The moment you first notice that you are losing more hair than usual can be shocking. You might worry that the hair loss is going to continue to progress for years to come or that you’ll soon have to kiss your full head of hair goodbye. While some forms of hair loss, such as male or female pattern baldness, are generally permanent, and can only be corrected with surgical intervention such as a hair transplant, other forms of hair loss are reversible. When the cause of the hair loss is removed, you can usually begin to see growth again.
Since there are many causes of hair loss and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between one or the other, seeing a hair restoration specialist to properly diagnose your hair loss issue is recommended. If hair restoration surgery isn’t the appropriate treatment, your surgeon can recommend the best course of action to get you a full head of hair once again.
Telogen effluvium is one of the most common types of hair loss. The hair loss a person with telogen effluvium experiences also happens to be reversible, meaning that most people with the condition do see their hair come back. But the initial shedding and loss can be upsetting to many.
Typically, telogen effluvium occurs after a person has had a shock. The shock can be physical, such as the changes that occur during pregnancy or as a result of an extreme crash diet, or the shock can be emotional, such as being put under extreme stress on the job. The shock to the system causes a majority of a person’s hair to shift from the growing phase to the resting phase. After a few months, the hairs in the resting phase, or telogen phase, are shed. Since so many more hairs than usual are in the phase, the results are often very visible.
Telogen effluvium can be reversed by figuring out the cause of it and eliminating that cause. In the case of physical causes, such as pregnancy, correcting the issue is easy enough — a person simply has to give some time for her body to adjust. When it comes to emotional causes, figuring out a way to remove the trigger can be more challenging. But as long as the trigger is removed, a person can expect to see the hair return.
Although many patients who suffer from alopecia areata, another type of hair loss, see their hair regrow, it’s not reversible in the same way that telogen effluvium is. The condition is a type of autoimmune disorder, meaning that a person’s own immune system is responsible for attacking the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
Often, the hair loss occurs in patches, instead of the diffuse shedding that is seen when a person suffers from telogen effluvium or male or female pattern baldness. The condition is considered reversible since some patients see new hair growth without any additional treatment. Others see an improvement in the condition after taking corticosteroids or having steroid shorts or opting for another treatment.
Technically, trichotillomania isn’t a type of hair loss, but a psychological obsessive-compulsive condition that causes a person to tug or pull on his or her hair, leading to hair loss. The hair usually grows back after a person stops pulling, so treating the condition more often than not focuses on ways to get a person to stop tugging on the hair. Many people with trichotillomania undergo therapy to learn not to pull their hair or to develop different ways of coping with the stress that causes them to tug the hair.
Depending on how long a person has been suffering from trichotillomania, the hair loss might be reversible. If sufficient damage has occurred to the follicles, the pulled out hair might not return. This can be hair loss of the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. After treating the condition, a patient can see a hair restoration surgeon to learn the extent of the damage to the scalp and the best way to treat the hair loss.
Tinea capitis is a type of ringworm, or fungus, that grows on the scalp. Generally, the fungus affects the hairs on the scalp, causing them to break and fall off. Small, round bald patches typically form when a person is dealing with tinea capitis. The infection usually occurs in children and treating the cause of the infection often solves the problem. Typically, a doctor will prescribe an oral antifungal medicine to clear up the infection. After the fungal infection has cleared, the hair should grow back. In more severe cases, the hair loss can be permanent.
Finding the best treatment for your hair loss means figuring out what is behind it. Triple board certified hair restoration specialist Dr. Jeffrey Epstein can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend the treatment option that will provide optimal results. Dr. Epstein sees patients at his practices in Miami and in New York City. To schedule a consultation in Miami, call (305) 666-1774. For an appointment at the New York practice, call (212) 759-3484 today.