How Blood Tests Can Play a Role in Diagnosing the Cause of Your Hair Loss

The ultimate goal of our medical consultation is to determine the cause of your hair loss.  Starting treatment without knowing the cause is really not helpful, and often is costly both in time and money. There are many types of hair loss that women can experience, and each of these types can have several different causes.  During the physical exam of your scalp and hair, we will closely examine your hair follicles using a highly magnified camera called a trichoscope, which will allow us to look for signs like miniaturization of the hair follicles, inflammation, or other specific features of the follicle that are not visible to the naked eye.  While the physical examination is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to diagnosing the cause of hair loss, it is only one piece of the puzzle.   We still need to review the patient’s medical and hair loss history, and for some patients we may also ask for specific blood tests to be done.  While some women have had blood tests completed in the past, we only consider it relevant if it has been completed within the previous 12 months.

So, when does blood work play a role in the evaluation?

Patients Suspected of Telogen Effluvium

According to the American Hair Loss Association, Telogen Effluvium (TE) is the second most common form of hair loss. It presents as excessive shedding which seems to occur very suddenly and can be very mild or aggressive.   While Telogen Effluvium is common, the good news is that it is usually reversible and complete regrowth usually occurs in about a year. However, it is extremely important to do a thorough evaluation for this problem to determine the cause.   Treating Telogen Effluvium is really a two-step process.  The first step is determining what is causing the “shock” to your hair.  It is possible there was a singular traumatic event like surgery or an infection.  However, one of the most common causes of TE is a nutritional deficiency, like iron, Vitamin D, or the B vitamins like B12 or Folate.  When we suspect that a patient is experiencing a Telogen Effluvium, we usually recommend blood work so that we can evaluate those results for potential causes.

Patients Under 45

Another common cause of hair loss in women is hormonal imbalances.  The most common cause of hair loss in women is Androgenic Alopecia.  We know that this is a genetic problem that is primarily driven mostly by testosterone in men and women, but we also know in women, any imbalance of the female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, can accelerate hair loss.  Just prior to menopause, as hormones change, we often see worsening loss.  Therefore, in these cases it is very important to check testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels.   And in women who are experiencing hair loss at a very young age, hormone levels are particularly important to evaluate.

Post-Menopausal Women

Usually once a woman passes through menopause, there can be a stabilization of hormones and evaluation of these levels is not necessary.   However, if a woman is on HRT or hormone replacement therapy, it becomes essential to know if the hormone levels are in balance for good hair growth, and blood testing is essential.

History of thyroid disease

Both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid diseases can cause hair loss.  When a woman has a history of thyroid disease in herself or other family members, we always check blood tests.  Once again, all hormones need to be in proper balance to create healthy, strong hair.

Treating female hair thinning or loss without knowing the cause will often lead to poor results, frustrating both the patient and the practitioner.  Often, the only way to know the entire story is to check blood tests.  If you are experiencing hair loss make sure to see a hair loss specialist that can complete a full evaluation and determine if blood work would be beneficial for you.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

The Medi Tresse Online Store is Live

The Medi Tresse Online Store has officially launched to offer Medi Tresse patients a convenient way to reorder their favorite products and treatments.  The online store not only makes ordering easy, but you will get automatic updates and shipment tracking information on your order.  The online store will carry the following products:

You can visit the online store by clicking the link below:

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

**The Medi Tresse Online Store is independently owned and operated by Medi Tresse Management, LLC.**

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

Your Diet and Your Hair

 

We have all tried different products and supplements to improve the health of our hair, however, we often over look one of the key drivers of hair health, our diet!  Any hair healthy diet should include the following: Biotin, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.  These nutrients and vitamins are important as they all play a crucial role in the production of hair in the body.  Being deficient in one or more of these nutrients or vitamins can lead not only to breakage and less volume, but potentially even hair loss.

It is important to understand that your diet will not prevent normal every day loss (remember we shed 50 to 100 hairs a day) or stop progressive hair loss due to genetics, but your diet can still play a significant role in the overall health of your hair.  The good thing is that these key nutrients and vitamins can be found in lots of great foods including the list below:

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

If you start to see a decrease in the overall health of your hair it is important to make sure you are receiving the recommended daily values of these key vitamins and nutrients.  However, if your hair loss progresses it is important to see a hair loss specialist that can determine the cause and provide you with the necessary treatment plan.

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