Hair Loss Explained
Hair Loss Explained by an expert. Trial and error treatment is not the most effective remedy for thinning hair or baldness. Successful treatment of hair loss is based upon a correct diagnosis of the cause of hair loss. The fastest and surest way to obtain a correct diagnosis is to consult Zack Charkawi, M.D. a trained and experienced physician and hair-restoration specialist. Dr. Charkawi is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of his patients.
Before recommending or undertaking a surgical hair restoration procedure or non-surgical hair restoration program, he will conduct a series of tests and examinations that will provide a clear and thorough picture of the patient’s medical background:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Scalp examination
If those examinations indicate that hair loss may be due to a condition other than male-or female-pattern hair loss, Dr. Charkawi will look for other causes. In men, the diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia is generally straightforward. In women, determining the exact cause of hair loss can be more complicated. In some cases, an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism may have to be treated by the patient’s primary care physician before hair restoration can be undertaken.
Scalp Exam is Important
A scalp examination to determine the cause and progression of hair loss may include a number of tests depending on the assessment of information needed:
- Hair pull—about 25 to 50 hairs are removed from the scalp by gentle pull. Normally, only a few hairs are removed with each pull; removal of larger numbers with each pull may indicate an abnormality of hair growth. Extracted hair shafts can be examined under a microscope to determine the condition of the hair shaft and bulb which is the end of the hair shaft extracted from the follicle.
- Phototrichogram—hairs are clipped or shaved in a marked area of the scalp and consecutive photographs taken over three to five days to determine the rate and quality of hair growth.
- Hair window—hairs are clipped or shaved in a marked area of the scalp, and hair growth is evaluated over a period of 30 days. Abnormalities of hair growth cycling can indicate an underlying condition such as thyroid hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiency, drug side effect, or systemic illness as well as other hair-specific conditions,
- Scalp biopsy—usually performed only if the physician/hair restoration specialist needs information that only a biopsy can provide such as a condition affecting scalp hair follicles. Biopsy is not necessary for the great majority of patients evaluated for hair loss or hair restoration. Scalp biopsy performed for hair loss or hair restoration has no relationship to biopsies performed to diagnose cancer.
- Hair shaft evaluation—examination of the extracted hair shaft under a microscope can reveal hair shaft abnormalities and infections that may be responsible for hair breakage, shedding, or unruliness.
- Hair analysis—a sophisticated laboratory test ordered to provide specific information such as (1) altered hair protein profile due to an inherited abnormality, or (2) drug or heavy metal contamination. Hair-shaft analysis has no value for the diagnosis of systemic disease or nutritional status, contrary to claims by non-physician “hair analysis specialists.”
Most persons seeking hair restoration have male- or female-pattern hair loss, a condition simple to diagnose and readily treatable. Additional diagnostic tests are not usually necessary for these patients.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results may vary.
Hair Loss Explained and Treated: Dr. Charkawi and his staff are ready to help you get to the root cause of your baldness or hair loss condition. Give us a call today to set up a consultation. We treat hair loss and baldness using state-of-the-art medical techniques and serve patients all over North Fulton including Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, and Sandy Springs, Georgia.