Severe Shedder

by MommaMatlock
(Dallas, TX)

I am an African American female close to 51 years old and have been experiencing severe shedding of my natural hair for the past six months. I live in the Dallas area and would appreciate your referral or recommendation of a dermatologist here in North Texas who specializies in African American hair/scalp treatment. I stopped perming my hair in 2004. Recently I've tried various products for my scalp (thinning top crown) and products (shampoos, conditioners & hair cream moisturizers) for my hair purchased at the local beauty supply stores. Most often I wear my hair pulled back with large elastic hair ties or simply wrapped back with a scarf. The only prescribed drug I take daily is for high blood pressure(Norvasc since 2006). Can figure out what's going on. No other female in my family is experiencing hair loss. My mom & three sisters still use chemicals for their hair management. Mom's hair is short but full. My sisters hair is long and full. Not sure how I missed those genes. Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations you can give.

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Jan 21, 2009
Shedding Hair Explanation
by: Seymour M. Weaver, III, M.D.

You mention that you have experiences severe shedding for the past 6 months. Since you do not mention that you have any itching, soreness, or tenderness of your scalp then it sounds as if the hair is coming out assymptomatically.

If the hair you are shedding is coming out in long strands and has white tips on the ends of hair strands, then you are losing what are referred to as club hairs.

Increased shedding of club hairs occurs in association with a condition known as Telogen Effluvium. This condition is associated with excessive shedding that starts 2 to 4 months after an individual goes through a major stressful event such as illness with high fever, childbirth, surgical operations, rapid weight loss, or sometimes anemia and thyroid disease can be contributing factors.

Half of the time when a person gets telogen effluvium, a cause cannot be identified. However, this condition is not usually associated with chemical damage or perms so the hair products or shampoo that you use will not make a difference.

While the hair loss can continue for 8 to 12 months after it starts, usually the hair grows back and permanent baldness does not occur.

Dr. Ralph Brooks, M.D. in the Fort Worth area or Dr. Raymond Blackburn, M.D. in the Dallas area should be able to help you with diagnosing and treating your hair loss concern

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