Jul 11, 2023
What Kind Of Hair Loss Do You Have?
Hair loss is NO fun, between the dread of taking showers, brushing your hair or even just looking in a mirror. I mean, after all, its the hair on your head.
And worse, our current system of medicine has us trapped in a “one-size fits all” kind of approach. Where regardless of WHAT the root of your hair-loss is, it all gets clumped together and treated as one.
But, Did You Know There Are Different Types of Hair Loss Depending on The Pattern?
Yup. Between hormones, vitamins, and iron there can be a few root causes to your hair-loss.
Are you waking up with a pillow covered in hair? Is your bathroom trash filled with hair? Do you loose the most hair in the shower? Does the hair brush fill you with fear?
Let's walk through the potential causes of hair loss, the different lab testing needed and natural approaches to restore growth.
What Pattern of Hair Loss Do You Have?
Patchy? You may have a cortisol imbalance, a deficiency in B vitamins, zinc or heavy metal exposure.
Thinning? You may have a hormonal imbalance, such as thyroid.
Top of the head only? Testosterone, progesterone, cortisol or estrogen may be out of balance.
Total body hair loss? DHEA, blood sugar regulation or circulation may be at play.
Balding all over? You may be experiencing poor circulation or a deficiency in protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, silicon or zinc.
Which Labs Are Helpful?
CBC & Ferritin
These screen for iron deficiency. A common culprit in hair-loss, when iron dips low, there’s not enough oxygen being carried to our hair for growth. If your ferritin is <50, iron may be the cause of your hair loss.
Read more about iron deficiency anemia and hair loss here.
TSH, FT3, FT4, Anti-TPO, Anti-TG, RT3
When it comes to your thyroid, most doctors will only test TSH, but that’s only one part of the story. These are all necessary for a complete thyroid work-up, as your thyroid may be to blame for your hair loss.
ANA & RF
These are markers for autoimmunity, conditions that commonly reveal themselves with hair loss as a symptom.
CRP & ESR
We’ve all heard of inflammation, well, these two markers check for general inflammation in the body. Inflammation is usually a sign that you may be at risk of developing other symptoms or disease.
Testosterone, Free Testosterone, DHT
We all know a man or two with a receding hairline, this is commonly known as male pattern baldness. But it doesn’t just happen to men, women are also susceptible to testosterone’s wrath in hair loss. Imbalances with testosterone are commonly associated with hair loss.
FSH, LH, Estrogen, Progesterone
Female hormones, much like testosterone, can be a culprit in hair loss. Any imbalance in these hormones will cause hair loss, along with PMS, irregular or heavy periods.
We’ve all heard of our stress hormone, that is cortisol! Think of it also as an aging hormone, and when these hormones are out of balance you will visibly age quicker, which of course includes hair loss.
Fasting Insulin, Fasting Blood Glucose, HbA1C
These are screening labs for diabetes. And even if you might not have diabetes, any disharmonies in blood sugar regulation can create imbalances in your hormones and slow down circulation to your scalp- which is needed for hair growth.
Heavy Metal Testing
Are you an artist, welder, have a lot of silver fillings, eat a lot of rice or non-organic foods? It’s more common thank you might think and plays a big role in hair loss.
Remember, you are more than just your labs! If your doctor has told you all of your labs are normal, but your hair loss persists, I recommend seeking a second opinion.
If you believe you have a hormonal imbalance, please do not begin treating it yourself without having a thorough understanding of the root cause. Sometimes, self-supplementing can worsen symptoms.