Have you been worried you're shedding more hair than usual? Do more and more strands seem to be coming loose, or does your hair seem to be thinning at your part? It's absolutely normal to lose hair regularly. In fact, Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City says that losing as many as 100 strands a day is standard. But when you start noticing significant hair loss in the shower, on your pillow, or on your brush after brushing, it's time to visit a dermatologist for evaluation.
To address, assuage, and provide solutions for any hair loss concerns, we reached out to Goldenberg to fill us in on what's at work and give us the 101 on hair loss treatments. "The most common cause for hair thinning and hair loss is genetics," says Goldenberg. "The genetic male or female pattern (also known as androgenic) hair loss is extremely common and can start to manifest as early as in the 20s."
However, before anyone can pin hair loss to genes, Goldenberg notes that it's necessary to take an extensive history and check blood work to rule out an internal cause. "Some other causes for hair loss that we don't often think about are vitamin deficiencies, new medications, recent surgeries, stress, weight loss, and hormonal changes," he explains. "Telogen effluvium is the second most common type of hair loss we see in our practice. It's usually related to a stressful event, pregnancy, or illness." Luckily, this type of hair loss is usually temporary, he says, but it can uncover a more chronic hair loss. Here's what we learned about hair loss treatments from Gary Goldenberg.
Goldenberg explains that PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatments "harvest the power of your own body to help hair grow and support hair health." During the procedure, blood is drawn and the PRP from the blood is injected into the area of the scalp with hair loss or thinning. Goldenberg notes that PRP does several things to improve hair loss. For one, it "contains growth factors that provide support for hair that's already present and for the hair follicles that are dormant and stimulates them to grow," says Goldenberg. "It also contains vascular growth factors. These increase circulation to the scalp providing hair with more nutrition and oxygen needed for growth."
"Thermadome is a light device that one wears at least twice weekly for at least 20 minutes," says Goldenberg, who notes that some even wear it daily because you can't overdo it. "It stimulates hair to grow by shuttling nutrition and oxygen to the scalp."
"Rogaine is a topical solution or foam that blocks the type of testosterone that causes hair miniaturization—the process that causes androgenetic hair loss," says Goldenberg, who recommends it for women just one time daily.
Vitamin B Complex Injections
Goldenberg explains that vitamin B complex injections are very important for hair health. "Many cannot absorb vitamin B from their diet, so injections of vitamin B complex may be the best way to receive this vitamin," he notes. "Some patients with normal vitamin B levels can still benefit from these injections when it comes to hair loss and hair support."
"Vitamins and nutrition are very important," says Goldenberg. "Biotin, zinc, and copper supplementation can help to improve hair quality and growth. Many patients are deficient in B vitamins. Injections with these may be most helpful, since some may not be efficient in absorbing these vitamins orally."
Diet and Lifestyle
"Hair, like the skin, requires care," emphasizes Goldenberg. "Avoiding harsh treatments with chemicals and heat will do a lot of good. Remember to maintain a well-balanced diet with good nutritional value to maintain hair growth."