HAIR LOSS BASICS: WHERE DOES IT GO & WHY

It is normal for people to lose hair with age. The amount of hair loss people experience relates to three things: (1) genes (2) hair & scalp health (3) overall health. While you can’t change your genetics, there are things you can do to overcome them (as we will discuss below). As for the other main sources of hair loss, it turns out your mother was right to tell you to eat your veggies. The good news is that you’ve found us… and we can help.

We start with a initial video or in clinic microscopic scalp analysis, during which we will discuss your current hair loss situation, any of your family members who’ve also experienced hair loss, and your overall health status. While we won’t make you eat your veggies, we will likely recommend a safe, easy-to-use FDA approved topical regimen to get started, along with basic changes you can make in your daily hair routine that can help strengthen and restore the hair you have and regrow the hair you used to.

For some people, we will discuss advanced treatments available through our network of clinical providers after they’ve tried topical formulas first. But frankly those cases are rare, as the overwhelming majority of people are responsive to topical treatments for hair loss, and we’d rather get your hair back the easiest, most costs effective way possible. The majority of our patients’ experience starts (and ends) with a recommendation of easy-to-use products that have a proven track record of regrowing hair.    It is that easy.

CAUSE 1: GENETICS (AND ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA)

Hair loss is essentially programmed into human genes. As cells age, they become less effective at doing their job of moving the blood and oxygen necessary to fuel the body’s processes. Even if you don’t have one of many “balding genes”, with time, your body eventually isn’t able to perform as it once did in your younger years, and the beginning of hair loss inevitably occurs. Compounds containing Minoxidil tend to be highly effective at reversing this consequence of male and female pattern balding, as Minoxidil is a vasodilator that encourages greater blood flow at hair’s roots. That is one part of the equation.

Most people who experience advanced hair loss at earlier ages (before 50) have a genetic predisposition, or the presence of balding genes in their genetic makeup, that we classify as Androgenetic Alopecia (or AGA, also commonly referred to by the misnomer, “male pattern balding”). The truth is that testosterone exists in both men and women, and is vital to hair growth. It was once believed that having too much or too little testosterone led to hair loss, but we now know that it is not the amount of testosterone in your body, but rather how much of it converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), through the enzyme 5-alpha reductase in follicles, that dictates whether a person will experience advanced hair loss. For this reason, a hair loss prevention regimen to combat AGA should involve a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.

CAUSE 2: PHYSICAL DAMAGE

You knew when you got that Brazilian blowout or bleached your hair for the 10th time—to dye it that awesome shade of red—that there’d be a price to pay later. Similarly, the effects of parting your hair in the same place and wearing ponytails, as well as straightening, blow drying, and coloring your hair over time add up. Compound that with the sulfates found in most shampoos (due to being very inexpensive to produce) that strip natural oils from hair, and you begin to see that even normal maintenance and styling can be detrimental to your hair’s health. Over time, hair experiences PH levels that are more basic than its normal healthy level at the root (PH >6.5), and can have its innercellular lipids stripped out from the use of daily care products… that portend to help make your hair look good, but in fact lead to damage. There’s a lot of stuff out there, and it’s not always clear what is helpful and what isn’t.

The truth is that there are things you should look for in the hair care products you use in your daily routine. At the top of the list is the presence of gentle cleansers. Most shampoos use cleansers (sulfates) that are highly effective at removing oils, but therein lies the rub. Ideally, a shampoo would be just effective enough to remove sebum build up, but not so strong that it disturbs naturally occurring lipids that provide luster, seal the hair’s mantle, and protect hair’s shaft. An ideal shampoo would also contain a thermal protectant—to protect against UV and other thermal sources (like curling irons, blow dryers, straighteners). And would contain natural conditioners, meaning that since its cleansers never dried your hair out in the the first place, you won’t need a separate conditioning product (usually the sign of a cycle of overdrying).

It turns out, you’re in luck. Our clinically-tested 3-in-1 shampoo uses Coconut Fatty Acids as its cleansers (natural, gentle eco-certified cleansers), contains Phytokeratine (a thermal protectant) and Serenoa Repens (a botanically derived 5-alpha reductase inhibitor) that reduces DHT, a leading cause of hair loss. In addition to these ingredients, it contains Panthenol, Biotin, Vitamin E, Aminos Acids and Algae Extracts to condition and protect your hair… all in formula that is PH balanced to the same level as hair’s mantle in its healthy, natural state. Say goodbye to split ends and damaged, frizzy, thinning hair. And hello to new, strong, healthy hair.

CAUSE 3: DIET & NUTRITION / STRESS

You know the saying “you are what you eat”… well lucky for you, your genes take the In-N-Out you eat and turn it into building blocks to make your cells, skin and tissue. Otherwise, you’d be a hamburger. And fries. And a milkshake. And people would laugh at you. (Other hamburger-people that is.) The point is that our bodies are often smarter than we are. But they still need us to make enough good nutritional choices so that they have the proper building blocks to optimally and healthily make quality parts.

While diet is a huge component of your health, so are other activities. Like exercise, maintaining good mental health, and preventing and treating disease. Smoking is not good for you (newsflash, right?), and its especially not good for your hair and scalp health. And we now know that stress is just as bad. Reducing and/or quitting smoking helps increase the amount of oxygen delivered to your cells. And that oxygen is roughly 1/2 of what your hair needs to be healthy.

In addition to the main things people do that are unhealthy (that they generally know they shouldn’t), there are illnesses and diseases that can have a dramatic impact on hair health. Cancers and the treatments for them are one source, but other immune-related illnesses along with kidney and liver diseases can also dramatically inhibit the body’s ability to maintain healthy tissue and hair. If you are experiencing any of these, tell us during your initial consultation. While we aren’t able to address those underlying issues directly, we do want to make sure that we don’t complicate the treatment of them either.

For our part, we hope that your decision to take your hair loss seriously may result in other positive changes in your health. You only have one body, and it is truly amazing. Take proper care of it and it will take care of you. If you finally choose to stop smoking, eat healthier, or loose weight on account of regrowing your hair, you will be doing more than just improving your looks… you will be improving your chances of living a long, healthy life. We want that for you. And you should want that for you too.