Why is my hair thinning and falling out?

Personalised Diagnosis & Individualised Hair Loss Treatment at Longiva Healthy Ageing Institute

Our society’s fascination with hair is a long and fascinating one. Our locks are an extension of our style and identity. Our hairstyle, cut and color say something about who we are without us having to say even one word. A good hair day can instantly boost our confidence while a bad one can command a dark cloud that follows us where ever we go. It can tell us if we are sick, have a deficiency, have been exposed to toxic substances or experienced a very stressful period. We spend thousands of hours and even more money to make sure our coiffure is styled according to the latest trend. So, what happens if you start to lose your full mane and the thick hairline you once had begins to recede? Do we, like the biblical Samson, lose our strength and identity?

Hair loss is a complicated, very common problem with many causes, but it is treatable. It affects men and women of all ages. Getting to the root of the problem and then finding the right solution is often a ‘hair-pulling’ process. But thanks to the TrichoTestä, now available at Longiva, we can zone in on the genetic causes of your hair loss and customise a treatment plan specifically and indiviually suited to you.

Hair loss, also called alopecia, is a disorder that’s brought on by the interruption of the body’s normal hair production cycle and both genetics and extrinsic factors have an impact on the hair cycle. It’s estimated that we have an average of 100 000 hairs that are constantly growing, resting, falling out, or regenerating. Losing an average number of 150 hair filaments per day is regarded as normal. More than that will soon lead to thinning and even bald patches appearing. Here are some of the main types of hair loss and their causes:

Androgenetic alopecia

This is a non-scarring form of hair loss caused by an abnormal increase of androgens in the hair follicles. It affects both men and women and is a hereditary type of hair loss in which the affected person is genetically more sensitive to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone. In men, the hair around the crown will start to thin and the hairline will begin to recede, ultimately leading to baldness. In female pattern hair loss, the hair will start to thin out significantly over the whole scalp, but rarely do they experience complete baldness.

Alopecia areata

This is a T-cell-mediated autoimmune hair loss caused by a collapse of hair follicles. It’s brought on by an autoimmune process. The hair will completely fall out in one or a few spots or areas creating a bald patch or two.

Telogen effluvium

This is a transient form of hair loss characterised by an abnormality of the hair cycle with excessive loss of telogen hairs after a triggering event. The physical changes or an emotional shock causes the hair to go prematurely into a resting (telogen) phase. After two to four months the hair will start to fall out and a dramatic loss of hair thickness will be visible. Diffused hair loss can be brought on by severe physical or emotional trauma, surgery, stress or burn out, extreme weight loss, hormonal changes including menopause and childbirth, thyroid conditions and certain medications.

Alopecia medicamentosa

This hair loss is most commonly associated with cancer treatment that causes all the hair to suddenly and prematurely fall out. Once the cancer treatment is completed the hair should return to it’s normal growing cycle. Take note that there are also other medications that can also induce hair loss. Talk to your doctor if you notice excessive hair loss after taking new medication.

Finding the right treatment for you

To find the best treatment for you, the correct diagnosis must be made of what is going on at the hair follicle level. At Longiva we will use the TrichoTest™ to determine the inherent genetic factors that in combination with extrinsic factors contribute to your type of hair loss. The medical doctor at Longiva will take a comprehensive history and examine the specific type of hair loss after which a complete an extensive online questionnaire is completed. A DNA sample is then collected via a cheek swab that together with the questionnaire is sent to a genetic lab in Spain, where 58 genetic abnormalities associated with hair loss is scanned and reported.

After approximately six weeks the genetic report is made available which is discussed with you during a follow up consultation. In this consultation you will receive the topical treatments designed specifically according to your DNA results. This includes a personalised combination of an oil, spray, shampoo and supplements to treat the areas of hair loss.

With more than 50 published studies to support its scientific basis, the TrichoTest™ is both affordable and effective in treating hair loss. Book your consultation including the TrichoTest™ genetic test as well as the first follow up consultation today for only R3500.00.

 

For more information call Longiva Healthy Ageing Institute today.

 

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Longiva Medical Institute is an integrative health and wellness clinic designed with the modern individual in mind.

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