Alopecia, commonly referred to as hair loss, is shedding of hair from the head that far exceeds the normal shedding humans experience on a regular basis. On average, people lose about 50 to 100 hairs from their head each day; hair loss in excess of this may indicate the presence of a condition. In some cases, hair loss can affect the entire body. It can be a temporary condition or it can be permanent. While hair loss on the head is most common in men, it can be found in any individual.
Hair loss can come in many different forms. One common way hair loss presents is in excessive shedding of hairs from the head. This may appear as thinning in the hair at the top of the head or in a receding hairline. Patients may also experience patches of baldness around the head, as well.
There are many different causes of hair loss. One of the most common causes of hair loss is a hereditary condition associated with aging known as androgenic alopecia. While most common in men, it can occur in women. Hair loss can also be caused by medical treatments such as radiation treatment or chemotherapy. Additional causes include hormonal conditions, Vitamin D deficiency or immune conditions such as alopecia. In individuals who keep their hair tightly braided so that it pulls consistently in one direction, the hair may fade back in the direction of the pulling creating a condition known as traction alopecia.
For those with hereditary hair loss, the most common treatment is the topical application of Rogaine or Propecia. These over the counter medications can come in liquid, foam or shampoo form. In some cases, people may wish to undergo hair transplant surgery, which involves transplanting hair from dense parts of the head to thinning areas.
All cases of hair loss are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.