Friday, April 20, 2012

Hair Loss: Salon vs. Medical Approach

The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs in the normal course of a day. The discovery that more and more is getting left in shower drain can be a little upsetting, but hair loss is a common condition in both men and women. It can be the result of any number of things from illness and diet to age and medicines. If you are experiencing hair loss your first response might be to run to your favorite salon for some expensive shampoo and serums. An estimated $175 million was spent on hair loss products last year; unfortunately a lot of that money was wasted.

If you need your hair cut, colored, or styled, definitely a stylist is what you want. If you’re looking for hair loss answers, then a dermatologist is what you need. Some people hear dermatology and only think skin. Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of diseases that affect the skin, nails, and hair. I will take your medical history, ask about any lifestyle changes, and do a scalp biopsy to evaluate the hair follicles. This allows me to determine whether the hair loss is genetic, due to a hair disorder, due to an underlying health condition, or due to something external like stress. Most people will have an identifiable cause that can be addressed with medication, hormones, or better nutrition. If no trigger is present, then it’s likely hereditary and can be treated with Minoxidil. Be skeptical of anyone who claims to be able to determine the cause of your hair loss just by looking at the hair itself.

When it comes to hair loss the more quickly medical consultation is sought the better. Some treatments do regrow hair, but many just stop any additional hair loss.

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