What Does Female Hair Loss Look Like?
If we were to poll 10 random people and ask them what male hair loss looks like, they would probably all give similar answers about starting as receding in temples, with thinning in the crown, and eventually balding on top with a ring of hair around the head. If we then asked those same 10 people what female hair loss looks like, I am pretty confident we would get 10 different answers. This is one of the complexities about female hair loss. For many women, it is hard for them to realize if they are experiencing it since it can differ so much from person to person. It can even be hard for some medical practitioners to properly diagnose as its causes and presentation are so varied.
On our website there is a questionnaire that visitors can fill out that asks them various questions about their experience with hair loss. With over 1000 responses, it provides a pretty good snapshot of what our patients are experiencing. As expected, the experiences vary widely.
If people think they may be experiencing hair loss, often their first thought is to consider their family history. While the myths talk about different grandfathers, the truth is that genetic hair loss can come from anyone in your family. However, of the survey respondents only 55% felt there was a history of it in their family, which means that 45% did not believe that they had a family history of hair loss. While genetics can play a big role in causing hair loss, it is only one potential factor.
Often times our perception of hair loss is rapid sudden shedding happening over a short period of time. However, only 22% of the respondents felt their hair loss was sudden, while 78% felt that it had been gradual over time. Unfortunately, with gradual hair loss it has probably been happening longer than you thought, as it takes time to notice, which is why it is so important to seek treatment once you feel you are experiencing hair loss.
As we noted above, male hair loss is fairly consistent, but there was pretty big variation in how the respondents described their hair loss. The percentages below do not equal 100% as respondents were asked to select all that applied. Below is what patients felt they were experiencing, from most common to least common:
- 62% - Thinning All Over
- 48% - Excessive Shedding
- 40% - Thinner Ponytail
- 37% - Widening Part
- 27% - Temporal Loss
- 11% - Other
Lastly, 63% of the survey respondents had never received a diagnosis for their hair loss, while 37% had. If you think you are experiencing hair loss, it is so important to get a diagnosis from a practice that is trained in evaluating and treating female hair loss. If you have received a diagnosis from a dermatologist or primary care physician, make sure you meet with a hair loss specialist who can get you started on a treatment plan right away. Most important, if you think you are seeing any signs of hair loss, know you are not alone and there are great treatment options available.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Overcoming Our Own Perceptions of Female Hair Loss
When Medi Tresse opened 2015, our mission was two-fold. First, we wanted to help all women experiencing hair loss feel empowered by their options and reclaim their confidence. Secondly, as the leading medical professionals in our industry, we wanted to normalize women's hair loss through education while creating a caring and supportive community for women. That second part is the hardest, but most important part of our mission.
The reason I am sharing this, is due to a recent patient interaction that I had during a consultation. During the consultation I made a comment about the patient’s hair loss and the patient was slightly taken aback and stated that they did not suffer from hair loss. The patient went on to state that she only has some thinning hair, but not hair loss. This is actually something that is not that uncommon to hear from patients at Medi Tresse.
While hair loss may seem fairly objective, either you have it or you don’t, in reality, that is not how people feel about hair loss. The truth is that everybody has different perceptions about what counts as hair loss. We have some patients that come in with what appear to be full heads of hair, but they are noticing changes in their hair and feel they have hair loss that needs to be treated. We have other patients that come in with what we would consider advanced female hair loss, but they feel like they have just started to notice hair loss or they have always had fine hair so it really is not that advanced to them. It is important not to minimize anyone’s feelings about what they are experiencing.
It is just as important to break through the negative connotations of words and phrases like “hair loss”, ”thinning hair”, or “alopecia”. Thankfully, with the patient I alluded to above, even though this patient did not think they had hair loss, they were still seeking treatment. Unfortunately, many women are unable to take the next step to see a specialist, because doing so would be an admission that they are experiencing hair loss. Hopefully, through greater awareness of how common hair loss is in women and the treatments available, we will be able to break free of our negative perceptions of female hair loss.
We know it is not easy, but important work never is. When you are ready to take that next step, please know that staff at Medi Tresse is here for you.
Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel
Argan Oil for Hair Health
Unfortunately, many of the popular hair styling techniques are actually detrimental to our hair. The problem is that many people want something they don’t have and utilize styling techniques that damage the hair. Over styling, and especially techniques that use excessive heat, can actually dry out and damage the outer hair cuticle, so it is important to add that moisture back. Leave in conditioners, masks, and oils can help to condition and moisturize the hair strand. We especially recommend those products with oils like argan, avocado, coconut, which help offset the dryness and help keep hair shiny.
Today we are going to look further into argan oil, which has become an increasingly popular product for hair health. Argan oil is made from the fruit of the argan tree in Morocco. Argan oil has been found to be beneficial for both the hair and the scalp. Rich in fatty acids, argan oil is also known to lubricate and add moisture back into the hair. Argan oil is also rich in Vitamin E, which has been known to help prevent dryness in both the scalp and hair.
At Medi Tresse, we recently started offering a Hydrating Serum that is enriched with Moroccan argan oil. This fast-absorbing, deep-penetrating serum helps to moisturize the hair and scalp, while also providing luxurious shine and silky-smooth texture. Used daily, this hydrating serum is safe for colored, straightened, and chemically treated hair.
Whether you add our Hydrating Serum or another argan oil product, we would strongly recommend argan oil for any hair care regiment to help provide healthier more rejuvenated hair.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
2021 Webinar Series Kick Off
After the positive feedback we received in 2020, we are excited to announce the return of our webinar series, with the first webinar of 2021 being hosted on Wednesday January 20th at 12:30PM. We found that webinars not only provided a great way to deliver information to our patients and perspective patients, but with the Q&A portion, they are quite interactive. Each webinar will cover a different topic and will always end with a Q&A where you can ask questions with the panelists. While we will be posting the webinars on our website afterwards, it is best to attend the actual webinar as attendees do receive specials and discounts.
It is important to register for each webinar that you would like to attend as we do limit the number of spots in these webinars to ensure that attendees can ask questions and we can get through all of the questions in a reasonable time. Also, if there are certain topics that you would like covered please let us know. Our goal is to provide information that our patients find useful.
Below is some information on the upcoming currently scheduled webinars. Please let us know if there are any specific topics that you would like covered.
Wednesday January 20th – Tresse Rx and Medi Tresse Hair Care Line
The past 6 months saw the introduction of the Tresse Rx Healthy Hair Program and Medi Tresse Hair Care product line. Tresse Rx includes both a topical growth factor serum and mico-needle applicator, as well as a complete hair loss supplement program. The Medi Tresse Hair Care product line includes shampoos, conditioners, and deep treatments for healthier hair. During this webinar the panelists will go over each product in depth and to help you understand how the products work and who they may benefit.
Wednesday January 27th – What is the right supplement for me?
Hair loss supplements have become common place, however, with the many options available, many patients feel overwhelmed about where to start. During this webinar the panelists will look into the role hair loss supplements play in a treatment plan and review different supplement options.
Wednesday February 3rd – Common Questions about Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy has become one of the most popular treatments for female hair loss, and clinical studies have proven how effective it can be. However, as there is no standard protocol, which means how it is performed can vary greatly from one practice to another. During this webinar we answer some of the common questions that we receive around Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy.
Wednesday February 10th – Minoxidil - What is it and how it is used as a treatment for female hair loss?
Minoxidil is the only topical FDA approved treatment for hair loss, however, how it has been used in the treatment of female hair loss has changed over time. While many patients have tried a minoxidil product in the past, like Rogain®, the products that contain minoxidil have changed overtime and for the better. During this webinar we will look at how minoxidil as a treatment for female hair loss has changed over time and how we recommend using it today.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Hair Rejuvenation New Year’s Resolutions For 2021
Happy New Year’s and on to 2021! With the challenges that were presented to us this past year, I think we all get a pass for not keeping our 2020 New Year’s resolutions. While the difficulties of this pandemic are not over, as the calendar flips to 2021, it does so with a great sense of hope for all of us. With that, we wanted to offer everyone, regardless of where you are on your hair rejuvenation journey, a New Year’s resolution for the health of your hair.
Get on a hair loss supplement.
If we learned anything in 2020 about hair loss, it is how much stress and external factors affect our hair. Due to the increased stress of 2020, not only did we see an increase in complaints in excessive shedding from our patients, but there was significant news coverage related to this topic as this was seen everywhere. A good hair loss supplement routine not only makes your hair healthier but can help minimize the impact when these stressful events occur.
If your last appointment with us was prior to this pandemic, schedule a follow up.
The pandemic has now been going on for over 10 months. It is recommended that you be seen every 6 to 12 months, just like going to the dentist. As we have seen, a lot can change during that time and it is so important to follow up so that we can track your progress and make sure that no adjustments are needed to your treatment plan. While we have significant safety protocols in place for the safety of our staff and patients, we know not everyone is comfortable coming in for an appointment right now. In that case, we really recommend a video appointment so that we can at least check in and see how things are going.
If your treatment was interrupted or you stopped treatment, get back on that treatment plan.
As our lives were interrupted and put-on pause for various reasons during the pandemic, many patients had their treatment interrupted or stopped following their treatment plan. It is important to remember that it is never to late to restart your treatments. Whether you are overdue for an Optimal Platelet Concentration Therapy Booster or stopped using your laser cap, now is the time to get back on track. If you have had any changes in your medical history (i.e., new medications) certainly let us know so that we can make sure that the treatment plan is still appropriate for you.
If you are currently following your treatment plan, keep at it!
If you started a treatment this past year or have been treating your hair loss for a while, keep at it! I am sure there have been some ups and downs, but you are doing all the right things, and being consistent with your treatments will give you the best chance for a successful outcome. I know we all want immediate results, but it can sometimes take up to 12 months to see results so do not get discouraged and do not stop your treatments.
If you have never been seen by a hair loss specialist, schedule a consultation.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be seen by a hair loss specialist as soon as you notice signs of hair loss. The most common forms of hair loss are progressive, which means that without proper treatment the hair loss will continue. It is important to remember that this does not mean you will go bald like men do, as women lose their hair differently than men. It just means that the hair loss will get worse without treatment. Female hair loss is quite complex with a variety of causes and it really takes a specialist to be able to diagnose the cause and determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Wherever you are on your hair rejuvenation journey, just know that the team at Medi Tresse is here to support you and help you keep your hair health New Year’s resolution. Do not hesitate to reach out to our offices and have a safe and healthy 2021.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
The Importance of A Virtual Consultation
We have heard from some patients about whether doing a virtual telehealth consultation is worth doing. While our offices’ safety protocols meet, and in many instances exceed, all local and federal safety regulations, we understand that everyone’s comfort level is a little different at this point in time. We also know that due to travel restrictions in different states, coming into the office is not an option for all patients. With that said, for patients that are unable to or do not feel comfortable coming in for an in-office consultation, we would strongly recommend a virtual telehealth consultation for the following reasons.
Most types of hair loss are progressive and will continue to get worse without treatment.
First and foremost, many types of hair loss, including androgenic alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), which is the most common type of hair loss are progressive. That means that the hair loss will continue to get worse without proper evaluation and treatment.
Preventing hair loss is easier than re-growing what was lost.
Although we see many women who have already experienced quite a bit of loss and have successfully treated them, the importance of treating hair loss early is key. It’s true that once the scalp is visible, up to 50% of your hair density has already been lost. As more and more hairs become “affected” they eventually go into hibernation, so to speak. In this dormant state, it is more difficult to fully restore a hair. The key is to start treatments early (before a significant amount of loss has already occurred) and nip hair loss in the bud.
A lot can be accomplished in a virtual telehealth consultation.
Back in the Spring when we started offering virtual consultations, our staff was honestly hesitant about them. There was concern that we would miss something in our evaluation of the patient, however, we quickly realized that we are able to do a very thorough evaluation and get patients started on some sort of treatment that they would otherwise be holding off. When these patients came in later for in-person follow-ups, we were very happy that they were able to effectively start treatments many months earlier than if they had not done the virtual visit.
There are many great at-home treatment options now available.
Thankfully, at home treatment options have come a long way and there are many clinically proven options that patients can start in the comfort of their home. From low level laser therapy (LLLT) to supplements to topical micro-needling with growth factors, our staff will be able to customize an effective home treatment plan that you will be able to start immediately. While many patients do take advantage of our in-office treatments, many of our patients only utilize at home treatments and with great success.
We understand that this has been a difficult year that has only gotten more difficult. We also know that there are many things we have had to put off, but treating your hair loss does not need to be one of them.
If you are interested in scheduling an in-person or virtual consultation do not hesitate to reach out to our office today.
How Tresse Rx Differs From Nutrafol and Viviscal
With the addition of our Tresse Rx supplement and vitamins, we have received a number of questions from patients regarding how these differ from Nutrafol or Viviscal. First off, it is important to remember that the Tresse Rx healthy inside plan, is a comprehensive plan that consists of not just the Tresse Revitalizer and Tresse Fortifier supplements, but also the Tresse Prebiotic gut health powder. When comparing to the Nutrafol or Viviscal, you really cannot include the Tresse Prebiotic gut health powder in the comparison, because that part of the plan is so different from what you get with Nutrafol or Viviscal, which is one of the reasons we love the Tresse Prebiotic. Gut health plays such an important role in all aspects of our health, including our hair, the ingredients in the Tresse Prebiotic have been found to boost our immune system, soothe inflammation, and increase overall gut health.
What is great about the Tresse Revitalizer and Tresse Fortifier supplements is that they not only have many of the key ingredients found in Nutrafol and Viviscal, but they actually have even more ingredients that have been known to address the many causes of hair loss.
Ingredients Similar to Nutrafol
- Ashwagandha Root Extract
- Marine Collagen
- Resveratrol - Japanese Knotweed Root
- Saw Palmetto
Ingredients Similar to Viviscal
- Vitamin C
- Marine Collagen
While Nutrafol and Viviscal are great supplements for hair health, there are still many important vitamins and nutrients that they do not have which have been incorporated into the Tresse Rx supplements. Below are some of the highlights:
Folic acid can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, which is a type of B Vitamin. As folic acid is mainly responsible for healthy cell growth and can be found in your scalp tissue and hair, it is widely believed that folic acid is important for the generation of new healthy hairs.
Magnesium can be found in the Tresse Fortifier supplement. Magnesium plays a key role in protein synthesis in our bodies. As roughly 80% of our hair is made up of protein, magnesium plays an important role in the development of key cells for the hair. Therefore, magnesium deficiency can have a direct effect on our hair. Lastly, Magnesium is known to help reduce stress and anxiety, which we know can negatively impact our hair.
Niacin can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement. Niacin is a B vitamin that is known to improve blood circulation, which is so important to hair health. Increased blood circulation in the scalp allows for increased oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle, which can extend the growth phase of the hair.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement. Riboflavin plays an important role in hair growth by activating Vitamin B6 and niacin, which are two important vitamins for healthy hair development. The body stores only small amounts of riboflavin and riboflavin deficiency is known to cause hair loss.
Vitamin B6 can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement. Vitamin B6 helps our hair in two ways. First, Vitamin B6 plays a key role in protein synthesis, which is important for hair as protein makes up roughly 80% of our hair. Secondly, Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, and it is widely believed that Vitamin B6 can help us manage stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact the health of your hair.
Vitamin E can be found in the Tresse Fortifier supplement. Vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant, which protect cells from the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to play a role in premature hair loss. One study on the use of Vitamin E as a supplement for hair loss found that people with hair loss experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months, while the placebo group had only a 0.1% increase.
To learn more about the Tresse Rx Healthy Inside plan schedule a consultation or contact our offices today.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Hair Loss Awareness Month - Dr. Wendel's Hair Loss Story
Like most years, August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month. Fortunately, awareness for hair loss in women is increasing, and with that awareness comes improved evaluation and treatments. Up until about 10 years ago, there wasn’t much to offer women except minoxidil. But things are rapidly changing.
I believe many of you know that I also suffer from Female Androgenic Alopecia, or FAGA. I always tell my patients, if you’re not sure if it runs in your family, take a close look at whoever is sitting at your family’s holiday dinner table. Well, around my table was my immediate family, including my parents and two brothers. Both my parents had a full head of hair, as did both my brothers. But also at my table was my maternal grandfather who had thinning hair, as well as my paternal grandmother who sadly, wore a wig because her hair was so thin. So there it was. I always had fine hair, but enough to cover completely. But when I was pre-menopausal I started to notice some “see through” areas right in the front. When it seemed to be getting worse, after a couple of years I started myself on minoxidil, first 2%, then 5%. I was able to use it for a couple of years, but then my scalp became so inflamed I had to stop it. After awhile I tried again, but unfortunately, the burning, itching, and scabbing happened again. So I stopped and had nothing else to try at the time.
Fast forward about 15 years and fortunately now there are 5% minoxidil products like Formula PM which don’t contain the alcohol which had caused my irritation in the past. I also use a Laser Cap faithfully every other day, as well as my daily hair supplement Nutrofol and Lock RX to keep my scalp healthy, decrease shedding and help grow newer, stronger hair. I also know that our newest PRP treatment, known as Optimal Platelet Concentration (OPC) therapy is available if I decide I need that extra stimulation to grow stronger, thicker hair. And while I presently don’t need it, we also offer micro-pigmentation, which uses a semi-permanent dying technique to gently color the scalp to fill in the areas that look thin.
So, have these treatments helped me? Absolutely, YES. I know that our Tresse Rejuvenation Therapy works. We see improvement in our patients every day. When I look at my own photos from ten years ago, my hair is healthier and fuller now. My hair will always be fine, and I know that I will need to continue these treatments, but I am confident that I will never need that wig that my poor grandmother used so many years ago!
So let’s celebrate Hair Loss Awareness Month, knowing that because of improved awareness newer treatments are being studied, not just for Androgenic Alopecia, but for Alopecia Areata and Scarring Alopecia as well.
If you think you would benefit from an evaluation, or want to hear more about our Tresse Rejuvenation Therapy, give us a call. We presently are doing both in person consults as well as video consultations, for those not quite ready to venture out.
Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel
Happy August everyone. I know for myself that when we get to the middle of August, I start to get very sad about the end of the summer. This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been one of the hardest summers for many of us. I know it has been for me. The anxiety surrounding children going back to school has only heightened the stress for many people. My son and daughter-in-law are both teachers and I have several grandchildren who desperately need the social connection that school provides. And yet, they still aren’t sure what school is going to look like. Again, more stress for parents, teachers (and concerned grandmothers!)
In light of what we are all going through, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 infection, as well as stress, on our hair health. Many of you may have seen the headline on CNN, “Alyssa Milano says she’s losing her hair after battling COVID-19 for months”. Included in the story was a video showing her hair brush full of hair. In the last couple of months, I have spoken to several women who did have COVID-19 infections, and like Alyssa Milano, have experienced significant shedding about 2-3 months after being ill. We know very little about the long term consequences of this new virus, so it is unclear whether the shedding is a direct result of this particular infection or a telogen effluvium (TE) which can occur with any significant illness or stress. What I will say is that these women who did have documented COVID-19 infection seem to have a rather aggressive shedding experience. Only time will tell if their recovery follows a similar pattern as most telogen effluviums, with shedding stopping after 3-6 months, followed by complete regrowth.
As with those of us, myself included, who have noticed increased shedding during this difficult time, I recommend that women with post COVID-19 shedding try to improve their diet with increased protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, take a good hair loss supplement like Lock Rx or Nutrafol, and be very gentle with their hair. This means using less styling products which dry and damage hair, perhaps shampooing a little less often, and avoiding chemical treatments as much as possible.
If you think you are shedding as a result of stress or recent infection, we would be happy to see you, either in person or via video consult. It’s important to get a thorough evaluation and expert advice. While we adhere to very strict COVID-19 precautions in the office, we know some of you just aren’t quite ready to venture out yet.
So, I hope you and your families stay safe, and enjoy the rest of your summer. I know we will all get through this difficult time together.
Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel
Get to Know Our Team - Dr. Mark DiStefano
We are starting a new blog series called "Get to Know Our Team" where we are highlighting members of our team. The first team member we are highlighting is Dr. Mark DiStefano who recently took on a larger role at our practice when he was named Chief of Surgery of Medi Tresse.
What is your role at Medi Tresse?
I am the Medical Director of Medi Tresse Westchester, which is a role I have held since March of 2018. In August, due to patient demand, Medi Tresse made the decision to start offering hair restoration surgery and I was named the Chief of Surgery of Medi Tresse. As Chief of Surgery I see patients at the Medi Tresse Boston, Medi Tresse Worcester, and Medi Tresse Scarsdale offices.
What is your experience treating hair loss and specifically female hair loss?
I started treating hair loss over 25 years ago and have treated thousands of patients both men and women. I have performed over 10,000 surgical hair restoration procedures, of which roughly 1,500 of those procedures were performed on women.
You have performed significantly more surgical procedures on men than women, is there a reason for that?
There are really a couple of reasons for that. The first is that in my experience hair loss in men is more accepted in society, so men feel more comfortable seeking treatment. Many of the female patients I have met with often share stories of trying to hide their hair loss for years before finally deciding to seek treatment. The second reason is that surgery is often a better option for male patients than for female patients, especially with some of the great non-surgical options now available to women. Female patients used to make up 20% of my surgeries just 15 years ago, but now they only make up between 5-10%. For many women Optimal Platelet Concentration™ Therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, or Low Level Laser Therapy are better options.
Why are non-surgical options better for many women?
Women have diffuse hair loss which is more responsive to medical treatment versus surgical treatment. Men tend to have the horseshoe pattern and this is less amenable to medical therapies, so surgery is often a better option.
Are any women good candidates for hair restoration surgery?
Absolutely, but we need to make sure the patient has a strong donor area, which is where we take the hairs from to transplant. As many women experience diffuse thinning, or hair loss throughout, we need to make sure that the donor area has enough density to transplant from. A hair transplant is the only way to get hair in a place it did not exist before, so for patients looking to add density to an area or move their hair line, a hair transplant can be a very good option.
Do you enjoy what you do?
I have been blessed because for the last 27 years I have had the privilege to practice hair restoration, which has given me the opportunity to help thousands of people restore their hair, but more importantly their confidence. I have been fortunate enough to train 15 physicians throughout the world in hair restoration and I have taught at conferences all over the world. This has allowed me to meet physicians and patients from all walks of life. Hair restoration has been my passion and the journey was so much more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
In August 2019 Medi Tresse began offering hair restoration surgery with Mark DiStefano, MD. Dr. DiStefano is a Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, a Fellow of the International Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, and member of the European Society of Hair Restoration. Dr. DiStefano has specialized in the treatment of hair loss for over 25 years and has treated more than 2,500 women for hair loss. He is world-renowned and has been described by his peers as one of the best hair transplant surgeons in the world. If you are interested in having a hair transplant consultation with Dr. DiStefano contact our office today.