Is Your Hair Loss Normal?

If you’ve recently noticed a few extra hair strands on your pillow or in your hairbrush, you may be concerned about abnormal hair loss. But how can you tell if your hair loss is normal, or if it’s a cause for concern?

abnormal hair loss

According to Women’s Health, the average person loses between 60 and 100 strands of hair every day, so some hair loss is certainly normal. But if you’re losing more than that on a daily basis, it may indicate that something more serious is going on. We’ve written several blog posts on diseases that cause hair loss, but the first step, in any case, is to check in with your doctor. This is especially true if the hair loss has been going on for more than three months.

But how can you track your hair loss to see how much you’re losing?

There are three good methods:

  1. Pillow watch, or monitoring the amount of new hairs on your pillow every morning.
  2. Keeping a closer eye on your hairbrush, by cleaning it out every evening and monitoring it the following day.
  3. Watching for patterns of loss in your hair, such as baldness on the top of your head or a receding hairline.

If you do notice abnormal hair loss, take a closer look at your lifestyle. Have you been under an unusual amount of stress? Has your diet changed? Have you been chemically processing or heat treating your hair? Did you recently have a baby? All of these can trigger abnormal hair loss, so try making a few adjustments to see if that helps your hair.

If you’re experiencing chronic, long-term hair loss, our Minneapolis hair restoration and hair replacement service may be for you. Get in touch with our experienced and compassionate professionals to discuss hair extensions, wigs and hair solutions, hairsystems and more.

Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the most well-known and most feared side effects of chemotherapy. And for good reason – the majority of men and women who undergo chemotherapy treatment will experience some degree of hair loss. But everyone who undergoes chemo experiences hair loss differently, so it’s difficult to know what to expect or how to mentally prepare for it.

 

In general, hair loss usually begins with two to four weeks of starting chemotherapy treatment. The loss doesn’t just occur on the head, but can affect hair all over the body, including eyelashes and eyebrows.

 

chemo and hair loss

 

Sometimes, hair falls out in clumps, while it is sometimes more gradual – you might just notice more strands in your brush and hair that is thinning overall. Depending on the severity and pattern of your hair loss, you may decide to shave your head before it is completely gone, or simply style it in a way that masks some of the loss.

 

The hair loss will generally continue for the duration of the chemo treatment and for a few weeks after it ends. Hair usually regrows within six months, and it may come in with a different color or texture, because the cells that control the pigment of your hair are not yet functioning. As such, this is usually a temporary change.

 

So is there a way to prevent hair loss caused by chemotherapy? Unfortunately, there is not. Some drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and the level of loss may also be affected by the dosage and duration of treatment. Your doctor should be able to help you prepare for hair loss as a possible side effect of chemotherapy.

 

Going through chemotherapy is difficult for many reasons, and hair loss can add a significant mental burden to an already difficult time. Make sure that you have support during this tough time.

 

If you’re experiencing hair loss caused by chemotherapy or radiation, DK International can help. At our discrete Twin Cities hair loss salon, our experienced and compassionate hair restoration experts can help you find an answer for your hair loss, whether you’re interested in wigs, hairsystems, or other hair solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding

Adults generally lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair every day, so it’s not uncommon to see a decent amount of hair in your brush or on your pillow. But if you’re losing more hair than normal, that may be a sign of hair shedding or hair loss. But what’s the difference?

 

hair shedding

 

Although both share similar symptoms, hair loss and hair shedding are unique afflictions, with time being the main difference between the two. Hair shedding usually has a set duration, while hair loss is a much longer-term issue. This is because hair shedding is usually connected to a life change, event or stressor, while hair loss can have many potential causes.

 

So, when that stressing event ends, the shedding stops. (Of course, if the stressor continues, the shedding will likely continue as well, and can be a long-term affliction in some cases.) Hair will likely regain its normal fullness in 6 to 9 months after the shedding ends.

 

Hair shedding is often connected to:

  • The birth of a child
  • Significant weight loss
  • A high fever or surgical operation, or recovering from an illness
  • Significant stress

In comparison, hair loss can have a variety of causes, including:

  • Chemotherapy, radiation or another medical treatment or drug
  • Diseases, such as alopecia, thyroid disease and lupus, among others
  • Mental disorders, such as trichotillomania
  • Genetics
  • Overly harsh hair treatment

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing hair shedding or hair loss, visit your doctor or see a dermatologist to get a diagnosis. There may be a way to treat either your hair or the underlying cause.

 

At DK International, we offer a variety of hair replacement services, including hairsystems, hair extensions, wigs and hair solutions. If you’re facing long-term hair shedding or loss, give our Minneapolis hair restoration experts a call to set up a free consultation. We can customize a solution to fit your budget and needs.

Treatment Options for Trichotillomania

Unlike the other diseases we’ve recently detailed on our blog, today we’re going to discuss a mental ailment. Trichotillomania is a mental disorder that can result in patchy bald spots on the scalp and hair loss on other parts of the body. As such, the emotional and social effects of the disease are often debilitating.

Also known as hair-pulling disorder, trichotillomania causes a repeated, irresistible urge to pull out one’s own hair. This is not limited to the hair on the head, but can also include eyebrows or hair on other parts of the body. People with trichotillomania are unable to stop themselves from pulling out their hair, despite wanting and trying to.

trichotillomania

There is no known cause for trichotillomania, but certain factors – such as age, family history and stress level – may increase the risk of diagnosis. Some infants engage in hair-pulling, but it usually goes away naturally as they age. Pre-teens between 10 and 13 are most likely to be diagnosed with trichotillomania, and people with a family history of the disease tend to be more prone to the disease.

Trichotillomania varies in severity – often, it is mild and manageable, but in many cases, the need to pull out hair is severe and overpowering. Some people pull hair intentionally, as a way of dealing with stress and tension. Many have elaborate rituals for hair-pulling. Alternatively, some people pull out hair automatically, without realizing that they’re doing it. This often occurs during times of boredom or inactivity.

There are treatment options, including therapy and antidepressants or other medications. Often, the loss of hair can lead to additional stress, making it important to treat the hair loss in addition to the underlying disease. Wigs or hair systems, as well as rejuvenation and micro point solutions may help to relieve some of the emotional impact of trichotillomania.

If you’re suffering from trichotillomania, get in touch with our discrete Minneapolis hair restoration salon to discuss your options.

All About Alopecia Areata

In our two-part series on diseases that can cause hair loss, we briefly discussed alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Because alopecia areata is such a common cause of patchy hair loss and thinning hair, we thought it deserved a more in-depth discussion.

Although alopecia areata – which is more commonly referred to as simply alopecia – is relatively well-known, there are several aspects of the disease that are less commonly known or understood. We’ll focus on those in this post.

alopecia areata

First, alopecia areata does not only cause the loss of hair on the head. It can also cause hair on the face and, occasionally, other parts of the body.

Second, alopecia areata often makes its first appearance during childhood. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with the disease is around 2 percent.

Third, alopecia areata is fairly common. It affects people of all ages and ethnic groups, and both men and women are at risk. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation estimates that as many as 6.8 million people in the United States have the disease.

Fourth, as a “polygenic disease,” both parents must contribute a set number of specific genes in order for their child to develop alopecia areata. Therefore, it is not a given that a parent with the disease will pass it to their children. It is also believed to be influenced by environmental factors, which makes the genetic risks of the disease more difficult to predict.

Finally, alopecia areata usually does not cause complete hair loss, but instead, causes hair to fall out in patches. (There is one form of the disease, called alopecia totalis, that does cause total hair loss, but that is less common.) The hair follicles remain alive, leaving the possibility of hair regrowth. In many cases, however, the disease often prevents hair from regrowing where it was previously lost, and hair that does regrow may fall out once again. This is where our Minneapolis hair restoration experts come in.

At DK International, we offer a variety of hair replacement services, including hairsystems, hair extensions, wigs and hair solutions. We can customize a solution to fit your budget and needs. Give our Bloomington, MN hair restoration experts a call to set up a free consultation.