How will a doctor diagnose hair loss in women?

Contact a doctor if you are concerned about hair loss. A dermatologist can help you diagnose or treat hair loss. The doctor will take a medical history, which will include asking about things like:

  • What medications and/or supplements you take
  • What type of food you eat (protein is important for hair growth)
  • What might be going on in your life in terms of stressful situations
  • Which family members might have had hair loss
  • What kind of hair styles you tend to have and what hair care products and processes you have used
  • Whether or not you have a habit of pulling your hair out (trichotillomania)

After reviewing this information, the doctor might do or order certain tests, including:

  • Gentle hair pulling to determine how many hairs come out
  • Blood tests to test for vitamin and mineral levels (like vitamin D, vitamin B, zinc, and iron), and hormone levels (including thyroid and sex hormones)
  • Scalp examination under a microscope
  • Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of tissue

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