Debunking Myths About Hair Loss
The internet is great for lots of things, however, when it comes to getting the facts about female hair loss, the internet can sometimes be a scary place. Unfortunately, there are lots of myths out there about female hair loss, so we decided to review some of the most common ones and tell you the facts.
Hair loss is only a problem for men - This could not be further from the truth. While female hair loss is not discussed as often as male hair loss, women make up 40% of the hair loss sufferers in the US.
You receive your hair loss genes from your mother’s family – Unfortunately, genetic hair loss can come from both your mother or your father.
Genetics are the cause of my hair loss – While the majority of women experiencing hair loss do have androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss), there can be many causes for hair loss including, but not limited to, diet, medication, lifestyle, hormonal changes, or over styling hair.
Hair loss is permanent – The good news is that it is not true that hair loss is always permanent. The first step is determining the type of hair loss and the cause, but in many cases, there can be some regrowth. However, the longer you wait the more difficult it is to see complete regrowth.
Showering too much causes hair loss – It is important to know that showering and washing your hair does not cause hair loss. However, if you only wash your hair a few times a week, it may look as if you have shed excessively, but in reality, you are just washing away hairs that you have shed since your last shampoo.
While these are only some of the more common myths, there are many other myths out there about female hair loss. If you have any questions or concerns it is best to speak to a hair loss specialist that can help you determine fact from fiction.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Will I Shed More During the Fall?
With Labor Day fast approaching, summer is unfortunately coming to an end. While we do enjoy the crisp mornings and fall foliage, a lot of our patients have been wondering if and how the change in season can affect their hair.
Patients often tell us they notice more shedding during certain times of the year. Because everyone’s hair cycle is different, we can certainly see a correlation of hair growth or shedding with certain seasons for some patients. During the summer months, the body tends to hold on to hairs to protect the scalp against the harsh midday sun. To compensate, the hair follicles tend to elongate their growth phase in order to provide coverage and shelter for the scalp. As the sun’s threatening rays start to diminish during the changing season, the hairs return to their usual cycle and start to shed as a result.
However, the change is not very noticeable in the majority of people. The truth is, there are other factors such as age, styling, hormones, and genetics that play a more dominant role in our changing hair. If you think you are experiencing a seasonal shed, I suggest wait for the season to change, chances are the shedding will too! However, when in doubt, it is best to consult a hair loss expert.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
How Often Should I See My Hair Loss Specialist?
Your follow up visits provide an opportunity to track your results, update your hair loss specialist on any changes in diet or medications, and to potentially change the treatment plan if necessary. So how often should you see your hair loss specialist? Just like visiting your dentist (although hopefully less painful!), at Medi Tresse we recommend follow up visits every six months.
Tracking your results is extremely important, and any hair loss specialist should be taking photos and doing trichoscopy (which is highly magnified photos where you measure the hair) to track your progress. As you see your hair every day, it is often difficult to notice changes, but in your follow ups you will easily be able to track your progress throughout treatment.
The follow up is an important time to update your hair loss specialist of any major changes in your diet or medications. A major diet change, like becoming a vegetarian, could affect your hair loss if you are not receiving enough vitamins and nutrients. Some medications have been found to induce hair loss, and your hair loss specialist can help guide you through if the medication could be problematic to your hair.
For most patients, hair loss is progressive, which means that it will continue to get worse if not treated correctly. By seeing your hair loss specialist every six months, you can ensure that if you need to make changes to your treatment plan, it is done in timely fashion. The earlier hair loss is treated, the better chance there is for re-thickening and re-growth during treatment.
Iron Deficiency May Be Causing Your Hair Loss
One of the most common deficiencies in the United States is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can be particularly dangerous because it’s iron that assists red blood cells in delivering oxygen throughout the human body by creating and using the protein hemoglobin. Therefore, if you’re iron deficient, your body may not be getting enough oxygen which can result in a myriad of problems.
Know the symptoms
Luckily, iron deficiency comes with many symptoms which can help in regards to a diagnosis. Symptoms of iron deficiency include exhaustion, shortness of breath, anxiety, heavy periods, irregular heartbeat, and hair loss.
When iron is deficient enough, it can result in anemia. Nearly one out of 10 women between the ages of 20 and 49 suffer from anemia as a result of iron deficiency. Luckily, iron deficiency is easily treatable and hair loss in this event is easily fixable.
Treating iron deficiency
Iron deficiency can be treated with the use of slow-release dietary supplements or by eating iron-rich foods such as chickpeas and spinach. Also introduce foods rich in vitamin C to your diet, which will help your body in absorbing iron more efficiently. However, be sure not to expect fast results as it may take up to six months for iron to return to its normal level in the bloodstream.
Hair loss and iron deficiency
Hair loss in women can be particularly stressful because of the social standards revolving around women’s hair. Hair loss due to iron deficiency may resemble female pattern baldness, but it’s not to be confused with it. Female pattern baldness is genetic whereas hair loss caused by iron deficiency can be easily treated once the person’s diet has altered to improve iron levels.
However, for those who do not want to wait for their hair to return to normal as iron deficiency may take several months to treat, hair rejuvenation via topical hair regrowth products may be an additional option. Hair rejuvenation products such as Formula 82M and Tricomin stimulate hair growth to achieve your full head of hair quicker and more efficiently. However, if you simply desire to mask the thinness of your hair while you wait for your iron levels to return to normal, you can use Infinity Hair Solutions Fibers. They cling “to existing hairs” as a means of providing “a fuller appearance to your hair”
If you’re suffering from hair loss, talk to your doctor to determine if you have iron deficiency or another illness as these may be dangerous if left untreated. Hair rejuvenation may be possible for you in the form of a variety of treatments we can offer you here at Medi Tresse.
Treatments During the Summer
With the summer coming up, patients often tell us they are concerned about starting a new treatment as they plan on being more active and out in the sun, and they are not sure how our treatments may affect their ability to do so. What is great about the treatments offered at Medi Tresse is that they will not stop you from having a fun filled summer! However, please remember whenever you plan to spend time in the sun it is important to always ensure proper sun protection. Let’s look at some of our most common treatments and if potential side effects could affect your summer plans.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy – There is limited down time from PRP Therapy, however, in terms of summer activities, we do recommend that you refrain from swimming and direct sun light on your scalp for 48 hours. The good news is that means you can have your treatment on a Wednesday and be on the beach on Saturday!
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) – Whether you are using a laser band or a laser cap, there are no known side effects from LLLT. Using your LLLT device will not stop you in any way from enjoying the nice weather!
Formula 82M – Formula 82M is a specially formulated minoxidil solution. Formula 82M is great for patients that have tried over the counter minoxidil products and found them to be irritating or greasy, as it is specially compounded to be non-irritating and less greasy. With limited side effects, Formula 82M will not get in your way of enjoying your summer activities.
The good news is you do not have to choose between one of these great treatments and having a fun filled summer. You will be able to enjoy the summer more knowing that you have taken the first steps in treating your thinning hair. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any specific questions about these treatments.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Tricomin® Products Reformulated
We are excited to announce that one of our favorite products at Medi Tresse, the Tricomin® Clinical product line, has been reformulated to provide even better hair health. Tricomin®, which offers a follicle spray, shampoo, and conditioner, has long been the standard for hair loss shampoos and conditioners. Tricomin ® products are fortified with patented Triamino Copper Complex™, a proprietary peptide blend of copper and amino acids. Copper is not only important for the health of the hair, but copper peptides can help with healing in the body. Amino acids are key building blocks for protein, and hair is made of the protein keratin.
So how have the Tricomin® products been reformulated? The great part of about the reformulation is that it is a relatively minor change to the products, which is important because the products were already really beneficial for hair health. However, the product line now has Pinoxide, which is a micro-circulation booster for the hair follicle. This means increased blood flow around the follicle, which not only helps in repairing the follicle, but should keep the follicle healthy longer.
If you are interested in learning more about these products do not hesitate to reach out to one of the hair loss specialists at Medi Tresse.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
At Medi Tresse we have seen women with all different types of hair loss and varying causes of hair loss. With any patient we see, the first step is to diagnose the cause of the hair loss. For many patients, their hair loss is truly genetic, but for others it could be due to a hormone imbalance, stress related, or even a change in medication. One patient population that we often see is patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS.
While the cause of PCOS is still unknown, PCOS is an endocrine system disorder, which means the hormones are directly affected. Common symptoms of patients with PCOS are irregular periods, excess androgen, and polycystic ovaries, which means the ovaries have become enlarged and contain many small cysts.
Women with PCOS can often see thinning hair due to excess androgen levels, which are commonly known as male hormones like testosterone. Before starting any sort of hair loss treatment, a patient with PCOS would want to make sure that their hormone levels have been checked and are in proper balance. If a woman has elevated androgens, this can potentially be managed with very specific birth control pills which can block the negative effects on hair. Once the hormone levels are in proper balance, then the patient could be a candidate for hair loss treatments.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Are all Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Devices the same?
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has become one of the most popular treatments for female hair loss, and with the increase in popularity we have also seen an increase in at home options. However, many patients tell us it can be confusing when they try to research and compare all of the LLLT devices. Before we get into the devices, it is important to understand what exactly is LLLT.
LLLT stimulates the hair follicle cells to grow in the scalp and increases cellular activity around the follicle. This also decreases inflammation so existing hairs can grow thicker and stronger. While LLLT has been proven to be effective for many years, the 2014 double-blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, truly showed the power of LLLT in treating hair loss.
With a simple internet search, you will find a number of at home LLLT devices, such as the LCPro by LaserCap, the Capillus, the LaserBand 82 by HairMax, the Theradome, or the iGrow, and this can be very overwhelming to the patient. However, there are a few key differences that you need to look out for when comparing devices. First, the laser wavelength should be between 650nm-655nm. Secondly, the laser output per diode should be 5mw. Thirdly, the diodes should be true lasers and not just red lights. Lastly, the number of diodes is extremely important. Many of the full caps are sold with varying numbers of diodes, often varying between 80 and 272, but you truly need at least 220 diodes in the cap to ensure you are receiving the proper coverage to the entire scalp. While some products like the HairMax LaserBand 82 only have 82 diodes, since they only cover a third of the head, they have the sufficient number of diodes in the treatment area, you just have to move the device to treat the entire scalp.
If you think you are interested in LLLT, it is important to speak with a hair loss specialist that can not only determine if a LLLT device is right for you, but guide you through the decision making process to purchase the best device.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL), clinically known as Androgenic or Androgenetic Alopecia, is the most common cause of hair thinning and loss in women. Up to 50 % of women have some degree of female pattern hair loss in their lifetime. It certainly is more common as women age, particularly after menopause, but it can start as early as the teenage years. Female pattern hair loss tends to run in families, and inheritance can be from either the mother or father, but sometimes there is no family history. We know that hormones play a role in this type of hair loss, especially the “androgenic” hormones such as testosterone.
Female pattern hair loss is typically more pronounced in the frontal areas of the scalp. Over time the hair shaft gets thinner in a process known as “miniaturization”. Your hair goes through a constant life cycle, as we naturally shed and grow new hairs. However, miniaturization occurs, because the anagen phase, or growth phase, of the hair cycle gets shorter, which means the hair is not able to grow as long or thick as it has in the past. Eventually if not treated, the affected hair will continue to get smaller and disappear completely.
The good news is there are great treatment options for female pattern hair loss, but it is very important to start as early as possible. If a hair has been lost for a long time there is no way to get it back, unless you surgically transplant a different follicle in that area. However, with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) you can reverse the miniaturization and thicken and grow existing hairs. If your loss is recent, we may be able to re-activate dormant follicles so that they start producing a hair again. If you think you may be experiencing signs of female pattern hair loss it is important to see a hair loss specialist as soon as possible so that they can diagnose your type of hair loss and come up with a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
How Often Should I Wash My Hair?
One question that we often receive from patients is what is the proper number of times a week to wash your hair? Before we can answer that question, we need to look at the concern patients have with over washing. The biggest concern patients tend to have is that they feel they are losing excessive amounts of hair when they are washing their hair. The truth is that hair loss is not caused by washing our hair. It is important to understand that the less frequently you wash your hair the greater the appearance of an increase in shedding. This occurs, because the hairs you normally shed are becoming dislodged all at once, rather than in smaller amounts at multiple times.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number of times a week someone should wash their hair, as different hair types require different types of maintenance. However, if you over wash your hair you can strip your hair of the natural oils and it can become more dry and brittle, but if you under-wash your hair you can get a buildup of these natural oils, dirt, and skin cells that can affect the health of your follicle. A general rule of thumb is that you should be washing your hair two to three times per week, but again this is a balance and it depends on your hair type and how you are trying to style your hair. What is most important to remember is that washing your hair is not causing your hair loss!