Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Hair Loss (Alopecia)


Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Everyone loses hair. It is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day. If you see bald patches or lots of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss. The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia.


There are many causes of hair loss. Women may notice hair loss after giving birth. People under a lot of stress can see noticeable hair loss. Some diseases and medical treatments can cause hair loss.

The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. Other names for this type of hair loss include Male-pattern baldness, Female-pattern baldness, or Androgenetic alopecia.

Alopecia areata is a prevalent autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. Alopecia areata occurs in males and females of all ages, but onset often occurs in childhood. Over 6.6 million people in the United States and 147 million worldwide have or will develop alopecia areata at some point in their lives.

Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia is a rare disease which destroys a person’s hair follicles. Scar tissue forms where the follicles once were, so the hair cannot re-grow.

Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia primarily affects women of African descent. It begins in the center of the scalp and radiates out from the center of the scalp as it progresses. The affected scalp becomes smooth and shiny. The hair loss can be very slow or rapid.

Risk Factors

Millions of people experience hair loss. Some people see their hair re-grow without doing anything. Others need treatment for their hair to re-grow. Sometimes, hair will not re-grow. Your risk for hair loss will increase if it runs in your family. There are many factors which contribute to hair loss including:

  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Illness
  • Certain cancer treatments
  • Ringworm
  • Trichotillomania, which causes people to pull out their own hair
  • Hormonal changes, such as after giving birth or during menopause
  • Stress, such as after a traumatic event
  • Weight Loss
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Protein or Iron deficiency
  • Eating disorders
  • Inadequate hair care and certain hair styles


Hair loss may cause gradual thinning, bald patches, or complete baldness. It varies from person to person, and condition.


Because so many things can cause hair loss, a dermatologist acts like a detective. A dermatologist may begin by asking questions. The dermatologist will want to know whether the hair loss happened suddenly or gradually. Knowing this helps to eliminate causes.

The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas. Sometimes a scalp biopsy may be required.

Determining the exact cause of hair loss may take time and multiple appointments, but do not get discouraged. Once a diagnosis is reached, there are many options for treatment.


*Source: American Academy of DermatologyNational Alopecia Areata Foundation



Once your dermatologist determines what is causing your hair loss, there are many effective options for treatment. Some of these options include:

  • Medications
    • Over the counter medications such as Minoxidil
    • Prescription Medications
  • Steroid Injections
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Laser Hair Rejuvenation
  • Hair Transplant
  • Scalp Reduction
  • Medical Tattooing
  • Wigs or Hairpieces


American Academy of Dermatology National Alopecia Areata Foundation


What are the most common reasons for hair loss?

There are many possible reasons for hair loss, ranging from genetic to environmental factors. One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics, resulting in male- or female- pattern baldness. Although genetic alopecia is pre-determined, thus making it difficult to prevent, there are several possible approaches to addressing this type of hair loss, including topical and oral medications and transplantation surgery.

How can I stop losing hair?

It is important to remember that the most effective remedies for hair loss will depend on its root cause. In some cases, stopping hair loss may simply require a change in lifestyle, while other cases require medical treatment.

In all cases, the best place to start is to see a physician to help determine what is causing the hair loss and which option is likely to work best for your situation. In some cases it is difficult to nail down the exact diagnosis of hair loss, especially considering most hair loss is caused by more than one factor.

In other cases, the reasons for hair loss may be related to an individual’s environment, lifestyle, or overall health. These causes may include: illness or disease (such as thyroid disease or anemia), certain medications (including chemotherapy), lifestyle factors like smoking, stress, or alcohol consumption. The best way to determine the cause of your hair loss is to see your physician.

How can I make my hair thicker and restore a healthy head of hair?

Thinning hair remedies range from actions you can easily take in the comfort of your own home to medical and surgical treatment.

Improving your nutrition, reducing stress levels, and treating vitamin deficiencies can thicken hair. There are several over the counter hair products that can increase the appearance of hair thickness by using caffeine to plump the hair follicle. Finally, Minoxidil (Rogaine) can help regrow and thicken hair. Or If hair is significantly thin, not responding to treatment, or you experience permanent or scarring hair loss, hair transplantation surgery should be considered.

How should I select a hair regrowth treatment?

Men and women experiencing hair loss will often wonder about hair regrowth options. Hair regrowth treatment will vary depending on the cause of your hair loss. Because the reasons for thinning hair vary widely, the solution may range from making lifestyle changes (such as reducing stress or eating a more healthy, nutritious diet) to treating existing medical problems (such as thyroid disorders or anemia) or seeing a physician to discuss medical treatments like Minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine) or Finasteride.

If none of these treatments are effective, surgical options such as follicular unit extraction (FUE) are also available.

When is non surgical hair replacement a viable option?

Non-surgical options are always a good place to start. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, you may find that improving your nutrition, reducing stress levels, and treating vitamin deficiencies may allow your hair to grow back. Additionally, medications like Minoxidil (Rogaine) or Finasteride are options. Finally, if none of this works and you are set on avoiding surgery, you may consider experimenting with flattering hairstyles or hair pieces.

How much does hair transplant cost?

Individuals considering hair transplantation surgery often wonder about hair restoration prices. To determine the hair replacement cost, you must first decide on the type of procedure you are considering.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) will typically cost more than strip harvesting, but often results in a more natural appearance and involves less scarring and post-surgical pain.

For more exact numbers, a consultation with a hair transplant specialist will be necessary. When considering these cost, it is important to keep in mind the value of the surgery. How much does the hair transplant cost when compared to an artificial hairpiece, or the long-term use of medical treatments like Rogaine or Finasteride? Moreover, because the results are permanent, many people view the surgery as an investment in their appearance and overall happiness.


International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery


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