What is Alopecia?

This autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy body tissue.  In the case of autoimmune hair loss, the body attacks its own hair follicles.  The cause is unknown; however about a fifth of people with this condition have a family history of alopecia. This condition can affect men, women and children and can occur after a major life event such as illness, pregnancy, or trauma. Alopecia areata affects approximately two percent of the population overall, including five million people in the United States alone. Affected individuals will notice round areas of hair loss in the scalp as well as other body areas. Alopecia Areata is only when one loses patches of hair. There are other, more serious conditions such as Alopecia Totalis, the complete loss of scalp hair, and Alopecia Universalis, the total loss of all body hair. Some people may experience an itching or burning sensation. There are treatments available to make the hair regrow more rapidly, including topical medications and cortisone injections. It merely takes multiple cortisone injections to grow the hair follicles back, but coupled with other treatments will allow patients to see optimal results.

Traction/chemical Alopecia

This is a hair loss due to excess use of hair weaves or excess styling of the hair.  If scarring occurs, the hair follicles will be damaged due to scarring, and regrowth is less likely, depending on the degree of scar formation.

Treatments to stimulate hair growth may include:

  • Steroid injections under the skins surface
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical immunotherapy
  • Topical minoxidil
  • Ultraviolet light therapy

Dr. Rokhsar has extensive experience in hair loss and the treatment of hair loss.  He will evaluate your situation, take a thorough history, determine the cause of your hair loss, and discuss any possible treatment options.  Schedule an appointment today to restore your natural hair growth and feel like yourself again.

What is Hairloss?

Hairs are long collection of proteins that extend from the hair follicles.  Our hair is an external indicator of our internal health.  Hair is arguably one of the most personal and beloved part of our bodies; a statement to the world of our style, culture, attitude.

Hair loss can be one of the most devastating cosmetic effects of an underlying disorder. Dealing with hair loss is frustrating.  Treatment requires strict adherence and much patience. Most types of hair loss are responsive to treatment.

Phases in the hair growth cycle:

  1. Anagen: This is the growth phase. The length of time the hair remains in this growth phase, which lasts for up to three years and is controlled entirely by genetics.  In anagen, the hair follicle cells multiply; resulting in increased length of the hair. Normally about 85 to 90 percent of hairs are in this phase at any time.
  2. Catagen: This is the transitional phase and lasts about 1 to 2 weeks.  The hair follicle cuts off the hair from its supply of blood and nutrients.
  3. Telogen: This is the resting phase and lasts from 1-3 months. At any time, 10-14% of hair is in this phase. A telogen hair pulled out will reveal a whitish club at the root area.

The average number of shed hairs per day is 100-150.

Hair loss can occur in patches, overall thinning, or complete baldness.

Telogen Effluvium

This type of hair loss is characterized by the sudden onset of a dramatic loss of hairs each day.  You may notice clumps of hair in your brush, in the shower, on your pillow, or even when you simply run your hand through your hair.  This type of hair loss happens after stress such as dieting, surgery, illness, or childbirth.  The hair loss will occur about three months after a stressful event.  Pulling gently on your hair will result in the loss of more than three clubbed hairs.

Rogaine is a highly recommended topical treatment for hair loss. After Rogaine foam is applied to the head twice a day, the active ingredient minoxidil penetrates the scalp. Thinner, older hairs then shed for the next two weeks, allowing room for thicker looking hair to grow in. Minoxidil increases the size of hair follicles which allows for the thicker hair to grow. Early regrowth may appear as soft, colorless, peach fuzz, but after four months of use, desired results will develop.

Propecia is another option to treat hair loss and pattern baldness. It is an oral pill that can be prescribed by Dr. Rokhsar. Rogaine and Propecia are the only FDA approved drug options to treat hair loss.

Hair grafting, also known as hair transplants, are also a viable option for those suffering from hair loss. Dr. Rokhsar can perform micro grafts that contain only one to two hairs per craft, slit grafts that contain between four and ten, and punch grafts that can hold between ten to fifteen hairs. Local anesthetic is injected into the scalp and, if desired for comfort, sedation is available.