All of us lose some hair every day. Loss of about 70- 150 hairs a day is normal. If you lose more hair than your scalp can renew, you may end up with thinning of hair and bald spots. Hair loss is caused due to several causes and the prognosis depends on the underlying cause.
Prognosis of hair loss
Prognosis of hair loss due to medications, illness or deficiency: Hair loss because of a certain medication, such as blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, birth control pills is generally good. In these cases, stopping the medication would stop hair loss. If hair loss is caused because of some severe illness or hormonal imbalance, such as overactive or underactive thyroid, it may improve with treatment of the illness or thyroid disease. A balanced diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain food products and taking vitamin and mineral supplements, may stop hair loss due to vitamin or iron deficiency.
Prognosis of hair loss in androgenetic alopecia: Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in both men and women is usually progressive and the hair doesn’t grow back naturally. The severity and site at which hair loss occurs on the scalp is different in men and women. In men, hairline recession occurs initially followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. A horseshoe shape of hair remains around the back and sides of the head. In men, the condition may start in twenties or thirties. The rate at which hair loss occurs is different. Only rarely in some men does it progress to complete baldness. The age by which men develop male pattern baldness may also differ. Some may lose significant amount of hair by 30s while others may develop male pattern baldness by 50s. In women, hair loss becomes apparent after menopause. They may experience broadening of a part of their scalp and some women may lose hair from the top of their head.
Prognosis for hair loss in adrogenetic alopecia is good when treatment is started early. Early treatment with medications (minoxidil and finasteride) can prevent hair loss. According to research, minoxidil is most useful for people with hair loss for less than five years. Finasteride can decrease or stop hair loss in about 60% of men and minoxidil improves hair loss in about 50% of men and women.
Prognosis of alopecia areata: Hair loss in alopecia areata occurs in patches. Most people with alopecia areata have no other symptoms, though in about 10% (1 in 10 people), the finger nails may also be affected. In most cases, the prognosis is good and hair loss improves considerably within 6 to 12 months without treatment.