Why Are You Losing Your Hair? A Georgia Doctor Takes on Hair Loss Myths

We lose about a hundred hairs a day -- which is normal. But if you're noticing thinning around your scalp, you have some options.

First you need to figure out *why* you're losing your hair... and there's a lot of misinformation out there.

Dr. Ashley Curtis of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta knows hair, and why it's so hard for some of us to hang on to it.  Dr. Curtis says, "I see a lot of hair loss patients, a lot, lot, lot."

And Dr. Curtis says there are lots of myths about hair loss, like it's a guy thing.  She says, "In fact. it's actually something that affects at least 40% of all women at some point in their life. And it's just something we don't talk a lot about. But, absolutely, it happens to women."

Another misconception: Hair loss only comes from your mom's side of the family.  ""Well, actually that's not true." Curtis says, "We get half our genes from mom, half our genes from dad. There are over a hundred genes, at least, involved in hair loss. So, you can't blame us all the way."

And people think brushing hair can help it grow, and wearing a hat can make it fall out. Both are untrue.

By wearing a hat, Dr. Curtis says, "Many people think you're not letting your hair breathe. Not letting your scalp breathe. Actually that's not the case.  You hair follicles do need blood and oxygen, but you get that from your body's bloodstream. So, hats don't affect it."

Dr. Curtis says genes and hormones are the leading causes of hair loss.  And it's not just something we face as we age.  She says, "I've seen patients as young as 14-15 years old start having hair loss. It's all dependent on your genetics. Unfortunately the earlier it starts, the more likely it's going to be more severe in nature and the faster it can progress."

If you have hair loss, you have options, like topical treatments, oral medications, red light procedures, to prevent more hair loss.   But, Curtis says,  "The only way to guarantee hair is the transplant."    She says once you find out what's causing hair loss, you and your doctor can decide how aggressively you want to approach the problem.   She says, "I say to patients, 'Here's what we can do to prevent further loss...'  If you say, 'Dr. Curtis, I want hair." Here's what we have to do, we're going to move it from the back to the front, nobody will know, it will look fantastic."