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Hair Loss St. Louis

A man combing his thinning hair.

Experiencing hair loss in the St. Louis area? Alopecia, the medical term for hair loss, affects approximately 6.8 million people in the United States. At Mid-County Dermatology, our hair loss specialists understand the emotional toll alopecia can take, impacting self-esteem regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. If you or a loved one are battling alopecia in St. Louis, our hair doctors are here to help - schedule your hair loss consultation now. This page provides a comprehensive guide to help you understand alopecia, addressing the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for hair loss. 

Types of Alopecia Overview

Temporary Alopecia

Temporary alopecia, such as telogen effluvium, is usually triggered by stress, illness, or hormonal changes. This type of hair loss is often reversible and can be treated effectively once the underlying cause is addressed.

Permanent Alopecia

On the other hand, androgenetic alopecia is a common form of permanent hair loss that is genetically predisposed. It typically follows a specific pattern in both men and women and worsens over time without intervention.

Heredity and Alopecia

Genetics plays a significant role in determining an individual's susceptibility to alopecia. If you have close family members with a history of baldness, you are more likely to experience hereditary hair loss. Understanding your genetic predisposition can help manage expectations regarding potential hair loss.

Hormonal Changes and Alopecia

Hormonal fluctuations, especially during pregnancy or menopause, can contribute to temporary hair loss. The hormonal imbalance affects the hair growth cycle, leading to shedding. In some cases, this type of alopecia resolves on its own once hormone levels stabilize.

Medical Conditions and Alopecia

Certain medical conditions like alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, can result in sudden hair loss in small patches. Managing underlying health issues through medication or lifestyle changes may help improve symptoms and promote regrowth.

Coping with Hair Loss

People adopt various methods to cope with hair loss, including hairstyling techniques, such as wigs or scarves, to conceal thinning areas. Some individuals opt for medical treatments like minoxidil or finasteride to stimulate hair growth. Embracing self-acceptance and seeking support from others experiencing similar challenges can positively impact mental well-being.

Causes of Hair Loss

Family History

Family history plays a significant role in baldness, with genetics influencing the likelihood of experiencing sudden hair loss. People with a family history of hair loss are more prone to developing the condition themselves.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can trigger hair loss, especially in women during pregnancy or menopause. Fluctuations in hormones can disrupt the natural growth cycle of hair follicles, leading to thinning hair.

Intense Stressors

Stressors, whether physical or emotional, can trigger a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium, characterized by a general thinning of hair occurring several months after the stressful event. Fortunately, this form of hair loss is typically temporary.

Medical Conditions

Various medical conditions, including autoimmune diseases, low iron stores, and thyroid illness can result in hair loss. Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells, including those in the scalp, affecting hair growth. Additionally, scalp infections like ringworm, and the compulsive hair-pulling disorder known as trichotillomania, can lead to hair loss.

Impact of Hairstyles and Treatments

Certain hairstyles that pull on the hair tightly, such as tight braids or ponytails, can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Frequent use of harsh chemical treatments like dyes or relaxers can weaken the hair shaft and cause breakage.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy directed at the head area may result in hair regrowth that differs in texture or density from the original hair.

Symptoms of Hair Loss

Patchy Hair Loss

Patchy hair loss is a common symptom of alopecia, characterized by hair falling out in small, coin-sized patches. This type of hair loss often begins with one or more round bald spots on the scalp.

Hair may also fall out from other parts of the body, resulting in patchy hair loss that can be distressing for individuals. The sudden appearance of these bald patches can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and anxiety.

Gradual Thinning

Gradual thinning is another way in which hair loss can manifest, where the hair becomes progressively thinner over time. This slow process can be challenging to notice initially but becomes more apparent as time goes on.

Signs of gradual thinning include a decrease in hair density and volume, making the scalp more visible. Individuals experiencing this type of hair loss may notice an increase in shedding during routine activities like showering or brushing their hair.

Full-Body Hair Loss

In some cases, individuals may experience full-body hair loss, known as alopecia universalis. This condition results in the loss of all body hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes, and even nasal hairs.

The emotional impact of full-body hair loss can be profound, affecting one's self-esteem and confidence. Managing this type of alopecia often involves a combination of medical treatments and psychological support to cope with the changes in appearance.

Scaling Patches on the Scalp

Apart from patchy hair loss, another significant symptom is the presence of scaling patches on the scalp. These patches are often accompanied by redness, itching, and flaking skin, indicating underlying issues such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis.

Male-Pattern Baldness Explained


Male-pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, is primarily caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Genetics play a significant role in determining the likelihood of hair loss in men. If your family has a history of baldness, you are more likely to experience it too. Hormonal changes, specifically an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, contribute to the shrinking of hair follicles, leading to thinner and shorter hair growth.

Role of Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men. It occurs when hair follicles shrink over time due to the influence of androgens, particularly DHT. This hormone binds to receptors in the scalp's hair follicles, causing them to shrink and eventually stop producing new hairs. As a result, the existing hairs become finer and shorter until they no longer grow.

Genetic and Hormonal Factors

Genetic predisposition plays a crucial role in male-pattern baldness. Variations in specific genes can make some individuals more susceptible to hair loss than others. Hormonal changes, especially the conversion of testosterone into DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, further exacerbate the condition. The sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT varies among individuals but ultimately leads to miniaturization and eventual dormancy.

Insights into Female-Pattern Baldness

Unique Causes

Female-pattern baldness, unlike male-pattern baldness, is typically characterized by thinning hair rather than complete bald patches. It often results from a combination of genetics and hormonal changes. Research indicates that women with a family history of alopecia are more likely to experience this condition. Unlike male-pattern hair loss which typically involves the frontotemporal and vertex area, female-pattern hair loss tends to spare the frontal hairline and lead to more diffuse thinning.

Hormonal Impact

Hormonal changes play a significant role in female-pattern baldness. Fluctuations in hormones, particularly androgens, can lead to hair loss in women. During menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels and increase in androgens can contribute to thinning hair and eventual balding.

When to Consult Our St. Louis Hair Loss Specialist

Early Detection

Early detection of hair loss is crucial for effective treatment. If you notice significant changes in your hair over a short period, it's essential to schedule a hair consultation with our hair specialists quickly. Seeking medical advice at the onset of alopecia symptoms can lead to better outcomes.

Role of Dermatologists

Dermatologists specializing in hair loss, like Dr. Feigenbaum, play a vital role in diagnosing the underlying causes of hair loss. They conduct thorough examinations and may order tests to pinpoint the exact reason for the alopecia. By consulting a hair loss doctor, you can receive professional guidance on the best course of action to address your specific condition.

Importance of Timely Intervention

Timely intervention is key in managing alopecia effectively. Consulting a hair loss doctor early on can help in implementing appropriate treatments that may slow down or even reverse hair loss. Delaying seeking medical advice can sometimes result in missed opportunities for successful interventions.

Diagnosing Alopecia in St. Louis

Here are some ways our hair loss doctors in St. Louis help diagnose your cause of alopecia.

  • When you visit our dermatology team to find out why you're losing hair, they will do a physical examination of your scalp and hair. This means they will look closely at your scalp to check for any signs of inflammation, redness, or scaling that could indicate a problem.

  • They will also review your medical history to see if there are any underlying conditions or medications that could be causing your hair loss.

  • In some cases, our dermatologist may recommend blood tests to check for things like thyroid disorders or nutritional deficiencies that could be contributing to your hair loss.

  • Another test that may be done is called a pull test, where the doctor gently tugs on your hair to see how many strands come out, which can help assess the severity of your hair loss.

  • Additionally, trichoscopy may be used, which involves using a special device to examine your hair and scalp in detail to look for any abnormalities or patterns that could provide clues about what's causing your hair loss. These tests can help your doctor determine the best course of treatment for your specific type of hair loss.

  • If the cause is still unclear, they may suggest a scalp biopsy, where a small sample of skin is taken from your scalp and examined under a microscope to look at the hair follicles up close.


Treatment of Alopecia in St. Louis

At Mid-County Dermatology, we specialize in helping individuals address their hair loss concerns. Whether you are experiencing alopecia, thinning hair, or other related issues, our team of experts provides personalized treatment options tailored to your unique needs to help you regain confidence and achieve healthy hair. Here is a brief list of the various treatment options to address alopecia and help you feel your best.

Shampoos and Scalp Treatments

  • Ketoconazole Shampoos (e.g., Nizoral): Anti-dandruff shampoos that may help reduce inflammation and DHT levels on the scalp.

Hair Growth Supplements

  • Nutrafol and Viviscal: Hair growth supplements containing vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients to support healthy hair growth.

Topical Treatments

  • Minoxidil (Topical): Over-the-counter topical medication applied to the scalp.

  • Rosemary Oil: Natural topical treatment believed to promote hair growth.

  • Compounded Topical Foams and Solutions: Customized topical formulations with active ingredients like minoxidil and finasteride.

Oral Medications

  • Finasteride and Dutasteride: Prescription medications that inhibit DHT production.

  • Oral Minoxidil: Off-label use of oral minoxidil to stimulate hair growth.

Low-Level Laser Therapy

  • Laser Combs and Helmets: Devices that emit low-level laser light to stimulate hair follicles.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

  • PRP Injections: Treatment involving injecting the patient's platelet-rich plasma into the scalp.

Hair Transplantation

  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Surgical procedure extracting individual hair follicles for transplantation.

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): Surgical procedure involving removing a strip of skin for hair follicle transplantation.

Hair Loss Concealment

  • Hair Fibers and Concealers: Temporary, cosmetic products to camouflage thinning hair and bald spots.

  • Wigs and Hairpieces: A solution to conceal more extensive hair loss.

When treating alopecia in St. Louis, individuals have various options to consider. Each method has pros and cons, from topical shampoos and treatments to oral medications and light therapy. For those seeking permanent solutions, hair transplant surgery like FUT or FUE can provide natural-looking hair growth but at a higher cost and with surgical risks. It's essential to consult with our hair loss doctor, Dr. Feigenbaum, to determine the most suitable treatment option based on individual hair loss diagnosis, needs, and preferences.

Prevention of Hair Loss

Gentle Care

Being gentle with your hair is crucial for hair growth. Avoid excessive brushing or styling, which can lead to breakage and new hair fall. Opt for wide-toothed combs and gentle handling when detangling.

Harsh treatments like chemical dyes and perms can damage the scalp and weaken hair follicles, leading to thinning. Choose natural products and minimize heat styling to maintain healthy hair.

Sun Protection

Protecting your hair from the sun's harmful rays is essential for promoting regrowth and preventing damage. Wear hats or use UV protection sprays when exposed to sunlight for extended periods.

Excessive sun exposure can cause dryness, brittleness, and color fading in the hair. Shielding your strands from UV rays maintains their strength and prevents dermatology issues.

Living With Hair Loss

Coping Strategies

Dealing with alopecia can be challenging, but there are effective coping strategies. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Seek counseling or join support groups to share experiences and emotions.

Embrace your unique beauty by experimenting with different head coverings or accessories. Try wigs or scarves to express your style while boosting your confidence.

Psychological Impact

Hair loss can have a profound psychological impact, affecting self-esteem and mental well-being. It's essential to acknowledge your feelings and seek professional help if needed.

Practice self-care routines like meditation, yoga, or exercise to reduce stress levels. Engage in activities you enjoy to distract yourself from negative thoughts about hair loss.

Embracing Hair Loss

Embracing hair loss is a journey towards self-acceptance and confidence. Focus on what makes you unique beyond physical appearance. Celebrate your strengths and talents.

Experiment with different hairstyles that complement your natural look. Remember, true beauty comes from within, so cultivate self-love and acceptance throughout your alopecia journey.

Hair Loss in St. Louis: Final Remarks

Now that you understand the various types of alopecia and hair loss in St. Louis, their causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies, you are better equipped to tackle this common issue. Whether you're dealing with androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) or female-pattern hair loss, knowing when to seek help from our St. Louis hair team can make a significant difference in your journey towards healthier hair.

Remember, taking proactive steps and following a consistent hair care routine can go a long way in maintaining your hair's health and vitality. Incorporate these insights into your daily routine to promote healthy hair growth and prevent further hair loss. 

Your hair deserves the best care, so implement these tips today for healthier, happier hair. At Mid-County Dermatology, our team of hair loss specialists in St. Louis is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions for alopecia. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards maintaining and regrowing your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common types of alopecia?

Alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia are common types. Alopecia areata causes hair loss in patches, telogen effluvium results in overall thinning, and androgenetic alopecia is genetic hair loss.

What are the main causes of hair loss?

Hair loss can be due to genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions like alopecia areata, stress, poor nutrition, or certain medications.

What are the typical symptoms of hair loss?

Symptoms include gradual thinning on top of the head, circular bald spots, sudden loosening of hair, full-body hair loss due to chemotherapy or other medical treatments.

How is male-pattern baldness different from other types of alopecia?

Male-pattern baldness typically starts with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown. It is caused by genetic factors and hormone levels in men.

How does one prevent hair loss effectively?

Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients like iron and protein, avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the scalp, manage stress levels effectively, use gentle hair care products.

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