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The Number One Misconception About Hair Loss

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Hello, everyone. My name is Shelly Beatty and I am the lead trichologist for the Hair Loss Treatment Center of America and I have counseled with thousands of individuals facing hair loss. I worked with multiple hair transplant surgeons and various hair professionals to help individuals get their hair back. And we’re here today to talk about the number one misconception about hair loss, and that number one misconception is that there’s nothing you can do about it.

Well, quite frankly, that could not be further from the truth. Many people have the opportunity to stop hair loss and regrow hair, but it really depends on if they are a good candidate. Some people are a great candidate to stop hair loss and regrow hair, and some simply are not. And we will get into those who are good candidates in a moment.

But for right now, we’re going to talk about that subject, that misconception.

The reason behind the misconception is so many people recognize that they’re losing hair and they just do some knee jerk reaction and they go out and buy something and they start using it. Typically, they don’t get really fast results, so they just quit. And the problem with that is many things are not for everyone. If you really need to be using the right type of product for your individual type of hair loss and all, all that’s dictated by very many different things, such as how long your hair loss has been occurring and what is the degree of your hair loss. So we’re going to get into the details behind that.

You simply cannot expect to take a pill that is going to magically stop your hair loss or find some, you know, special formulation of shampoo that’s going to make your hair loss stop and regrow. It simply is not going to happen. It typically takes a multi-layered protocol in order to effectively stop hair loss and get new hair to regrow.

The first thing that you can do that is completely free doesn’t cost anything is stop doing things that actually make hair loss worse. The first thing that people do that they shouldn’t do is they ignore their genetics. You really need to look around at your family, your other members of your family, your brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, even your cousins.

If you see more than one or two people in your family that are also exhibiting signs of hair loss, chances are you have a genetic opponent and that genetic component is called androgenetic alopecia.

So if you recognize that you have that genetic component, what we recommend that you do is you actually look at your photos of your own hair from five years ago, ten years ago, 15 years ago. Compare them to where you are now. If you see a slow progression of hair loss, there is a very high probability that you have that genetic component.

And it’s called, again, androgenetic alopecia. You’ll probably hear me say that term multiple times and I really hope you’ll learn it.

So other than ignore not ignoring your genetics. The other thing that you can do that is absolutely free is stop using harsh chemicals on your hair.

I meet with young ladies especially that will say, “Oh, I’ve been losing hair for so long and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!” And when I actually analyze their hair, they’ve got multiple shades of hair color, lots of bleach on there. And listen, in the right cases, sometimes using bleach on the hair is good. But in most cases, especially when you’re already exhibiting hair loss, it can be one of the worst things you can do to your hair is to put any type of developer on there, such as bleach.

The other thing is to stop overheating your hair. People do it all the time. They use their blow dryer every day and they use it on the highest setting. For someone who has really strong hair, that might be okay. But for those of us who’ve been experiencing hair loss, it can absolutely make that situation so much worse because the individual hair strands when you’re facing hair loss have actually begun to atrophy there.

Each individual strand is getting weaker and weaker over time. So when you are constantly putting high heat on there, you are just burning those hairs off slowly.

Finally, we highly recommend that you improve your nutrition. Again, this is something that you can do that’s free. And did you know that we highly recommend that people take in five cups of fruits and vegetables per day if you want to have optimal hair growth? Five cups.

And most people don’t get that much. So if you’re not able to, then we recommend that you supplement it, but we don’t recommend that you do any type of supplementation without speaking to your physician first.

But fruits and vegetables are so effective at reducing oxidative stress. So it’s good for your hair, it’s good for your skin. Oxidative stress will just exacerbate hair loss, we’re trying to combat that. And remember, we’re trying to do it for free. So improve your fruit and vegetable intake and within about three months you should start to see an improvement.

The next thing that you can do that is free doesn’t cost anything, is to stop putting your hair in tight braids or ponytails. That is simply too much stress on your individual hair strands on a regular basis. Every now and then it’s okay, but again, I’ve met with so many women. They wear their hair in a ponytail every day because they’re trying to hide their hair loss.

And slowly over time, it just continues to get worse and worse when you are constantly pulling on hair strands. That is that is so stressful on those hair strands and it puts too much pressure on them and it can slowly pull those hairs out and over time can actually cause those areas to scar. And then once you have scar tissue on your scalp, you cannot regrow hair on scalp, on scar tissue.

You know, I see this more so. And women of color, many times they’ve been utilizing braids, wigs, and harsh chemicals on their hair to straighten it. And what happens over time is they will lose the entire perimeter of their hair. And over time, it can also scar that perimeter. And once it’s scarred again, it is so difficult to get hair to regrow on scar tissue.

It’s impossible to get hair to regrow on scar tissue. So whatever you do, do not wear your hair in any type of tight hairstyle more than occasionally.

So just understand that your best mode of maintaining your hair is through prevention, hair loss prevention,and make a commitment to this lifelong, or at least until they have a cure for hair loss. Now, currently there is no cure for hair loss yet. and we really suspect that there probably never will be. Mainly because there are so many things that can contribute to hair loss.

From genetics to diet, medications, medical conditions, all of these things. And more can contribute to hair loss. So there’s never going to be one thing that prevents hair loss in large groups of people. And even though there is no cure for hair loss yet, for those individuals who are able to stop the hair loss, reverse it and get new hair to grow, maintaining it is key.

Or at least until there is a cure for hair loss. You know, it’s kind of like our diets. If you if you go on a diet and you decide that you want to lose weight, you can do all that hard work and you lose the weight and you feel so good about yourself. And then you stop doing it and you go right back to where you were before.

It’s very disheartening when that happens. I’ve been there myself. Most people I know have. Well, hair is the same way. You have to maintain it. But the good news is, if you’re working with a certified trichologist, they can help you maintain your hair growth. They can help you get it back and maintain it.

The first step to reversing hair loss is understand what’s causing it. Since like I said before, so many things can contribute to hair loss. Most people really have no idea of their hair loss contributors. So we recommend that you do a technology assessment under the direction of a certified trichologist so that you can understand what your hair loss contributors are.

And once you do understand what they are and you are able to, you know, create a protocol that combats each one of them, then you have a much higher rate of success to reverse your hair loss.

The next thing is to improve your scalp environment. You know, one thing that we see in this is in the majority of those facing hair loss is when we actually do a microscopic analysis on their scalp we commonly see where their hair follicle openings are completely blocked and clogged. And many times they’re clogged way down deep, depending on how long the hair loss has been occurring.

So what we need to do is we need to open up those hair follicles and make them clear.

So you’ll notice all around the hair opening at the base or it’s just full of something shiny. And this is just built-up debris. And so we need to clear that.

And unfortunately, there is no shampoo that’s going to do that. You know, many times people will say, “oh, well, I change shampoo every now and then and it helps my hair grow. Well, the reason why it does that is because the components and shampoos are all different. And so, you know, one tiny change can actually help clear the scalp.”

But again, over time, the body is is a very smart thing. It can start to rebuild that buildup again and then your follicles are completely closed off.

So the best way to clear those follicles is by using what we recommend called Scalp Prep Thairapy prior to shampooing, when someone is trying to really actively get their hair loss to stop and get new hair to grow. We recommend that they use the scalp prep thairapy on their scalp. Let it sit 5 to 10 minutes prior to shampooing.

And what it does is  it’s very liquid and it goes into those hair follicle openings and then it draws all of that debris to the surface so that it can then be shampooed away. And once it is shampooed away, this is the prime time to utilize a vasodilator at night. Now, the vasodilator that we recommend generally is the Thairapy Gold Maximum Growth Thairapy.

It is a vasodilator that is not addictive to the hair follicle, but I’m sure you’ve probably heard of minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine. And while it is a vasodilator, it can be addictive to the hair follicle. Once it’s not present, the hair follicle will die back to where it was before.

We do prefer that you use a vasodilator that it is liquid, that it can reach all the way down into the dermal papilla of the hair, because deep inside the hair follicle, not the hair strand that you see, but what’s beneath the scalp surface is the dermal papilla. That is where hair growth occurs. And if whatever you’re using on your scalp is not reaching the dermal papilla, it’s going to be very, very difficult for it to work effectively.

So then the next important thing is to understand your bloodwork. I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I have met with who they go. They see their doctor once a year, if we’re lucky.

They see their doctor once a year, and you should be seeing your doctor once a year, minimal. And you should have your blood work done once a year. But not only to just have it done, but to understand it, to know what the normal ranges are. And the wonderful thing about technology today is you have access to that online many times just on your phone.

So we do highly recommend that you get your blood work done regularly, understand your blood work, and if there are things that are out of the ordinary or too low or too high, you need to work with your physician to get those into a normal range. If your goal is to regrow lost hair, for instance, knowing what your vitamin D level is important because there is a correlation between low vitamin D and hair loss.

Another thing to keep your eye out for are your iron levels. Again, many studies done on low iron which will contribute to hair loss.

TSA age is another one. Thyroid stimulating hormone. That’s what TSA stands for. Thyroid conditions cause a multitude of hair loss issues. I’ve experienced this myself. I had thyroid cancer.

I also have had my own hair loss journey and recovery. And I’m today 60 years old and all of my hair is mine. I don’t have anything added to it. It’s all me. I’m able to maintain my hair because I know what my levels are supposed to be. I pay very close attention to my thyroid and my levels regarding thyroid.

Another big indicator that you need to watch for in your blood work is glucose. There are other studies regarding high glucose and how they can affect the the blood vessels surrounding your hair follicles.

Have you ever noticed someone who is extremely overweight and their hair was very, very thin? This is because mainly not the only thing, but a contributor most certainly of high glucose levels.

Those glucose levels will affect your blood vessels surrounding your hair follicles and that the hair follicles are not receiving enough movement around them within the blood vessels. They will slowly die.

Another example of something you should pay attention to in your blood work is your testosterone levels. You know, everyone has testosterone. Men and women both have testosterone. And have you ever noticed a man with hair on his chest and his arms, even his hands, his back perhaps, but no hair on his head?

Typically, that’s because of his genetic component. Regarding hair loss and how his body is just genetically programed to process a particular hormone, which we’ll cover in another podcast, but the testosterone levels, it’s not necessarily that he has too much testosterone, but because the way he’s genetically programed, his testosterone levels are greatly affecting his hair loss and his ability to grow hair.

But it can also be that way for women as well. I’ve met with women who have had the hormones put in and they’ve told their doctor, hey, I want to have lots of energy and I want my sex drive back and and I say hey, all that’s great. But if they put too much testosterone in there, many, many times we see a significant increase in the amount of shedding that’s happening because their body is simply not able to manage that much testosterone and prevent it from causing them hair loss.

And finally, what we really want to pay attention to is the shed rates. Know how much hair you typically shed, and if it increases for more than two weeks, then you need to pay attention to that. You know, sometimes, you know, people there, they may go through a little phase where they shed a little bit more hair than normal.

That’s very normal for that to happen. It’s not always going to be exactly the same. But if you are ever shampooing your hair and you notice that you typically lose anywhere from 3 to 5 hairs when you shampoo your hair and then all of a sudden you’re losing 10 or 20… Don’t panic. But if it stays that way for more than two weeks, you need to do something to mitigate that loss until you’re able to find out what’s causing it.

So we’re going to discuss just a little bit about methods to reverse hair loss. We’ll be discussing these methods later on, but for now we’re going to talk about how what we typically recommend for those in the mild to moderate stage of hair loss, and that is laser therapy. Laser therapy is grossly underutilized and it’s been utilized in the medical field for decades for wound healing, because what laser therapy does is it actually create something called photo bio modulation, which is a really long word, But all it really means is it forces live cells to turn over.

You know, as we get older, what’s actually happening and why we start to look older is the cells within our body, our skin, our hair slowly start to regenerate less and less. And so laser therapy forces those cells to wake up and produce and change and turn over like they used to so it can keep the hair follicles as youthful as possible.

Now, typically we might we recommend laser therapy to those who again, like I said before, in the mild to moderate stage of hair loss, we do highly recommend that you’re working with a certified Trichologist to utilize this. Don’t go it alone. There are so many mistakes that can be made. You know, when you’re trying to get hair back, you’re going to utilize laser therapy in one way.

And when you’re trying to maintain, you’re going to utilize it in another way. So we want to make sure that you’re getting the best care that you can and that you’re going to get the results that you’re looking for.

Now, those with higher degree of hair loss, like, you know, perhaps the the man that you see who’s just has just the horseshoe remaining, typically laser therapy is not going to get them the results they’re looking for. They’ve heard laser therapy works, so they go out and they do it and they say, “well, that didn’t work for me.” Well, it isn’t going to work for someone like that because many of their hair cells are completely dead! And once those hair cells are completely dead, there’s no bringing them back. An analogy that that that I use often is it’s kind of like going to the emergency room if you’re already dead.

If you go to the emergency room and you’re already dead, chances are they’re not going to be able to help you.

But if you go and you’re just a little bit alive, if they can isolate exactly what’s caused your issue and treat you properly, you can recover and thrive once again. And so laser therapy works on that same premise. If you have live hair cells and you know you have live hair cells when you have existing hair, even if it’s thin,
you have live hair cells. So laser therapy utilizes those hair cells to proliferate more hairs.

So the absolute best course of action for anyone who is embarking on a journey of trying to stop hair loss and getting hair to regrow is to do what we call a trichologist assessment. Now, this assessment is in depth. It’s a lot of questions, it’s a lot of information, and it’s guided with certified trichologist where once you do it, you can determine it will help you determine and isolate what your hair loss contributors are.

And if you know what’s contributing to your hair loss, then you will know exactly what to do to combat those contributors. And while you’re combating the contributors, if you’re a laser therapy candidate, you can utilize the custom laser therapy protocol to get hair to regrow. Then once you do take the technology assessment, we highly recommend that you work with the certified Trichologist.

What does Trichologist do? Why can’t I talk to my doctor?

Well, it’s a sad fact that most physicians only have 4 hours on the study of hair. And to date, there is no billing code for treating hair loss. So it’s very difficult to find a physician who can who can do that.

So that’s what a Trichologist does, that’s all they do is study the scalp and the hair and that’s what we have done for decades.

The biggest secret to getting hair loss to stop and getting hair recovery is starting early. Earlier, the better, even if you’ve already lost a significant amount of hair. And let me tell you, most people don’t even realize they’ve lost hair until they’ve lost about 30%. So even if you find yourself in that position where you’ve gone back, you’ve looked at your photos and you say, “Wow, I’ve lost a lot of hair!”, If you still have hair on your scalp, you have a very good chance of having some really good results through laser therapy.

But starting early is key, and you’re never going to be as young as you are today again. So today is the best time to begin. Remember, there is no cure for hair loss yet, but there is hope. So we hope that we’ll see you again!

And if you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to visit us and drop us a note and let us know what questions you’d like to have answered. We would love to talk with you.

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