Hair Loss Treatments, Causes & Signs
Hair loss can feel like a losing game—once you start noticing hair loss, you feel as if there’s no going back. While untreated hair loss can meet a critical point, where only certain treatment methods can be utilized, there are clinically preventative measures that can be applied to stop and reverse hair loss, preserving your hair for the future.
Dependent on the type of hair loss you’re dealing with, treatment methods such as laser hair restoration can help to induce hair regrowth, helping to restore confidence in your appearance. Before we can consider treatment options, we also need to consider what signs we should look for when discussing hair loss. Furthermore, what causes hair loss, and are there at-home methods that can be used to handle hair loss? Let’s take an in-depth dive into everything hair loss.
Signs of Hair Loss
Often seen in male-pattern baldness, one of the first signs of hair loss is seen in a receding hairline—when the hairline gradually moves back along the scalp. One way to keep track of your hairline is to keep an eye on your current hairline compared to past photos. If you can effectively compare your hairline from a few years past to now, you can determine whether your hairline has been truly receding. If you’d like to track your hairline over the coming months, consider taking selfies in a controlled space, where you can rely on the same lighting and angle to ensure that shadows aren’t playing into your perspective.
Most common in female hair loss, hair thinning is often seen in what is called diffuse thinning, where the thickness of hair lessens either across the entire scalp or around the crown. While you might think running your hand through your hair is the best way to track possible hair loss, your best option is to also rely on selfies and past photos. If you can compare your hair to its previous state, you can determine whether or not your hair has been thinning over the course of a few months or a few years.
Loss of Clumps of Hair
Perhaps you’ve noticed many strands of hair ending up intertwined between your fingers or clogging your drain after showering each day. Maybe you’re finding more hair accumulating within your hairbrush. Both situations happen to everyone—we all lose hair on a daily basis, either while running our hands, a brush, or water through it. It’s a natural part of the hair regrowth process, but when should you be concerned about it?
If this hair loss is a small daily occurrence, or simply happens irregularly, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However, if you’re noticing yourself losing hair at a rate quicker than before, to the point where you are worried about the hair loss, it might be in your best interest to consider seeing your physician to discuss what could be causing these issues.
Causes of Hair Loss
Nutritionally Deficient Diet
A poor diet can affect the body in more ways than one might think. Whether you’re struggling with dietary-induced anemia—the body being deficient of iron, which is necessary for the production of hemoglobin for red blood cells and DNA—or consuming too little fiber, your body is bound to have negative reactions.
Diets high in processed foods tend to create health issues, including those related to cardiovascular health, weight, or skin or hair quality. Deficiencies in iron and/or Vitamins A, C, and D can lead to recurring hair issues, from thinner, brittle hair to hair that’s lost its shine, general hair loss to slow hair regrowth. For this reason, it is imperative that people consume a clean diet rich in nutritionally dense foods that have undergone little processing and are particularly natural.
A little gland within your neck, the thyroid is one of the primary glands in your body that controls metabolism and hormone output/control. Unfortunately susceptible to hormonal disruptions, the thyroid can undergo stress which can lead to disease, whether from overworking, known as hyperthyroidism; producing too much of the hormone thyroxine; or underworking— hypothyroidism, where too little of the same thyroxine is produced.
Thyroid issues can be difficult to determine, as there tend to be other symptoms often associated with it, including chronic fatigue and weight fluctuation, but thyroid disease can also lead to progressive hair loss. Both issues can cause hair thinning or hair loss, either due to metabolic processes not executing as quickly as they should or due to increased levels of bodily stressors leading to hair thinning and loss.
A type of hair loss that can affect most people, alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that can either affect the head or the entire body. Hair loss on the scalp caused by this condition usually involves hair loss that is concentric, falling out in a circular pattern.
People with alopecia areata are affected by an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s immune system, first targeting the body’s hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out and not regrow. Many different things can trigger this type of hair loss, from a person’s genetics to other autoimmune diseases. People who are affected by alopecia areata should be aware that they might be more susceptible to other diseases, including thyroid diseases, vitiligo, asthma, and more.
Younger people might become concerned when they find a silver hair pop up on their head or on their face, but it might have shown up for reasons beyond genetics. Scientists think that chronic stress can lead to periodic hair loss, as continual stress can easily lead to a compromised immune system, which will eventually lead to other negative health effects.
If you’ve been under a great deal of stress and have found your hair feeling thinner or weaker or have noticed hair falling out, stress might be to blame. Consider taking calculated measures to reduce your stress, whether that involves peaceful activities, seeking out therapy, or speaking with your doctor about possible medical treatments.
A frequent cause of hair loss among millions of American men and women, androgenetic alopecia is a form of genetic hair loss regularly referred to as male- and female-pattern baldness.
Thinning in both men and women begins between the ages 12 and 40, wherein the inheritance pattern is known to be polygenic—a trait controlled by two or more genes. This makes it difficult for some people to identify, as the usual genetic “hair loss” trait we hear is that if your mother’s father is bald, then you’ll likely struggle with hair loss, too.
While this might be relative, this can’t be said to be wholly true, as other parental factors will likely determine your hair health for the future. Nearly 70% of men and 40% of women will deal with hair loss brought about by androgenetic alopecia at some point in their lifetime, where men’s hair loss will involve hairline recession and vertex balding while women will exhibit a diffuse hair thinning over the top of their scalps.
Stages of Hair Loss
Degrees of hair loss have long been identified by physicians through the use of two different descriptive stages: the Norwood-Hamilton Classification in men and the Ludwig-Savin Scale in women. In the case of men, patterned hair loss usually begins in the temples and recedes along the hairline. This will recede until the hairline enters into the signature “M” phase, when thinning begins on the back of the skull, too. Both areas of hair loss will continue until both come together, when the hair will then be lost across the top of the skull. In women, hair loss is less an effect of overall balding and, instead, a method of cranial thinning—thinning across the entire scalp. Receding will take place across the crown of the head and hair loss will solely be seen through thinning of hair across the top of the scalp.
Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia
When it comes to treating male- and female-pattern baldness, there are a number of options available throughout the market. If diagnosis by your physician has shown that your diet may be to blame, you should be able to reverse whatever hair loss has taken place by cleaning up your diet—whether this includes reducing processed foods for natural or adding nutritional supplements to your diet, such as folic acid or iron. If your hair loss has been brought about by chronic bouts of stress, hair loss can be lessened by decreasing overall stress, whether that involves practicing mindfulness activities, attending therapy, or beginning medication.
Regarding scalp treatments, many people will rely on medicated salves that are applied to the top of the head, which will help to stop hair from getting thinner and promoting regrowth. The usefulness of these products can be mixed, but it particularly depends on the specific product. However, there has been another treatment method that has grown into prominence in recent years. Provided by Capillus LLC through their hair loss caps, this treatment method is known as low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT).
Clinical studies have shown that LLLT is particularly useful in treating hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. Accepted theories among LLLT innovators is that lasers within the visible wavelength help to positively affect the stem cells that cause hair growth—i.e., this treatment activates cytochrome c oxidase, increased mitochondrial electron transport to increase ATP within the scalp, which reverses hair follicles from their dormant to active stages of growth.
Devices cleared by the FDA for LLLT are meant to promote hair growth in males who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2. We recommend anyone using LLLT devices to consult a physician before use, as they can effectively determine the stage of hair loss.
Capillus’ caps are designed to have a high-concentration of laser diodes to effectively treat the scalp, allowing for an overlap in emitted laser light to provide the highest activation of the scalp. Our FDA-cleared, USA-made LLLT laser hair restoration caps rely on the high number of light elements to allow for maximum coverage and increased treatment. Our product line ranges from standard treatment methods, including the Capillus82, which features 82 laser diodes to the CapillusPro—this cap contains 272 light elements.
These portable hair regrowth devices make it easy to perform treatment either at home or on the go. With a slim, ergonomic battery pack and an inconspicuous design, you can easily undergo the 6-minutes-a-day recommended treatment without it affecting your plans, whether those include work, traveling, or taking care of dinner for your family.
The Capillus LLC laser caps are designed to help you stop hair loss in its tracks and reverse the process to keep you confident about your hair. Made with our customer’s lives in mind, we want you to regain belief in the way your hair looks. With laser hair restoration, you can take the steps to make the most out of what you have.