Hair Loss Treatment

What is Hair Loss?

A healthy scalp typically contains around 100,000 hair strands, and adults may experience the normal shedding of 100-150 strands per day due to washing and combing. Hair loss can occur due to various factors, including hormonal and nutritional factors, exposure to chemicals, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases, disorders in hair growth, medications, psychological stress, and scalp disorders. In a healthy individual, hair shedding can last up to two months. If the shedding period, which occurs three times a year, exceeds 2 months, it may indicate underlying serious illnesses, requiring expert assistance. Hair loss usually begins 3-4 months after the triggering factor, and after treating these factors, it may take 6-12 months for the condition to return to normal.


The lifespan of each hair can be roughly divided into three stages. The growth phase is the longest, during which hair grows approximately 1 cm per month. After completing this phase, the hair enters a resting phase that lasts for a few weeks. Following this period of 2-3 weeks, the hair enters the shedding phase. In the shedding phase, the hair loses its connection with the hair follicle and falls out within 2-4 months. While this period can be shortened by hair-related activities such as combing, brushing, and washing, it cannot be extended. At the end of this period, even without any intervention, the hair will naturally fall out, and new hair will be produced from the hair follicle.


This cycle continues throughout life. The stage of hair can't be determined by its external appearance, and at any given time, about 85-90% of hair is in the growth stage, 1-2% is in the resting stage, and 10-15% is in the shedding stage. The logic behind considering the shedding of up to "100 strands per day" as normal on days when no bath is taken stems from the physiology of hair explained above. Understanding these stages is important to comprehend why the treatment of hair loss takes a long time.


Why Does Hair Loss Occur?

Each hair strand has a life cycle. Each hair strand lives for 4-6 years, rests, and then falls out. The shedding of hair in this way is a completely natural process, and the shedding of 50-100 strands per day is considered normal. If this number exceeds, and the amount of hair that comes out when washing or combing increases, or if 3-5 strands of hair come out when pulling dried hair by hand, it is necessary to take this condition seriously. Hair loss can have various causes, and it is crucial to identify the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.


Genetic Factors

The reasons for hair loss in men and women are different. Male hair loss is usually genetic, involving male-pattern hormone-sensitive hair loss seen in more than 50% of the population. This type of hair loss is chronic. Baldness develops as one ages, and eventually, it may require hair transplantation. Supplemental treatments such as mesotherapy and PRP therapy, when started early, can slow down hair loss in the initial stages. They can extend the time before baldness occurs.

This type of hair loss is also observed in women, especially those with a family history of baldness. Individuals with a family history of baldness are at risk of hair loss. In recent years, male-pattern hair loss starting at the age of 16-18 is more common in young girls. Compared to previous years, factors such as excessive stress, unbalanced nutrition, prolonged fasting, and hormonal problems contribute to this condition. In addition to treatment, hormonal therapies can be added in the case of female-pattern hair loss, increasing the success rates.


Skin Problems

Skin and internal diseases can also cause hair loss. Most skin-related shedding occurs when diseases affecting the skin affect the scalp. Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, seborrhea, fungal diseases, etc., can lead to inevitable hair loss if the hair is affected. The treatment of these shedding conditions is possible with the treatment of the underlying skin disease.


Poor Dietary Habits

Hair loss due to nutritional reasons is another common factor. After all, the hair is a living organ that requires nourishment. Irregular and unbalanced nutrition, prolonged fasting, consumption of monotonous foods, and high-carbohydrate foods can affect and cause hair loss. The treatment is straightforward, involving a shift to balanced nutrition.


Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Even if there is no nutritional problem, hair loss can occur due to the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals for hair. If vitamins and minerals such as B12, D vitamin, folic acid, biotin, zinc, iron are low in the blood, the hair cannot be nourished and will fall out. Iron supplementation can reduce hair loss, even if there is no iron deficiency. In these cases, addressing the deficiency with the guidance of a professional is essential.


Hormonal Problems

If an individual has hormonal problems, experiences irregularities or delays in menstruation, increased hair growth, excessive acne, accelerated weight gain, hormonal-related hair loss may occur. The source of these problems can be identified through blood tests performed on the 2nd or 3rd day of the menstrual period, and a dermatology specialist should be consulted for diagnosis. Hormonal treatments can be effective in such cases of hair loss.


Some Internal Diseases and Medication Use

Certain internal diseases, thyroid gland diseases or medications used for these diseases, rheumatic diseases, hormones used, weight-loss pills, adrenal gland diseases, insulin resistance, diabetes, birth control pills, and sometimes discontinuation of these birth control pills are other reasons for hair loss. If sudden hair loss has started, causes such as recent surgeries, febrile illnesses, drug toxicities, blood loss, and severe trauma should be considered.


Birth and Chemotherapy Process

Apart from all these, there are two specific reasons for hair loss.


One is postpartum shedding, which begins 2-3 months after childbirth. It results from the sudden shedding of hair that should have shed during pregnancy but did not. Supplements taken under the control of an expert can contribute to the resolution of this condition.


Another reason is hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy. In recent years, with the use of more modern drugs, these losses are less common, but it is a condition prone to self-recovery after the treatment is completed.


Cosmetic Factors

Increased cosmetic habits are other factors causing mechanical, chemical, and physical hair loss. Tight hairstyles, inner bonnets, heat exposure from hairdryers, hair dyes used to lighten hair, bleach, straightening methods damage the hair, causing hair loss. In this case, the only treatment is to prevent the hair from being exposed to these applications. Applying the necessary supplements and care procedures to the hair can help restore the desired appearance.


Stress and Depression

Excessive stress is another factor that can cause hair loss, just like it contributes to many other diseases. Depression, anxiety, psychoses, and medications used in their treatment can affect and cause hair loss.


Hair is a living organ that can be easily affected by various factors in daily life. When something in an individual's life is not going well, considering these factors, one should first evaluate oneself and then, if necessary, seek help from a dermatology specialist. Because misinformation from the environment and hearsay information can lead to patients wasting time. If there is an ongoing hair loss issue, it is essential to consult a specialist to identify the underlying cause and determine the appropriate treatment.


Hair Loss Treatment Methods:


Topical Medications


Minoxidil: Minoxidil is a topical medication that is available over-the-counter and is applied directly to the scalp. It is believed to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, stimulate hair follicles, and prolong the growth phase of hair. It is generally used twice a day and may take several months to show visible results.

Finasteride: This prescription medication is more common in the treatment of male-pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is thought to contribute to hair loss in men.

Oral Medications


Finasteride: As mentioned earlier, finasteride is an oral medication that is often prescribed to treat male-pattern baldness. It works by reducing the levels of DHT, a hormone that can contribute to hair loss.

Biotin Supplements: Biotin, a water-soluble B-vitamin, is often recommended to promote hair growth. However, the evidence supporting its efficacy is limited, and it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements.

Hair Transplantation


Hair transplant surgery: This involves taking hair follicles from one part of the body (often the back of the scalp, where hair is resistant to DHT) and transplanting them to areas with thinning or no hair. This is a more invasive and costly procedure but can provide permanent results.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy


PRP therapy: This involves drawing the patient's blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting the PRP into the scalp. The growth factors in the platelets are believed to stimulate hair follicles.

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)


LLLT devices: These are FDA-cleared devices that use low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes


Balanced nutrition: Ensuring that you have a well-balanced diet with essential vitamins and minerals is crucial for overall health, including the health of your hair.

Stress management: Practices such as meditation, yoga, and other stress-reducing techniques may help manage stress-related hair loss.

Avoiding Harmful Hairstyling Practices


Avoid tight hairstyles: Wearing hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as tight ponytails or braids, can contribute to hair loss.

Avoid harsh chemicals: Limit the use of harsh chemicals on your hair, such as frequent dyeing or chemical straightening.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of these treatments can vary from person to person, and results may take time to become noticeable. Additionally, consulting with a healthcare professional or dermatologist is crucial before starting any treatment regimen to identify the underlying cause of hair loss and determine the most suitable approach for your specific situation.