Hair loss can have many different causes. Excessive loss is when more than 100 strands of hair is lost a day. Hair loss can occur in patches (localised), from all over the scalp (diffuse) or in pattern.
Androgenetic alopecia (patterned hair loss) is the most common hair loss condition and can occur in both men and women. The tendency to develop androgenetic alopecia runs in families and is almost inevitable in men.
To slow down the hair loss, both men and women can consider the following options
- Topical therapy
- Finasteride for men, and a few types of oral medications for women
- Low level laser light therapy
- Hair transplant surgery
Alopecia areata (localised hair loss) most often results in circular, coin-sized patches on the scalp. Oftentimes, the hair regrows by itself. It can also affect the entire scalp with dramatic hair fall which is extremely distressing for the patient. Your doctor may perform blood tests to check for any underlying conditions. Treatment involves topical medication, injections, light treatment and oral tablets if necessary.
Telogen effluvium (diffuse hair loss) commonly occurs after severe stress to the body. Physical stress results after childbirth, high fever and severe infections, inadequate diet and dramatic weight loss, major surgery, and underlying illnesses. Emotional stress can also trigger telogen effluvium as well certain oral medications. Your doctor will take a detailed history and perform blood tests if needed. Fortunately, the hair loss stops on its own often within a few months. Medications can help correct any contributing conditions and shorten the period of hair loss.
While awaiting recovery or regrowth of hair, numerous natural options are available to allow temporary camouflage of your hair loss condition so that you may not feel embarrassed in public.
There are many other types of hair loss conditions and scalp disorders. Please see your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.