When you first speak with a dermatologist, they’ll look for signs of balding and ask you questions to get some information from you. They’ll want to know how long you’ve been losing your hair and how quickly it came on. They’ll also take a close look at your scalp and other areas with hair loss. And they’ll test the health of your hair by pulling on it, which tells them how your hair is growing and whether it’s susceptible to breaking or not.
If there’s any reason to believe that your hair loss could be caused by an infection, hormone imbalance, vitamin deficiency, or a disease, you may need a scalp biopsy or blood test. You can take these tests in the dermatologist’s office.
Once they have all that information, there’s a good chance your dermatologist will be able to diagnose your hair loss.
It’s also possible, however, that they’ll need more information - if someone has multiple causes, for example.
Once the cause has been found, your dermatologist will recommend whether you should have treatment or not. Your hair could always grow back, which would make treatment unnecessary.
Even if your hair does grow back without treatment, however, your dermatologist may still recommend treatment to help accelerate the process. Sometimes, it can prevent further hair loss.
A hair loss treatment plan can include at least one of the following:
Treatment at Home
Having treatment at home is a convenient option, and many home treatments can be bought without you needing a prescription. As studies have proven that the following can help, at least one may be included in your at-home treatment plan.
This tends to be a more effective option when used in conjunction with another hair loss treatment. Many people observe some regrowth from having used minoxidil, although it usually takes around three to six months to see results,
If successful, you’ll need to use it on a daily basis. Hair loss returns when you stop using it.
While minoxidil can be effective for early hair loss, it can’t regrow a full head of hair.
With this treatment, you’ll be relying on a device that contains hundreds of small needles. Research has proven it’s been successful in stimulating hair growth. One study saw men aged between 20 and 35 with mild or moderate hereditary hair loss given five per cent minoxidil twice daily or five percent minoxidil twice daily plus weekly microneedling. After a 12-week treatment period, the patients treated with microneedling and minoxidil experienced significantly more hair growth.
While at-home treatments are convenient, a board-certified dermatologist performing a procedure offers what tends to be a more effective solution. So your treatment plan may include one of the following.
If there’s an area on your head with a balding or thinning area due to male pattern baldness, a dermatologist may suggest a hair transplant. This can be a permanent and effective solution,
If you don’t like the sound of taking medication or if daily minoxidil doesn’t seem appealing to you, you could consider laser therapy. A few studies suggest that laser therapy may help to stimulate hair growth and healing after a hair transplant, hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, alopecia areata, and hereditary hair loss.
Studies indicate that this treatment is painless and safe but that many sessions are required. You may need several weekly treatments for many months in order to experience a small amount of hair growth.
Your blood test may show that you’re lacking zinc, iron, or biotin, in which case your dermatologist may recommend you take a supplement. If you’re getting an insufficient amount of protein, they may tell you to increase your intake.
You should only take one of the above supplements if a deficiency shows up in your blood test. If you have normal levels, it can be harmful to take a supplement. If you take too much iron, for example, you can get iron poisoning. Vomiting and stomach pains are early signs of iron poisoning.
Other supplements meant to assist those losing their hair tend to include an abundance of one nutrient. As this can result in you getting too much of that nutrient, a multivitamin is recommended by many dermatologists instead.
Once a dermatologist has accurately diagnosed you, many people with hair loss can experience regrowth. If treatment is needed for regrowth, the earlier you start taking it, the better chance you’ll have of seeing regrowth.