Causes and Treatment of Hair Loss
Hair loss is due both to genetic and environmental factors and it is a problem that occurs in both men and in women, with a major psychological impact. Hair loss treatment can be conservative, surgical or a combination of both. If the hair loss is still in its early stages and has not yet caused visible thinning or if the hair loss is diffuse, treatment is conservative.
On the other hand, if hair loss has led to visible thinning, to fully installed alopecia or baldness, and provided that there is a sufficiently large donor site, definitive treatment is achieved with hair transplantation with the new FUE hair transplant technique. If hair loss is due to external reversible factors such as anemia, hormonal disorders, etc., it suffices to eliminate these underlying factors, combined with conservative medication such as minoxidil or the application of newer methods such as the application of autologous growth factors.
Depending on the case, the surgical treatment of hair loss can be combined with conservative treatment for the maintenance of the result.
The main causes that lead to hair loss are:
Physical, Psychological Stress
Hair Loss - FAQs
How is Hair Loss diagnosed?
The diagnosis of hair loss should always be performed by a qualified dermatologist. Key elements in the diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia are the post-puberty history of occurrence, the gradual thinning in specific areas, and the family history regarding hair loss and alopecia. At Advanced Hair Clinics, hair loss is diagnosed or confirmed with a trichogram, using a special microcamera and software.
The special diagnostic photographic imaging and digital analysis tool “Follysis” that is used in our clinic, is one of the most comprehensive and accurate tools for the diagnosis of hair loss and the monitoring of response to treatment, allowing accurate measurements of hair density and hair strand diameter in each area.
Certain cases of hair loss, such as alopecia areata or cicatricial alopecia, may require special blood tests (hormonological tests, iron, vitamins, minerals, etc.) or a skin biopsy (punch biopsy) for the purpose of differential diagnosis.
Why does Hair Loss occur?
The life cycle of hair comprises of: the anagen phase (in which hair growth takes place), the catagen phase (in which the hair stops growing and becomes detached from its root), the telogen phase (shedding). Hair loss occurs when the duration of the anagen phase becomes shorter and the hairs quickly pass into the telogen phase (telogen hair loss or telogen effluvium). In this case, the hair loss is diffuse, i.e. not located in a particular area, but spread over the entire scalp, causing reduction of the hair density and thinning of the hair strands. This form of hair loss can occur after giving birth, due to chronic infections or after administration of certain medications.
Other cases of hair loss are due to diseases of the scalp, such as fungal infections, folliculitis and other inflammations. Hair thinning can also be caused by malfunction of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism) and in hyperparathyroidism and other chronic diseases. Hair loss also occurs after chemotherapy, radiation therapy and certain medications, and in a number of chronic diseases. In these situations, hair loss subsides after identifying and eliminating the cause. Especially in women, major hormonal changes such as pregnancy, lactation, menstrual disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, etc., can lead to severe hair loss which is reversible in most cases.
Especially in women, major hormonal changes such as pregnancy, lactation, menstrual disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, etc., can lead to severe hair loss which is reversible in most cases. Localised hair loss of a usually permanent nature may occur in cases of traumatic alopecia, caused by injuries or burns to the scalp, face or body.
How can I tell if my Hair Loss is pathological?
Complete loss of hair at specific locations can be seen in alopecia areata (spot baldness) and in scars (cicatricial alopecia), such as scalp injuries or burns. Hair loss and creation of cicatricial patches is also seen in follicular lichen planus and lupus erythematosus. Characteristic feature of these pathological forms of hair loss is that they can affect any area of the scalp, even the constant hair growth zone, and evolve in an erratic and unforeseeable manner.
These conditions may be localised, small-scaled and relatively stable, but in rare cases can take a global form; in some cases of alopecia areata, complete hair loss may occur not only on the area of the scalp, but also on face, on eyelashes or even on the entire body. The cases of pathological hair loss are much rarer than androgenetic alopecia and constitute less than 10% of all cases of alopecia.
Does modern lifestyle affect hair health?
Important causes of hair loss in today’s era is the quite stressful way of life as well as intense emotions, stress, exposure to a dusted and polluted environment, excessive exposure to solar UV radiation, frequent contact with sea or chlorinated water.
Malnutrition can aggravate hair loss, as a lack of protein, vitamins and minerals such as iron or zinc intensify the problem. A proper diet that includes protein and iron can reverse hair loss.
Can intense hair styling lead to Hair Loss?
Traction hair loss caused by the excessive pulling of the hair due to various hairdressing and styling processes (e.g. ponytails, extensions, etc) can take place.
Advanced Hair Clinics is one of the most specialised clinics dedicated to the diagnosis and the – personalized on patient’s needs – treatment of male and female hair loss. It is staffed by a highly experienced medical team led by plastic surgeon Dr. Anastasios Vekris, who is one of the pioneer plastic surgeons who have taught and evolved FUE technique in Greece and abroad.