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Bernstein Medical News

Dr. Wolfeld Speaks to Causes of Common Hair Issues in Stylecaster Article

April 27th, 2016

Dr. Wolfeld Speaks to Causes of Common Hair Issues in Stylecaster ArticleWhen it comes to hair and hair damage, style magazines often turn their readers to the latest line of products as the solution to whatever ails them. However, with the increased buzz about new medical treatments for hair loss in women, chose a different tact. They called upon NYC SuperDoctor Dr. Michael Wolfeld to increase awareness of common health issues that impact hair and its character. Among the issues that Dr. Wolfeld discussed in the article are dandruff, hair loss, oily scalp, itchy scalp, changes in hair texture, hair that won’t grow, and premature graying.

Below is a selection of quotations from the article:

On dandruff:

Dandruff isn’t usually a cause of hair loss and usually doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your overall health. “For most people, dandruff does not reflect an issue with an individual’s health,” Dr. Wolfeld told us, though it’s occasionally related to a medical condition like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema.

On hair loss:

“Increased hair shedding can be seen with new medical conditions or exacerbations of chronic medical conditions. This can be seen commonly with an imbalance in thyroid hormones, diabetes, iron-deficiency anemia, lupus, and inflammatory bowel diseases,” Dr. Wolfeld said. Emotional or psychological stress could also explain your recent hair loss, as could some medications.

On hair loss treatment:

“[Minoxidil] is a solution or foam that may be purchased over the counter and is applied to the scalp daily and can help to maintain and thicken hair. Minoxidil works by increasing the duration of the hair-follicle growth cycle, which then improves the quality of the hair by increasing the diameter and length of fine hair,” Dr. Wolfeld explained.

On having an oily scalp:

Dr. Wolfeld recommends obviously trying to control the shine with regular shampooing, but if this doesn’t help for long, you should see a health care pro to look into more serious conditions. “Other medical causes of oily scalp can be considered, such as seborrheic dermatitis. […] Psoriasis is another scalp condition that may cause oily hair if the sebaceous glands are overproductive,” he explained.

On having an itchy scalp:

“Persistent itchy scalps may be a sign of skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis. […] Other causes include allergic reactions, eczema, and a reaction to certain dyes, shampoos, or hair treatments.”

On changes in hair texture:

“This is seen in women that age and have a variation in their hormone balance, and in younger women during pregnancy,” Dr. Wolfeld said, adding that some drugs such as thyroid medications and oral contraceptives could also cause the shift. If that doesn’t seem likely, you might also want to consider taking a supplement because “a deficiency in certain vitamins such as vitamin A, biotin, zinc, and fatty acids can lead to a change in the texture of hair.”

On hair that just won’t grow:

A big reason hair does not grow can be a “deficiency of vitamins and protein in your diet.” On the other hand, though, you could just be too trigger happy with the heat-styling tools or need to give your hair a rest from being colored.

On premature graying:

“Most Caucasians start going gray in their mid-30s and are considered to be premature if gray hair is apparent by age 20,” he explained. Generally, this isn’t a sign of something wrong with your health — the reason someone’s hair turns gray early is not completely known, but genetics is thought to be a major factor. Contrary to what you might think, Dr. Wolfeld says that stress — emotional, psychologic, or physiologic — doesn’t cause you to go gray.

The article is titled, “This Is What Your Hair’s Condition Is Really Saying About Your Health.”

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Dr. Wolfeld Speaks to Causes of Common Hair Issues in Stylecaster Article
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