Hair Loss with Dr Vicky Jolliffe
1st December 2017
Baldness can be a regular cause of concern for both men and women alike, we speak to London Dermatology Unit’s Dr Vicky Jolliffe who specialises in hair disorders, to answer our most common hair loss questions.
London Dermatology Unit is a leading specialist in skincare. The centre provides state-of-the-art facilities, same day appointments with revolutionary and innovative treatment methods to treat dermatology conditions.
What are the common causes of hair loss?
In my practice the most common causes of shedding are pattern hair loss, telogen effluvium (changes in ratio of growing-shedding hairs) and the autoimmune cause of alopecia areata. I am seeing an increasing number of women presenting around the time of the menopause with frontal fibrosing alopecia – a recently described condition whereby the margin of the hair retracts back and may be associated with loss of the eyebrows.
Can anything in particular trigger hair loss?
Disorders of the hair cycle and common and typical triggers include:
- poor scalp health,
- post partum or following surgery,
- certain medications,
- medical conditions such as low iron or abnormal thyroid function.
Is there an age range for patients to experience hair loss?
It can occur at any age but pattern hair loss typically appears from mid twenties and frontal fibrosing alopecia usually affects women at around the menopause.
Do you have any specific tips to prevent or lessen hair loss?
I am passionate about good scalp health and ensure that my patients optimise scalp health to reduce hair shedding. Growing hair is an energy-consuming process – there are few other cells in the body which are as metabolically active as the cells in the hair follicle and these cells are very sensitive to internal and external factors such as inadequate diet, low thyroid level or ongoing stress.
Are there any differences in hair loss between men and women?
Pattern hair loss (previously called androgenetic alopecia) is an interesting example of a type of hair loss which shares many identical clinical characteristics in men and women and yet the response to treatment varies according to sex. Likewise frontal fibrosing alopecia is rare in men.
At what point should someone seek medical advice?
If the shedding is of rapid onset, excessive, prolonged or associated with soreness or severe itching then it would certainly be sensible to seek medical advice.
Are there treatment options available?
Yes- there are a number of treatments available according to the underlying diagnosis and these are discussed in detail during the course of the consultation.