I’m a 23 year old girl who is suffering from hair loss and hair miniaturization for about 1 month. I have been noticing that I’ve been losing about 150 hairs every day in the shower alone. I’ve been having irregular menstral cycles for about 9 years now and had gone under OCP treatment for several periods and my menstral cycle is more regular but not entirely normal. What is the cause of my hair loss? How can I differentiate between Androgenetic Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium? My dermatologist has suggested I try minoxodil and zinc. I’ve been on them for a month now and I haven’t been noticing any change. Please help!
Thank you for your inquiry.
You ask a lot of great questions and I’ll do my best to answer you.
For starters, I think it is very important that you get your hair loss condition diagnosed by a dermatologist or a hair restoration specialist. Only then can an appropriate hair loss treatment be recommended.
In case you are suffering from genetic hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia), Rogaine (minoxodil) may help you. Zinc however, is speculation as there have been no conclusive studies on it for hair loss – but it may be worth a try since Propecia (finasteride) is out of the question if you plan on having children. It is important however, to give any medication at least 6 months to a year to determine whether or not it is working for you. One month is not soon enough to determine this. Learn more about genetic hair loss.
Causes of Telogen Effluvium include: hormonal changes in the body (including birth control pills, etc), some medications such as beta blockers, anticoagulants, retinoids (including too much Vitamin A), propylthiouracil, and immunization agents.
Telogen Eflfluvium is typically reversible of the condition causing it is resolved. Learn more about Telogen Effluvium.
I also did some research for you on OCP and hair loss and discovered the following that was reported by Dr. Peter J. Panagotacos, M.D.:
“Hair loss can be due to OCP’s if they are of the low estrogen type with higher ratio of androgen stimulation. Ortho Tri Cyclen is one with a higher estrogen ratio- Yasmin is another- and these would rarely if ever cause progressive hair loss. Regrowth of lost hair is not predictable. Some of the recently lost hair will grow back if the hormones telling the hairs to fall out are discontinued. Have your serum ferritin checked. If it is below 70 you should take ferrous sulfate supplement with Vit C to get it over 70. Hair loss due to low serum ferritin is commonly missed in cases such as yours”
As you can see, there may be cases where OCP treatment can cause hair loss – but this will not cause progressive or genetic hair loss. Discuss having your serum ferritin checked with a medical doctor to see if it is below 70.
As I said, diagnosing the cause of your hair loss is important before determining proper treatment. By seeing a dermatologist or hair restoration specialist in person, they should be able to diagnose the cause of your hair loss condition. Make sure to tell them your medical history that you have shared with me.
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