Frequently Asked Question
What are the appropriate diagnostic methodologies for evaluating causes of Hair Loss?
A scientific approach for diagnosis involves clinical examination, scalp biopsy along with an extensive blood workup. Hair loss is seen not just as an aesthetic concern as it appears prima facie but is indicative of deep rooted medical concerns which must be addressed simultaneously in order to ensure long term effective results. Infact, clinical examination by a dermatologist combined with a scalp biopsy reading is considered the gold standard in diagnosing the cause of hair loss.
What is the most scientific approach to managing hair loss?
Multidisciplinary approach, subject to case examination is the best way to address hair loss concerns as their outcome is more permanent and effective.
Why is it important to do a host of blood work in diagnosing cause and treatment of hair loss?
As earlier mentioned more and more research goes to prove that hair loss may appear as an aesthetic presentation but is a translation of underlying medical conditions be it metabolic disorders, hormonal imbalance, stress, auto immune diseases, digestion and absorption disorders, blood disorders etc. Hence on diagnosis, treatment in a multidisciplinary way meaning dermatology along with gastroenterology or endocrinology or hematology or psychiatry as the case may deem fit addresses the concern more holistically and hence treatment effectiveness is assured in such cases. At sculptbygp International Hair & Skin Clinic, this approach is core to the philosophy of medical practice.
Isn’t it very expensive if one must undergo many blood tests and meet doctors from various disciplines in order to resolve these hair loss concerns?
Any route chosen otherwise will resolve the problem temporarily on the surface but may not get rid of the trigger or the root cause as you may call it. In fact you may lead to spending less in the long run considering that you have averted illnesses from becoming chronic with appropriate medical guidance from specialists (multidisciplinary) and adapting to life style and diet modification or as may deem fit for that patient. Some of the research findings at sculptbygp International Hair & Skin Clinic suggest that a lot of men under 30 years of age have male pattern baldness and on close observational mapping this group of patients is actually seen to have a lipids concern combined with other anomalies.
If I just address the blood parameters would it then address my hair loss concerns; would I need clinical management then in that case?
Well, all that is subject tothe patient expectation whether the concern is dandruff, or hair loss arrest or hair re-growth, or managing any other hair loss disease. Both options exist depending on the expectation of results;
Clinical treatments are generally more aggressive whereas home management takes longer and compliance is seen as an issue in the case of home management. Besides, being a multidisciplinary approach it can be applied on a very aggressive footing to resolve this issue from the core if the clinical approach is adopted.
We also see that patients expect miracles in the first few sessions of therapy which is difficult to live up to, however, as we understand it takes a couple of months, maybe earlier if complete medical guidelines are followed coupled with clinical management services.
Clinical management is generally recommended in the case of hair fall control whereas hair transplantation is generally considered a gold standard procedure for assuring hair re-growth. Sometimes one does deal with the challenge of limited donor hair in a candidate opting for hair transplantation. In that case non-surgical options or, else the newer techniques are incorporated to achieve those results.
Limited donor hair kind of challenges are now being met with promising techniques like hair multiplication, hair cloning, stem cells, gene therapy to make a difference in this arena.
Are there any specific blood tests for hair loss?
Yes, there are and we at sculptbygp International Hair & Skin Clinic discuss that with the patient during a formal consultation.
Is there anything topical that I can use instead of consuming medications?
Yes, topical applications are available for hair loss treatments, like topical minoxidil in varied percentages used once or twice a day, for both men and women, with topical finasteride combination for men to reduce the risk of oral finasteride side effects and with progesterone combination for women with hormonal disturbances, peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Other formulations like saw palmetto extract-herbal DHT blocker can be used topically in the form of serum in both men and women.
To support the above topical therapy, Triamino copper nutritional complex (TRICOMIN SPRAY) with an exceptional leave in conditioner formulation can be used. This enriches hair and scalp with a unique blend of essential amino acids, minerals and hair building ingredients when applied to dry or damp hair every day. It is designed for both men and women with thinning hair.
What do you think of Minoxidil and Finasteride for regrowth and hair loss control?
The management of baldness is a multidisciplinary effort. Minoxidil and Finasteride (US FDA approved) are usually recommended as first line therapy for male pattern baldness. They may also be used simultaneously when hair loss is progressive or further re-growth is desired after 12 months. Combination of Minoxidil and Finasteride is more effective than individual use, suggesting synergistic effects of the medications. Both systemic and topical applications are effective in androgenic hair loss.
To what extent do they work?
Minoxidil, a vasodilator, available as topical application for hair re-growth is effective both in crown and frontal alopecia, more so in crown. Minoxidil causes hair in the later phases of the cell cycle to shed early, and often followed by growth of new thicker hair. This effect is temporary and does not appear to change follicular structure, leading to indefinite use of minoxidil application to maintain the obtained growth, while irregular usage or abrupt stoppage may lead to excessive shedding.
Finasteride, like minoxidil is effective at the crown and frontal sculptbygp International Hair & Skin Clinic area, but more so at the former. Increased hair growth is noted in people aged between 18-40 years with mild to moderate hair loss (male pattern baldness). Available as both topical and oral formulations, it reverses the androgenic effects on hair follicles to some extent. Finasteride reduces the formation of DHT. This also leads to increased levels of testosterone and estradiol. Gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction, and depression are some possible side-effects. Hence, it reduces the possibility of long term usage.
FAQ’s on General Hair loss concerns
Can hair loss occur in young adults?
Male pattern hair loss can occur as early as 15, although it begins anywhere from the 20’s and the early 30s. Familial history may help determine the same. Alopecia Areata and Telogen effluvium can occur in younger children as well.
Can Hair Loss occur due to Improper hair care?
Yes, hair loss can occur due to improper care such as use of faulty hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, gels, hair dyes and also due to improper hair styles such as repeated tugging of hair in to ponytails repeated combing etc.
What temperature water should I use for shampooing my hair?
For the average person, who simply wants to shampoo his or her moderately-soiled hair, lukewarm water is the way to go. Warm water allows the shampoo to most effectively remove the dirt and oils in the hair.
Does changing a shampoo increase hair fall?
No, it alters only the texture of hair.
Can chronic itchy scalp result in hair loss?
Yes, itchy scalp due to sweat build up or other unhygienic hair care practices or ring worm infections results in breakage of hair. Psoriasis related hair fall is a result of too much scratching and also due to forcefully removing the flakes besides stress. Dandruff associated with itching is a precursor to baldness.
What Infections of the Scalp contribute to hair fall?
A number of infectious and infection related conditions can contribute to hair fall. The commonest one seen in Indian Populations are ring worm and Piedra-Fungal infections, folliculitis- bacterial infection, Demodex Folliculorum infection, Seborrheic Dermatitis etc. These infections affect the hair fibre resulting in brittle hair, breakage and bald patches of skin in the affected area. In severe cases they permanently damage the hair follicle.
What is the cause of my recurring dandruff?
Commonest triggers include increased oil production, oily skin, oily scalp, excessive sweating, poor hygiene, Weather (hot and humid or cold and dry), infrequent washing or shampooing, Concurrent yeast or fungal skin infections, poor immune system, chronic illness, emotional or mental stress.
How does one prevent dullness of hair?
Apply light oil half an hour before washing scalp. Use a mild shampoo for daily use and not strong detergents to cleanse scalp daily of dirt. Avoid blow drying frequently. Use only cold mode on hair dryer and keep it at a distance from the scalp. UV protection shampoos are also as good option for summers.
How to prevent hair shaft breakage?
Don’t comb hair when it is wet as the roots will be loose. Detangle the knots using fingers. Use wide toothed combs and avoid roller brushes.
How often should I trim my hair?
Once every 6-8 weeks. This helps prevent split ends.
How can I make my hair look dense instantly?
There are special fibers which can be sprinkled on your hair for a fuller look and hence conceal thinning of hair. These hair fibers are electro-statically charged and sticks to your hair when sprinkled.
How do I make my thin hair look healthier?
Consume a diet rich in minerals and vitamins like fruits, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits. Avoid hair colours containing ammonia. Dietary supplements can help. Tricomin, which works on the copper peptide technology is also known to thicken the hair.
I have recently shifted to Bangalore post that I notice an increase in hair fall.
Yes, change of place increases stress and alters the dietary pattern resulting in increased hair fall.
I have been working out at gym since a year and on whey proteins, I have noticed increase in hair fall post that. Is that possible!
Yes, along with whey proteins a drastic change in body weight along with deficiency of micro-nutrients can result in hair fall.
What medicines cause hair loss?
Amphetamines, lithium, anti-coagulants, birth control pills, beta blockers, gout treatment, anti-depressants are some of the medicines which can cause hair loss. Hair Therapy and changing or discontinuation of the drug does help in arresting hair fall.
Can smoking and alcohol cause Hair loss?
Smoking does affect in an indirect way. It increases the blood pressure and decreases the oxygen in the human body. Decreased blood circulation leads to rapid hair shedding and dryness. Excessive alcohol intake on the other hand depletes zinc from the system needed for hair growth so should be taken in moderation.
Can usage of cell phones cause hair loss and what preventive action should be taken to reduce the problem?
Yes, studies show that hairfall is one of the side effects. Certain preventive measures can be taken like buying a low level radiation device, use a headset or a speaker while talking, don’t communicate when the signal is poor or put on charge, avoid radiation shields if possible.
I have diffused hair loss and my scalp looks very noticeable. Solution!!
Camouflages like Toppik would be an ideal solution for diffused hair loss cases. This product instantly fills out the balding or thinned out areas or post-transplant temporary camouflage.