Home » Hair Loss

Hair Loss in Washington, DC

Receding hairlines, baldness, and thinning hair can be a source of embarrassment. Although hair loss is a common problem affecting both men and women, living with the condition can be emotionally difficult.  Fortunately, more hair restoration options are available than ever before. The best place to start is with an accurate diagnosis that can lead to effective treatments. Located in Vienna, Younger Image Hair Transplant Clinic is proud to offer hair loss treatment to both men and women in and around Washington, DC, and Gaithersburg, Maryland.

What Are the Causes of Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be attributed to many different factors.  Medical conditions, diseases, side effects of medications, hormone fluctuations, dieting, vitamin deficiencies, styling habits, and genetics can all cause hair loss. Even stress can take a toll on your locks.   Sometimes hair loss is temporary and can be reversed once the cause is identified and corrected.  Other times, hair loss is permanent. If your hair is thinning, your hairline is receding, or you have bald patches, Younger Image Hair Transplant Clinic can help.  A thorough examination of your scalp and hair, along with a biopsy in some cases, will identify the cause.  Once your condition is properly diagnosed, restoration plans will be made.  Even if a biopsy demonstrates that your hair loss is permanent, volume and regrowth may be possible through effective treatments and procedures.

Click on the links below to learn more about hair loss and hair restoration:

Are Only Men Affected by Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a common topic among men and has been for centuries.  Although over 40 percent of women also experience hair loss, women have traditionally suffered the emotional effects more privately.  Fortunately, the paradigm is changing and women today are more willing to talk about and address their thinning and balding hair.

How Much Shedding Is Normal?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing some hair each day is normal.  Existing hairs naturally fall out and are replaced by new ones.  Once your hair loss exceeds 50 to 100 hairs per day, however, it is time consult with a specialist to determine the cause.

If you are concerned that you are losing an excessive amount of hair, a quick, easy test can help you determine whether or not your hair loss is normal. Take a clump of hair between your fingers, about 60 hairs or so, and pull gently, running your fingers through your hair. About five to eight hairs should come out. Greater than 15 hairs are more than you should lose. Issues with hair loss, thinning and growth, come into play when the hair growth cycle is disturbed. The cycle includes three stages:

  1. Anagen (Growth Phase) – The hair grows approximately half an inch monthly. It is true that your hair grows faster in the summer than in the winter and slows progressively with age.  This phase lasts an average of three to five years.
  2. Telogen (Resting Phase) –Lasts for approximately 10 days after an individual hair stops growing.
  3. Shedding – Each hair falls out of its follicle.

An average of 85 to 90 percent of your hair is in the anagen stage at any given time.  The remaining 10 to 15 percent is in the telogen stage.  After the resting period, each hair falls out of its follicle.  Combined, the telogen and shedding stages last approximately from two to six months.  After a hair sheds, the anagen stage begins again in the follicle, and a new hair begins to grow.

Male/Female Pattern Baldness: Androgenic Alopecia

The most common type of hair loss among both men and women is androgenic alopecia, more commonly known as “male pattern baldness.”  In spite of its name, women also get androgenic alopecia.    By the age of 50, around 50 percent of men have some degree of male pattern baldness.  Approximately 15 percent of women experience female pattern baldness by the time they reach menopause.

Androgenic alopecia strikes young people in their 20s as well as older people. The cause is genetic.  Although genetic predisposition is sometimes identified by looking at family history on either the maternal or paternal side, unfortunately, there is no known cure for this condition.  The good news is that treatment is available to help.

Pattern baldness manifests itself differently in men than women.  Men generally experience a receding hairline and a thinning crown.  Women experience diffuse thinning over all areas of the scalp.  Some women may even have more than one pattern type.  In both cases, however, the alopecia is attributed to excessively high levels of dihydrotestosterone or DHT.  Testosterone, affected by enzymes held in the hair follicle’s oil glands, converts to DHT.

At healthy levels, DHT supports hair growth.  When people experience genetic pattern baldness, however, certain areas of the scalp absorb too much DHT.  The high DHT levels shrink the hair follicles, reducing the hair’s growth cycle, causing thinner, more delicate hair.  The hair follicle becomes severely damaged over time, inhibiting the growth of new hair.  Increased DHT levels, therefore, increases the number of hairs in the telogen and shedding stage and decreases the amount in the anagen stage.  Hair that does grow from damaged follicles is called vellus hairs and are thin and light colored.

You may have seen bald people with smooth, shiny scalps.  These people have more progressed cases of balding.  In these cases, the blood supply is diminished, and the scalp responds by contracting the skin.  Oil glands are stimulated, resulting in a shiny appearance.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of baldness and thinning hair; however, hair loss can be attributed to numerous other causes as well including:

Temporary Hair Loss Causes

  • Pregnancy & childbirth: Hair loss is extremely common during the first six months following childbirth.  During pregnancy, extra hormones keep hair from falling out, making hair look lush and thick.  Once the baby is born and hormone levels return to normal, the extra hair sheds.  In most cases, the hair growth cycle returns to its normal state without treatment.
  • Fever & illness: High fevers associated with the flu and other illnesses may trigger hair loss that lasts from one to three months after recovery.  Treatment is usually not required.
  • Thyroid conditions: Hair growth relies on the thyroid gland to function properly.  Both hyper (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can cause a hormonal change that can make your hair thin or patchy. Treating the thyroid condition typically reverses the hair loss.
  • Anemia: Low levels of protein and iron associated with anemia and other conditions can cause hair loss.
  • Diet: People who do not get enough protein in their diets slow the rate of new hair growth.  As hair sheds, it will not grow back quickly.  Over time, extreme weight loss, starvation, and other dietary issues reduce hormone production and lead to thinning hair as well.  Male and female pattern baldness is linked to diet high in starches and refined sugars.  High insulin levels also negatively affect hair growth.
  • Stress: Psychological stress or other traumatic events can prematurely put hair follicles into the resting phase.  Approximately three months later, when the hair is released, large amounts of hair seem to fall out.  Fortunately, this condition reverses itself and does not require treatment. 
  • Cancer treatments: Chemotherapy treatments are commonly known for causing baldness. Cancer patients lose approximately 90 percent of their hair during the first three weeks following treatment.  Fortunately, the hair grows back after treatments and medications are completed.
  • Medications: Many prescription medications can cause extensive hair loss.  Anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and medications for blood pressure, gout, and arthritis, can be to blame. Very high doses of some vitamins, such as Vitamin A, can also cause hair loss. The hair usually grows back within a few months after patients stop taking the medication or supplements.
  • Surgery: Stress on the body’s response system following major surgery can trigger hair loss. Growth typically resumes one to three months after surgery.
  • Oral contraceptives: Women who are predisposed to androgenic alopecia may experience greater hair loss due to the hormonal changes brought on by oral contraceptives.  If this is the case, your doctor can provide an alternative pill or method to decrease your hair loss.
  • Hairstyles, treatments & processing: Wearing hair styles such as very tight ponytails or braids can cause a constant pulling of the hair called traction alopecia.  Harsh chemicals associated with bleaching, hair dye, and other processes can affect the hair as well.
  • Chronic illnesses: Lupus, muscular dystrophy, diseases of the pituitary gland and other ongoing illnesses can cause hair loss, thinning, and breakage.
  • Trichotillomania: Patients who suffer from trichotillomania pull out their hair as a response mechanism to anxiety.  Although children are most likely to develop this emotional condition, the habit can develop or evolve into adulthood.  Because hair pulling often happens secretly, the condition is often misdiagnosed as alopecia areata.
  • Ringworm: The fungal condition associated with ringworm can cause patches on the scalp that stimulate hair loss.  Normal hair growth resumes after the ringworm is treated.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects how the ovaries work.  It affects six to 10 percent of women who are childbearing age.  Women with this disorder can experience excessive hair shedding, thinning, and follicle sensitivity.
  • Sun Damage: Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays can damage your hair.  If you plan to spend time in the sun, remember to wear a hat.   

Permanent Hair Loss Causes

  • Scarring alopecia areata: Hair loss resulting from an autoimmune disease.  The body fails to recognize its own body cells and subsequently destroys its own tissue.  Scarring occurs which blocks the hair follicle and prevents new hair from erupting.  Early diagnosis of alopecia areata can be slow or stop further hair loss.
  • Androgenetic alopecia: Patients who suffer from male or female pattern baldness experience permanent hair loss due to a genetic predisposition to the condition.  Although androgenetic baldness cannot be reversed, medications and hair restoration surgery are options for some people.

What Is the Cost for Hair Loss Treatment in Washington, DC?

The cost of hair loss treatment varies based on the condition causing the hair loss and the associated treatment. Younger Image Hair Transplant Clinic takes pride in customizing each treatment to individual patient’s needs.  We strive to give each patient the most natural looking results possible. During your initial consultation, our hair restoration specialist will do a thorough examination to diagnose the cause of your hair loss and will recommend the most effective solution.  All costs will be explained, so you have a clear understanding of what to expect.  Younger Image Hair Transplant Clinic strives to make hair restoration accessible to all patients.  We offer many flexible payment options including cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.  Financing options are also available to make your procedure affordable.

If you live and around Washington, DC, or Gaithersburg, Maryland and you are experiencing hair loss or concerned about possible hair loss, contact Younger Image Hair Restoration Clinic in Vienna today for a consultation.