Which Contributes More to Hair Loss: Stress or Genetics?September 26th, 2006
Q: Can stress accelerate hair loss? I am 25 and there is balding on my dad’s side of the family. I never had any thinning or hair loss till this year. I guess you can say I’ve been under a lot of stress. When I did notice shortly after my 25th birthday I started stressing even more, which led to more hair loss. It is thinner up front and it is thin on top. I have heard of some hair docs mapping your head for miniaturization, do you do this too?
A: Yes. The presence of miniaturization (decreased hair diameter) in the areas of thinning allows us to distinguish between hair loss due to heredity (i.e. androgenetic alopecia) — in which hair progressively decreases in diameter under the influence of DHT — and other causes. The degree of miniaturization can be assessed using a hand-held instrument called a densitometer.
The pattern of hair loss and the family history are also important in the diagnosis.
Stress more commonly produces telogen effluvium, a generalized shedding that is not associated with miniaturization and is often reversible without treatment.
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Topic: Hair Loss
Tags: Androgenetic Alopecia, Causes of Hair Loss, Densitometer, DHT, Diagnosis of Hair Loss, Family History, Genetic Hair Loss, Genetics of Hair Loss, Miniaturization, Shedding, Stress, Telogen Effluvium Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D. on September 26th, 2006 at 11:22 am