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Hair Loss/Hair loss AGA or other?

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I am 39 years old have have been having hair loss for the last 5 or so years. I have been to a detmatologist and was diagnosed with AGA. No pull test was done or anything other than a quick look at my scalp by the dertmatologist. I was given Spironolactone and Minoxidil for treatment. My father and grandfather both had thinning hair however, no female on either side has ever had thining hair such as myself. I believe that hair loss is normally only found on the crown. The very front of my hairline is thinning but I have also had an incision near there from an operation (was 1 cm back from my hairline)that occurred about 5 years ago. I have also noticed recently that my ponytail and overall thickness of my hair seems reduced which I would not expect with the knowledge that I have relating to AGA. I have had an exceptionally stressful last 9 years with the deaths of 4 immediate family members over that time frame, a separation and divorce, selling of my home and commencement of university study. I have noticed that my stress levels are constantly high and I shedding has occurred of even small semi-grown hairs. I would appreciate your opinion on my situation and if you could answer some questions please.

1)I am wanting to know whether this is typical of AGA or if this could be Telogen Effluvium?
2) Apart from getting my stress levels under control, is there any treatment you could suggest other than the above?
3) Is there any chance of my hair returning to normal?

I have found that my self-esteem and confidence has been greatly effected and am basically terrified of being bald as I get older.

Answer
1. I think you have had Chronic Telogen Effluvium which has led you to have AGA show up much earlier than it normally would.

2. 5% Minoxidil solution applied once a day in the morning would be my treatment to help the hairs to grow despite the stress to them.

3. Yes, there is a chance the hairs will stop shedding and return to normal growth cycles but I doubt you will get back to the density you had 5 years ago.

I think your dermatologist may be correct in that you are experiencing AGA which you inherited form your father. Stress from all the causes you mention including the surgery probably caused you to use up many of the life cycles the hairs would have had - each life cycle is 5 years and if you stress a hair out and push it into the next life cycle you have aged the hairs by 5 years.

This is from my book "Hair Loss Answers"

http://www.hairdoc.com/hair-loss-anwers/chapter-4-other-hair-loss-causes/

"In most cases of telogen effluvium, the hair follicles recover and soon shift back to the regular growth cycle.

However, repeated instances of telogen effluvium can result in premature hair loss in people predisposed to lose their hair late in life. The average growth cycle of a hair follicle takes about five years, but each follicle is “genetically programmed” for only a limited number of growth cycles. For example, if a particular hair follicle were “genetically programmed” for only ten growth cycles, after about fifty years that follicle would stop producing new hairs. When all the follicles at the hairline or crown of the head are “genetically programmed” this way, a receding hairline or bald spot appears after all the growth cycles for the follicles in those areas have been cycled through.

Each incidence of telogen effluvium uses up one “life” of the affected hair follicles. So instead of having a receding hairline or bald spot at age fifty, the hair loss may occur a few years earlier. This is not a significant issue if telogen effluvium occurs once or twice in a lifetime; however, accelerated hair loss can result from repeated severe stressful events, if each instance triggers a new round of telogen effluvium.

I had a patient who was totally bald when I met him at age seventy, and he had lost all his hair by age twenty-two. He had worked on the Panama Canal fifty years earlier, and for two straight years starting when he was twenty he suffered repeated bouts of severe fever from episodes of malaria. Each time he suffered from malaria induced fever he experienced telogen effluvium, lost what hair he had, and his hair follicles lost another “life.” After ten or fifteen malaria stress cycles, at the age of twenty-two, he had the hair he would have had at age seventy. Which unfortunately for him was no hair at all."

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website www.hairdoc.com

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