Whether or not you realized how emotionally attached you were to your hair, losing it can bring up all kinds of feelings. You could be feeling surprised. Sad. Self-conscious. Heck, maybe you’re feeling all of those things and then some.
If hair loss has affected your life and your self-esteem, it’s important to find healthcare providers that are as capable as they are compassionate. At Cleveland Clinic, our expert dermatologists and plastic surgeons have lots of experience with all types of hair loss, from straightforward cases to complex conditions. We’ll work with you to figure out the right treatment and get started ASAP.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Hair Loss Treatment?
Our highly skilled dermatologists and plastic surgeons use the latest hair replacement surgery techniques to make sure your new hair grows in the right direction and looks natural.
At Cleveland Clinic, skilled, licensed providers are in charge of your anesthesia and monitoring your recovery after surgery. Meet our team.
Our board-certified cosmetic surgeons have specialized training and experience. Being affiliated with a major medical center means they have critical access to an acute care hospital, should you need it.
If getting to your provider’s office is tough, you might be able to have a virtual visit for some appointments. You’ll get the same great care but from the comfort and convenience of home. All you need to get started is an internet connection and your smartphone, computer or tablet.
Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We’re recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.
Diagnosing Hair Loss at Cleveland Clinic
You might already know what’s causing your hair loss. Maybe you look at your relatives and think, “Yep, we’re family, all right.” Maybe you’ve just had a baby, and you heard this might happen. Or maybe you’ve had an injury, like a burn, that caused your hair to stop growing.
On the other hand, you may have no idea what’s happening or why. Whatever the case, we know that when you come to see us, it’s because you’re looking for answers — and for help.
Types of hair loss
Hair loss has to do with your hair follicles, which are little tubes within your skin that surround the root and strand of each hair on your body. Sometimes, hair loss is caused by permanent damage to the hair follicle. More often though, hair loss is nonscarring, which means that the follicles haven’t been harmed.
Types of hair loss include:
- Androgenic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss, is a type of hereditary (inherited) baldness that can affect anyone. It includes male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness.
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes you to lose the hair on your head and body.
- Anagen effluvium is rapid hair loss that happens from medical treatments like chemotherapy.
- Telogen effluvium, or excessive hair shedding, is the result of stress, illness or sudden hormonal changes, including pregnancy.
- Traction alopecia happens when you wear your hair in tight hairstyles repeatedly and for long periods of time, damaging your hair follicles.
- Hair loss due to trauma can come from burns and other injuries that cause scarring.
The type of hair loss you have will determine which treatments are available to you. The best way to figure it out is to have a consultation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
What to expect at your first visit
You may be feeling nervous about discussing your hair loss with our experts, and you probably have a lot of questions. Your first appointment is an opportunity to have a conversation. We’ll get to know you and better understand your goals for treatment. And you’ll get to ask which options are recommended for you, along with any other questions you might have.
At that first consultation, we’ll talk about:
- Your overall health and the cause of your hair loss (if you already have a diagnosis).
- Your expectations and hopes for hair loss treatment.
- Your medical history, including any known conditions, allergies and past treatments.
- What medications, vitamins and herbal supplements (if any) you take, and whether you use (or have used) alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
Once we’ve gotten a good sense of your general health and any risk factors, we’ll start talking about your hair loss treatment options. We want to hear what you’re hoping for, and we’ll explain any risks or potential complications of treatment. We may also take photos of your hair loss, which will go into your medical record.
Meet Our Hair Loss Team
When you choose Cleveland Clinic for hair loss treatment, you’ll work primarily with either a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, depending on what kind of treatment you need. If you have surgery, your surgical team will also include anesthesiologists, nurses and other supportive healthcare providers who’ll work together to make sure you get the best care possible while you’re with us.
Providers Who Treat Hair Loss
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.
Treating Hair Loss at Cleveland Clinic
There are a few different ways to treat hair loss — both with surgery and without it — and what’s right for you will depend on what type of hair loss you have and what your goals are for treatment.
When you’re exploring hair loss treatments, one thing to keep in mind is that even though male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness sound similar, they actually affect the hair in genetically different ways — and that means they can’t always be treated the same way. What works for someone with male pattern baldness may not be an option for someone with female pattern baldness, and vice versa. Plus, if your hair loss is from another condition, that will play a role in which treatments are available to you, too.
Try not to feel too overwhelmed by the details and treatment options, though. We promise to talk you through all of it.
There are two FDA-approved medications that can help treat hair loss. Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication for both male and female pattern baldness, while Finasteride (Propecia®) is only available with a prescription and only treats male pattern baldness.
Even if you’re using an over-the-counter medicine, it’s best to work with a trained healthcare provider who can advise you and make sure it’s the right treatment for you.
Male pattern baldness causes you to lose the hair around your temples and at the top of your head, but the hair that grows just over the top of your ears is genetically programmed not to fall out. During hair replacement (implant) surgery, hairs from these “donor sites” are gently removed and transplanted onto the parts of your scalp where your hair is thinning or balding.
This cosmetic surgery may be an option if your hair loss is due to:
- Burns or other injuries.
- Scalp disease.
Because of the genetic differences in male and female pattern baldness, hair transplants are typically only an option for people assigned male at birth (AMAB).
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections may help restore some of your hair and prevent you from losing more of it. They use your own platelets (cells that help your blood to clot) to encourage hair to regrow.
Platelet-rich plasma is all natural. It comes from your own body. First, your healthcare provider uses a small needle to collect some of your blood in a special tube, which is then put into a spinning device called a centrifuge. This process removes some of your red and white blood cells and leaves behind a concentration of platelets in plasma (liquid). It’s then injected back into your blood to re-energize your cells and help regrow your hair.
Different types of hair loss treatment have different side effects, so your experiences and what kind of follow-up care you need will vary. But no matter what, we’re there for you. Whether you’re recovering from hair transplant surgery or coming back for another round of PRP injections, your healthcare provider will help you figure out next steps and any ongoing care you need.
Taking the Next Step
Some hair loss comes standard with aging. But if you’re coping with the loss of your locks well ahead of schedule, you’ll want to work with a team of experienced, empathetic healthcare providers who know exactly how to help. At Cleveland Clinic, our highly skilled dermatologists and plastic surgeons will find the treatment that matches your needs and helps you feel more like yourself again.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s hair loss experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.
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