Patchy Hair LossQ: Recently I started to lose my hair in patches, I am 50 years old. I had lost my hair from the front to the back on top almost 27 years ago after a miscarriage. I was told it was due to a hormone disorder from the miscarriage. After a couple of months my hair grew back and all has been fine, until now. What do you suggest? Thanks in advance for your advice.
A: What you are experiencing is called alopecia. Alopecia is a blanket term for hair loss. Specifically, your situation seems to indicate alopecia areata, which is patchy hair loss in specific areas on the head or body. As you have already experienced abnormal alopecia before caused by hormonal shifts after your miscarriage, you are aware of how the body's hormonal changes can affect the hair.
You need to see your doctor and speak with him about the situation you are experiencing. If it is alopecia areata there are treatments available, but only your doctor can determine exactly what you have and what can be done. It would also be beneficial to make sure you have no other problems causing the loss.
Hair loss can have a number of causes, and usually the cause can be narrowed down by looking at the pattern of the hair loss, the person's medical history, and at times their lifestyle and diet. Sometimes, poor diet or certain medications can cause loss of hair, or it can be the result of hormonal fluctuations, damage to the scalp, or prolonged illness.
Seeing a doctor when you experience abnormal hair loss of any kind is always the wisest course of action. A stylist/cosmetologist can help you identify that you should see your doctor, but is not qualified to diagnose or treat any hair loss condition. The stylists' qualifications end where the scalp begins.
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