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August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month

Lost hair caught in a brush

Hair loss affects more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the US alone and for many, the emotional and social effects can be devastating. That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology has designated August as National Hair Loss Awareness Month, working to boost access to information on the common causes for hair loss and available treatments.

Do you know the top hair loss types for women and men?

For men, the most common culprits are involutional alopecia, androgenetic alopecia and alopecia ariata. Involutional alopecia is the gradual thinning of the hair that comes with age and progresses as hair follicles go into the telogen phase. More commonly known as the resting phase, this results in fewer and shorter hairs growing.

Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness and can hit as early as the teens or early 20s. It’s marked by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the top of the scalp.

Alopecia areata is markedly different, as it’s actually an autoimmune skin disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. This can result in hair loss not only on the scalp, but elsewhere on the body as well. Fortunately, though a definitive cause has yet to be identified, this condition generally is not permanent.

Women also experience alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. The latter is the most common form, in this case known as female pattern balding. It’s marked by more widespread thinning all across the scalp and often first noticed via a widened part or thinner ponytail.

Telogen effluvium is perhaps one of the most troubling forms of hair loss for women, as it comes suddenly and can involve handfuls of hair falling out at once. It typically is triggered by a stressful event, but nearly always is reversible.

Lastly, traction alopecia is caused by tight hairstyles that can cause pulling damage to the hair follicles. Common culprits are braids, cornrows, tight ponytails, extensions and weaves. Fortunately, if it’s detected early, it’s generally reversible.

If you’re suffering unexplained hair loss, visit your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearney, Teaneck, Jersey City, West New York or Staten Island today.

10 Facts & Stats About Hair Loss

Handsome man concerned about hair loss

A multitude of factors can influence whether you’ll have a thick mop of hair throughout your life or if you’ll experience hair thinning right on time, or much earlier than expected. Here are 10 top facts and statistics about hair loss – a few of which may surprise you.

  1. On average, the human scalp has anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles, which fall out at a rate of roughly 100 hairs each day. As we age, hair begins to grow at a slower rate. So, even if you’re losing hair at the average rate, it takes longer for new hairs to appear, which can contribute to the appearance of thinning or bald spots.
  1. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men will begin to see their locks lose some of their luster by age 35. By 50, upward of 85 percent of men will have experienced a significant amount of thinning.
  1. Some men, however, experience male pattern baldness much earlier than expected. Some 25 percent of men see the first signs of hair thinning before age 21.
  1. Hair thinning also affects the fairer sex. In fact, an estimated 40 percent of hair loss patients are female. By age 50, roughly half of all women will deal with some degree of pattern hair loss.
  1. Surprisingly to some, children also can be affected. Approximately three percent of all pediatric doctor visits made each year are connected to hair loss-related issues in children, including thinning and bald spots. Causes can be as simple as wearing hair in a ponytail too tightly or more serious, such as fungal infections of the scalp or alopecia.
  1. We know you love your mother, but she may be to blame for your risk of baldness. While both Mom’s and Dad’s genes play a part in the fate of your hairline, it’s maternal DNA that has the strongest influence. Overall, it’s estimated that approximately 30 million women and as many as 50 million men experience hair loss as a direct result of their genetic make-up.
  1. Stress and anxiety also can play a role. In the most severe cases, this involves a psychiatric disorder called trichotillomania. Sufferers feel a compulsive urge to pull hair out from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body – often a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to four percent of the population is affected by trichotillomania, with women developing it at nearly double the rate of men.
  1. Hair loss can actually be a red flag, signaling any of a myriad of underlying health issues. Research has linked hair loss to prostate conditions in men. And in one study, baldness was linked to a 70 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.
  1. Ethnicity can influence your rate of hair growth. On average, human hair grows about six inches per year. But a University of Michigan study found that among women, those of Asian descent saw their hair grow the fastest while women with African heritage experienced the slowest growth.
  1. A great head of hair trumps even money to many. In one survey, 43.2 percent of respondents said that they’d take thicker, fuller hair over cash any day. Another 73 percent said they’d trade a treasured personal possession to have more hair.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. Visit our Clark, Kearney, Teaneck, Jersey City, West New York or Staten Island location today.







Three Ways Alcohol Busts Your Beauty Game

Young woman drinking red wine

The holidays are upon us and undoubtedly, you’re looking forward to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s festivities. And, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy a celebratory cocktail or two during the holiday party season. But before you imbibe, it’s important that you know just how that extra glass of wine may affect your skin and hair – just when you want to look your best.

Here are three ways that alcohol can bust your beauty game:

  1. Alcohol accelerates aging: Drinking alcohol can jump start the aging process by sapping your skin of essential moisture, causing wrinkles. It also robs your body of vitamin A, an antioxidant that aids in cell renewal and turnover. A lack of vitamin A can leave your skin with a pale or grayish pallor.
  2. Alcohol exacerbates existing skin issues: If you have rosacea or psoriasis, know that consuming alcohol can trigger outbreaks. In fact, a full 52 percent of 1,066 patients surveyed by the National Rosacea Society cited drinking alcohol as the top trigger for a bout of the condition. But you need not have rosacea to suffer a potentially permanent redness of the skin. Alcohol temporarily increases blood flow and dilates the tiny blood vessels nearest the outer layer of your skin. This can cause those vessels to burst, leaving an enduring redness.
  3. Alcohol can wreck your tresses: Alcohol dehydrates not only your skin, but your hair, too. Resulting dry tresses are weak, brittle and more susceptible to split ends. Plus, excessive alcohol use can trigger a zinc deficiency in the body. This mineral promotes cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair and helps maintain the oil-secreting glands attached to our hair follicles. A lack of it can lead to hair loss.

To protect your skin, hair and overall health, limit your alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water and adopt a nutritious diet. Regular facial treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion will help keep your skin glowing. And if you’re experiencing unexplained hair loss, know that treatment is available. Visit your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck or Staten Island for a consultation.

Top 10 Non-Hereditary Hair Loss Causes

Non-hereditary hair loss causes can include overuse of heated styling tools, certain medications and fungal infections like ringworm.

Non-hereditary hair loss causes can include overuse of heated styling tools, certain medications and fungal infections like ringworm.

An inherited condition called Androgenetic Alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women. But there are multiple other causes that have nothing to do with genetics. If your formerly healthy tresses are unexpectedly thinning, one of these common culprits may be to blame.

  1. Medications: Side effects of certain blood thinners, antidepressants, birth control pills and medications that treat arthritis, gout, blood pressure and some heart problems can include hair loss. But prescriptions aren’t the only threat. Too much vitamin A also can cause hair loss.
  2. Thyroid disease: When your body produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, hair loss is a common symptom. Fortunately, it’s highly treatable.
  3. Surgery and general anesthesia: Both of these place your body under significant stress, which can alter the growth and shedding cycles of your hair.
  4. Childbirth: Speaking of trauma, while it’s certainly a worthwhile experience, childbirth also does a number on your body. Heightened estrogen levels help to keep your hair from falling out during pregnancy, making it appear thicker. But a few months after your baby arrives and your body’s estrogen levels drop, all that extra hair begins to shed. Once your estrogen levels balance out, your hair’s shedding levels should return to normal.
  5. Psychological stress: Physical stress isn’t the only hair loss culprit. Enduring a period of psychological stress is thought to spark a change in your body’s routine physiological functions, causing a disproportionate number of hairs to go into the resting phase at the same time, shedding several months later.
  6. Anemia: This health condition causes a drop in iron levels, which can lead to hair loss. Reasons behind these drops can include poor diet, blood loss or problems with iron absorption.
  7. Diet: Lacking a well-balanced diet can deprive your body of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for healthy hair. A top concern is protein because too little of it can inhibit your body’s ability to develop new hair follicles. Low-calorie diets that lead to rapid weight loss also can lead to hair loss.
  8. Hair appliances: Overuse of hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons and other high-heat styling tools can damage and break your hair. When styling close to the scalp, this can cause a balding look. The worst damage happens when you use hot tools on wet hair, as it actually boils the water in your hair shaft, making your hair brittle and more prone to breaking or falling out.
  9. Trichotillomania: This impulse control disorder compels victims to impulsively and repeatedly pull out their own hair. Depending upon the duration and intensity of the condition, hair may or may not regrow with treatment.
  10. Fungal Infections: Certain scalp infections like ringworm can cause your scalp to become dry and scaly, causing patchy hair loss. Fortunately, these infections are easily treatable with antifungal medications.

If you’re experiencing unexplained hair loss, schedule a consultation with Metropolitan Dermatology. Our physicians can help determine the cause and tailor a treatment plan to help return your hair’s natural luster.

Four Most Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Tight, pulling hairstyles can be a top cause of hair loss in women.

Tight, pulling hairstyles can be a top cause of hair loss in women.

Hair loss can be tough for anyone, but it’s particularly disheartening for women. After all, it’s socially far more acceptable for men to rock a smooth dome as they age than for women to lose their tresses. Yet, research shows that one in four women nationwide suffers from lost or thinning hair – a statistic that reflects some 25 million American women.

The most common causes of women’s hair loss are:

  1. Androgenic Alopecia: This condition is to blame for a full 95 percent of female hair loss and affects some 40 percent of US women. It can be hereditary and is brought about by the action of androgens, male hormones that typically are present in small amounts in women. Androgenic Alopecia (often called Androgenetic Alopecia) happens when these hormones react to any of a variety issues including ovarian cysts, pregnancy, menopause and taking certain birth control pills. One androgen hormone in particular, Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, is a major contributor to this type of hair loss because it reduces the size of hair follicles in women.
  2. Telogen Effluvium: A highly stressful or traumatic event can wreak havoc on a woman’s body, leading to Telogen Effluvium (TE), a stress-induced type of hair loss. For many patients, this condition is brought about by events like childbirth, major surgery, a severe infection or illness, or periods of malnutrition. The stress causes much of the hair that is in the growing (anagen) phase to shift into the shedding (catagen) phase all at once, leading to significant hair loss about six weeks to three months following the stressor. TE often can be kept in remission with successful treatment and stress management.
  3. Anagen Effluvium: This condition is a result of any trauma to the hair follicle that damages its mitotic or metabolic activity. A primary cause is chemotherapy. Though chemo targets rapidly divining cancer cells, other rapidly dividing cells are affected as well – including hair follicles in the growing phase.
  4. Traction alopecia: This common type of hair loss also is the most preventable and potentially reversible. It’s caused by localized damage to hair follicles via tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time. Tight ponytails, braids, cornrows and extensions are top culprits.

Female hair loss can be a confidence killer. If your tresses are thinning, schedule a consultation with one of Metropolitan Dermatology’s three New Jersey offices in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck.

Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology

Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ

469 Morris Ave. Ste 2
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.

622 Boulevard
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Kenilworth, NJ location servicing Springfield Township, Union, and Mountainside.