Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. I’m your host Michelle Rupp joining me this morning is Dr. Chad Rogers. Hi Dr. Chad, how are you?
Dr. Chad Rodgers: I’m doing well. Thanks. Nice to see you again.
MR: Good to see you too. So, we are going to discuss the topic. I know you and I have talked about this offline a couple of times. We are talking about hair loss. It seems like we are hearing a lot of people here recently talking about their hair falling out. So probably my first question is, I would assume this is natural that through the course of our lives we shed hair.
CR: We do you know if you think about it, you have hundreds of thousands of hairs on your head and it’s sort of natural to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs from your head a day. So, you know I think often when people noticed that the most, you know when they just brushed their hair and they looked in and they’re like oh my gosh or you know in the shower drain, you know just seeing the hair. And it’s very common to you know shed hair. But there are times when you can lose more hair because of different events and it’s not necessarily always something harmful but it’s very distressing to people. And it’s a question I get asked about a lot.
MR: Sure. So, what could be some of those causes? I think typically when we think about hair loss, we might think that is a reaction of like a medical treatment. But if that’s not something that you’re experiencing, what could be some of those causes stress maybe.
CR: Yeah, so there’s lots of different patterns of hair loss and you know, so there’s the good old hair loss as we get older and men have receding hairlines and get bald patches and you know, there’s just sort of part of aging. Sometimes women as they get older, will have some thinning as well. There’s also you know, things where you can go through periods where you’ll just lose a bunch of hair. So, hair follicles kind of rotate about every three months ago from resting to growing phases and then they’ll, you know, hang around a while. So, say a lot of people if they’ve had a particularly stressful of it and that could have been emotionally stressful event, or they had a surgery and pediatrics. What I hear most often from mothers is right after delivery to delivery itself. There are some medications that may be related to increased hair loss, you know, that you should ask your physician about. But there’s also some other, you know causes that may be related to it. Maybe even being real anemic or your thyroid isn’t functioning well. So, there’s some hormonal causes of hair loss.
MR: You touched on it briefly if we are experiencing hair loss, who do we talk to? Do we talk to our primary care? Do we talk to a dermatologist? Who do we go to?
CR: Yeah, I always think, you know your primary care doctor is a good place to start because it’s a fairly common thing and you know, just kind of again kind of rule that anything that might be medically wrong, they may want to do a screening blood work, you know, to make sure you’re not anemic and make sure your thyroid is doing well. And also, it will give a position an opportunity to look at the hair with the pattern of hair loss and determine if it’s just kind of this shedding of hair due to some stressful event or is it something that’s autoimmune like alopecia where they circles of hair loss. Or it might even be an infectious cause of hair loss like ringworm on the scalp. We get these rounds scaly patches with hair loss. And so those are treatable things that you can start with your primary position. The other thing, a lot of most primary care positions will feel pretty comfortable prescribing some of these medications that help lessen the rate of hair loss or maybe even promote new growth. So, starting with your primary care doctor as I could start, I think if you’re not having success or you’re having patches of here that aren’t growing back then that time. Maybe the time you really want to talk to your dermatologist, dermatology would not be a bad place to start either though, if you know, your insurance allows you to go directly to the dermatologist, they deal with this all the time as well.
MR: And we are seeing not at all covid survivors, but some who have had coronavirus, there have been reports that they are losing some of their hair as well too.
CR: Right. It’s been a really common thing that we’re kind of seeing. And so, usually about three months after covid people really start even in two months into it, they start to notice sort of an increase hair thinning and hair loss. You know, you just wonder how you have a single hair on your head because you look at your brush and you’re like, where did all this hair come from? So usually that kind of stabilizes around three months, but it may take another three months or so for that hair to kind of come back and get thicker. And so that’s been really true with covid infections also with things like surgery and pregnancy, it usually takes about 3 to 6 months before your hair starts to thicken back up to where it was before.
MR: Is there anything we can do in the interim, to strengthen our hair.
CR: Yeah, so there’s a lot of things you can do. One thing is just remember, you know, anytime you kind of put tension on your hair, you’re increasing that hair going to be pulled out of the follicle. So being really careful with really super tight ponytails or buns, anything that puts a lot of tension um the things that you used to hold your hair back, like rubber bands pull a lot, so you really want to use a proper hair a tie in order to prevent that. The other thing is you know a lot of people when they get their weave, they get very tight braids that puts a lot of tension on the hair follicle, and you’ll see a lot of inflammation sometimes and some hair loss. So just being careful about not putting a lot of stress on your hair when you’re brushing your hair, don’t just like break it, you know with that you know do small ends you don’t want to pull real hard, that will increase your rate of hair loss. A lot of you know shampoos available over the counter that can some that contain minoxidil that kind of can help stimulate hair growth. There’s biotin and some of those shampoos and there’s also biotin supplements that you can take, or you can even talk to your physician about biotin injections if you’re really having a lot of hair loss.
MR: And then don’t panic when it starts to grow back, it will grow back.
CR: Right, but I think that’s the main thing, reassurance within three months and stuff, you should start to see kind of a little new squiggly hair growth and you should start to feel fuller.
MR: Good deal well Dr. Chad, is there anything else that you’d like to add today on this topic?
CR: Yeah. I think the main thing is just to reassure people that it is common that many of these things are addressable either with over-the-counter treatments or with supplements or even with prescriptions to kind of help reduce the rate of hair loss. Some hair loss unfortunately is permanent, especially as we get older but some hair loss have like the where you lose patches, some of those things have treatments that you can talk to either your primary care doctor or dermatologist about them. So don’t be too alarmed. It will grow back.
MR: Great advice. Dr Chad, thank you for joining us.
CR: Alright, no problem