Inevitably one day, you will experience some hair loss. Very, very few people will go to their graves with the shaggy mane they sported in their 20’s.
With that in mind, most people will go through periods of hair loss for one reason or another. Some of this is normal and self-limited, and some of it isn’t normal.
There are two main patterns of hair loss that can help to narrow down the diagnosis (diffuse and focal).
Here is a general classification of hair loss, published in American Family Physician (Here is the link):
Female pattern hair loss: Presents with hair thinning; frontal hairline intact; negative pull test away from hair loss
Male pattern hair loss: Presents with hair thinning; M pattern; negative pull test away from hair loss
Diffuse alopecia areata: Distribution more patchy; positive pull test
Alopecia totalis or universalis: Total hair loss on the scalp and/or body
Telogen effluvium: 30 to 50 percent of hair loss three months after precipitating event; positive pull test
Anagen effluvium: Sudden hair loss of up to 90 percent two weeks following chemotherapy
Alopecia areata: Normal scalp with surrounding exclamation point hairs
Tinea capitis: Scaly scalp with fungus visible on potassium hydroxide examination
Traction alopecia: Patchy; related to hair practices; may have some scarring
Trichotillomania: Patchy; may be some scarring and associated a psychological disturbance
Scarring and atrophy of scalp (e.g., discoid lupus erythematosus)
WHAT TO DO ABOUT HAIR LOSS
The best way to get a proper diagnosis about your hair loss is to see you Family Physician. If your Family Physician doesn’t know, then ask for a referral to a Dermatologist. This approach will get you started in the right direction. The treatment algorithm most often used by Physicians is this:
I can attest to the fact that for Allopecia aerata, steroid injections using Kenalog can work wonders. I have personally done serial injections on many patients every few weeks for a few months and seen 100% results that last for years. The women that I injected also took JP Vitale – 1 capsule of the multivitamin with their supper daily for the treatment and they continued the multivitamin after treatment.
A good daily multivitamin containing zinc, the vitamin B Complex, folate, and antioxidants is a reasonable choice, although there is no good evidence that vitamins have any meaningful benefit alone in alopecia.
Newer studies suggest that vitamin D may be somewhat helpful and worth considering. Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies like iron or vitamin B12 may be diagnosed by blood tests and treated.
Multiple vitamins, including biotin, have been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won’t worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation alone if there is a medical cause of the hair loss.
Having said this, a good quality multivitamin like JP Vitale is often recommended by hairdressers and aestheticians because it tends to make hair grow faster. One side effect is that with JP Vitale, you may have to shave more often.
In addition to talking to your Physician, consider JP Vitale if you are experiencing some hair loss. It may help and you have nothing to lose!