Hair Loss in Nashville, TN
Although hair loss may affect people of any age, it’s most often seen in men beginning in their late 20s, and women beginning in their late 30s. Regardless of what causes hair loss, the condition affects your appearance and self-confidence. Luckily, new advancements in the area of hair restoration have developed a variety of surgical, non-surgical and medical procedures to treat hair loss. These treatments result in a fuller head of hair that looks and feels natural, improving your appearance and self-confidence. If you live in Nashville, Franklin or the surrounding areas of Tennessee, rely on the experience and expertise of regenerative medicine specialist Dr. Morgan Moor at New Life Physicians in Brentwood to treat your hair loss.
What Are the Causes of Hair Loss?
Hair loss, referred to medically as alopecia, is a normal, natural process that happens to everyone daily. On average, we lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, and this shedding is replaced in most people by new hair growth. Unfortunately, in some individuals hair loss occurs when new hair fails to grow in place of the hair that has been lost.
There are several factors that contribute to hair loss. These may include hormonal changes, health problems, fever, as well as genetic and environmental factors. Regardless of what causes your hair loss, there are treatments available to address the problem that may help you to regain your full head of hair.
Are Only Men Affected by Hair Loss?
Though it is true that men are more likely to experience hair loss, many women also struggle with this condition. According to studies, approximately 40 percent of hair loss cases affect women.
How Much Shedding Is Normal?
To determine what constitutes excessive hair loss, we must begin by determining how much hair is being lost to normal shedding. Hair grows in cycles, and every individual hair is always in one of the three stages of this process: growing (anagen), resting (telogen) or shedding. While hair is in the growing stage, living cells are constantly dividing inside the hair root, triggering continued hair growth to replace hair lost to shedding. About 85 to 90 percent of the hair on a person’s head or body is in this stage at any given time.
When the growing stage is completed, the hair enters the resting stage, wherein cells in the root cease dividing, and hair growth is halted. Roughly about 10 to 15 percent of a person’s hair is in this stage at any given time.
Shedding takes place during the final stage, wherein hair disconnects from the follicle and falls out. Any hair you see in your brush has just completed this stage. Typically it is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily. The resting and shedding stages combined last anywhere from two to six months. Once hair is lost to shedding, it is normally replaced by a new hair that grows from the same root and the growth cycle begins all over again.
Typically, hair on the scalp grows at a rate of about half an inch per month. As people age, this rate slows down a bit.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Moor will evaluate your medical history and closely examine your scalp. She will ask questions regarding your diet, family history, recent health problems, hair care routine and any medications you are taking, including any supplements you’ve taken over the last six months.
In some cases, it may be necessary to take a scalp tissue biopsy and laboratory analysis to help determine the cause of your hair loss.
The Different Types of Hair Loss
The LaserCap™ is designed to combat hair loss and to help enhance hair restoration.
Male/Female Pattern Baldness: Androgenic Alopecia
While there are many potential causes of hair loss, most are due to genetics: androgenic alopecia.
Heredity is the most common reason for male and female pattern hair loss. This issue may be inherited from either parent. Women who have hereditary hair loss typically struggle with thinning hair but usually do not suffer total hair loss. Androgenic alopecia may begin during adolescence or when an individual enters their 20s or 30s. There is no known cure for androgenic alopecia, but there are several treatments that treat and manage the condition.
Here is how it works: Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, is exposed to 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme occurring in the hair follicles. This enzyme metabolizes the testosterone to produce a related hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Ironically, although DHT actually stimulates new hair growth, it also stimulates hair loss. The follicles in certain portions of your scalp, as determined by hereditary factors, actively seek DHT, causing them to “overdose” on the hormone, which causes them to atrophy or shrink. This leads to shorter hair growth cycles or causes the hair to spend longer periods in the resting stage. Over time, the hair weakens and thins until it falls out and is no longer replaced by new hair growth.
The process of going bald typically happens gradually over time, as the growth cycle slows down and a greater number of hairs enter the resting stage and fall out. If there is any hair remaining in the balding location, growth is typically limited, and the hair is very thin and weak. A series of short, fine hairs that are barely noticeable may continue to grow in the affected area; however, these are called “vellus hair” that never develops into full-grown scalp hair.
As the process of hair loss advances, metabolism is increasingly diminished in the hair follicles, greatly reducing the blood supply to the scalp and causing shrinkage in the skin around that area. As the skin becomes thinner, sebaceous (oil) glands become more active, which explains the shiny scalp seen on so many bald people.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
Alopecia Areata: This condition causes hair to fall out and leave behind smooth, round spots that are about the size of a coin or slightly bigger. In rare cases, scalp and body hair may be lost completely. Alopecia areata can affect people of any age, including children. While the cause is still not fully known, evidence suggests that immunity may be a factor as demonstrated by the effects of local treatment with steroids experienced by some patients. In some cases, hair may grow back on its own. Individuals with alopecia areata are usually in good general health, and the hair loss does not affect their physical condition.
Childbirth: Pregnant women typically shed fewer hairs than they did prior to becoming pregnant. After childbirth, however, a significant number of hairs enter the resting stage. Many women experience shedding of large quantities of hair two to three months after childbirth. This condition may last between one and six months, but in most cases, normal hair growth is restored naturally without medical intervention.
High Fever: Within one to three months after a high fever from severe influenza or any serious infection, individuals may notice extreme hair loss. This condition is not serious and typically resolves on its own.
Thyroid Disorders: Both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) may contribute to hair loss. Either condition may be diagnosed through lab tests. Although it is not always possible to reverse hair loss caused by thyroid disorders, Dr. Moor provides alternative treatments that can help individuals with thyroid problems enjoy a full head of hair.
Protein Deficiency: Poor eating habits and a diet lacking enough protein may result in malnutrition that can lead to hair loss. To economize on valuable resources, the body will cause hair to enter the resting stage. After about two or three months, massive hair loss may follow, and the hair may be easily pulled out. In such cases, hair loss may be reversed by resuming a healthy, nutritious diet with adequate protein intake.
Medications: Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may cause temporary hair loss in some individuals, particularly those used to treat depression, gout, hypertension, arthritis, heart problems and bleeding disorders. Excessive doses of selenium or vitamin A may also cause temporary hair loss in some individuals.
Cancer Treatments: Cancer treatments often cause the cells of the hair follicles to cease normal division, resulting in hair thinning and breaking off when it emerges from the scalp. This typically occurs between one and three weeks following cancer treatment. Many cancer patients lose up to 90 percent of the hair on their head; however, the hair typically grows back after treatment is completed.
Birth Control: Women with a genetic tendency toward hair loss may lose hair as a result of taking oral contraceptives. If this happens, the solution may be to switch to a different birth control pill or alternate form of birth control. Typically, when women discontinue use of oral contraceptives, their hair will shed for two to six months afterward, similar to what happens to women after having a baby.
Iron deficiency: In some cases, low levels of iron in the blood (anemia) may lead to hair loss. The diet may be lacking in iron or the individual may not be absorbing iron properly from food. Women with excessive menstruation may suffer from low iron levels. Iron deficiency is easily detected through lab tests and may be resolved by taking an iron supplement. Iron deficiency will also contribute to low thyroid hormone levels.
Chronic Illness or Major Surgery: Major surgery is experienced by the body as trauma. Some individuals may experience hair loss for one to three months following a serious illness or major surgery. While normal hair growth may resume naturally after several months, people who struggle with a chronic illness may also suffer from chronic hair loss.
Traction Alopecia: This is a condition in which the hair is consistently pulled back too tightly resulting in permanent hair loss in the traction area.
Trichotillomania: This is a condition wherein a person pulls their hair as a nervous habit. It is common in children and adolescents and may go on for years without being properly diagnosed. Chronic pulling may cause hairs to break off or be pulled out, and you may notice stubbly re-growth as a result of this breakage. This condition may sometimes be mistaken for alopecia areata.
Fungal Infection (Ringworm): Ringworm is a fungal infection that has nothing whatsoever to do with worms. Typically, it begins as small, round and scaly patches on the scalp that eventually spread, causing swelling, oozing, redness and broken hair. Ringworm is highly contagious and is most often seen in children and adolescents, often contracted from pets. Good hygiene is essential for preventing the spread of the infection, and antifungal sprays or ointments may help clear it up.
Poor Hair Care: There are many harsh substances in hair products, such as bleaches, dye, relaxers and curling agents. When used as directed, these products won’t normally damage hair; however products may be used incorrectly, left in for too long or used too frequently, causing hair to become brittle and prone to breakage. If this occurs, discontinue use of the products until the hair grows back to a healthy state.
Brushing, washing or blow-drying your hair excessively may also lead to damage and possible hair loss. Use a conditioner to help make your hair easier to detangle and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle. Hair is also more susceptible to breakage and damage when wet, so avoid rubbing too harshly with a towel or brushing it too roughly. Stick to smooth-tipped brushes and wide-toothed combs to help prevent breakage.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects between six and 10 percent of women of childbearing age. The most notable symptoms of PCOS include male-pattern baldness, unexplained weight gain, excessive hair growth on the face and body, infertility, irregular periods and insulin resistance.
While causes of PCOS are still unknown, research is assisting doctors in understanding and treating the condition. Some experts believe that PCOS may be caused by hyperinsulinemia, or high insulin levels that could result in reactions causing an increase in the production of androgens, or male sex hormones, in the ovaries. This is believed to be the cause of the masculine features that often accompany PCOS. Some studies also suggest that PCOS may be inherited from a prematurely balding father by his daughter. Some believe that a defective gene may be responsible for both conditions.
Hyperinsulinemia (High Insulin): New studies have noted that men with very high levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and women with high levels of IGF-1 (as seen with PCOS) have the highest incidence of male-pattern baldness. Although the research is still inconclusive, evidence suggests that male-pattern baldness may be a product of elevated insulin levels caused by consuming large amounts of refined sugars and starches, such as pasta and baked goods. Studies are being conducted to determine whether male-pattern baldness may be avoided by avoiding these foods, eating fruit only with meals, and taking medications, such as Rezulin and Metformin, to reduce insulin levels in the blood.
Sun Overexposure: Australian studies have found evidence to suggest that excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight may damage hair follicles and may be especially damaging to transplanted hair. We strongly recommend using a high-quality sunscreen and wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from excess sun exposure.
What Is the Cost for Hair Loss Treatment in Nashville?
Treatment for hair loss is highly personalized, so naturally, it varies with each patient, depending on your individual goal. New Life Physicians keeps hair restoration procedures available and affordable for all patients by offering easy financing options and accepting cash, major credit cards, and personal checks as payment for hair transplants.
Located in Brentwood, Dr. Moor specializes in hair loss solutions for men and women in Nashville, Franklin and the surrounding communities of Tennessee. If you are looking to combat your hair loss with hair restoration treatment, please contact Dr. Moor today!