Most people shed 50 to 100 hairs every day. This normal process doesn’t cause a noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is always growing in to replace the hair that falls out. Hair loss occurs when this normal cycle of growth and shedding is disrupted.
The most common cause of hair loss among both genders is, by far, having a genetic predisposition. Male-pattern baldness, which is typified by a bald spot or a receding hairline and is highly influenced by heredity, can begin as early as puberty. Female-pattern baldness generally takes the form of thinning hair, but may also include a receding hairline.
Women may also experience hair loss caused by certain lifestyle factors, including childbirth, extreme stress, and poor nutrition.
Medical causes that contribute to hair loss in women include:
Thyroid problems: Hair loss can occur when too much or too little of the thyroid hormone is produced.
Polycystic ovary syndrome: PCOS is caused by a chronic hormonal imbalance and has numerous potential side effects, including hair loss.
Alopecia areata: With this condition, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles and causes hair to fall out in patches.
Unless the cause of your hair loss is already known, your doctor will start by testing for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances. If you do have some kind of imbalance or dysfunction, addressing the hormone or thyroid issue that’s causing your hair loss will usually result in regrowth.
When a hormonal imbalance isn’t part of the problem, you may be able to slow hair loss and stimulate regrowth with medications such as topical minoxidil, oral finasteride (for men only), or cortisone medications. For hair loss that can’t be addressed medically, hair transplants are an option.
Hair loss medications are designed to treat hair loss stemming from specific conditions. The most common hair loss medications and their uses are:
Topical minoxidil: This medication, which stops hair from thinning and stimulates new growth, is used to address male and female pattern baldness, alopecia, and rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment. The foam or liquid is applied directly to your scalp twice a day, and it may take several months before your hair is noticeably thicker.
Oral finasteride: This prescription medication addresses male pattern baldness by slowing hair loss and stimulating regrowth. It works by inhibiting the production of a hormone that destroys hair follicles. It’s taken once daily by mouth and works best if it’s taken at the same time each day.
Corticosteroids: These prescription medications are used to treat hair loss caused by alopecia areata and other autoimmune conditions. They counteract the effects of an autoimmune disease to allow hair regrowth. They’re available in both topical and injectable form.
At Easton Dermatology Associates, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.