If you are a woman experiencing hair loss it may be due to a number of reasons. Unlike men, your cause of hair loss may not be strictly determined by your genes. There are several treatable causes of hair loss and with the help of a doctor you may be able to get to the root of the problem and reverse your hair thinning.
When you meet with your doctor regarding your hair loss the following tests are recommended as a way to pinpoint the cause for your hair loss.
- DHEA – DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is changed into the main female and male hormones, estrogen and androgens. A deficiency in DHEA can cause dry skin, dry eyes and hair loss.
- Testosterone - Testosterone converts into the androgen, DHT. DHT is a culprit in both male and female pattern baldness. DHT is harmful to hair follicles and is thought to cause follicle miniaturization. With hormones, it is all about balance. Women may not necessarily have high testosterone, but their female hormones may be lacking giving testosterone and edge. In some cases, a person may have body chemistry that is overly sensitive to DHT further accelerating their hair loss as they age.
- Androstenedione - Androstenedione can convert into testosterone in our bodies and cause the production of DHT which damages hair follicles.
- Prolactin – Prolactin signals the body to secrete milk when breastfeeding. A prolactin blood test may help determine if you have an excess of androgens in your body which can cause hair loss.
- Follicular Stimulating Hormone – An FSH blood test is used to help diagnose Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which is linked to hair loss.
- Lutenizing Hormone – An LH blood test can help diagnose PCOS which is linked to hair loss.
- Serum Iron – An iron deficiency can cause anemia which can cause hair loss.
- Serum Ferritin – Ferritin is the amount of iron stored in our bodies and a low ferritin level will shorten the hair’s lifespan, reducing the time the hair is spent in the growing phase which leads to the appearance of thinning hair.
- Total Iron Binding Capacity – TIBC is a test that explores how much iron you should have in your body by figuring out how much transferrin, a molecule that transports iron, is not doing its job by carrying the iron. This test goes along with the other iron tests to diagnose an iron deficiency which could be a cause of your hair loss.
- Thyroid Panel (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, T3, T4) - Abnormalities in your thyroid can often lead to hair loss. Having too much or too little thyroid hormones can cause widespread thinning throughout the entire scalp. The hair loss is reversible if your thyroid hormones are brought back into balance.
- VDRL (a screening test for syphilis) - Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease is linked to patchy hair loss.
- Complete blood count (CBC) - A complete blood count can help uncover a hidden culprit causing hair loss. The test can expose blood cell levels that are too high or too low and help doctors determine if there are any medical conditions that can be addressed.
- Scalp Biopsy - A small section of scalp is removed and looked at under a microscope which can help determine the cause of your hair loss.
- Hair Pull - A small section of hair is pulled in order to determine how much hair shedding is occurring in order to diagnose your stage of hair loss.
- Densitometry - A densitometer is an ultra magnified camera that is used to examine the scalp and check for miniaturization of the hair shaft. The condition of your scalp is studied. Too much oil can clog the hair follicle, dryness and irritation can sometimes be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a treatable skin condition linked to hair loss.
Images International wants to help in any way we can. We offer support and guidance for those experiencing thinning hair and hair loss. Most importantly, we offer solutions. You can have your hair back. Visit us for a free hair and scalp analysis and learn more about our solutions. Call us at (248) 540-0900 to schedule your no obligation appointment.