Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Everyone loses hair. It is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day. If you see bald patches or lots of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss. The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia.
The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. Other names for this type of hair loss include Male-pattern baldness, Female-pattern baldness, or Androgenetic alopecia.
There are many possible reasons for hair loss, ranging from genetic to environmental. One of the most common hair loss causes is genetics, resulting in alopecia or male pattern baldness (which occurs in women as well as men). Although alopecia causes cannot be prevented, there are several possible approaches to addressing this cause of hair loss, including hair transplantation surgery, medications, and laser therapy.
Hair loss occurs when the hair follicle shrinks and becomes unable to grow new hair.

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Everyone loses hair. It is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day. If you see bald patches or excessive thinning, you may be experiencing true hair loss. The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia.


There are many causes of hair loss. Commonly, more than one factor contributes to hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is diffuse, sudden shedding of hair. Triggers for telogen effluvium can include: pregnancy, illness including fever, new medications, or surgery. Telogen effluvium does not cause irreversible damage to the hair follicles and usually resolves on its own over time.

Androgenetic alopecia is hereditary hair loss, also called male- or female-pattern hair loss. It is the most common form of hair loss, affecting about 80 million men and women in the United States.

Alopecia areata causes discrete patches of hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It is caused by the immune system fighting against hair follicles and can be associated with other autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease, certain anemias, or vitiligo. Alopecia areata occurs in males and females of all ages, but onset often occurs in childhood. Over 6.6 million people in the United States and 147 million worldwide have or will develop alopecia areata at some point in their lives.

Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia is a rare form of hair loss which affects a person’s hair follicles. Scar tissue forms where the follicles once were, so the hair cannot re-grow.

Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia primarily affects African American women. It begins in the center of the scalp and can spread outwards. The affected scalp becomes smooth and shiny. The hair loss can be very slow or rapid. Harsh chemicals and processing can increase the risk of developing this type of alopecia.

Risk Factors

Millions of people experience hair loss. Some people see their hair re-grow naturally, while others need treatment. Sometimes, hair will not re-grow even with treatment. There are many factors which can contribute to hair loss including:

  • Family history of hair loss.
  • Underlying medical conditions.
  • Illness.
  • Certain cancer treatments.
  • Ringworm.
  • Trichotillomania, which causes people to pull out their own hair.
  • Hormonal changes, post-partum or menopausal women.
  • Stress, like that experienced after a traumatic event.
  • Weight Loss.
  • Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Protein or Iron deficiency.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Inadequate hair care and certain hair styles.


Hair loss may cause gradual thinning, bald patches, or complete baldness. It varies from person to person, and by condition.


To diagnose hair loss, a dermatologist has to act like a detective, asking many questions about the hair loss and a patient’s medical history.

The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair, and occasionally examine strands of hair. To accurately diagnose the specific type of hair loss, a scalp biopsy may be required.

Determining the exact cause of hair loss may take time and multiple appointments, but do not get discouraged. Once a diagnosis is reached, there are options for treatment.


*Source: American Academy of DermatologyNational Alopecia Areata Foundation


Once your dermatologist determines what is causing your hair loss, there are several options for treatment. Some of these options include:

  • Medications
    • Certain vitamins can strengthen and make existing, remaining hair healthier, as well as treat underlying deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss
    • Over the counter medications such as Minoxidil (Rogaine) or hair care products that thicken hair
    • Prescription medications, like steroid creams
    • Steroid Injections that can be done in the office
  • Surgical Procedures
    • Hair Transplant
    • Medical Tattooing
  • Wigs or Hairpieces


American Academy of Dermatology National Alopecia Areata Foundation

What We Do


  • Intralesional Steroid injections for specific types of hair loss

What are the most common reasons for hair loss?

There are many possible reasons for hair loss, ranging from genetic to environmental factors. One of the most common causes of hair loss is genetics, resulting in male- or female- pattern baldness. Although genetic alopecia is pre-determined, thus making it difficult to prevent, there are several possible approaches to addressing this type of hair loss, including topical and oral medications and transplantation surgery.

How can I stop losing hair?

It is important to remember that the most effective remedies for hair loss will depend on its root cause. In some cases, stopping hair loss may simply require a change in lifestyle, while other cases require medical treatment.

In all cases, the best place to start is to see a physician to help determine what is causing the hair loss and which option is likely to work best for your situation. In some cases it is difficult to nail down the exact diagnosis of hair loss, especially considering most hair loss is caused by more than one factor.

In other cases, the reasons for hair loss may be related to an individual’s environment, lifestyle, or overall health. These causes may include: illness or disease (such as thyroid disease or anemia), certain medications (including chemotherapy), lifestyle factors like smoking, stress, or alcohol consumption. The best way to determine the cause of your hair loss is to see your physician.

How can I make my hair thicker and restore a healthy head of hair?

Thinning hair remedies range from actions you can easily take in the comfort of your own home to medical and surgical treatment.

Improving your nutrition, reducing stress levels, and treating vitamin deficiencies can thicken hair. There are several over the counter hair products that can increase the appearance of hair thickness by using caffeine to plump the hair follicle. Finally, Minoxidil (Rogaine) can help regrow and thicken hair. Or If hair is significantly thin, not responding to treatment, or you experience permanent or scarring hair loss, hair transplantation surgery should be considered.

How should I select a hair regrowth treatment?

Men and women experiencing hair loss will often wonder about hair regrowth options. Hair regrowth treatment will vary depending on the cause of your hair loss. Because the reasons for thinning hair vary widely, the solution may range from making lifestyle changes (such as reducing stress or eating a more healthy, nutritious diet) to treating existing medical problems (such as thyroid disorders or anemia) or seeing a physician to discuss medical treatments like Minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine) or Finasteride.

If none of these treatments are effective, surgical options such as follicular unit extraction (FUE) are also available.

When is non surgical hair replacement a viable option?

Non-surgical options are always a good place to start. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, you may find that improving your nutrition, reducing stress levels, and treating vitamin deficiencies may allow your hair to grow back. Additionally, medications like Minoxidil (Rogaine) or Finasteride are options. Finally, if none of this works and you are set on avoiding surgery, you may consider experimenting with flattering hairstyles or hair pieces.

How much does hair transplant cost?

Individuals considering hair transplantation surgery often wonder about hair restoration prices. To determine the hair replacement cost, you must first decide on the type of procedure you are considering.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) will typically cost more than strip harvesting, but often results in a more natural appearance and involves less scarring and post-surgical pain.

For more exact numbers, a consultation with a hair transplant specialist will be necessary. When considering these cost, it is important to keep in mind the value of the surgery. How much does the hair transplant cost when compared to an artificial hairpiece, or the long-term use of medical treatments like Rogaine or Finasteride? Moreover, because the results are permanent, many people view the surgery as an investment in their appearance and overall happiness.


International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery


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