Hair Loss: A Clinical Perspective

In this blog, we will take a look at numerous causes of hair thinning hair, diagnosis, and various treatment options available.

Meet the expert

Dr. Reena Jogi is a dermatologist who specializes in PRP Hair Restoration in Houston, Texas.


What Are the Common Causes of Hair Loss?

With growing age, some degree of hair loss is considered normal. Your hair may naturally start to lose strength and volume as you age.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that, on average, an individual may lose around 50–100 hairs daily. This is considered a natural phenomenon where new hair regrows from the same follicles.

With time, some follicles may stop producing hair. The hair starts to lose its original color, and the hair shaft may get finer.

If you notice the development of bald patches or significant hair thinning, you might be experiencing hair loss. According to ADD, people can treat or stop most causes of hair loss.

1. Male Or Female Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia refers to both male and female pattern baldness collectively. Hormones and genetics play a key role in the development of androgenetic alopecia.

It is considered a very common cause of hair loss. According to an estimate, androgenetic alopecia affects around 30 million females and 50 million males in the United States. The Genetics Home Reference indicates that the likelihood of developing androgenetic alopecia increases exponentially with age. Androgenetic alopecia can also affect teenagers, but it's more prevalent among older men. Over half of men population aged 50 and above experience some degree of hair loss. Moreover, females are also most likely affected by androgenetic alopecia following the menopause phase.

Individuals suffering from androgenetic alopecia often have close family members with the same hair condition.

In males, the characteristic hair thinning pattern tends to start from the front hairline to the back of the head. On the contrary, females undergo hair loss from the crown of their heads.

2. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata refers to a hair condition that causes hair loss in characteristic round patches on the scalp. Alopecia areata may also affect your beard, eyebrows, or any other areas where hair is present.

According to stats, the population of the U.S. has a 2.1% chance of being affected by alopecia areata in their lifetimes. Alopecia areata tends to often develop during childhood. Environmental factors and genetics play a key role in the development of alopecia areata.

In this condition, your hair follicles are intact and alive, which means that the hair can still regrow. Your doctor can treat alopecia areata with an injection into your scalp every 4–6 weeks for up to 6 months.

3. Telogen Effluvium

Chronic telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by a frequent episode of hair shedding for more than six months. This condition is often reversible.

If you are suffering from telogen effluvium, you will not lose all your hair, although it may become noticeably thin. This is a hair loss condition characterized by frequent hair shedding or hair thinning. Women are at a higher risk of developing telogen effluvium. It is often triggered by a disturbance to the normal hair cycle, which has the following three phases:

  1. Anagen or growth phase.
  2. Catagen or transitional phase.
  3. Telogen or resting phase.

As the name indicates, telogen effluvium generally associated with the last telogen (resting) phase.

4. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is a hair condition that is characterized by a permanent loss of hair in the crown of the scalp. It is often followed by chronic inflammation and scarring. CCCA generally tends to develop exclusively in black women aged 30 to 55 years. According to an estimate, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may affect up to 15% of black women.

The exact cause behind central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is still unclear. But researchers believe that this condition develops due to a variety of factors.

Some of the potential factors include tight hairstyles, history of intense heat, application of dyes, and chemical relaxers. These harsh hair grooming practices can play a key role in the development of CCCA. The central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is also thought to be triggered by the naturally curly shape of African hair follicles. It is also believed that CCCA also has a genetic component that triggers its development. This condition often affects multiple members of the same family.

5. LPP and FFA

Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) and lichen planopilaris (LPP) are both considered very uncommon hair disorders. Both of these conditions cause inflammation of hair follicles and permanent scarring alopecia (hair loss). FFA tends to mostly affect women and causes the front hairline of the scalp to recede. While LPP affects both genders and can cause the development of patchy alopecia over the central scalp.

PRP For Hair Loss

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a popular treatment option used to accelerate the healing process in various areas of the body. It offers excellent results when employed to restore hair growth. Although PRP is a relatively new and modern approach, there is numerous scientific evidence that backs its potential to promote hair growth.

Platelets are a key component of the blood. Researchers used concentrated platelets and injected them into the injured region of the body. This helped significantly accelerate the healing process.

PRP is produced by a medical professional after taking a blood sample and placed into a centrifuge. It helps separate the different components of the blood. The platelets are then extracted for injection.

The PRP solution contains various growth factors and proteins that play an integral part in speeding up tissue repair. Lately, PRP has become a popular and go-to treatment option for restoring hair growth.

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