Not all hair loss is the same, so not all treatments will work for fixing the thinning you’re seeing in the mirror. A dermatologist can tell you why you’re losing your hair and what can be done about it.
Have you heard you can predict what will happen to your hair by looking at the locks of your mother’s father?
“That’s an old wives’ tale, where we just look at our maternal grandparent,” says Dr. Leila Tolaymat, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist. “Actually, it can come from both sides of the family.”
Dr. Tolaymat says there are many kinds of hair loss.
“One of the types of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, and that’s known as male- or female-patterned hair loss,” explains Dr. Tolaymat.
Male-patterned hair loss has a genetic component. However, some hair loss can be caused by internal disease or medications. Dermatologists use physical examination, biopsies and blood tests to make a hair loss diagnosis.
“In terms of seeking out expert opinion, the earlier, the better,” adds Dr. Tolaymat. “Because we want to maintain the hair that they currently have.”
As for treatments, Dr. Tolaymat says a topical medication called minoxidil regrows or maintains hair in about two-thirds of men who try it. An oral medicine called finasteride is also available.
“One area of research in hair loss is called protein-rich plasma,” explains Dr. Tolaymat.
In this treatment, protein growth factors from a patient’s own plasma are harvested and injected within the scalp.
“The protein-rich plasma is a new therapy – and promising. So that can be something new to offer to patients,” adds Dr. Tolaymat.