Testing for Hair Loss – Importance of Vitamin D, and Why Genetics are Major Cause of Hair Loss


Thank you for your question. You are asking
if there is blood test that would help determine your other causes of hair loss besides male
pattern hair loss at the age of 26 and you gave some examples. Well certainly, I can
assist you with the evaluation of hair loss and what comes into mind when I examine a
patient and I take a patient’s history that come into our practice.
A little bit of my background. I’m a board certified cosmetic surgeon and fellowship
trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Manhattan and Long Island
for over 20 years and hair loss treatment has been a big part of my practice particularly
in the area of non-surgical hair loss. We’ve also been performing hair transplant for many
years. So when a patient comes in and will give me
a history of their pattern of loss for males, we first look at family history. We look at
mom’s side of the family, dad’s side of the family. Invariably, we’ve been able
to establish some degree of a pattern within the family and is often stated that the certain
pattern such as a maternal uncle is how it works but really it doesn’t work that way.
It can be spared, it can be variable and 11 chromosomes are associated with hair loss
so you can certainly understand that mix can be associated with genetic role of the dice.
Now that being said, we also certainly look at the general medical health and certain
blood test which are routinely performed as part of general physical examination for men,
it is usually adequate and that includes taking vitamin D levels. And it is common to have
a decrease in vitamin D levels and we always require taking vitamin D. And vitamin D has
a role in maximizing hair quality. For most men, once we do an examination were
we examine the scalp with a microscope, we are able to establish that there is pattern
loss, hair thinning. When hair goes from thick to thin to thinner and then disappears, that
is very typical of androgenetic alopecia and no genetic deficiency that I am aware of that
really creates that type of pattern. Nutritional status and a lot of times, people would want
to check their hormones so certainly they will go to an endocrinologist or a medical
doctor to have this done which is fine but I would say that 95% of hair loss is pattern
hair loss. In our practice, to help people with pattern
hair loss we do something we call Hair Regeneration. Hair Regeneration has been a development that
has been very successful in our practice to help people with thinning hair. Certainly,
I am all for supplementation nutrition whether it is in a form of multivitamins, and Omega
3 acids but when you realize that even people with nutritional deficiencies and less than
optimal living conditions and other stressors can have amazing hair and you realize that
is most likely a genetic pattern. With Hair Regeneration, we combine platelet-rich plasma
(PRP) with Acellular matrix and it’s an injection, not a surgery to stop the progression
of hair loss, reverse the thinning process so that hair that is thinning becomes thicker
and to reactivate hair that is not growing to start growing. Now with 99% success for
both men and women, you could imagine that we have patients who come here from all over
the world and we even started a company called TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration to help get
access to this type of technology outside of our office. Going back again to the question of a blood
test as a general rule, yes, you look at thyroid hormones, you look at iron levels, you look
at liver function tests, you look at hormonal levels and again this is something you can
certainly do to get a peace of mind. And certainly, a lot of people come to us and usually we
are not the first line. They come to us if they have exhausted everything else but it
is routine for someone to come and they have not only those types of workup in the lab
test but they will also get rheumatologic workup, autoimmune workup and basically they
want to make sure that everything they can possibly lead to cause of hair loss systemically
has been check to at least deal with. Now when it comes to women, it is a different
story. Women tend to have a more sensitive, variation of hormone levels. Women have reported
starting a birth control pill which has resulted into hair loss. They also reported stopping
a birth control pill, pregnancy, delivery. Certainly, there are a lot of hormonal issues
so we take a lot more of detail from that and we want to establish certain degree of
stability to treat women. With men, once we diagnose male pattern hair loss, the options
of finasteride, minoxidil and transplant are also discussed and many choose to go with
Hair Regeneration. So I hope that was helpful, I wish you the
best of luck and thank you for your question!

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