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Hair loss

Female pattern hair loss

Hair thinning can be devastating for women. It is also exceedingly common, with approximately 40% of women showing signs of genetic and hormonal related hair thinning (also known as female patterned hair loss) by the age of 50. It is also associated with polycystic ovaries, hormonal contraceptives and therapies. Sometimes this form of hair thinning can be ‘unmasked’ following stress related periods of hair shedding.

Dr Ophelia will make a diagnosis clinically and discuss the many treatment options including topical treatments, hormonal and hair growth tablets, and platelet rich fibrin (PRF).


Male pattern hair loss

Male patterned hair loss is the most common type of hair loss in men, affecting about 50% of men over the age of 50. It reflects a combination of inherited predisposition with increased sensitivity to the effects of dihydrotestosterone that causes scalp hair to become thinner, shorter and lighter in colour until eventually the follicles shrink and stop producing hair.

At any time after puberty men can become aware of a receding hairline or hair thinning.  Diagnosis is usually straightforward, and there are many effective treatments. Treatments can include hair growth tablets, hormonal tablets, and platelet rich fibrin (PRF).


Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a common type of non-scarring hair loss that can occur in any age and sex. Patches of baldness appear and can affect the scalp, facial or body hair. Hair regrowth is typical, but depends on many factors. Dr Ophelia will assess what risk factors you might have in order to have developed alopecia areata. For example having other members of the family affected, suffering with other autoimmune conditions and eczema are known risk factors. Alopecia areata is caused by the immune system attacking hair follicles.

Alopecia areata is a very active field of research in Dermatology, and effective treatment options now exist. Topical treatments, oral medications and injection therapies can all be effective at controlling the immune attack on the hair follicles and encourage hair re-growth.


Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss caused by an increase in hair shedding. It can be triggered in response to stress, pregnancy, illness, withdrawal of hormonal medicines, commencing a new medication and weight loss. The diagnosis is made clinically, and a ‘hair pull’ test may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Losing one’s hair can be traumatic, but it is important to be reassured that telogen effluvium usually self resolves, and no specific treatment is required. Hair will usually start growing back after the trigger is removed. However, to support optimal regrowth Dr Ophelia will advise on nutritional supplements and potentially courses of minoxidil or PRF to encourage a speedy recovery from the shedding.


Anagen effluvium

Anagen effluvium occurs when there is an abrupt increase in hair shedding during the growing, or anagen phase, of hair growth.  Much of the hair on the scalp, and often body hair, is lost. Causes of anagen effluvium include the effects of drugs such as chemotherapy, radiation, infections and autoimmune disease.

Anagen effluvium as a result of causes such as chemotherapy generally recovers in 3-6 months. Regrowth of straight hair can be curly, and there may also be a colour difference in the new hairs. However, to support optimal regrowth there are multiple strategies that Dr Ophelia can advise on to support recovery from hair shedding.