Hair Loss and Regrowth
Every woman loses hair on a daily basis—in general, it’s normal to lose about one hundred hairs per day, due to hairs progressing through the hair cycle to a phase known as telogen. But some women suffer from excessive hair loss.
This week, I interviewed Dr. Ryan Welter, MD, PhD and founder of The New England Center for Hair Restoration, a facility that helps to diagnose and treat all forms of hair loss in women and men. He answered all our questions about hair loss, prevention, and regrowth, and even gave us some information about his latest research.
The Major Causes of Hair Loss
The most common cause of hair loss in women and men is androgenic alopecia, more commonly known as “male pattern baldness.” Women tend to lose hair over their entire scalp and the hairline does not recede. Androgenic alopecia rarely leads to total baldness in women—the effect is usually overall thinning.
Because androgenic alopecia in women lacks a distinct appearance, it can be difficult to recognize, and there are many other causes of hair loss in women. Hair loss can be a sign of more serious medical conditions such as hormonal instability, thyroid disorder, anemia and nutritional deficiency, to name a few.
If you are experiencing excessive hair loss, Dr. Welter recommends getting blood work. “I normally perform a full set of blood work to rule out medical causes of hair loss in the women that I treat,” he says. “If an underlying disorder is treated, the hair loss therapy be likely to fail and the underlying disorder will likely worsen.”
Preventing Hair Loss and Increasing Hair Regrowth
It is important to remember that hair loss cannot always be prevented, particularly if genetics and other medical disorders are the root cause. But all hair needs proper nourishment with adequate proteins and vitamins. Proper care of existing hair is incredibly important and excessive trauma (tight weaving, hair extensions, dyeing) should be avoided to prevent thinning. Taking cooler showers and staying away from the blow dryer will also help as well.
If you don’t suffer from androgenic alopecia or another hair disorder, maximizing hair volume and growth is as easy as eating a well-balanced diet with adequate protein, taking a multivitamin and biotin supplement daily and maintaining a healthy scalp by avoiding over-drying. You can make a huge difference with very little effort.
Stem Cell Research
Dr. Ryan Welter has become a pioneer in the field of hair restoration using cellular therapies and technology to enhance existing treatments. He says it’s the most exciting aspect of his research. “By using cells and growth factors found in the fat and blood, we can help reverse many types of hair loss naturally without the need for hormones and drugs. Not all forms of hair loss can be treated in this way, but as we continue to further our research, we are hopeful that most hair loss will be treated by a cellular means in the future.”