Hair Loss Prevention that Works  - Q&A with Dr. Antonella Tosti & Dr. Brijesh Patel

Posted by Sasha Kaleigh on Sep 26, 2016 7:16:00 PM

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Who do you normally turn to when your body stops doing what it’s supposed to do? A hospital? A private practicing physician? A specialist? The complexity of the human body results in a preponderance of doctors who specialize in everything about us, from head to toe. But when the main concern is seemingly cosmetic, such as hair loss, you might be a bit hesitant to see a professional. However, most of your hair problems do not exist in a vacuum; they’re often skin and diet related.

Hair loss might seem too trivial for professionals, but it is a topic of intense scientific research. That’s where researchers such as Dr. Antonella Tosti and Dr. Brijesh Patel come in.

Dr. Tosti is a dermatologist and a Professor of Clinical Dermatology at the University of Miami. She has studied skin diseases that influence hair loss for several decades. Her world-renowned experience and expertise covers not just hair, but also nails and other skin ailments, with her ground-breaking research spanning over 30 publications.

Dr. Brijesh Patel, PhD is the Director of Research & Development at DS Laboratories, Inc. With over 9 years of research experience, he leads the clinical development efforts for both the prescription hair loss development program and the portfolio of over-the-counter hair care and skin care products.

In order to get a better idea about how to prevent hair loss, we sat down with Dr. Tosti and Dr. Patelwith questions in hand.

 

1. Preventing hair loss is definitely not one-size-fits-all, how does one begin to figure out what their hair loss prevention path should be like?

Dr. Tosti:

I always explain my patients that environmental factors have a key role in accelerating progression of hair loss. Avoid stress, sun exposure, smoking, supplements containing Vit A or whey proteins, strong diets. Prefer organic meat; check your iron, vit D and thyroid status if you feel you are shedding more than normal. Utilize a specific shampoo if you have scalp itching and dandruff as seborrheic dermatitis can precipitate hair loss.

Dr. Patel:

An element of proactive prevention should always be part of any routine health regimen. If an issue begins to appear, recommendations are to use gentle products to keep scalp and hair clean and healthy; and, if needed, clinically approved OTC product should also be included in the treatment regimen to halt the damage and to begin recovery. In extreme cases, it is important to identify and understand the root cause, seeking help from a medical service provider is advised. 

2. What is something that most people should do when they are dealing with hair loss?

Dr. Tosti:

Most people panic! However hair loss is like fever, it is just a symptom and most important as for any field of medicine is to establish correct diagnosis.

Dr. Patel:

It is important to be patient and be consistent with their correctly chosen therapy. Understand and acknowledge that any treatment regimen will require at least 3-6 months to deliver the outcomes.

3. What is something about dealing with hair loss you think that everyone should know?

Dr. Tosti:

It is very important to understand 1) if the hair is growing back 2) if the new hair has a normal thickness or is thinner than the original. 

Dr. Patel:

For most people, barring any medical issues, hair loss is a natural process. Understanding that this is normal and overwhelmingly common for both men and women is the first step towards confidently tackling the situation and to improving your probability of success without any stigma or shame.

4. What are some notable differences in hair loss for men and women?

Dr. Tosti:

Hair loss in man is mostly hormone related. Factors that cause hair loss in women are more complex and less understood.

Dr. Patel:

Male Pattern Baldness varies from Female Patterns.  In initial stage, a receding hairline and thinning hair around the crown area are the first signs in mean pattern baldness; which upon further progression covers the crown and the temples and over time meets in the middle. In case of women, the thinning often starts on the crown (central part of the scalp).

5. Are their certain types of foods that prevent hair loss?

Dr. Tosti:

There are not foods that prevent hair loss. Antioxidants in general are helpful so fruit, vegetables and fish can help. Caffeine has been shown to promote hair growth but this has been studied for topical application (for instance as ingredient of shampoos) not after systemic intake.

Dr. Patel:

While no one food is a miracle cure for what is most commonly a natural bio-process, a healthy and balanced diet full of essential nutrients can help keep hair healthy and have added value to any hair-loss therapy.

 6. What is one mistake that people make when dealing with hair loss?

Dr. Tosti:

Consult friends or hairdressers instead than a doctor.

Dr. Patel:

People either ignore or over-react to the situation. Both ignorance, thinking it will simply get better, and over-reacting, which adds in to further stress, are not good for hair loss.  

7. What is a good way to find out what is causing your hair loss?

Dr. Tosti:

Trichoscopy also known as scalp dermoscopy is very useful for diagnosing different types of hair loss. This is the first step for correct diagnosis.

Dr. Patel:

Check with your Doctor. Observe and convey any changes made/occurred to your routine such as diet, environment, use of personal care products, travel and sleep to your doctor. The experience medical service provider should be able to identify the cause based on this information.

8. What are the most common causes of hair loss?

Dr. Tosti:

Most common causes are male and female pattern hair loss, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, but in the last few years a type of scarring alopecia named frontal fibrosing alopecia is becoming very common worldwide. Hair breakage is also common in women.

Dr. Patel:

The most common cause of hair loss both in men and in women is heredity. Hair loss could also get accelerated during hormonal changes and during use of certain medications. 

9. If you could give one suggestion on how to prevent hair loss, what would it be?

Dr. Tosti:

Have a healthy life style; utilize best shampoos and hairstyle products.

Dr. Patel:

As mentioned earlier, preventative and proactive routine is very important; ensure that your scalp is clean and healthy. Avoid using products containing harsh chemicals and exposure to harsh environments.

10. If you could give one piece of advice for someone experiencing hair loss, what would it be?

Dr. Tosti:

If you noticed increased shedding (more than 80 hairs a day) for more than 3 months you need to see a doctor.

Dr. Patel:

Relax, don’t be scared. Try to identify the cause, seek help and be consistent with the regimen.

Topics: hair loss, expert round up

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