Losing your hair can feel extremely alarming. You might even feel a sense of panic about it. But fortunately, you don’t have to be resigned to continuing to lose your hair.
Figuring out how to treat your hair loss often requires a little bit of help from professionals. We first need to investigate why you’re losing your hair, which may take a little bit of trial and error.
But the sooner we identify the cause of your hair loss, the better our chances are of treating it. The providers at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street in Washington, DC, explain more about the process of finding out why you’re losing your hair.
The first steps are to meet with a board-certified dermatologist such as one of our providers. They ask questions about your symptoms and gather your patient history to help identify the origin of your hair loss.
Some of the questions they ask may include when the hair loss began. Depending on when your hair loss began, it might grow back on its own, such as if you:
In all of these cases, your hair may begin to regrow on its own.
If none of these cases apply to you, the doctor then looks closely at your scalp and any other areas with hair loss. They ask about your family history to identify if your hair loss may possibly be due to genetic factors. And finally, they might take a biopsy of your scalp for further study.
Sometimes, the cause of your hair loss has an easy solution. This may include stopping habits that are particularly damaging to your hair and changing your hair care routine or hairstyle. Certain habits are particularly damaging to your hair, such as the following:
If your hair loss is linked to any of these habits, your hair may be extremely fragile, so you may have to baby it a little to nurture it back to full health.
If your hair loss turns out to be caused by an illness, we try to treat the underlying issue.
In many cases, hair loss is not caused by an underlying issue but by your genetics and family history. If that is the case, you can also try other strategies to stimulate hair growth, including:
This treatment pokes tiny holes in your scalp. Although this may sound counterintuitive, this treatment often stimulates your hair to start to regrow, especially when used in combination with applying minoxidil. We give you instructions on how much minoxidil to use and how often to use it.
Injecting corticosteroids into your scalp at the areas with hair loss may help you to regrow your hair. You need an injection every 4-8 weeks until the problem resolves or you decide to discontinue it. This is a particularly effective treatment in cases of alopecia areata, which may cause your hair loss to be patchy.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a newer technology that shows great promise in many applications, including for hair regrowth.
This therapy involves a standard blood draw, putting your blood into a centrifuge to separate the components, and then injecting a highly concentrated form of platelet-rich plasma back into your scalp. This often stimulates your body to heal itself, including the ability to grow hair. You need to repeat this process about every three months.
If your hair loss is because of male or female pattern baldness, we can transplant hair from healthy areas of your scalp onto sparse areas. Before we do this, we check to make sure your scalp is healthy enough to maintain these transplanted follicles.
If you are losing your hair, you probably want to find out how to stop it as soon as possible. The sooner you make an appointment with a dermatologist, the more options you have. Contact the providers at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street or request an appointment online.