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Everyone loses hair. It happens during your morning shower, while blowing it dry, or when you give it a quick brush and that’s normal. “On average, we loses from fifty up to a hundred hairs each day,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City who specializes in hair loss. “That’s just hair that is going through cycles, and there’ll be a new one to replace it.” But hair loss can be more serious sign of a medical condition that needs an evaluation by a dermatologist and possible treatment.
Whats Your Hair & Scalp Says About Your Health
Way to Grow
Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, is typically lasts from 2 up to 3 weeks, during which the
hair follicle shrinks. And during the telogen cycle, the hair rests which lasts around two to four months.
An overwhelming majority of the time the hair is on the scalp, it is growing. Only about 10% of the strands are in transition or resting at any one time. For most people, hair grows about 6 inches a year.
At a Loss
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people loses anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. On the days when hair is washed, people loses up to 250 strands, Roberts said. But don’t avoid washing hair in an attempt to keep it, as it will fall out eventually, in anyway.
For those who don’t plan on counting their hair every day, there are other ways to know when hair is thinning or being lost at a higher rate. Women will see a difference, Roberts tells WebMD. When waking up in the morning, there may be a usually large amount on your pillow. When you comb your hair (especially without tugging, which can pull the hair out), is more than normal will be left in the comb.
There are also other visual cues that women can look for over time. Although men’s hair are tend to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head, women are tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp. Sometimes their frontal line is stay intact, says Nicole Rogers, MD, of Old Metairie Dermatology in Metairie, La. Women may see a part that’s gradually becoming wider or see more of their scalp than normal when their hair is pulled back.
When a patient comes in with concerns about hair loss, there’s a combination of ways to make a diagnosis, Rogers says. The preliminary blood work is usually taken to make sure the thyroid gland or an autoimmune disease isn’t the culprit.
Alopecia areata is an immune disease that affects almost 2% of the population in the United States. This type of hair loss appears in a varies degree of severity from a small, round patches of hair loss that regrow without medical treatment, up to chronic, extensive hair loss that can involve the loss of all hair on the scalp or body. This type of hair loss can affect both genders equally and can occur at any age, although it occurs most often in the children and young adults.
Treatment of this type of hair loss includes therapies such astopical immunotherapy, anthralin, glucocorticoids, or biologic-responce modifiers, such as Minoxidil. The choice of the treatment depends on what age, as well as the extent of hair loss. Milder cases are often see a greater improvement with treatment than severe cases.
In no case does treatment restores full hair in patients with 100% scalp or body hair loss.
Androgenetic Alopecia in men is what is known as male-pattern baldness hair loss that starts at the front of the scalp and recedes backward over time, and hair in center of the scalp thins and falls out. While women, this instead results in uniform hair thinning.
Treatments for women’s androgenetic alopecia include DHT blockers, and antiandrogens, just like with men. And some typical treatments are Topical Spironolactone cream, Revivogen, and (with the consent of your doctor only), Propecia.
Women who develops androgenetic alopecia may be suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome.