Chronic hair loss (alopecia) can cause feelings of low self-confidence, shame, anxiety, and depression. You might fear that people view you as older, having an illness, or practicing poor self-care. Fortunately there are a variety of treatments that can remedy persistent hair loss, from changing grooming habits to altering your diet to medications. With these treatment options, you can protect your hair, experience new hair growth, and regain a positive outlook on your self-image and your life.
There are some basic things you can do to care for your hair that will prevent further hair loss. Follow these grooming habits for effective alopecia treatment.
When brushing or combing your hair, do so gently and without tugging. A wide-tooth comb may help with this. Avoid hairstyles that will pull your hair tightly, like ponytails, buns, braids, or cornrows. This can cause hair loss called traction alopecia, which can eventually lead to permanent hair loss.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a variety of habits when you are showing that can help prevent hair loss. Use a gentle shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural moisture. Apply a moisturizing conditioner when in the shower, and then, if you have longer hair, use a leave-in, detangling conditioner when you are done showering. Dry your hair carefully with a microfiber towel to limit the time you need to spend blow-drying your hair. If you need to blow-dry your hair, use the lowest temperature setting and limit the amount of time blow-drying. When styling your hair, you should avoid using curling irons, hot rollers, and flat irons. Heat can dry out and weaken your hair. You should also avoid certain hair treatments that involve the use of hot oil, relaxers, chemical straighteners, and permanents. If you compulsively pull, twist, or rub your hair, you need to stop.
If you smoke, you should also stop. The Mayo Health Clinic states that certain studies show a link between smoking and hair loss in men.
Hair loss can be caused by deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients. A blood test can reveal if you’re not getting enough nutrients, such as iron or protein. Eat hair-healthy foods that are high in protein, omega-3’s, or Vitamin D. Some of these foods include eggs, fatty fish, certain nuts, beef liver, and fortified milks, cereals, and juices. You can also talk to your doctor about taking supplements that can provide what you are lacking in your diet. Be careful though. Certain medications and supplements can cause further hair loss. Your doctor can help guide you in the proper supplements to take. Your hair loss can also be caused by not getting enough calories in your diet. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends this healthy eating plan to help you ensure you are getting sufficient calories for your body weight.
There are medications and medical procedures you can pursue as effective alopecia areata treatments (loss of hair in patches all over your scalp) or for general alopecia, There are certain medications that you can apply to your scalp to slow the advancement of hair loss. Minoxidil and finasteride are two medications your doctor might prescribe. Your doctor may also have you take a corticosteroid, which reduces inflammation and helps suppress the immune system, helping with hair loss caused by alopecia areata.
There are a few medical procedures you can pursue to restore hair to areas of your scalp. Hair transplant surgery (or grafting), scalp reduction, and tissue expansion are surgical procedures that can bring hair back to balding or thinning areas of your head. There are also non-surgical procedures, like PRP (platelet rich plasma) which involves injections of your own plasma into your scalp to increase collagen production and cell growth.
One of the most important things you can do if you have chronic hair loss is to see a board certified dermatologist. They can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and discuss treatment options. Contact the experienced dermatologists at Vanguard Dermatology to set up a consultation today. Located in the greater New York City area, Vanguard will partner with you to restore and protect your hair.