’s important to consult with an experienced and trained restoration professional.

To learn more about which treatment option is right for you or to schedule a consultation call Dr. Frank toll-free for more information at (877) 751-4246.

How Do Genetics Affect Hair Loss?

Genetics dictate how you look and how you grow. Genetics also dictates certain diseases and conditions, such as baldness. While not all causes of baldness are genetic, the most common cause is. Also known as hereditary-pattern baldness, genetics will determine if you maintain a lush head of hair, or require hair restoration services as you age.

How Do Genetics Result in Hair Loss?

You may have heard that the mother’s family dictates hair loss. Such folk wisdom has been debunked – the genes that cause hair loss come from both parents.

A form of testosterone starts to reduce the hair growth cycle, resulting in miniaturized hair. As time progresses, some areas of the scalp will stop growing hair altogether. These areas form the standard pattern of hair loss for which the genetic cause of hair loss is named. The patterns are different in men and women, with women’s hair typically being lost at the top of the head, and then down the middle – instead of the receded hair line or vertex baldness seen in men.

What Are the Symptoms of Genetic Hair Loss?

Anyone experiencing hair loss will benefit from determining if their hair loss is rooted in genetic causes or other causes. Disease, malnutrition and stress can often create hair loss that may be reversible. However, hereditary-pattern baldness is permanent.

Genetic hair loss starts at different ages and happens at different speeds. Some wisdom advises that you look for increased hairs on your pillow, shower drain or comb. Since the average person who is not balding loses approximately 100 hairs per day, noticing hair is not a reliable way of determining if you’re balding.

Hereditary-pattern baldness earned its name because of the patterns of lost hair. Men and women will both experience predictable patterns if the cause is hereditary.

In men, it’s common to see receding of the hairline near the temples, followed by losing hair at the vertex. The amount of hair and speed it is lost is determined by your genetics.

What Forms of Treatments Are Available?

There are two medicinal treatments, minoxidil and finasteride, which may help prevent hair loss and may even catalyze new growth. However, their effects are unpredictable and are often ineffective with hereditary-pattern baldness. Any new hair growth is typically lost once the patient stops regularly using the treatment as well.

All hope is not lost, however. Some forms of hair restoration treatment will help those with hereditary pattern baldness:

  • Hair transplants. Tiny plugs of hair are moved from the back of your scalp to where they’re needed. Newer technology has improved the results of this technique.
  • Scalp reduction. Physically decreasing the size of your balding or bald region is possible by removing strips of bald scalp.
  • Hair flaps. Strips of skin with excellent hair growth may be moved from one area to another.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Consulting a doctor may be done at any time to have a thorough examination of your situation and have any questions answered. You may even explore different forms of preventative treatments that may slow the rate of hair loss, as well as discuss cosmetic surgery.

We Are Your Hair Loss Prevention Experts

Struggling with hair loss is common and treatments are available to help. We encourage you to find out more about the variety of options available to treat hair loss in men and women. It’s important to consult with an experienced and trained restoration professional.

To learn more about which treatment option is right for you or to schedule a consultation call Dr. Frank toll-free for more information at (877) 751-4246.

Is it Hair Loss? Spot the Early Signs of Balding

A few stray hairs circling the drain every time you shower aren’t that big of a deal – or are they? While we all lose a few random hairs from time to time, the signs of true hair loss are different. Spotting the signs of early hair loss can help you understand what is going on and take action right away. While individuals will vary, these tips can help you understand what’s going on with your hair

Signs of True Hair Loss

Thinning hair on the crown or top of the head: If you can suddenly see through your hair to your scalp or notice that your hairline seems to be retreating, you may be experiencing typical hair loss. Men often begin losing hair from the top of the head or hairline, so signs of thinning in these areas could indicate a problem.

Your hairline is gradually moving back: If you notice that the place where your hair starts, or your hairline, has begun to retreat, you are likely spotting the signs of early Androgenic Alopecia, or Male Pattern Baldness. The hair will recede from your initial hairline, often in an “M” shape; this retreat is one of the signs of true hair loss in men or women.

Location matters: The actual place that you are seeing the most loss matters. If you are seeing a regular, allover thinning of hair on the back, sides and top of your head and even on your body, another issue may be causing your hair loss. If your losses are restricted to the top of your head and hairline, balding is likely to blame.

What to do Next

If you have spotted the signs of premature balding or male pattern baldness, fast action is a must. Not only will prompt attention to your hair halt the progress, you’ll find that it is less stressful and more effective to start addressing the hair loss without delay.

If you are concerned about a drastic change in your appearance, then quick action can prevent the hair loss from progressing and restore your natural, youthful appearance. Spotting and addressing the signs of early hair loss can halt the process in its tracks by restoring the missing hairs without making large changes to your appearance.

We can Help

Noticing the signs of hair loss and impending baldness is stressful, but our professional and innovative hair restoration process can help. We’ll work with you to restore your hair and your confidence too – and you’ll never have to wonder about those stray missing hairs again. Contact us for a consultation or follow our blog for the latest hair loss tips and restoration news. You don’t have to cope with hair loss on your own; we’re her to help you every step of the way.

woman's hair in brush

How Bad Personal Habits Can Lead To Hair Loss

Hair loss is generally caused by three things: heredity, chemical imbalances and physical stress. While there is no preventing the first cause, the second two are often triggered by environmental factors relating to health, hygiene and personal care.

Adults who have bad habits regarding any of these environmental factors could be the cause of their own hair loss. To figure out which habits to cut out before your hair falls out, here are some of the ones most frequently associated with hair loss:

Stress Overload

Stress is a prime culprit for hair loss. Severe stress can trigger hormonal reactions and “survival responses” from your body that sometimes cause hair follicles to go inactive. Those who live stressful lifestyles may also tend to agitate their scalp or their hair, compounding the problem.

Relieving stress is not easy, but there are some components to tackle that can help reduce anxiety or stress in certain situations:

  • Make lists of chores and tasks to accomplish by the end of the day or week to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Wake up well before you have to be at work to eat a good breakfast and not feel rushed.
  • Electronic devices with monitors are suspected to project wavelengths of light that interfere with the body’s ability to relax. Participate in several hours of “no screen” time during the week by reading, meditating, listening to music or simply enjoying the day.
  • Your body can carry stress physically, so engage in stretching, yoga, calisthenics or aerobics to relieve physical tension for four or more hours a week.
  • Use mental redirection to steer yourself from unproductive, stress-inducing thought patterns.
  • Plan a vacation once a year to engage in new experiences and break your routine.

Obviously, if stress relief were as simple as following these bullets, then therapy would not be a multi-billion dollar industry. However, taking steps to recognize and address your tension or anxiety can help you begin to control the issue.

Poor Diet

Just like stress, malnutrition can cause the body to go into survival mode and ditch non-essential elements like your hair. Patients suffering from anorexia, for example, can count severe hair loss among their resulting conditions.

Be sure to eat breakfast, have at least three meals a day and frequently substitute starches or meat rich in saturated fat for colorful vegetables and lean proteins. Lean proteins in particular are essential for building healthy follicles and encouraging hair growth.

Chicken, beans, lentils, eggs and seafood all tend to have healthy proteins in them, along with a low saturated fat content. Leafy vegetables can provide iron as well as other essential minerals and vitamins to enrich your hair growth. Try this delicious grilled chicken and kale salad recipe to get you inspired to eat foods that make your hair look great.

Improper Hair Care

Be good to your hair, and it will be good to you in return. On the other hand, mistreat it and you may encounter brittle hair, weakened follicles, an irritated scalp and other hair loss-related problems.

Some tips to pamper your hair:

  • Avoid taking too hot of showers, and rinse hair with cool water.
  • Never brush or aggressively towel off your hair when it is still wet; follicles are weaker after soaking. Consider using a T-shirt to blot out water rather than a towel for gentler drying.
  • Avoid too much heat from blow dryers, straighteners or curlers.
  • Avoid products that make hair feel stiff or greasy. These can contribute to clogged follicles and other scalp issues.
  • Never pull or wrap your hair too tight, which can stress and permanently damage follicles over time.
  • Be cautious about using home hair dyes, which can dry out the scalp.
  • Wear sunscreen or a hat to avoid sunburning your scalp.
  • Address dandruff problems with shampoos containing tea tree oil, selenium or zinc pyrithione.

Some adults suffering from hair loss may be experiencing their condition as a result of the medication they are taking, including birth control and some vitamin supplements. Others may have an autoimmune condition or simply genetic hair loss. The only way to know for sure is to visit a licensed dermatologist and have your condition diagnosed professionally. Visit our hair loss resource page to learn more.

Hair Restoration for Men and Women

Are you experiencing Alopecia or thinning hair? We encourage you to find out more about the variety of options available to treat hair loss in men and women. It’s important to consult with an experienced and trained restoration professional.

To learn more about which treatment option is right for you or to schedule a consultation call Dr. Frank toll-free for more information at (877) 751-4246.

Traction Alopecia Prevention & Protection Against Tight Braid Hair Loss

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, New York City, March 7, 2012

Traction Alopecia Prevention & Protection For Tight Braid Hairstyles

Traction Alopecia Prevention & Protection For Tight Braid Hairstyles

Alopecia is a general term that means hair loss.  There are many different types of alopecia, from androgenetic alopecia, which is a genetic condition that causes baldness, mostly in men, to alopecia areata, which is when a person’s white blood cells attack and kill their hair follicles because of an underlying autoimmune disorder.

Traction alopecia, however, is a unique type of hair loss condition because it is not caused by disease or genetics. Rather it is caused by lifestyle and hair fashion choices. Specifically, anything that puts prolonged tension (i.e., pulling or “traction”) on a hair follicle can negatively affect that follicle’s ability to grow hair.

Any hairstyle that pulls against the hair roots can cause prolonged tension leading to permanent bald spots. This include such hairstyles as tight ponytails, pigtails, cornrows (a common African America braided done right up against the scalp) and even the more commonly popular hair extensions1 and hair weaves. In short, any hairstyle that creates a constant pull on the hair roots can damage them, even turbans.

(Note that African Americans can be particularly prone to this type of hair loss, not because black hair tends to be more fragile than other types of hair, but because braided African American hair styles can cause a fair amount of pulling on the hair roots).

Traction Alopecia Prevention

This type of hair loss is not immediately permanent, i.e., if you remove the tension, the hair follicles will recover and hair growth will resume on its own. However, if you maintain traction (pulling) long enough, or if your braiding is excessively tight, it can cause permanent damage. (Hint: if it hurts, you’re probably immediately starting to damage your hair follicles).  Once permanent damage occurs, there is no cure for this type of traction alopecia. The only treatment option is a hair transplant to restore the lost hair.

While it’s best to avoid tightly braided hairstyles, following these simple recommendations can help protect your hair from permanent damage:

  • Regularly change up hair styles, e.g., change where the braids are every other day or so, or switch from braiding one day to ponytails the next.
  • Take a break. Go without any hair pulling style for a few days each week. This will give your hair roots time to recover.
  • Never use excessive pulling in any hairstyle.
  • Start braiding that the tips, not at the roots, of the hair. This helps to reduce the amount of pulling during the braiding.
  • If possible, removed braids and rubber bands before bed.
  • Before removing any braids, use a good conditioner. This will decrease hair friction and minimize pulling on the hair roots has you work out any knots.  When working out any knots, hold the hair so that pulling on the hair roots is minimized.
  • Be on the lookout for any patchy areas of hair loss in areas where pulling occurs. This is an early sign of traction alopecia and its nature’s way of saying, “stop!”
  • Cornrows may be problematic anytime they are used, unfortunately.

If you do notice any hair loss, see a qualified hair loss specialist as soon as possible to assess any damage, and – don’t panic: caught early, you can reverse traction alopecia by simply avoiding whatever hair pulling hairstyle you’ve been using.

References

1. Hair extensions ‘can lead to permanent baldness. Pat Hagan, Mail Online UK, 31 December 2008

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Does Zoloft Cause Hair Loss?

Depression, Antidepressants and Hair Loss

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, NYC, April 7, 2012

 

Zoloft induced permanent hair loss is rare

Zoloft induced permanent hair loss is rare

Hair loss affects over 50% of all men & 25% of all women worldwide.  There are many reasons for hair loss. The cause of hair loss could be due to genetics & hormones. Nutrients that affect testosterone levels, like DHEA, can also cause hair loss.  Stress and certain illnesses can cause hair loss, and the prescription drugs used to treat ailments & diseases can cause hair loss.

It shouldn’t be surprising that a prescription drug could negatively affect your hair because of the complex biological mechanisms involved in hair growth.   For the most part determining which drugs have hair loss as a potential side affect is as simple as looking at the drug’s list of known side affects.  It turns out the number of prescription drugs that can cause hair loss is extensive, but the probability that any one of these drugs will cause hair loss ranges from low to rare.  The most likely drugs known to induce hair loss are steroids, tranquilizers, birth control pills and – antidepressants.

Antidepressants are, arguably, one of the drugs you’d least expect to have hair loss as a side effect.  This is because the other culprits operate on the body’s hormonal system, and that can wreak havoc on hair follicle functioning.  Antidepressants, however, affect neurotransmitters, not hormones.  What in the world do neurotransmitters have to do with your hair?  This is more than just an interesting question because currently over 27 million Americans are taking some form of antidepressants (up considerably from in past few years, possibly because of the recession).

However, as far back as the mid 1990’s, people taking Zoloft (currently the 4th most prescribed psychiatric medication in the U.S.) reported problems with hair loss.  However, Pfizer, the maker of Zoloft, does not list hair loss as a side effect.  Wellbutrin, however, does list hair loss as a side effect and it 2008 the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported a case study of Sertraline induced hair loss (Sertraline is the technical name for Zoloft).

So What’s The Relationship Between Hair Loss, Zoloft & Other  Antidepressants?

In the case of Wellbutrin, hair loss seems to occur early on because the stress of adjusting to the medication causes more hair follicles than normal to enter into a resting state, called telogen.  Normally only about 10% of all hair follicles are in a rest state.  When more than 10% of your hair follicles decide to take a break, so to speak, you experience a phenomenon called telogen effluvium. This causes a wide spread thinning of the hair.  Once the body adjusts to Wellbutrin, the hair loss stops and then recovers.  Unfortunately, however, it seems that at least in some cases, where this does happen, which – again – is quite infrequent, the side effect can persist  while taking the drug.  If you’re experiencing hair loss on Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor.

Zoloft induced hair loss is quite rare, at least according to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, but if it really does occur, the likely mechanism is Zoloft’s action on the brain’s dopamineric system. Dopamine does affect sympathetic nerve fibers and these are known to help regulate hair growth.  Again, despite many accounts of Zoloft induced hair loss in depression forums, researchers have only reported one case study.  However, medical literature has documented many cases of fluoxetin (i.e., Prozac) induced hair loss, and fluoxetin is quite similar to Zoloft.

In the end – the human body, and especially the human brain, is one of the most complex natural systems observed in the universe.  As advanced as modern medicine is, compared to where it needs to be in order to treat injury and diseases in a highly predictable way with no or insignificant side effects, we’re still in the stone age. When it comes to hair loss, the cause might be as simple as the nutrients or prescription drugs you’re taking.


If you’re experiencing hair loss and you suspect that your prescription medicine may be the cause, consult with your doctor or a qualified hair loss specialist who also has medical training.  You can also look up the side effects of any drugs you’re taking on RXList.com. Just type “hair loss side effects” in the site’s search box.

For more information, see About.com’s antidepressants and hair loss

© 2012, John Frank, M.D.

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What Is Alopecia Areata & How Do You Treat It?

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, NYC, March 7, 2012

Alopecia areata is a non-life threatening autoimmune disease but effective treatment can be difficult

Alopecia areata is a non-life threatening autoimmune disease but effective treatment can be difficult

Alopecia areata is one of three known autoimmune diseases that can cause hair loss. The other two are Scleroderma & Lupus. However, unlike scleroderma & lupus, Alopecia areata is not life threatening.  It affects about 1% of the U.S. population, most affecting children (ref: AOCD)

This type of hair loss occurs when your white blood cells (the body’s normal defensive mechanism) mistakes the hair follicles for foreign bodies and attacks them. This damages the hair follicles, and they stop producing hair. The underlying cause of this disease is probably genetic.

The symptoms of  differ among sufferers, but these are the most common symptoms:

  • Baldness can occur in many locations .
  • Baldness can occur in just one location (called alopecia areata monolocularis. This is the most common form).
  • A more severe form can cause a total loss of hair on the scalp (Alopecia totalis).
  • An even more severe form can cause total hair loss on the scalp along with hair on other parts of the body most often including the eyebrows & eyelashes (Alopecia universalis).
  • Sometimes sufferers have a feeling of burning or itching in the affective areas, but not always.

Alopecia Areata Treatment 

This type of hair loss can affect adults over 40, but it’s rare and less severe and often the hair grows back without recourse to treatment.  Unfortunately, this form of hair loss mostly affects children & young adults. In those cases, it is usually more severe, and effective Alopecia Areata treatment can be difficult.  However, these are the most common Alopecia Areata treatment options:

In all cases, you should only take these drugs (with the exception of Minoxidil, which is available without a prescription) under the strict supervision of a doctor who, ideally, is experienced with both the use of these drugs and with this form of hair loss.

Resources:

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Does DHEA Cause Hair Loss? If So, Could Propecia Offset Its Effects?

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, NYC, February 1, 2012

The idea that DHEA can cause hair loss can be distressing because there are clear benefits of taking DHEA.

The Benefits of DHEA

For example, older adults, both men and women, often take DHEA to increase certain hormones that have declined with age.  These hormones have a wide range of effects on both health and a sense of well-being, but the evidence for some specific positive effects have been lacking.

For instance, according the NIH, there’s good evidence that DHEA improves the appearance of skin in older adults, and it can decrease age spots.  There’s also good scientific evidence that it can help with symptoms of schizophrenia, at least in women, and symptoms of lupus and it can increase bone density in older women.  However, when it comes to DHEA’s affect on a loss of a sense of well-being, improved sex drive, decreased depression and improved weight loss, the scientific evidence is inconsistent with only some studies finding a positive effect.

In addition to some of the benefits being called into question, there’s also the concern that DHEA could increase the chance of developing certain types of cancers that are dependent on hormones, especially with long-term use of DEHA.  DHEA can also interact with certain prescription drugs. Before starting a regimen of long-term DHEA use, you should first consult with your doctor.

The Benefits for Men – DHEA and Testosterone

Does DHEA Cause Hair Loss? Can Propecia Offset the Negative Effects of DHEA?

Does DHEA Cause Hair Loss? Can Propecia Offset the Negative Effects of DHEA?

In men, testosterone decreases with age,  and a loss of testosterone can cause weight gain, decreased sex drive and an overall decrease in health and well-being. One of the biggest purported benefits of DHEA is it’s ability to increase the level of testosterone in the body.  Because of this, older adults see DHEA as a “fountain of youth.”

Unfortunately, evidence that DEHA raises testosterone levels in men is lacking, but there is good evidence that it increases testosterone in women, though such an increase may be undesirable.

Can DHEA Cause or Worsen Hair Loss?

In men, the hormone that causes one known form of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.  This type of hair loss is called “androgenetic alopecia.” If DHT seems like a form of testosterone, you’re right.  When the body combines an enzyme, 5-alpha reductase (5AR), with testosterone, it creates DHT.  DHT then interacts with hair follicle cells and this eventually causes them to die.   All men create DHT but only men with a specific gene will develop androgenetic alopecia.

DEHA comes into the picture if one assumes that it can cause an increase in the production of testosterone, however, again, there is no consistent evidence for this.  Human growth hormone (HGH), on the other hand, definitely causes an increase in testosterone, and in men with the genetic predisposition for hair loss, HGH will accelerate hair loss.  To the extent that DHEA produces extra testosterone (an iffy claim), then DHEA can also worsen hair loss in men that have the gene for androgenetic alopecia.

Using Propecia to Offset Hair Loss Caused by DHEA 

The prescription drug Finasteride, which goes under the trademark Propecia or Proscar, and Dutasteride, which goes under the trademark Avodart, will both block DHT.

Because of this, many men who have the genetic predisposition for androgenetic alopecia and who take steroids, HGH or DHEA, will sometimes take either  Finasteride or Dutasteride to help offset the effects DHEA.  While the strategy makes sense in principle, it’s very difficult, if not impossible to determine how to balance one drug against the other.

7 Keto DHEA as an Alternative to DHEA

Fortunately there is another alternative to DHEA. Concerns about DHEA causing hair loss in men has led to the development of a metabolite of DHEA known as 7 Keto DHEA. It’s believed that 7 Keto DHEA has most of the established benefits of DHEA without breaking down into estrogen and testosterone and causing hair loss.

What’s the Bottom Line on DEHA & Hair Loss?

The bottom line appears to be that DEHA will accelerate hair loss in men with the gene for androgenetic alopecia assuming that DEHA causes an increase in serum testosterone, but the evidence for such an increase in men is spotty.  There is, unfortunately, some concern that DEHA could increase the chance of certain types of cancer. This does not mean that DEHA is worthless or dangerous – researchers have documented numerous benefits from using DHEA. It does mean, however, that you should talk to your doctor or a qualified doctor who is also a hair loss specialist.

If you are taking stronger steroids that are definitely known to cause an increase in testosterone (e.g., HGH), then hair loss will almost certainly accelerate if you have the genetic predisposition for androgenetic alopecia.  Taking either finasteride or dutasteride to offset the effects of HGH or another steroid isn’t practical because it’s not known how best to combine these drugs in any given individual. Worse, this strategy could wind up backfiring. This is because while these drugs will block DHT, powerful steroids, depending on the type and amount, may increase testosterone to the point where the body produces even more DHT, despite the blocking effects of  Propecia.

In short, if you’re suffering from hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia, you should contact a qualified hair loss specialist before taking any steroid including DHEA.

DHEA Resources


© 2012,

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Can You Stop Alopecia? No, but You Can Stop It From Damaging Your Hair

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, NYC, January 23, 2011

Can You Stop Alopecia? No, but You Can Stop It From Damaging Your Hair

Can You Stop Alopecia? No, but You Can Stop It From Damaging Your Hair

Doctors cannot cure Alopecia, but they can halt its affects, i.e., hair loss, under certain conditions.  Our understanding of how Alopecia causes hair loss, especially in men, has led to the development of powerful drugs that can completely arrest hair loss in up to 83% of affected men (according to a landmark FDA study). While many options exist to give the appearance of more hair, unfortunately, once hair has been completely lost, the only way to replace the follicles is surgically.  To understand why, read on . . .

What Causes Baldness?

One of the keys to understanding baldness is learning about the natural Hair Cell Cycle.   Every hair shaft  is programmed to grow several inches over the course of a few years, only to fall out, and to be replaced by a new hair in the exact location.  This concept of “shedding” occurs with our skin as well.  The important steps of the growth cell cycle are the “Growth Phase” also called Anagen and the “Fall-out” phase, also called Telogen.

Most healthy human scalps have on average, 100, 000 healthy hairs.  However, only a fraction of them are in the Telogen phase, typically 10%.  Therefore, everyday, it is not uncommon for a healthy scalp to lose a significant amount of healthy hair without ever being noticed.   It’s normal and the scalp is continuously replacing those hairs.  On the other hand, if something were to happen with the Hair Cell Cycle so that more than 10% of the follicles were in the Telogen phase, then this could create a temporary problem.

As mentioned earlier, the scalp replaces these shedding hairs no matter what.  However, if more than 10% are falling out, the scalp has a difficult time catching up so rapidly and at this point the hair loss may become noticeable.  It is not a permanent condition and it’s only a matter of time until the hairs are replaced with perfectly healthy hair.   This condition is called Telogen Effluvium and can last anywhere from several months to several years, but again is only temporary.

On the other hand, permanent hair loss is not caused by any changes in the Hair Cell Cycle.  Permanent hair loss is a condition where some or all of the hair and follicle are weakening, thinning and shortening over a significant period of time.  The hair still goes thru the normal phases of growth and fall-out during many hair cell cycles, however, as it’s going thru these phases, it’s shrinking and will eventually be lost permanently.   So, unlike shedding or Telogen Effluvium as described above, permanent hair loss is only noticeable over a longer period of time.

Pattern  Baldness” In Men & Women

Pattern Baldness is a permanent type of hair loss that is most commonly caused by the detrimental effects of male hormones in the follicles of the scalp.  While it is a genetically based condition, you don’t need to have a DNA based test to determine if “Pattern Baldness” is the cause of your balding.  In men, a doctor with specialized hair loss training and experience can often tell if you’re suffering from “Male or Female Pattern” baldness just by briefly examining you.  In men and in women, the pattern of hair loss typically occurs in specific areas of the scalp and can be represented by the “Norwood Classification” in men and the “Hamilton” in women.

While Male Pattern Baldness  accounts for the majority of types of hair loss men,  for women, pattern baldness is less common.  Nevertheless, the pattern is still predictable enough that an experienced hair loss specialist can make the diagnosis very easily in a simple evaluation and examinationl

Interestingly, older men (70+) can have a pattern of hair loss that does not occur in specific regions but rather occurs uniformly across the scalp.   It is called “senile Alopecia.” Young men can also have this particular type of Alopecia. It is called diffuse unpatterned Alopecia.

How Does Pattern Baldness occur at the follicle level?

Testosterone is responsible for initiating  and sustaining Pattern Baldness, in both men and in women (women also secrete small amounts of Testosterone.)  Testosterone interacts directly with the hair follicles in the front, top and back of the scalp while leaving the hair and follicles on the sides and back of scalp undamaged.   While some individuals may be genetically susceptible to the harmful effects of testosterone and others are immune.

Is Pattern Baldness the Only Cause of Baldness?

While Pattern Baldness is the most common cause of hair loss, it is only one of many different causes of hair loss.

So How Do You Stop the Affects of Alopecia (Hair Loss)?

The only way to stop or reverse the effects of hair loss is to first diagnose and then stop the underlying condition.   As mentioned above, it’s not uncommon to suffer from derangements in the hair cell cycle (Telogen Effluvium).  Once this condition is diagnosed, it’s imperative to find the cause of the effluvium and attempt to reverse it.  For example, many women may have a significant amount of hair loss during pregnancy due the tremendous physiologic stress placed on her body.  Once this stress subsides, the hair should also return.

On the other hand, if a young man is diagnosed with Pattern Baldness, then he would need to search for ways to minimize the harmful effects of the testosterone.  Several medications and treatments exist which may mitigate the hormonal effects, commonly known ones include Finasteride and Minoxidil.

Unfortunately, these treatments  can’t replace hair from areas that have lost all hair. However, for areas that are not completely bald, these hair loss medications can prevent further hair loss.  For more information on the physiological mechanisms of action for these treatments, one is directed to the websites for some of the brand names of these medications (ie Rogaine, Propecia).

So What is the Bottom Line?

The most well known of hair loss is Male Pattern and Female Pattern Hair Loss.  However, although not discussed in detail in this article, people of all ages may suffer from hair loss from many of other causes.  Once the actual condition is accurately diagnosed, then a hair loss treatment plan can be formulated.


© 2012, John Frank, M.D.

 

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ABC News – Trichotillomania

Dr. John Frank Talks To ABC News about Trichotillomania

By Dr. John Frank, M.D. – IAHRS, ABHRS,ISHRS, AHLA, XM Radio: ‘The Bald Truth’, NYC, March 5, 2011

Host: Joining us right now to give us more insight is Dr. John Frank, Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Hair Loss Specialist. Doctor, thanks so much for joining us today.

Dr. John Frank: You’re welcome.

Host: So it’s called trichotillomania or trich for short. And the latest evidence shows that it’s not just a bad habit like biting your nails. It’s something more serious.

Dr. John Frank: Well, obviously, from what we just saw, it can really affect somebody severely. It can be really a problem, very, very devastating.

Host: When does this start in a person’s life? Does it start early in their life? Can it start at any time and what triggers it?

Dr. John Frank: You may see some children with it and that’s not really a serious version of it. But then, as you go through adulthood, it can occur at any age to adults, men more than women, and it’s a long spectrum of the obsessive compulsive disorders and we think that there are some biological components to it.

Host: Right. How often do you see this condition in your office?

Dr. John Frank: I mean I’m a hair loss specialist and hair loss surgeon and I treat all different types of hair loss. And when we do see somebody with trichotillomania, we treat it but the challenge is to learn who actually has it because it’s either covered up or it’s hidden. And even if somebody is coming to me with the problem, it may take a visit or two before they actually have the courage to say what’s happening.

Host: Right. So this is rare. People don’t really talk about it that often and that’s why not many people know about it, right?

Dr. John Frank: People don’t like to talk about it. They are embarrassed. There is the emotional component of having hair loss, which is embarrassing. And then the other second part of the emotional component is you are doing it to yourself and so it’s something that you’re shy about — you don’t want anybody to know about it.

Host: Right. I’m sure you have to tread very lightly.

Dr. John Frank: I’ve seen people that will come in and I’m the first person that has looked at their scalp in 20 years, I mean, including family members. They are hiding it from everybody. And it takes a special sensitivity, good judgment, a knack for being very sensitive and understanding and — being a good listener.

Host: Right. How do you treat the condition?

Dr. John Frank: There are a number of treatments for it. None of them are very effective. There are medications like some of the obsessive compulsive disorders, the antidepressants and things like that, and some of them can be effective on a short-term basis. People can undergo therapy and there are some behavioral modification treatments, but I’m not that impressed by their results. Of course, some types of therapy more effective than others. And then there are some topical treatments and wigs and even surgery for trichotillomania.

Host: Right. Now, this is obviously a lifelong battle and there are support groups, I understand.

Dr. John Frank: Fortunately, there are. There are places to go. The effectiveness of the support group is going to be dependent upon the individual. Some people are great in support groups. Other people would just as soon not go to a support group. But they are available. They are online and you can go and get help, share with other people. If you can go through it with somebody, it may be helpful.

Host: All right. Hair loss is devastating. So for the people that are pulling their own hair out, can you replace the hair?

Dr. John Frank: It can be replaced. But if it’s replaced and they pull it out again, it’s like pouring water into a bucket with a leak. So the main thing is to stop the cause of the hair loss, and in front of that is to diagnose what’s happening. Some people do it and they don’t even know they are doing it. Maybe they are doing it in their sleep or subconsciously while they are daydreaming, and it doesn’t just occur on the scalp. They can be doing it on their eyelashes and things like that.

Host: Right, right. And you mentioned that there are some topical treatments for this, medications?

Dr. John Frank: Well, there are some cover-ups, some aesthetic things that can be done, and wigs and extensions and things like that or ways to color, even tattoo. But that’s like putting a Band-Aid on an open wound, so you really want to try and uncover the root of the problem.

Host: Right. It’s a very sensitive issue, isn’t it, and devastating at the same time.

Dr. John Frank: It is. On one hand, hair loss for young men, you can joke about it and there are many different monikers that young guys have. But when you really start to understand hair loss, it can be extremely devastating, and that’s part of the problem because not everybody takes it so seriously.

Host: Right. Well, Doctor, thanks so much for shedding more light on this problem.

Dr. John Frank: You’re welcome.


© 2012, John Frank, M.D.