Bald spots, thinning, and breakage can be symptoms of a serious underlying health condition such as alopecia, lupus, thyroid issues, and other common types of disease that cause hair loss. If you have noticed a dramatic increase in shedding or other change in the appearance of your hair, Drs. Robert J. Dorin and Robert H. True can help. During an evaluation at one of our offices in New York, New Jersey, or Boston, we can discuss your options and provide you with solutions to restore your appearance and confidence.
I’m 42 and I noticed my front top and sides thinning about a year ago – a lot coming out when brushing after washing. I went to the doctor who happened to be African-American (I’m caucasion) and she actually asked me if I wore “corn rows” a lot! Needless to say, she was worthless and just prescribed me something for dandruff, which I do not have! I went to an endocrinologist to see if my thyroid or menopause was the problem – tests turned out honky dorie! Now I can see through the top of my head when the sun shines on it (scar-y) and I’m having to cover over the temple areas with sweeps of hair from the other side (interesting, the right side is much thinner). I will say that I’ve gone through hell and back with a mentally ill young adult but if it was stress, wouldn’t it have come out quicker than just in the last year (I’ve been dealing with his illness for 7 years now)?? I’ve heard that sometimes it takes 2 or 3 blood tests and doctors to finally see that one has thyroid problems. Is this the experience of others, and would I be throwing my money away by seeing my general practitioner?
Each day the scalp hair grows approximately 0.35 mm (6 inches per year), while the scalp sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, and more with shampooing.1 Because each follicle passes independently through the three stages of growth, the normal process of hair loss usually is unnoticeable. At any one time, approximately 85 to 90 percent of scalp follicles are in the anagen phase of hair growth. Follicles remain in this phase for an average of three years (range, two to six years).1 The transitional, or catagen, phase of follicular regression follows, usually affecting 2 to 3 percent of hair follicles. Finally, the telogen phase occurs, during which 10 to 15 percent of hair follicles undergo a rest period for about three months. At the conclusion of this phase, the inactive or dead hair is ejected from the skin, leaving a solid, hard, white nodule at its proximal shaft.2 The cycle is then repeated.
The characteristic finding of alopecia areata is one or more well-circumscribed areas of otherwise normal, hairless skin in hair-bearing areas. Occasionally, it may be necessary to biopsy the scalp to confirm the diagnosis. Other findings that may be helpful are the appearance of short hairs that presumably represent fractured hairs, short thin hairs, and gray hair growing in a bald area. Other causes of hair loss are generally excluded from the consideration by history and clinical evaluation.
Hello everyone. I am a 14 yr old girl that is loosing my hair. I know that may seem young, but I knew it was coming. My father and I have the same hair and it runs in his family to have hair loss at an early age. I have been loosing my hair since I was ten. It hasn’t been chunks, but if you add the hair together, that is alot of hair loss. So I was wondering if anyone had any information they could help me out with, other than seeing a doctor. My mom is taking me, even though we don’t know what to expect. I mean, this is genetic so I’m praying there is a cure somehow to either stop my hair from falling or adding hair on my head. Please help! If anyone has any advice please let me know immediately. I thank you for your time.
I want to say that all of you are very courageous and sharing. I appreciate everything I have read here. Thankfully, I am starting out in a slightly better position – I still have a fair amount of hair left. I started with a HUGE amount of hair. For the last 6 – 12 months, I have been losing handfulls of hair in the shower every morning, then some more when I comb it out, then a bit more when I put styling product in it, then just a bit more during the day. The shower is the huge hit, though. I’m 37 and on a ton of medication – synthroid, neurontin (an amitryptiline derivative), anti-depressants, and a host of pain medications for a degenerative back problem. I brought my hair loss up to a doc around the time it started, since I was already on synthroid, he re-tested my levels, and said everything was fine. My hair structure has always been on the thin side, but there was just so damn much it didn’t matter – now there is a lot less. What used to take upwards of 20 minutes to dry with a dryer, now takes 5. I’ve been worried about it for quite a while, and didn’t know what to do. I started my on-line research today with hair extensions and stumbled on this site. I am encouraged that I’m starting my search for an answer relatively early in my hair loss journey. I have some great advice and questions to go in to see my doc about. If anyone has any recommendations for the Boise, ID area for a dermatologist and endocrinologist, I would really appreciate it.
A hair restoration is a surgical procedure, but per government regulations, any physician of any background with a valid medical license, regardless of training, presence or lack of any board certificate in anything at all, is permitted to call themselves a "hair restoration surgeon." For instance, a psychiatrist, who has not even seen a surgical instrument in 20 years, can tomorrow decide that he would like to be a hair restoration surgeon, and offer the surgery to the public. Therefore it is important to make sure your surgeon has actual surgery training, which is usually a 5 to 7 year course of intense training in the years immediately following medical school, and upon successful completion, surgeons receive a board certificate in their chosen specialty.
Taking hair supplements can be helpful for anyone who is experiencing hair loss or hair thinning. Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, previously recommended Nutrafol, a research-backed hair supplement, to Prevention. "This uses highly concentrated botanicals to address every stage of the growth cycle," she says. Nutrafol's hair supplements include vitamin E and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps balance cortisol levels in the body), among others.
And though this treatment appears to be safe and somewhat effective, it’s hard to tell who will react well to this low-level light therapy, which is why the doctors I spoke with were hesitant to fully endorse it. “We’re not sure what the optimal power is, what the optimal wavelength is, we don’t even really know the mechanism of action of how this is working,” says Rieder. Plus, it doesn’t work on everyone. “There are subpopulations of patients who do respond to low-level laser light, but this is not easily predictable,” explains McMichael, though she adds that the risk of using the LaserComb is low.
The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on the scalp. These patches are often several centimeters or less. Hair loss might also occur on other parts of the face, like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body. Some people lose hair in a few places. Others lose it in a lot of spots.
Dr. Schweiger Dermatologist NYC Bernstein Medical – no actual diagnostic dermatology, just the most disinterested sales pitch for FUT. All the tests and diagnostic work they list on the site as part of the consult is garbage. I gave him my recent CBC which showed hematology problems, he didn’t even look at it. He magnified a tiny area of my scalp for 20 seconds and said it was normal, I have scabs! Said I probably suffered from hormonal imbalance and my hair would grow back and kept blaming it on hair extensions that I haven’t worn in a long time. His prognosis, a $9,000 FUT. I paid $325 for the visit. He was truly going through the motions even his assistant looked embarrassed!
I am 18 years old and about a month ago i noticed my hair falling out increasingly fast. It has scared me to death. I’ve gone to see my general practitioner and he said that hair goes through shedding stages and that it is normal. It is definitely not normal for me. I insisted that he check my thyroid and my results came back normal. My family just repeatedly tells me that I’m crazy and have no reason to worry. I have just purchased an apartment with my friends and will start college in the fall. I am terrified to begin my new life with a hair loss problem. My hair has always been my best feature. It has always been thick, healthy, beautifully wavy, and I have always received compliments on it. I am emotionally devastated to watch my hair fall out in large amounts just from taking a shower or brushing my hair. It is nice to know that I’m not crazy, or alone. Thank You All!
Family history will often tell the doctor what type of alopecia a person has. Occasionally, a punch biopsy may be necessary to determine the type of hair loss. Looking at plucked hairs under a microscope can help to tell the difference between alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Other tests might be done to check for autoimmune diseases like lupus that can accompany alopecia.
I am relieved to find out that I am not the only female going through this problem. Don’t get me wrong. I am sorry that you are all going through this, but I was beginning to think I was the only female with this problem. I am 22 years old and I have been experiencing hair loss for the last two years. At first, it didn’t really bother me and I imagined it wouldn’t last. Then, it progressively got worse and has continued for the last two years. I have seen my PCP, GYN as well as various Endocrinologists and ENT’s to try and get to the source of my hair loss. They have all laughed at me and told me not to worry about it. I feel like they’ve all blown me off because I’m so young; However, no one understands how emotionally and physically destructive this is! I used to have tons of hair! I was even named “Best Hair” my senior year in high school and now I am ashamed to go out in public or even look at myself. I have very little hair left and it’s ruining my life, my relationship with my boyfriend, and my ability to maintain other relationships. I am now suffering from a lot of anxiety, depression and low self esteem. I’m all out of ideas and hope! My mother suggested that I go see a dermatologist, but I wouldn’t even know who to trust with this issue. The last thing I need is another doctor looking at me like I’m crazy and thinking that because I’m so young I should just ignore it. I can’t ignore it! It has been going on for far too long and all I want is someone who will listen to me and try to help me. I live in Arizona. Do any of you know of a good dermatologist that I can go see? I hate that this is happening to me and the negative impact it has been having and will continue to have on my life. I’m afraid that it’s only going to get worse and I will wake up one day completely bald! If any of you have advice or suggestions, I would be glad to hear them!
Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles. Risk factors include a family history of the condition. Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected. The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.
A hair growth cycle consists of three phases. During the anagen phase, hair grows actively. This phase may last for years. During the catagen phase, hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, which is the structure beneath the skin that holds the hair in place. The catagen phase lasts about 10 days. During the telogen phase, the follicle rests for two or three months, and then the hair falls out. The next anagen phase begins as a new hair grows in the same follicle. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle.
Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly.
Re-growing hair: It is likely that the hair will grow back even without treatment. It may fall out again, though. Most patients lose their hair more than once before the disease goes away for good. Even people who lose all the hair on their scalp and body can have their hair grow back. When hair loss is widespread (lots of hair loss on the scalp and/or body), there is a greater chance that the hair will not re-grow.