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Dear Hair Loss

GET YOUR ANSWERS FROM AN EXPERT

Article by Kimberly Vaughn

Photography by Provided

Dear Hair Loss, My hair has been thinning for a few years and continues to worsen. My Dermatologist has diagnosed my problem as androgenic alopecia. Does this mean I will start losing more hair or will the hair loss become patchy and fall out in clumps? After seeing several pictures online I am more worried now than even before the diagnosis.

-Emily D. (Franklin, TN)


Answer: Emily, take a few deep breathes, we will sort through the differences and you should feel better shortly. Androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata are very different diagnoses and conditions. The word “alopecia” simply means hair loss https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alopecia. As you would imagine the word androgenic refers to our heredity and can be referred to as male-pattern hair loss or female-pattern hair loss. Alopecia areata is an auto immune condition causing hair loss on the head, face, and other parts of the body (https://www.naaf.org/alopecia-areata) and very different than its stepsister androgenic alopecia. Both hair loss conditions are extremely devastating and concerning and can affect your appearance in different ways depending on your gender, age, and ethnicity. 

 Alopecia areata treatment, if started at the onset of the diagnosis, can be very successful and reduce the likelihood of further episodes. Look deeply into your diet and overall health and consider steroid injections or micro needling procedures. We have seen strong promising results with the above treatments. With androgenic alopecia, although very different in nature and pattern of hair loss, a holistic approach is the best place to begin as well. Hormones, thyroid, genetics, diet, and overall health are also key drivers adding to the genetic predisposition. Don’t blame your family! Eighty million of us experience some form of hair loss during our lifetime and blaming our amazing families isn’t the way to go!