Q&A with an Expert in Hair Loss
Anyone can experience hair thinning. Left on our own, we often don’t know why hair loss starts. Twenty-year hair loss specialist Kimberly Vaughn answers your personal questions on alopecia, or hair loss. Kimberly is the managing director of HPIHair Partners in Nashville and a compassionate hair coach certified as a World Trichologist Society trained professional. She specializes in hair preservation, hair restoration, and hair replacement.
Question: I am a 27-year-old woman who is in great health (at least I think). Workouts are on my schedule three to four days a week. I am a vegan and work hard at getting enough protein in my diet, drink plenty of water, and my hair is still falling out. What is going on?
Answer: From your description above, the first three thoughts that come to mind are:
1) Has something major happened in your life within the past 9 months? COVID, break up, etc…
2) When was the last time that you had a physical with a wholistic blood work up? This means, ALL hormones, thyroid tests, vitamins, and minerals.
3) Do you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss? Parents, grandparents, aunts that have thinning hair? Hair loss is a complicated topic with varying roads to travel in the quest for answers. The first step, and many times the hardest is determining the cause(s) of the hair loss. As with any health concern, we need to understand the cause/effect scenario to determine treatment options. Start looking for your answers, with factual evidence and get your blood work done.
Question: I am in my early 30s and now wear hats every day. What are my options to have hair again and can it look natural?
Answer: Hair loss is a challenging subject for men, no matter how old you are. The photos you shared confidentially illustrate a significant hair loss on the top and crown of your head. Treatment for advanced hair loss, such as you are experiencing, has limitations. However, we now have many more options than ever before! If you are considering a hair replacement to fully cover the scalp, Nashville offers many options for hair replacement studios. Another options to consider is Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) treatments. This is a tattoo-type procedure performed on the scalp to camouflage the bare skin, mimicking the look of a hair follicle. SMP is performed in sessions and can offer as much camouflage as needed. Either replacement or permanent camouflage are good options. Do your homework though! Ensure you have selected the best provider for your solution.
Question: My hair has been thinning for a few years and continues to worsen. My dermatologist has diagnosed my problem as androgenic alopecia. Does this mean I will start losing more hair or will my hair become patchy and fall out in clumps? After seeing several pictures online, I am more worried now than even before the diagnosis.
Answer: Take a few deep breaths, we will sort through the differences and you should feel better shortly. Androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata are very different diagnoses and conditions. The word “alopecia” simply means hair loss. As you would imagine, the word androgenic refers to heredity and can be referred to as male-pattern hair loss or female-pattern hair loss. Alopecia areata is an auto immune condition causing hair loss on the head, face, and other parts of the body. It is very different than its stepsister androgenic alopecia. Both hair loss conditions are extremely devastating and can affect your appearance in different ways, depending on your gender, age, and ethnicity.
Alopecia areata treatment, if started at the onset of the diagnosis, can be very successful and reduce the likelihood of further episodes. Look deeply into your diet and overall health and consider steroid injections or micro needling procedures. We have seen strong, promising results with the above treatments. With androgenic alopeicia, although very different in nature and pattern of hair loss, a holistic approach is the best place to begin as well. Hormones, thyroid, genetics, diet, and overall health are also key drivers adding to the genetic predisposition. Don’t blame your family! Eighty million of us experience some form of hair loss during our lifetime and blaming our amazing family isn’t the way to go!