Hair Loss in Boston, MA
A person’s gender often determines when hair loss begins, with men losing their hair as early as in their 20s and women generally experiencing the initial signs of hair loss as early as their 30s. As treatment options have developed and evolved over time, men and women now have many more remedies available to them for the baldness and thinning hair that often has a negative impact on the person’s confidence and self-esteem. Located in Somerville and Winchester, Neem Medical Spa, led by board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Rosy Sandhu, is proud to offer PRP therapy for both men and women suffering from hair loss in the Greater Boston area.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Alopecia is the medical term for hair that naturally falls out. The average person loses approximately 100 hairs per day as the hairs are replaced with new growth. Thinning hair and balding happen when not enough new hairs are created to replace the hairs that shed. Many factors affect the body’s ability to replace lost hair, such as certain medical conditions, hormonal fluctuations, some illnesses, genetics, and some medications. If the hair loss you have experienced is permanent, Neem Medical Spa can help you regain the fuller, more youthful hair volume and growth you crave with today’s most advanced hair restoration treatments and procedures.
For proper treatment and optimal results, it is important to determine the reason for your hair loss. Several factors can lead to hair loss; therefore, our hair restoration specialist performs a careful examination of your hair and scalp during your consultation appointment. In some cases, a biopsy the scalp tissue may be needed for proper diagnosis.
Are Only Men Affected by Hair Loss?
Hair loss is a medical problem traditionally associated with men, with female hair loss being a taboo subject. As the discussion of women’s hair loss becomes more common, research ash found that an estimated 40% of women suffer from balding and thinning hair.
How Much Shedding Is Normal?
Hair growth occurs in three specific stages:
- Anagen: The hair grows approximately one half inch each month in younger individuals, slowing progressively with age.
- Telogen: The hair is at rest.
- Shedding: The average person loses around 50 to 100 hairs per day.
At any given time, an average of 85% to 90% of your hair is in the anagen stage with the remaining 10% to 15% being in the telogen stage. Each hair falls out of its follicle after the resting period. The combined stages of telogen and shedding last about two to six months. After a hair is shed, its follicle returns to the anagen stage, and a new hair begins to grow.
Male/Female Pattern Baldness: Androgenic Alopecia
Heredity is, unfortunately, the most common cause of hair loss in men and women. The genetic predisposition for hair loss is known as androgenic alopecia. It can be attributed to a family history of baldness and thinning hair on either the maternal or paternal side, and there is no known cure for the condition. People who have androgenic alopecia may experience the initial stages of permanent hair loss in their 20s, and it may or may not lead to complete baldness. However, treatment is possible.
The hair loss experienced due to androgenic alopecia can be attributed to excessive levels of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT supports hair growth at healthy levels. When a person has a genetic predisposition for thinning hair and baldness, the hair follicles in certain areas of the scalp over-actively absorb DHT. These high levels of DHT cause the follicle to shrink, causing them to be less usable for hair development. The hair’s growth cycle is reduced, causing thinner, more delicate hair. Over time, the hair follicle becomes severely damaged and is unable to support the growth of new hair. Another negative effect of high DHT levels is that an increased number of hairs are in the telogen and shedding stages as opposed to the amount of hairs in the anagen stage. If new hair does grow from the impaired hair follicles, the hairs are very thin and light colored, which is also known as vellus hairs.
In advanced cases of balding, the areas of thinning hair experience a diminished blood supply. The scalp responds to this lack of blood by contracting the skin and stimulating the oil glands in the balding area. These factors are why the skin on the scalp appears shiny.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
In addition to androgenic alopecia, balding and thinning hair may be caused by several other conditions.
- Alopecia areata is a condition in which somewhat large round, smooth spots develop in balding and thinning areas. Individuals with the condition may experience hair loss anywhere on the body. The cause of alopecia areata is thought to be tied to an immune response with some patients responding well to steroid treatments to diminish their hair loss and perhaps regrow hair.
- The amount of hairs that are in the telogen stage is increased during pregnancy and childbirth which may trigger hair loss during the postnatal period. Women often see a significant increase in hair loss during the first six months after giving birth. In most cases, the normal hair growth cycle returns to its balanced state without cause for concern or need for treatment.
- Increased hair loss may be triggered by fever associated with certain illnesses, such as the flu. This resulting hair loss can last from one to three months after the fever and illness have passed, and treatment is generally not necessary.
- Both underactive and overactive thyroid disorders may lead to hair loss in some instances. Treating the thyroid condition generally corrects and reverses the hair loss.
- Lack of a nutritional diet may lead to hair loss, especially low levels of protein and iron intake. As part of the body’s survival response, it will halt all non-vital processes, such as hair growth. Anemia, or low iron levels, is a disorder common amongst women who suffer from heavy menstruation. Improving your diet and taking vitamin and mineral supplements can stave off the hair loss and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to grow full, healthy hair.
- Temporary hair loss has been shown to be caused by certain medications, such as those used to treat hypotension, depression, heart conditions, arthritis, and certain bleeding disorders. Even some vitamin and mineral supplements, such as vitamin A and selenium, can cause temporary hair loss when taken above the recommended dose.
- Cancer treatment medications hinder the promotion of hair development and growth at the cellular level. Over the first three weeks following treatment, cancer patients may lose roughly 90% of their hair. The hair grows back after treatment with cancer medications has been completed.
- Oral contraceptives may increase the rate of hair loss in those women who have a genetic predisposition for androgenic alopecia. Your doctor can prescribe an alternative birth control pill to decrease the amount of hair loss.
- Often, the body’s shock response is triggered by major surgery which, in turn, may trigger hair loss. Generally, hair begins to grow again one to three months after the surgery.
- Hair loss requiring treatment is often caused by chronic illnesses. Even after the illness is well-managed, more hair may continue to be lost than what the body replaces through the growth cycle.
- Individuals who regularly wear their hair in a very tight ponytail may suffer from traction alopecia. It is caused by a consistent pulling of the hair. Traction alopecia causes hair loss in those areas of the scalp where the tension on the hair is greatest.
- Trichotillomania is a condition in which an individual pulls out their hair as a response to anxiety. Children are most likely to develop trichotillomania, but the habit may develop or evolve into adulthood. The most common physical sign of trichotillomania is a stubbly regrowth of hair. Trichotillomania is often misdiagnosed as alopecia areata.
- Ringworm is a contagious condition that causes round scaly patches on the scalp and body. The fungal infection generally causes a circular area of hair loss. Proper hygiene is the best prevention against ringworm and other fungal infections. Once the ringworm is treated, normal hair growth continues in the affected area.
- Brittle, easily breakable hair results from excessive processing, such as with coloring, bleaching or relaxing. Refraining from over-processing your hair will allow it to return to a healthy condition. Hair can also break from washing too frequently or brushing it too rigorously, especially when wet. Our hair restoration specialist recommends being especially gentle with your hair when it is wet and more prone to damage as well as refraining from chemical processing.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects between 6% and 10% of women who are of childbearing age. PCOS is caused by hormonal changes and imbalances which can cause unexplained weight gain, increased hair development on the body and face, insulin resistance, irregular menstruation and male pattern baldness in females. While the exact cause of PCOS is not known, research indicates that high insulin levels and genetics may provoke the condition.
- A diet high in starches and refined sugars, as well as high insulin levels, have been linked to male pattern baldness in both men and women. Early research suggests dietary changes and medications, such as Metformin and Rezulin, which work to control insulin levels as a way of preventing or slowing male pattern baldness.
- It has recently been discovered that sun exposure may not only lead to skin cancer but that high levels of UV radiation may also lead to balding and thinning hair. Studies show that the scalp’s hair follicles can be damaged by sun exposure. Individuals with a history of hair transplants are at the greatest risk for sun-related hair loss. It is highly recommended that you follow sun exposure safety guidelines, such as applying sunscreen to your scalp and keeping it protected with a wide-brimmed hat.
What is the Cost for Hair Loss Treatment in Boston?
Hair loss treatment varies from patient to patient because of the wide array of conditions which cause hair loss. Each treatment at Neem Medical Spa is customized to the individual patient to achieve the most natural-looking results possible. During your one-on-one consultation appointment, our hair restoration specialist will determine the cause of your hair loss and recommend the most effective solution. After your appointment, our friendly, knowledgeable patient coordinator will explain the costs associated with treatment and our many flexible payment options, including personal check, cash, and major credit card. We are proud to also offer several convenient financing options to make hair loss treatment accessible and affordable for all our patients.
If you live in the Greater Boston area and are interested in learning more about hair loss, please contact Neem Medical Spa, located in Somerville and Winchester.