Hair Loss? 'Tis Not (Usually) this Season!
Most of our gyno patients with new onset of hair loss present with this sort of simple alopecia: hair loss without permanent destruction of the hair follicle. With care and attention, the hair follicle can awake Stress, either physical exertion, mental exertion, or stress on the hair from treatments is the most common problem of this hair cycle problem. It is naturally seen briefly seasonal loss (warm months), or most commonly just normal loss with exaggeration due to poor treatment of the hair. Pulling, tugging, brushing, braiding, toweling, Brazilian blowouts, perms, coloration, tight ponytails...pretty much all touching will cause us to shed hairs. System infections, some medications (chemotherapy is mot notable), and even vaccinations can cause hair loss. Unfortunately it can be your genetics, and about a fifth of the patients seeking care for hair loss have at least one relative with extremely thin hair. If your identical twin has hair loss, you have a 50-50 chance of having hair loss. Autoimmune dysfunction will exaggerate the problem and cause immune cells to attack the growing hair follicles and thus make them either wither prematurely (this is the catagen stage), or in some cases completely die.
Voluminizing shampoos and wearing hair curly can help the fuller look, but getting to the bottom of this is important. First just be nice to your hair, then get in there and see if the scalp is healthy, finally, get some quick nutritional and hormone checks like a basic thyroid and menopause check. Both zinc and biotin will help your hair grow. If none of those are yielding any answers it's time to go in for the full differential diagnosis. In the differential diagnoses are some fairly intimidating conditions: anagen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, chemical alopecia, folliculitis (mild), inherited disorders of the hair shaft, telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and traumatic alopecia. Some might just be aging and an actual decrease in each hair's thickness can be seen. Hairs go from nice round, all alike strands, to irregular and inconsistent shapes and contours. Some follicles just quit producing hair, like your eye lash hairs (yeah Latisse)can wake that up!. Your gyno might be able to help, or your dermatologist. Don't just "brush" it off to no big deal, hair loss can actually be a symptom of other underlying issues and if it goes on long enough, everyone deserves at least a brief check up.