Finding the root problem

Seeking out the root problem ( pun intended) is very important to treat hair loss !

Are you stressed out about events that have been happening in your life? Do you subconsciously tug at your hairs when you’re stressed? Or eating less? Binging on high sodium junk food?

One of the genetic causes of hair loss is male pattern baldness.

Male pattern baldness is characteristic of a ‘M’ shape and hair loss from the crown. This is due to androgens, namely dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in genetically susceptible people. DHT is believed to shorten the growth, or anagen phase from a usual duration of 3–6 years to just weeks or months. This occurs together with miniaturisation of the follicles and progressively produces fewer and finer hairs. The production of DHT is regulated by an enzyme called 5-alpha- reductase.

Some women may also present with male pattern hair loss as they have excessive levels of androgens as well as genetic predisposition. Female-pattern hair loss more often causes diffuse thinning without hairline recession; similar to its male counterpart, female androgenic alopecia rarely leads to total hair loss.

On top of that, women may also suffer from irregular menses, acne, hirsutism, hair loss and increase in cholesterol levels. These symptoms are collectively known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Telogen effluvium is a scalp disorder characterized by the thinning or shedding of hair resulting from the early entry of hair in the telogen phase (the resting phase of the hair follicle). This is usually followed by post partum, emotional or physiological stress like crash diets, eating disorders and may result in an alteration of the normal hair cycle.

Iron deficiency or nutritional deficiency can be also a cause of hair loss. Iron deficiency anemia is common in women as women undergo menstruation. When we lose too much blood, iron stores can be low as well. Iron contributes to the production of hemoglobin in your body. Hemoglobin delivers nutrients and oxygen to your hair’s cells, which is vital for their growth. This process is interfered due to a lack of iron, which also means low haemoglobin levels, leading to loss of hair.

Skin diseases like seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disorder that mainly affects the scalp, causing itchy, yellow or white patchy scales or thick crusts due to overproduction of sebum and high cell turnover rate. Scalp seborrhea varies from mild dandruff to dense, diffuse, adherent scale. Skin infection like scalp folliculitis may also contribute to hair loss.

Alopecia areata is a condition in which results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin. This condition is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own anagen hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth.

There are also systemic diseases like hypothyroidism , a condition where thyroid hormones are low in the body that can be a cause of hair loss.

This is just a summary of the common causes of hair loss. Hair loss has always been challenging and many researchers are still finding more about this problem.

We have to explore the causes of hair loss and then find a suitable treatment for the problem. Wondering what to do and who to talk to? Well, you know where to find us.


About AuthorDr Chew

Dr Chew's love for discovering new knowledge and keen eye on beauty motivated her to pursue aesthetic medicine where she practices with delectation. Often placing herself in patient’s shoes, she listens with empathy and goes the extra mile to ensure satisfaction from them. She is an accomplished Aesthetic Physician with MBBS, MAC certification and specializes in lasers and injectables.