You lose your hair for many reasons, and not all of them are well understood. Genetics play a significant role in when you start to lose your hair and the pattern of baldness. Hormones play a role, and specifically the presence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Time is important, too. The older you get, the more likely you will experience some hair loss.

Even if you are genetically predisposed to lose your hair, there are some environmental triggers that turn genes on and off determining if the genes are expressed or not, and what these triggers are is not known. Is it your diet? Blood chemistry? How much sleep you get? Where you live? No one knows.

Hair loss can also be caused by environmental toxins and by illness, especially auto-immune diseases. You probably know someone who has experienced hair loss from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy targets fast-dividing cells, and your hair follicles in the growth (anagen) phase are dividing very quickly. So, losing hair following chemotherapy is very common. There are some new treatments to prevent the hair loss associated with chemotherapy which include a “cold cap” that restricts scalp circulation during chemotherapy and can protect your hair follicles from damage.

Autoimmune diseases are believed to cause both Alopecia areata which causes small patches of bald areas and Alopecia totalis which leaves the whole head completely hairless. It’s also possible that stress may play a role in both hair loss and hair greying. These are some topics being studied more and more as the scientific community learns about how the mind can affect the body.

How hair loss should be treated depends on several factors including what type of hair loss you have, how much hair loss you have, what your goals are, and what kind of treatment appeals to you. The physicians in our network offer all of the options. Basically, treatments include surgical and non-surgical options. Surgical options include Strip Donor Transplant, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), and Robotic FUE Transplant. Non-surgical options include Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), prescription medications taken by mouth, and medications applied to the scalp.

There is still a lot we don’t know about hair, but fortunately, we at least know enough to treat hair loss in a meaningful way. There are many different ways to treat hair loss, and we encourage you to contact us directly or to contact one of the physicians in the Capillus network.

This concludes Part 4. In Part 5, we will start discussing the different hair replacement therapies in greater detail and how we can help you with hair loss.