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.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

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.

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

PCOS and Hair Loss

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.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

Formula 82M vs OTC Minoxidil

When many patients start to see signs of hair loss, their first thought is often to try one of the many over the counter minoxidil treatments.  Minoxidil is a topical treatment, and the most commonly known brand is Rogaine.  Minoxidil can be a great first step for hair loss, and was FDA approved in 1988.  Patients experiencing Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), Telogen Effluvium, and early Traction Alopecia are good candidates for minoxidil.

While minoxidil can be a good first step for patients with early signs of hair loss, many patients feel that over the counter minoxidil treatments can be irritating or make their hair greasy.  At Medi Tresse we offer a specially compounded minoxidil solution called Formula 82M, which combats these issues.  Formula 82M is specially formulated to be less irritating and less greasy, while also having a higher absorption rate, which means your scalp and follicles will receive a greater percentage of the minoxidil in Formula 82M than with an over the counter option.

Most patients will start to see a benefit from Formula 82M in three to six months, but for some patients it could take six to twelve months.  At Medi Tresse we have seen the best results for patients when they combine the Formula 82M with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) device like a laser cap.  If you think you may be experiencing signs of hair loss the first step should always be to see a hair loss specialist who can not only diagnose your type of hair loss, but provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

New Year's Resolutions For Your Hair Health

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If you are anything like the team here at Medi Tresse, you have probably spent the last month coming up with a list of New Year's Resolutions for 2017.  Since our main focus at Medi Tresse is the well-being of your hair, we just want to make sure you do not forget about the health of your locks this upcoming year!  Here are a few resolutions that will help improve hair health and decrease breakage in 2017!

If you have any hair health questions in 2017, please remember you can always reach out to the Medi Tresse teams in Boston and Chattanooga.  Most importantly, we hope that you and your family have a safe and healthy 2017.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

Avoid The Crash Diet This Year

It’s hard to believe that the New Year is upon us! As we begin to prepare for the year ahead, New Year’s resolutions often involve new diets and weight loss goals, especially after the Holiday splurge! If losing weight is on your list of resolutions this year, we have a few tips for you.

What you may not be aware of is that both rapid and extreme weight loss, as well as crash diets can actually cause hair loss! Hair loss due to dieting is typically caused by deficiencies in key nutrients, especially if the diet involves food restrictions or limitations. However, often times it may just be due to the changes in your diet or the new drastic loss of weight. Drastic changes on the body, including loss of weight can put a lot of stress on the body. Hair follicles are very vulnerable to this, and often start to shed as a result! This is called Telogen Effluvium, and it is the body’s response to stress. Typically hair loss caused by dieting and weight loss is temporary and can be restored with the proper treatment plan and a balanced diet. However, the key is to lose weight safely in order to limit or avoid hair loss all together.

In order to lose weight you must decrease the number of calories that you take in, either by dieting, exercising, or both. Unfortunately, certain “fad diets” deprive the body of important nutrients that can affect hair growth! For example, while making dietary changes, you want to make sure that your body is still receiving enough biotin, iron, zinc, copper, protein, and vitamins A, C, and E. While it is always best to get these nutrients from natural sources, you should consider taking supplements and multivitamins to ensure your body is receiving the necessary levels of these nutrients, especially while pursuing a weight loss program. Here are some examples of foods from which you can get these vitamins and nutrients naturally:

BIOTIN
Oily fish – salmon, tuna
Cheeses
Yogurt
Avocado
Eggs
Nuts
Seeds
Meats – liver
Mushrooms
COPPER
Clams
Oysters
Meats – liver
Dark leafy greens
Coffee – decaf
Nuts
Beans
Avocado
Mushrooms
Bananas
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
IRON
Meats – red meat, pork, poultry
Beans
Dark green leafy vegetables - spinach
Dried fruit - apricots
Iron-fortified breads and pastas
ZINC
Seafood – oysters
Meats – beef, lamb
Spinach
Mushrooms
Beans
Seed – pumpkin and squash
Nuts – cashews
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
VITAMIN A
Sweet potato
Carrots
Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach)
Squash
Melon
Dried apricots
VITAMIN C
Citrus — Fruits in general
VITAMIN E
Almonds – nuts in general
Seeds
Dark leafy greens
Olives
Bell Peppers
Papaya

Lastly, it is important to avoid “shocking” your body with a crash diet. A crash diet is when you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Not only can this cause hair loss, but usually the loss is short lived and weight is gained back much easier then if it was lost slowly and safely. You never want to lose more than 2 pounds per week, and your diet changes and weight loss should be gradual.If you think you are suffering hair loss caused by recent weight loss or changes in diet, it is always best to consult a hair loss specialist that can diagnose the underlying cause of the hair loss and work with you to create a proper treatment plan. Medi Tresse is your local hair loss treatment team; we provide hair loss treatment to women throughout Boston and Chattanooga.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team