A commonly asked question among those who experience hair loss is "What is causing this to happen?" If you suspect a medical condition is causing the problem, the best thing to do is talk to your local hair loss specialist about your concerns so that they can perform the necessary tests to pinpoint the cause.
Let's take a look at common types of hair loss and types of medical tests that can be done.
Common Types of Hair Loss
It is important to understand the two most common types of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, which is also known as male or female pattern baldness. Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by patchy hair loss. Your hair loss specialist will be able to recognize if you have one of these common types. However, if androgenetic alopecia or alopecia areata is not the cause, further medical tests may be recommended.
Talk About Your Medical History
At Mane Image Hair, our hair loss specialists begin by asking about your medical history, any conditions that you may have and any medications that you are taking. Your hair loss specialist will identify with you the characteristics of your hair loss, including whether you are experiencing hair thinning or if your hair seems to be falling out in clumps. Be prepared to discuss your daily routine, including how often your hair is washed and even what hairstyles you tend to wear. We will also ask if you frequently dye your hair or undergo any other chemical treatments on a regular basis. We will also want to discuss when you started to notice the hair loss, if any family members have the same issue, and analyze your diet. For women, our hair loss specialist will ask if you have had a recent pregnancy, as this can be a contributing factor to hair loss.
Testing to Understand Hair Loss
After our hair loss specialist gathers your medical history, tests may be performed. For women, they may perform a test called the Savin Scale to record and classify hair loss patterns by visually assessing the density of the hair using a classification of computer illustrations. Men may undergo a test called the Norwood Hamilton Scale, which measures the extent of male pattern baldness. This test helps to determine the type of solution that may be useful.
A pull and tug test is often done to determine the severity of the hair loss. For the pull test, our hair loss specialist will grasp small sections of hair and gently tug to see how easily they come out. Active hair loss is when six or more strands come out. If the hair loss specialist performs a tug test, he or she will hold a section of hair with two hands and gently tug. This measures how brittle or fragile your hair is if any of the strands break in the middle.
Your hair loss specialist may also recommend a hair analysis or blood tests. If a hair analysis is done, they will examine a hair sample under a microscope to look at the rate of hair loss, genetic influences, structural damage, or to look for lice or fungus. Blood testing is typically done at a local doctor's office if your hair loss specialist suspects a medical condition such as lupus or an autoimmune disorder, vitamin deficiency, or a hormonal imbalance.
If you are experiencing hair loss, Mane Image Hair can help. We have effective solutions for men and women that will help to restore your confidence. Contact us today for a free consultation.