Tag Archive for: Alopecia

5 Reasons Why You Want a Dermatologist to Treat Your Hair Loss

Happy Head founders Drs. Ben and Sean Behnam.

You used to have a ton of hair, but now you can see your scalp. You’ve noticed. Your partner is politely pretending not to notice. Your barber is running out of ways to conceal the bald spots and make the thinning areas look thicker. Arg. What to do? First, stop Googling and wasting money on one-size-fits-all hair loss remedies that don’t work. Then, it’s time to consult with a board-certified dermatologist. Dermatologists not only treat skin conditions, but they are also trained to address your hair and nails. Here are five reasons why you want a dermatologist to treat your hair loss. 

1. Dermatologists are Hair Loss Experts

News flash. Dermatologists don’t just deal with acne, warts, and eczema. After four years of earning a bachelor’s degree, they continue with four years of med school, one year interning, and at least three years as a resident. They learn a few things about skin, hair, and nails during that time. When they’ve completed their education and training, they are eligible to become board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Like any other medical specialty, some dermatologists are more interested in particular study areas than others. So, some dermatologists have more experience dealing with hair issues than others. These are the docs you want by your side. 

2. They Are Skilled at Diagnosing Types of Alopecia

It would be nice if there was only one type of alopecia, and it was a snap to diagnose it. That’s not exactly how it works, though. Sure, the most common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, male and female pattern baldness. It’s an inherited form of hair loss that occurs when a person’s testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and attaches to the hair follicles. Once that happens, mayhem ensues. The hair follicles shrink, hair thins, and hair begins to shed. If the condition isn’t reversed, the hair follicles can eventually close off, preventing new growth altogether. Dermatologists are trained to diagnose male and female pattern hair loss with a visual exam. As the name suggests, when people experience male or female pattern hair loss, the balding or thinning occurs in predictable patterns. 

Diagnosing other types of alopecia may require further testing, While each kind of alopecia has recognizable traits, a closer look with a dermatoscope or a pathologist’s report is more conclusive. Blood tests may also be needed to determine if a thyroid imbalance or other medical condition is causing the hair loss. 

3. You Need Timely, Accurate Information

If your hair is balding or thinning, it’s not a good idea to take a wait-and-see approach. Unless you have telogen effluvium, it’s not likely that your hair will magically grow back without intervention. Treatment for androgenetic and other alopecia types, is designed to stop shedding and stimulate regrowth. The process is time sensitive because the hair follicles must remain open for growth. Once the hair follicles close, the window of opportunity for regrowth also closes. Having a dermatologist prescribe the proper medications from the start will give you the best chance of achieving your desired result. 

4. They Can Give You Access to Effective Prescription Hair Loss Medications

If you’ve checked out drugstore shelves or scanned the internet, you know the market is flooded with over-the-counter hair growth remedies. Here’s what you need to know about them. Over-the-counter (OTC) shampoos and conditioning treatments will improve the appearance of your existing hair, but they won’t regrow your hair if you have male or female pattern baldness. Supplements will compensate for any vitamin deficiencies and create a healthy environment for new hair. However, it takes stronger, prescription-grade medication to regrow hair. Those prescriptions are only available through a dermatologist. Some are FDA-approved, and others are prescribed off-label. Here’s an idea of what Happy Head dermatologists often prescribe:


Minoxidil is clinically proven to revive hair follicles and thicken hair over time. It’s available in both pill and topical solutions. The medication works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. The scalp gets more oxygen and nutrients. It also kickstarts the hair growth cycle. It moves hair from the resting phase into a growth phase and extends the stage. 

Minoxidil is sold OTC as Rogaine and private store brands. The difference between what you can get with a prescription is the dosage. Stores sell two and five percent. Happy Head and pharmacies sell eight percent topical solutions and 2.25 milligrams oral Minoxidil, which are higher than what’s available OTC. 

Research indicates that pairing Minoxidil with DHT blockers such as Finasteride (01), Dutasteride, and Spironolactone (02) improves efficacy. That’s why Happy Head offers combination formulas.


Finasteride is a first-line DHT blocker that has been FDA-approved for men with androgenetic alopecia since 1997. It’s prescribed to women off-label. Research indicates that Finasteride reduces serum DHT levels by 70 percent. Increasing the dose doesn’t result in greater serum reduction. (03) The medication is ideal for people with early recession or thinning. 


Dutasteride is a step-up from Finasteride. It’s also a DHT blocker, but inhibits more enzymes than Finasteride. Finasteride inhibits the Type II 5-alpha reductase enzyme, while Dutasteride inhibits both Type 1 and Type II. Experts estimate that Dutasteride reduces serum DHT levels by approximately 95 percent. (04)  Because Dutasteride is a stronger medication than Finasteride, side effects may be more likely when taken orally. Topical formulas have been proven to be equally as effective with lower changes of undesirable side effects. (05)


Spironolactone is an aldosterone receptor antagonist often prescribed to women under 50. It works like a DHT blocker. The oral medication is typically reserved for women since it can cause feminization side effects such as enlarged breasts in men. Both women and men can use the topical formula.


Latanoprost is one of the newest prescription hair-loss medications on the market. It was originally marketed as a glaucoma treatment. When doctors discovered the medication caused longer, thicker, darker eyelashes, dermatologists tested and marketed the product for scalp growth.  

5. Dermatologists Can Adjust Your Treatment Plan if Necessary

Not every medication works for every person. What works for your brother, cousin, or friend may be different for you. Body chemistry differs from person to person, and no test exists to indicate which medication is best for each individual. Sometimes finding the right medication or mix of medications means starting with a first-line prescription and stepping up dosages or to more powerful formulas as needed. Other times, patients need customized formulas. Dermatologists have the experience necessary to determine when changes need to be made in your treatment plan. 

If you’ve noticed that your hair is thinning, now is the time to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist and hair specialist. Minoxidil, Finasteride, and Spironolactone are just a few of the treatment options available, and you don’t want to lose valuable time that you could use to regrow your hair. The right doctor will not only help restore your hair; they will help restore your confidence. 


Need a referral? Visit Happy Head, your one-stop hair loss shop, without waiting for an appointment. The company is founded and operated by renowned dermatologists Dr. Ben and Dr. Sean Behnam. When you contact us, your health history will be reviewed by a screened and licensed dermatologist. Your dermatologist will work with you to select the right medication based on your condition. We even customize prescriptions. Your order will be shipped to your front door in a discrete package. Need a change? Not a problem.  We’re also here to answer any questions you have. Take the questionnaire to get started. It only take a few minutes and there’s no wait, all done online. 


(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32166351/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10010138/#:~:text=Three%20studies%20compared%20the%20combination,with%20only%20one%20emerging%20hair%2C

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513329/#:~:text=Research%20has%20shown%20that%20finasteride,reduction%20in%20serum%20DHT%20levels.

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684818/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7706484/


Patients Claim That Ozempic Causes Hair Loss. Should You Be Concerned?

Woman thinking about the side effects of Ozempic as her hair becomes thin over time.

Ozempic, Wegovy, and Monjaro are trendy new weight-loss drugs that have been sensationalized by Hollywood’s elite. The medications, originally marketed to treat Type 2 diabetes, also help people drop unwanted pounds. Over time, however, users have discovered an alarming side effect that isn’t listed on the medications’ labels or inserts. Not only are users shedding weight, but they’re also claiming that they’re shedding hair. Is what people are saying true, or is it a misconception? Let’s talk about the claims that Ozempic causes hair loss and whether you should be concerned. 

The History of Semaglutide

Semaglutide is a drug that was initially tested and FDA-approved for diabetes in 2017. During clinical trials, researchers observed that the medication caused noticeable weight loss. Semaglutide was then tested among 4.500 participants who didn’t have diabetes but were overweight or obese. Results indicated that compared to the placebo group, people who took Semaglutide had significant weight loss. (01) Semaglutide was then FDA-approved for weight loss in 2021. Although Ozempic is the brand name many people are most familiar with, Ozempic is only FDA-approved for diabetes. The brand Wegovy is FDA-approved for weight loss. The medications tend to be expensive since insurance often doesn’t cover the cost of using them for weight loss.  

The Difference Between Ozempic, Wegoy, and Monjaro 

Ozempic and Wegovy are the same medications. The only difference is that Wegovy is available in higher dosages. Monjaro is a newer medication, FDA-approved for diabetes in 2022. Like Ozempic, Monjaro is used off-label for weight loss. Monjaro belongs to the same class of drugs as Ozempic and Wegovy called incretin mimetics. The main difference is that Monjaro affects two receptors, GIP and GLP-1, while Ozempic and Wegovy only act on GLP-1 receptors. Monjaro is considered more effective, but is reported to have more side effects. All three medications are administered as weekly injections. 

Understanding the Claims. Does Ozempic Really Cause Hair Loss?

Many alarming reports about side effects are being shared via social media. Ozempic face, Ozempic butt, and hair loss are the ones most concerning to people. But, are the claims valid? 

Hair loss isn’t listed as a side effect on the weight loss medications’ profiles. However, in clinical trials for weight loss, close to six percent of people who took the highest dose reported alopecia, compared to the one percent who received the placebo. What does that mean? It’s important to put the information into perspective. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, issued a statement to NBC News that the hair loss people experience is typically temporary. According to the company, alopecia isn’t associated with the medication. It’’s associated with weight loss, which has been documented in other obesity trials over time. (02

The Association Between Weight Loss and Hair Loss

Some people who use Ozempic and other weight loss medications drop pounds much faster than their bodies are prepared to handle. Changes in hormonal levels and nutritional deficiencies can occur. When the body gets shocked like that, the hair growth cycle can get interrupted, and temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium can result. The higher the dosage, and the more sudden the hair loss, the more likely hair loss will occur. Patients who have had bariatric surgery have also reported concerns about hair loss. So, alopecia isn’t necessarily related to the medications, it’s more likely linked to weight loss, no matter what method you use to drop weight. 

Telogen Effluvium is Temporary

Telogen effluvium occurs when hair normally in the growth phase shifts suddenly into a resting stage. That’s what causes rapid shedding. Telogen effluvium can occur three to four months after weight loss and usually lasts for up to six months. As peoples’ bodies adjust to the weight change, hair loss usually subsides within nine months and grows back on its own. When dermatologists suspect a person is experiencing telogen effluvium from weight loss, they typically take a wait-and-see approach. 

What You Can Do While You Wait for Your Hair to Grow Back

First of all, try not to panic. Waiting for your hair to grow back can feel like waiting for paint to dry. It takes time, and you can’t rush it. In the meanwhile, you can take a few steps to help the process along. First, ensure that you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Protein is the primary building block for your hair. Make sure you’re eating plenty along with fresh fruits and vegetables. You may want to check with your doctor to ensure that you don’t have any iron, Vitamin D, or other deficiencies contributing to your hair loss. If so, supplements may be recommended. Hair growth supplements containing Vitamin A and Vitamin D combined with collagen, probiotics, and saw palmetto to support hair growth from the inside are available.  Thickening shampoos and conditioners with argan oil, biotin, and keratin are good options to help make hair stronger, shinier, and healthier while it regrows. 

Other Types of Alopecia 

If you hear people claim that Ozempic or other weight loss medications cause male or female pattern baldness, alopecia areata, or any other type of alopecia, remember this. It’s possible but not likely unless you are already predisposed to the condition. 

Male and female pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia, is inherited. It occurs when your body produces Testosterone and converts it into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which attacks the hair follicles. With that in mind, The Dermatology Times believes that it’s possible that hormonal changes from rapid weight loss can result in androgenetic alopecia, but does not share any specific cases.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body attacks the hair follicles. The condition can be triggered by stress. There are documented cases of alopecia areata that were triggered by amphetamines used for weight loss. (03) However, cases due to Ozempic, Wegovy, or Monjaro have not been documented.

If you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to consult your dermatologist. Even if you are just experiencing telogen effluvium, you will get peace of mind that you don’t have a condition that needs medical attention. 

Ozempic, Wegovy, Monjaro, and other weight loss medications are reportedly causing hair loss. In most cases, weight loss is to blame, not the actual drugs. If you’re taking one of these medications and have noticed thinning or shedding, it’s understandable to want to know the cause. Most of the time, the hair loss is temporary and will grow back on its own. If you are unsure of the reason, however, consulting with a board-certified dermatologist is always a good idea. You should rule out conditions such as male or female pattern baldness and alopecia areata that require treatment.

If your hair loss does require medication, Happy Head offers the strongest FDA- approved prescription hair loss treatments available. We offer oral and topical Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Spironolactone. The medications can be customized based on your specific needs. Happy Head is able to add what you want and remove what you don’t need. Best of all, no prescription is necessary. Just fill out a simple form to share your medical history, and one of our dermatologists licensed to practice in your state will review your case. Prescriptions are ordered online and delivered straight to your door. 



(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9354513/

(02) https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/weight-loss-drugs-and-hair-loss-rcna79798

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6984043/


How Does Happiness Lead to Hair Growth?

Man looking over his hair in the mirror while combing it back. He's excited about the hair growth results he's seeing with Happy Head topical solutions.

Does your hair feel thinner during times of severe stress? If it does, you can rest assured that you’re not imagining things. According to medical research, stress can cause hair loss. So if you want to keep as much hair on your head as possible, it’s essential to maintain your happiness and keep your stress levels to a minimum. 

The Science Behind Hair Growth

Hair plays a significant role throughout lore. From Samson and his power-imbued hair to Repunzel and her long braids, hair has always been the stuff of magic and mystery. However, current research has cracked the code about human hair. It turns out that there’s no sorcery behind how hair grows. Hair growth is all about science. 

What is Hair Made of?

Human hair is not alive. The hair shaft that we see and touch is made up of dead, keratinized cells that have been pushed up and out of the hair follicle. On the other hand, the hair follicle and scalp are living structures responsible for producing and nourishing the hair shaft. 

The scalp contains blood vessels and nerves that provide nutrients and sensation to the hair and skin. Furthermore, the scalp includes sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. These follicles are structures responsible for producing hair.

Therefore, while the hair strands are not alive, they’re affected by a variety of factors, such as diet, medical issues, environmental factors, and chemical treatments, which can impact the hair’s health and growth. 

Your Hair’s Growth Cycle 

A person grows and loses hair strands through a natural growth cycle. The growth cycle of hair consists of three primary phases (01):

  • Anagen Phase
  • Catagen Phase
  • Telogen Phase

During the anagen phase, which may last from two to eight years, hair grows from the follicle. The length of this phase determines the maximum length of hair growth. At any give time, about 90% of the average person’s hair is in the anagen phase. In the catagen phase, which lasts about two to six weeks, the follicles shrink, and hair growth slows.

Finally, during the telogen phase, which lasts about three months, the hair is shed, and the follicle remains dormant until the next anagen phase begins. New hair then replaces the hair shed during the telogen phase, starting the cycle anew.

Good overall health and nutrition allow hair to grow at its peak rate and maintain its natural growth cycle. Each strand of hair on the head can be at any differing point of the growth cycle, limiting the shedding that can occur at once.

What is Typical Hair Loss? 

On average, it is normal to lose between 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of the typical hair-shedding process from the growth cycle. (02) However, if hair loss exceeds this amount, it may indicate an underlying condition such as alopecia or telogen effluvium

Alopecia is a condition that causes hair loss and is due to a variety of factors, some of which include genetics, autoimmune disorders, or hormonal imbalances. Telogen effluvium is a condition where atypical hair shedding occurs due to a disruption in the hair growth cycle. This can be caused by severe nutritional deficiencies, certain medications, illness – or significant stress.

The Link Between Happiness and Hair Growth

The connection between mental and physical health is undeniable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, depression ups the risk for chronic medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Similarly, these same chronic conditions can increase the risk of mental health problems. (03)

As evidence of this connection, a study was published in the American Psychological Association’s research journal Health Psychology. The study of 15,000 participants found that participants with severe cases of anxiety and depression were: (04)

  • 65% are more likely to have heart condition 
  • 50% are more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure
  • 87% are more likely to develop arthritis

So, because of this close interplay between mental and physical health, it’s no surprise that mental health can affect hair growth. 

How Does Stress Impact Hair Growth? 

Stress is a common experience that can affect many aspects of our health, including our hair growth. Stress can affect hair growth in a variety of ways, including altering the hair growth cycle, causing hair loss or thinning, and affecting the quality and texture of the hair.

Stress Disrupts the Hair Growth Cycle 

One of the ways that stress can affect hair growth is by affecting the hair growth cycle. During periods of stress, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which can interfere with the normal functioning of the hair follicle. Stress can push the hair follicle to enter the telogen phase earlier than usual, leading to increased hair shedding and thinning. 

Hair Follicles Under Stress 

Experiencing chronic stress can also directly impact the hair follicle’s health. For example, stress can cause inflammation in the scalp, which can damage the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth. Stress can also affect the blood flow to the scalp, impacting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle, leading to weaker and thinner hair.

Stress Weakens Your Strands 

In addition to affecting the hair follicle, stress can also impact the quality and texture of the hair. Stress can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage and split ends. This can be exacerbated by hair care practices such as excessive heat styling or chemical treatments, which can further damage the hair.

It is also important to note that stress can exacerbate existing hair conditions, such as alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss. Stress can trigger or worsen this condition, leading to more severe hair loss. 

Stress May Cause An Urge to Pull Out Hair 

Have you ever heard anyone say they were so anxious that they were “pulling out their hair”? The saying stems from a condition called trichotillomania. This condition is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or other body parts. For people diagnosed with trichotillomania, pulling out hair reduces feelings of anxiety, discomfort, or frustration. (05)

Uncontrolled stress adversely impacts health in general. Specifically, though, it may also cause you to lose hair. Happiness can’t cure everything, but it may help prevent hair loss. In short, managing stress and fostering happiness can prevent or slow hair loss. 

Tips for Cultivating Happiness and Healthy Hair

Managing stress is vital to maintaining healthy hair growth. The following are several strategies that can help to reduce stress and promote healthy hair growth. 

Exercise. Not only does regular physical help to manage stress, but it also improves blood flow to the scalp, promoting healthy hair growth.

Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness practices such as meditation can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which may benefit hair health.

Adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health, including hair health. Sleep deprivation can increase stress levels and lead to hair loss.

Healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and biotin can help to promote healthy hair growth.

Avoiding harsh hair treatments. Excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, and tight hairstyles can all damage the hair and exacerbate stress-related hair loss.

Seeking professional help. If you are experiencing excessive hair loss or other hair concerns, it is important to seek professional help from a dermatologist or hair specialist who can get to the root of the issue. They’ll help you find a solution that works for you, whether it’s a topical treatment, oral solution, or a combination of both. Furthermore, your mental health can also benefit from speaking with a therapist to help manage chronic stress.

Managing stress and fostering happiness isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for your health. Making lifestyle changes that create calmness, promote physical health, and allow for sufficient rest encourages happiness and keeps more hair on your head.  

Get Happier With Happy Head 

A healthier head of hair can boost your self-confidence and improve your well-being. Happy Head’s proprietary hair formula is customized to fit each and every customer. Developed by our in-house world-renowned dermatologists, Happy Head’s formulas improve hair growth with minimal side effects. Contact us and fill out our questionnaire to start growing your hair back now and get happy with Happy Head! 



(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499948/


(02) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding#:~:text=It’s%20normal%20to%20shed%20between,this%20condition%20is%20telogen%20effluvium.

(03) https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm

(04) https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-63710-001

(05) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820


What the Experts Know About Alopecia

Happy Head customer with thinning hair reviewing his progress with our custom topical treatment made my board-certified dermatologists.

Did you know that dermatologists treat more than just skin issues? During their twelve-plus years of training, dermatologists are also taught how to diagnose and treat patients’ hair and nail conditions. That’s why a licensed dermatologist should be your first stop if you’re experiencing hair loss that seems more than the norm. Yes, it’s possible that Covid-19 or the flu temporarily shocked your hair, and it will grow back on its own. However, some types of hair loss require attention. If that’s the case, you don’t want to risk losing valuable time and hair when you could be in treatment.  

So, if seeing hair everywhere but on your head is stressing you out, go ahead and schedule an appointment. Don’t have time to head to an office? Take our online questionnaire and we’ll match you with a dedicated dermatologist to help answer your questions. Don’t worry about your dermatologist thinking you’re crazy or an alarmist. They have seen it all. Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek at what expert dermatologists know about alopecia and what may be in store for you.  

Alopecia is a Broad Term

Type “alopecia” into Google, and what comes up? Lots of results on alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is one very specific type of alopecia (we’ll talk more about it in a minute). However, there are many different types of alopecia, ranging from there’s nothing you can do but wait for your hair to grow back to it’s time to get on some medication. Alopecia is more of a finding than an actual condition. The word is used by professionals whenever there is some disorder causing hair loss. If you’re losing facial hair, that’s considered alopecia too. So, if your dermatologist uses the word alopecia, don’t worry. It’s a broad term that encompasses many types of hair loss.  

There Are Different Types of Alopecia

Hair loss is not one-size-fits-all. Symptoms and treatments vary based on what type of alopecia you are experiencing. Here’s a primer to help you understand what your dermatologist may look for during your consultation.  

Temporary Hair Loss

Finding hair everywhere but on your head can be upsetting. Before you plan for the worst, though, consider this. Not all hair loss is permanent. Certain medications, illnesses, surgery, and even ultraviolet rays from the sun disrupt your hair’s growth cycle and cause a condition called telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium is self-limiting, which means that peace will be restored to your scalp once the trigger is removed.  

Insider Advice:  Although hair usually grows back on its own within six months to a year, the waiting game can feel long.  Supplements, thickening shampoos, conditioners, and regular trims can help support healthy hair growth while you wait.  

Genetic Alopecia

Have you ever heard of androgenetic alopecia?  Maybe not, but you’re probably familiar with Male and Female Pattern Baldness (MPB or FPB) which is the same thing.  But wait!  Isn’t that something that only happens to old people?  Well, not exactly.  Anyone who has gone through puberty can experience male or female pattern baldness, a form of genetic hair loss.  As a matter of fact, many people who experience MPB or FPB realize that they started losing their hair before the age of 40. (01)  Androgenetic alopecia is inherited through your family tree and occurs when testosterone converts to a substance called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT attaches to your hair follicles and gradually shrinks them until they close up.  Hair falls out in easily distinguishable patterns that can be compared to a Norwood-Hamilton Scale to determine the extent of your hair loss.  

Insider Advice:  Don’t fall for any “grow hair fast” gimmicks.  The most effective way to strengthen and regrow your hair is by using vasodilators and prescription DHT blockers.  Topical or oral Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Spironolactone are all good options.  Don’t expect miracles overnight, though.  You’ll need to be patient.  It takes six months to a year to see results.  

Autoimmune Hair Loss

Autoimmune diseases occur when your body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body. When your hair is involved, your hair follicles are attacked, leaving you scrambling to find ways to fight inflammation that blocks your hair follicles’ openings. Autoimmune hair loss falls into two different categories: Non-scarring and scarring. Alopecia areata is a non-scarring alopecia.  Hair falls out in sporadic round or oval patches on the scalp. In some alopecia areata cases, hair will spontaneously grow back on its own.  

Scarring alopecias behave differently and do what their name indicates. Scars grow over the hair follicles and close them off, leaving doctors and patients to play a game of beat the clock. The goal is to keep hair follicles open and to preserve existing hair before the hair follicles are shrunken to the point where they are closed off.  

Insider Advice: Autoimmune hair loss can be tricky to manage. What works for one person may not work for another. Treatment may also require multiple medications. Be patient through the trial process while your dermatologist determines which combination of medications works best for you.  

Facial Hair Loss

If you’re losing facial hair, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a real thing called alopecia barbae, and it’s usually autoimmune related. Alopecia barbae can cause hair to fall out in small round patches in men’s beards or mustaches. Hair can spontaneously regrow, or patches may stick around for a while. It’s difficult to predict the condition’s path.

Insider Advice: Don’t feel like you have to live with facial hair loss. Many of the treatments used to treat scalp hair loss can be used on your face too. These treatments may include steroids, topicals such as Minoxidil, or, in extreme cases, a class of medications called JAK inhibitors that calm the immune system.  

Give Yourself Time to Grieve, Then Move On

It’s only natural to go through a grieving process, regardless of the type of alopecia you’re battling. For some people like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, hair can be part of your “brand,” something you’re known for. When that hair is gone, you can feel like you’re losing part of your identity. That’s completely normal. Although nobody wants to have any form of alopecia, keep in mind that the awful feeling you get during your diagnosis won’t last forever. Over time, you and the people surrounding you will get used to your new look.

Topical treatment by Happy Head, being piped out of the glass pipette. Each topical treatment is customized to your patient profile.

If you have difficulty accepting your new normal, try giving yourself a time frame. Say something like, “Self, it’s been a while since I’ve been happy. ’m giving you one more week to be down in the dumps, and then I’m making an appointment for a new haircut.  Then, I’m moving on.” If that doesn’t work for you, a support group or counseling may be what you need to get in the right frame of mind. 

So let’s recap what experts know about alopecia. You’d be surprised how many people suffer from hair loss before consulting a dermatologist. If you think your hair is thinning or balding, get an expert opinion. Your hair woes may be nothing to worry about, or there may be something that can be treated. You won’t know unless you talk with a professional.  

Tight on time? Happy Head can help. Our board-certified dermatologists are available to help answer your pressing questions and help you regrow your hair. Remember one-size-fits-all treatments are a thing of the past, so let’s create a custom treatment that’s formulated to your needs. Fill out our short questionnaire and add a few photos to get started.


(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9865198/

What Every Man Should Know About Male Pattern Baldness

Is male pattern hair loss inherited? Find out everything you need to know about your hair loss with tips from our Happy Head board-certified dermatologists.

Close your eyes and visualize a middle-aged guy. What do you see?  Maybe a few distinguished worry lines? A slight bulge around the middle saying, “Hey, go back to the gym”? A receding hairline or a shaved head? Whoa, stop right there.  Do all men go bald?  Is that really your fate too?  

While it’s true that data indicates over 50 percent of men have extensive hair loss by the age of 50, there are ways to avoid becoming part of that statistic. (01) There are many reasons why men go bald, and more effective treatments are available than ever before. If you’re a guy worried about losing your hair, read on. This one’s for you.  

Why Do Men Go Bald?

If you find sacred strands of hair scattered in your sink every time you comb or brush, you may wonder why. Do you have a rare disease? Are you using your cell phone too much? Are there toxins in your water? Most likely not. The explanation is much simpler than you would think.  

Most Guys Are Genetically Predisposed to Hair Loss

Genetics is the most common cause of hair loss among men. (02)  If a family member on your mother or father’s side has experienced hair loss, you may have inherited a baldness gene that causes male pattern baldness. Let’s talk about what that means.  

Male Pattern Baldness is a Type of Alopecia

Because of your genetic make-up, an enzyme called 5a reductase converts testosterone naturally found in your body to a substance called Dihyrotestosterone (DHT). DHT tells your hair follicles, “Hey, there’s an invasion. Close up shop and hunker down.” The hair follicles shrink, and healthy new hair can no longer grow.  

What About Genetic Testing?

Are you thinking, “No problem, there’s genetic testing for just about everything these days, right?” If so, it’s true that genetic tests for androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness) exist. The only catch is that they aren’t quite perfected yet. So, what can you do if you think your hair loss has a genetic link?

First, consult with a licensed dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. If you’re anti-doctor and procedure-phobic, don’t stress.  Male pattern baldness has specific hair loss patterns that allows diagnosis without any invasive testing. If it turns out male pattern baldness is causing thinning or recession, many treatment options are available.

Treatment Options for Male Pattern Baldness

The best way to treat male pattern baldness is to hit your scalp from different angles with various medications. One that you’ll want to consider is Rogaine. You’ve probably heard of it before. Rogaine liquid and foam is sold over the counter (OTC) to help open up your hair follicles. The generic version, Minoxidil, is sold by prescription in higher doses than what’s available OTC.    

You’ll also want to use a prescription DHT blocker to prevent DHT from being produced in the first place. Finasteride and Dutasteride are the ones most commonly prescribed to men. Finasteride is effective in most men and is used as the first-line treatment. Dutasteride is a bit stronger and can be prescribed if Finasteride isn’t doing the trick. Retinol and cortisone are often added to the mix to improve absorption and prevent irritation.  

Happy Head's 3-in-1 SuperCapsule is the only one of its kind that combines three ingredients for hair growth in one oral treatment. Get yours prescribed by a Happy Head Dermatologist today with Finasteride or Dutasteride.

Do Finasteride & Dutasteride Have Undesirable Side Effects?

Finasteride and Dutasteride are both prostate medications prescribed for men with male pattern baldness. Finasteride is FDA-approved and Dutasteride is used off-label. You may have heard friends or family members talking about the medicines. And, you may have rumors about some side effects like impotence that make you nervous. 

Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to choose between your hair or your sex life. You can have both. If you’re thinking about taking oral Finasteride or Dutasteride, consider this. The percentage of men who experience side effects is really small. During Finasteride’s clinical trials, less than two percent of men taking the drug experienced side effects. (03)

If you’re worried about becoming one of the two percent, topical Finasteride or Dutasteride may be a good option. Topicals have been proven to be equally effective as oral DHT blockers (04) and don’t carry the same risk of side effects since they work at the scalp and aren’t systemic.   

How do Topical Brands Compare?

It’s no great secret that the hair loss industry is booming.  Prescription hair loss medications that used to only be available at a pharmacy are now available via telemedicine.  Deciding which ones to use can be difficult.  Are the formulas the same?  Do the brands work differently?  To help you answer those questions, Fin vs. Fin recently compared topical hair loss treatments based on active ingredients, ease of application, and price.  Check out their review to see how industry leaders stack up.

Although Not as Common, Men Experience Alopecia for Other Reasons

Male pattern baldness accounts for most hair loss among men. However, other conditions can also cause alopecia. A small percentage of men experience alopecia due to autoimmune conditions. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes small, round patches of hair loss. Lichen planopilaris can cause recession, smooth white patches, and an itching or burning sensation. It’s important to see your dermatologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan if you’re experiencing hair loss. If you have one of these conditions, early intervention is key to preserving your hair.

Thinning or Balding Can Be Temporary

When your body experiences sudden changes, temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium can occur. Covid, the flu, and having surgery can shock your body and cause hair in the resting state of your hair’s growth process to fall out all at once. Stress can cause the same effect. If continual conflicts at home or work burnout is an issue, finding ways to cope will help. You may also want to get your vitamin levels checked. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies can also lead to temporary hair loss.  

So, let’s recap.  Even if you are predisposed to balding, there are ways to preserve your hair.  Get checked out by your dermatologist to determine the cause and know that treatments are available.  If you need advice, we’re here to help.  Happy Head has licensed dermatologists in every state who are available to answer your questions.  We also offer tested hair growth pills, topicals, shampoo, conditioner, and supplements developed by hair loss specialists Dr. Ben and Sean Behnam.   



(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9865198/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16127116/

(03) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9951956/

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7648777/


Men’s Hair Can Be Damaged and Dry Too. Here’s What You Can Do.

Men usually worry more about losing their hair than about if their hair is healthy.  Women are generally the ones who stress over dry, damaged hair.  After all, hair dryers, flat irons, bleaching, coloring, tight ponytails, and braids can take a toll.  Most men are happy not to deal with all of that.  Even so, it’s not ideal when men’s hair looks dried out or frizzy.  Not to mention that hair that doesn’t look healthy sometimes isn’t.  So, guys, let’s talk about your hair’s appearance and texture.  We have some tips on how to improve your hair’s condition and what to do if you think there’s something causing damage that’s out of your control.

What Causes Men to Experience Dry Hair?

Before we talk about what you can do to repair your hair, let’s discuss the reasons why your hair may be dry or damaged.  Let’s start understanding what happens when your hair gets dried out.  Oils that keep your hair healthy are produced in your hair’s roots.  There isn’t a source of natural lubrication.  When your hair’s natural oil and moisture are lost, it also loses its smooth texture and shine.   There are many reasons why this could happen.  The most common reasons are aging, health conditions such as thyroid disease, and the effects of sun, wind, and other weather-related conditions.  If your hair begins to thin due to male pattern baldness, your hair’s texture can also change.  Thinner hair can become wavy, dry, and brittle.  

How Does Men’s Hair Get Damaged?

Here’s what happens when your hair gets damaged.  Each strand of your hair is protected by a cuticle, which is a protective layer.  When your hair cuticles are healthy, they sit closely together and lock in moisture.  The cuticle protects your hair from elements such as chlorine and sun exposure.  However, those cuticles can peel away from your hair when they separate.  Your hair can’t hold moisture or natural oils.  Contrary to what many people believe, you cannot repair damaged hair.  It’s not a living tissue and doesn’t have regenerative abilities.  However, damaged hair that is cut can grow healthy cuticles.   

How Guys Treat Dry or Damaged Hair

If your hair doesn’t look in tip-top shape, all is not lost.  Here are some tips that can help:

  • Use the Right Shampoo 

If a two-in-one is your go-to for the shower, you may want to rethink your shampoo.  A good quality shampoo helps not only clean your hair, but will help balance your scalp’s chemistry.  Shampoos include detergents, pH adjusters, preservatives, thickeners, scents, and additives.  Harsh ingredients strip the oils out of your hair.  If your hair is dry, you’ll want to avoid lauryl sulfates, sarcosinates, and other harsh ingredients known for deep cleaning.   Instead, look for mild cleaning agents such as polyoxyethylene fatty alcohols, polyoxyethylene sorbitol esters alkanolamides, betaines, sultaines, and other gentle cleansers that also help make your hair more manageable. (01)

  • Remember the Conditioner

Skipping conditioner may save time, but it also means that you’re missing the opportunity to add moisture.  Conditioning seals your hair’s cuticles to keep the moisture locked in between washes.  Topical hair loss treatments such as Minoxidil or Finasteride may affect the texture of your hair, especially at the beginning when the medications first start working.  A good conditioner can help by making your hair more shiny and manageable.  Conditioners will often include ingredients such as hydrolyzed silk, animal protein, and glycerin.  When selecting a conditioner, look for protein-derived substances.  Protein works with the keratin in your hair to hold the cortex fragments together.  Your split ends will mend temporarily until the next time you shampoo. (02) 

  • Hair Masks Aren’t Just for Women

If you’re looking for a quick-fix to make your dry, brittle hair softer and more manageable, we’re going to share a secret weapon to treat your hair: hair masks.  Yes, women are the ones who usually use hair masks.  But, not only can men use them once or twice per week, they give short-term results that make your hair stronger, shinier, and tamer.  Keep in mind that you should only apply a hair mask from the roots to the ends of your hair.  Hair masks aren’t meant to be used on your scalp. The hair mask that you choose will depend on your hair’s texture.  It’s helpful to look for keywords such as “fine” or “coarse” that match your hair type.  Hair masks with all-natural ingredients and keywords such as “keratin” and “biotin” are good choices.  

  • Visit Your Barber Regularly

Sure, it was probably fun having long Covid hair and not having to visit the barber every five weeks.  However, if your hair is dry or damaged, it’s important to keep those appointments.  Overgrown split ends make your hair look messy and frizzy.  Not to mention that when men go too long between trims, they end up with an awkward, unflattering shape that’s tricky to camouflage.  No matter how many styling products you use, your hair will still look unkempt. 

  • Eat a Protein-rich Diet

If your hair is dry or damaged, make sure you’re eating plenty of protein.  Protein will strengthen and repair the keratin in your hair strands.  You’ll still need a trim to get rid of the damaged ends, but more protein and keratin means your hair will grow stronger.  A lack of protein has actually been linked to hair loss. (03)  When your body doesn’t get enough protein, your body will conserve what it has by shifting hair into a resting phase when your hair falls out.  Good protein sources include eggs, chicken, shrimp, fatty fish, nuts, tofu, legumes, and cottage cheese. 

  • Ask Your Dermatologist About Vitamins or Supplements

If your hair is dry or damaged and you aren’t sure why, it may be a good idea to have your vitamin, iron, thyroid, and other blood levels checked.  Hyper and hypothyroidism can both cause dry, brittle hair.  Low iron and other vitamin deficiencies can cause the same effect.  Balancing your thyroid or supplementing with vitamins usually brings noticeable improvement.  

  • Stop Using Harsh Coloring Products

If you color your hair and notice signs of damage, it’s a good idea to stop.  In some cases, hair dye lifts the cuticle from the hair and changes the texture.  The hair that’s been colored won’t return to its natural state.  However, only the hair that has been dyed will be affected.  New hair that grows from your scalp will have your original texture and sheen. 

  • Don’t Wait to Get a Professional Opinion

By the time you notice that your hair’s texture and finish has changed, there’s a good chance that damage has already occurred.  A visit to the dermatologist can help you understand why your hair doesn’t seem as smooth or manageable as before.  Once you identify the culprit, you can start to get your hair back on the road to good health.

Sometimes men don’t realize that the change in their hair’s texture or appearance is due to male pattern baldness, telogen effluvium, or another type of alopecia that can be treated.  If you aren’t sure why your hair’s texture or appearance has changed and want a professional opinion, we’re here to help.  Simply fill out the questionnaire.  One of our board-certified dermatologists will review your case and make recommendations on what you can do to get your hair back on track.   



(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458934/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458934/

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/


Is There a Genetic Test that Can Predict Hair Loss?

Nowadays, there’s a genetic test for just about everything.  Even to determine our dog’s lineage.   Just one quick saliva sample or blood test and, within days, you can find out if you’re destined for cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.  There’s even a DNA test to determine whether you’re likely to experience anxiety.  

Suppose a genetic test can give you accurate information to guide your health care plan and prevent future disease.  Can it also accurately predict whether you’re predisposed to losing your hair?  If a genetic test shows that you are likely to inherit your Great Uncle Bernie or Aunt Bonnie’s hairline, is there a way to ensure that you don’t follow in their footsteps?  Are genetic hair tests reliable?  Do dermatologists use DNA tests to help make diagnoses? Before you click “Buy Now” to order a genetic test kit, keep reading.  We’re here to answer your questions about genetic testing for male and female pattern baldness.

Can Alopecia Really be Inherited?

When people hear the word “alopecia,” they often think of hair loss caused by a medical condition.  Types of alopecia such as alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris are caused by autoimmune conditions.  Androgenetic alopecia, however, is a type of alopecia that is inherited.  It’s the most common type of alopecia.  As many as 80 percent of all men will experience male pattern baldness in their lifetime. (01)  In addition, many women experience female pattern baldness, usually around menopause.  

What’s the Link Between Genetics and Pattern Baldness?

A study conducted on twins confirms what we’ve long suspected.  Male and female pattern baldness have a genetic component. (02)  About 79 percent of men who were balding in the study could attribute their hair loss to their genes.  But, there’s a catch.  Researchers are still working to fully understand which genes are affected.  We’re still learning.  Here’s what we do know.  There are 63 genes that could potentially cause baldness.  Six of those are associated with the X chromosome, where the Androgen Receptors (AR) are found.  It’s also possible that not one isolated gene is the culprit.  Several genes working together may be to blame.

Can You Take a DNA Test to Determine Whether You Will Go Bald?

Ads make genetic testing very tempting, especially if your Mom or Dad starts losing their hair in their 20s.  It would be nice to know whether you will lose your hair too.  But, unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet.  As mentioned previously, there are still too many unanswered questions about which genes are involved and how the genetic process affects your locks. Also, false positives are not unusual with genetic testing.  You don’t want a test to tell you that you’ll experience androgenetic alopecia if that isn’t really the case. (03)

How do you Know if the Type of Alopecia You Have is Genetic?

When men and women experience androgenetic alopecia, they see specific hair loss patterns.  The first sign for men is usually a receding hairline.  The hair loss then progresses to the top, creating a horseshoe pattern above your ears that circles around to the back of your head.  Female pattern hair loss typically presents differently.  Women usually notice thinning on the top and crown.  Often, women will notice a widening of the center part.  Many other conditions cause hair loss besides androgenetic alopecia.  If you think your hair loss is genetic, be sure to have your dermatologist confirm your findings.  Early diagnosis is key to preventing further hair loss and to stimulating new growth.  You also want to make sure you’re addressing the right condition with the right treatment.  

Do Dermatologists Use Genetic Testing to Diagnose Male and Female Pattern Baldness?

The truth is that dermatologists don’t need high-tech tests to determine whether or not patients have androgenetic alopecia.  Most of the time, they can tell from your hair’s appearance and your hair loss pattern.  If there is any doubt, he or she may use a densitometer to magnify your hair follicles to see if miniaturization is occurring.  Miniaturization is when the hair follicles shrink, causing existing hair to fall out and preventing new growth.  Your dermatologist may order a biopsy and blood test to rule out other causes. Patients often ask about the benefits of running a hair analysis based on what they hear about on social media.   Hair analysis is not used to diagnose male or female pattern baldness.  Instead, it’s used to determine whether there’s lead, arsenic, or another substance causing your hair loss.  

What Can You Do to Treat Hair Loss Caused by Genetics?

Treatment for male or female pattern baldness is designed to meet two goals.  The first is to stop the progression of your hair loss.  The second is to promote new hair growth.   The best way to accomplish those two goals is by using a combination of medications simultaneously.  Here are medications often included in treatment plans for androgenetic alopecia:

  • Minoxidil topical foam – A vasodilator that enlarges the hair follicles
  • Finasteride, Dutasteride, or Spironolactone  – Prevents testosterone from converting to DHT that attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss
  • Topical or oral cortisone – Treats any redness or irritation (not needed for evey patient)

Some men are concerned about experiencing sexual side effects with oral Finasteride.  If this is the case, topcial Finasteride has been proven to be just as effective without the side effects. (04)  Even better, topical solutions which mix Finasteride with Minoxidil, Cortisone and Retinol offer an even more effective all-in-one solution.  The retinol improves absorption of the other three medications.  

Are There Other Causes of Hair Loss Besides Genetics?

Male and female pattern hair loss are the only types of genetically induced alopecia.  However, other types of alopecia exist and treatment plans are designed to treat the type of alopecia you are experiencing.  Examples of other types of alopecia include:

  • Temporary Alopecia (Telogen Effluvium) – Occurs due to sudden illness, stress, or shock and usually reverses itself without treatment
  • Autoimmune Alopecia (Alopecia Areata and Lichen Planopilaris) – People experience flares and periods of remission
  • Trauma-induced Alopecia (Traction Alopecia and Trichotillomania) – Alopecia results from hairstyles that pull on the hair follicles or when people pull out their hair as a stress response)

Can You Prevent Hereditary Hair Loss?

Let’s play pretend for a minute.  Let’s say that a genetic test does exist that will determine whether or not you will lose your hair.  The tests come back showing that you are genetically predisposed to androgenetic alopecia.   Is there a way to prevent hair loss before it begins?  Sure, eating right, exercising, and managing stress never hurt.  But, even with that, you can’t necessarily fight Mother Nature.  That would be nice, though.  If male or female pattern baldness does rear its head, then it’s time to take action.  

Can You Reverse Hereditary Hair Loss

If you’re experiencing male or female pattern baldness and want to learn more about products available, contact us.  Although there isn’t a way to prevent androgenetic alopecia from occuring in the first place, there are things you can do to reverse the condition.   Minoxidil, Finasteride and other medications have been found to be safe and effective. Our board-certified dermatologists and hair specialists are available to answer your questions and help you develop the ideal treatment plan for your needs and lifestyle. 



(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538178/

(02) https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/60/8/1077/545174

(03) https://www.nature.com/articles/gim201838

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6609098/


The Invisible Effects of Alopecia on Your Mental Health

Losing your hair can have serious effects on your mental health. This customer is looking at his hair in the mirror and noticing that his hair isn't as thick as it used to be, but now he's using Happy Head custom hair loss treatments to stop hair loss and gain confidence.

Although talking about mental health is more acceptable today than ever before, it’s still not the most comfortable topic of conversation. Add hair loss to the mix, and you have a double whammy. Bald spots and thinning hair may be noticeable, but the grief that many people feel when losing their hair isn’t. You’re probably not going to go up to your co-worker and say, “Hey, see my bald spot? I’m upset about losing my hair, and it’s ruining my life.” So who can you talk to, and how can you get help if you’re feeling depressed or anxious about your alopecia? Read on to learn about the of invisible effects of alopecia on your mental health and what resources are available if you’re struggling.

Understanding How Hair Loss & Mental Health are Connected

Alopecia isn’t physically harmful, but it has been proven to have immense psychological effects. A qualitative research study conducted in 2020 confirms that anxiety and depression related to alopecia are not only real, they can be debilitating for some. (01) One study participant said, “It was devastating when it first started. And when I first lost it all four years ago, I cried a lot. And it took me about two years. I really had to mourn the loss of my hair.” It’s not uncommon for people with alopecia to experience an ongoing bereavement process. (02)

The study also categorized emotions and the triggers that people with alopecia often experience:

  • Sadness and depression due to diagnosis
  • Insecurity, inadequacy, and self-consciousness when hair thins or bald spots appear
  • Helplessness, anxiety, fear and stress are often due to disease progression, recurrences, and failed treatment options

Given that hair is such a big part of our identity, it’s understandable that such strong emotions are evoked. People are often described and defined by the color or style of their hair. Before you were the perky brunette with the curly hair or the blonde dude with the buzz cut, and now you’re “the bald one.”

Why Depression and Anxiety Related to Alopecia Should be Addressed

Some people are so concerned about hiding their hair loss that they don’t want to participate in everyday activities. Work, birthday parties, happy hour, and even going to the gym can be tough.

When asked about how alopecia affects her social life, one respondent said, “Does it affect me physically? No. The ability to move around? No. To be around people? Yeah, it does. It does play a big role.” (03) Another mentioned that he missed his friend’s wedding because he was too embarrassed about the way he looked. “Once the alopecia was at its worst point that I had, I was just like, a homebody, you could say. I wouldn’t want to go out. [ …] I would avoid it. I wouldn’t go to, like, parties where you have to suit up. Yeah, I missed, like, my friend’s wedding.” Nobody chooses alopecia, and certainly nobody chooses to be debilitated by it. What’s the solution? Awareness and support.

How to Identify Whether Your Emotions are Manageable

The first step in getting help for anxiety and depression stemming from hair loss is being aware of your feelings. Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, and it’s only normal to be upset about losing your hair. After all, that’s a pretty significant change. How do you know if the amount of anxiety you’re feeling about your alopecia is appropriate?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Anxiety disorders involve more than a temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time.” (04)

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Caused by Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, or even telogen effluvium can trigger depression, general anxiety, and other mental health disorders in predisposed individuals. Although each of the mental health conditions is different, you can have multiple conditions simultaneously. Here are some general symptoms to look for (05):


Depression causes constant sadness and loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy. People who are depressed may feel:

  • Tearful, empty, or hopeless
  • Angry, irritable, or frustrated
  • Less interested in activities that they used to enjoy
  • Tired
  • Restless
  • Less able to concentrate or make decisions
  • Worthless

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) occurs when people with alopecia worry non-stop about their hair loss. The anxiety doesn’t cease and begins to interfere with everyday life. People with GAD are often:

  • Restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having difficulty falling or staying asleep

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) makes people worry that they will be judged negatively by others because they have little or no hair. The embarrassment and shame are so extreme that they avoid socializing. SAD can often cause:

  • Feeling self-conscious or fearing that people will judge you negatively
  • Sweating, trembling, blushing
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Stomachaches
  • Difficulty making eye contact or being around people you don’t know
  • Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order

How to Deal with the Psychological Effects of Hair Loss

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to psychological treatment for alopecia. The key is to seek treatment if you feel depressed or anxious about your hair loss. Treatment options typically include (06):

  • Psychotherapy (Talk therapy)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Teaches people to think differently)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Uses mindfulness and goal setting to eliminate negative thoughts)
  • Medication (Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers)
  • Support groups
  • Stress management techniques

Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these approaches to help you cope with your condition.

Can Stress Cause Alopecia?

We’ve established that having alopecia can inflict emotional problems, but can being stressed or depressed cause alopecia? After all, chronic stress can cause heart disease, high blood pressure and a variety of other medical issues. Is hair loss one of them?

The answer is yes. In a study on mice partially sponsored by the National Institute of Health, researchers discovered a particular stress hormone that inhibits stem cells required to grow hair. (07) During the study, mice were subjected to mild stress for many weeks. The corticosterone levels in the mice increased, and hair follicles stayed in the resting phase longer than normal, reducing growth.

Two hair loss conditions in people that are known to be triggered by stress are telogen effluvium and trichotillomania.

Telogen effluvium

As in the research study with the mice, stress could push your hair follicles into a resting period causing hair loss. The good news is that telogen effluvium due to stress is not permanent and can reverse itself.


Among people predisposed to obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress can trigger a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania. Despite trying to stop, people with this mental disorder have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair.

Fortunately, as we mentioned above, you can alleviate stress. The faster you seek treatment, the sooner your hair can return to a healthy growth cycle. To get started on your hair loss journey with a Happy Head dermatologist, click here.

What You Can Do to Prevent and Negotiate a Hair Loss Crisis

The key to dealing with hair loss is getting to a healthy level of acceptance. Sometimes it takes hard work, and sometimes it takes a little inspiration. It doesn’t matter how you get there. There isn’t a clear-cut map because the journey is unique for each person.

In a Tedx talk, Jannica Olin, a Swedish actress living in LA, asks the thought-provoking questions, “If I’m not my body, who am I?” and “When that which defines you is gone, do you know who you are?” Jannica lost the hair on her head, her eyebrows, and her eyelashes to alopecia areata. When you watch the video, you can’t help but notice that Jannica gets a little choked up when she removes her wig. Even as a successful TedX speaker who has redefined herself, Jannica is emotional about her experience. The difference is that Jannica can focus on what she has gained through her alopecia rather than lost.

We hope that you find your new normal and take back your power. We’re proud to be your partner and to support you along the way, take the Happy Head questionnaire to get started on a custom hair loss treatment plan all online.


(01) https://jpro.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41687-020-00240-7

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1261195/

(03) https://jpro.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41687-020-00240-7

(04, 05, 06) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders

(07) https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-stress-causes-hair-loss

Hair Loss Reversal 101: What You Need to Know

Older man looking at his thinning hair in the mirror. Happy Head dermatologists can help you get your hair back with a custom topical treatment made with the strongest hair growth medicine available online.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, you’re not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, at least two-thirds of all American men will have noticeable hair loss by the time they turn thirty-five. Women account for forty percent of all Americans experiencing hair loss. (01) Those numbers are much higher than you thought, right?

Sure, most people expect to get some gray hair, wrinkles, and a few extra pounds as they age, but hair loss? That’s not usually part of the plan. We can color our hair, use Botox for our wrinkles, and spend some extra time at the gym. But what can be done about a receding hairline? More than you think.

There are Different Types of Hair Loss

The first step is to understand the different types of hair loss. All hair loss is not the same, so not all hair loss will respond to the same treatment. We’re here to give you a crash course.

The Term Alopecia Encompasses More Conditions Than Most People Realize

When people think of alopecia, they usually think of alopecia areata, the type that Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have. However, if you use Dr. Google, you’ll see that WebMD defines alopecia areata as an “autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter.” The definition is accurate, but not all hair loss is alopecia areata. Alopecia is an umbrella term for many different hair loss conditions.

There’s a Difference Between Non-Scarring and Scarring Alopecia

Alopecia falls under two broad categories:  non-scarring and scarring alopecia. There’s a big difference between the two types.

When people have non-scarring hair loss, their hair just falls out. No redness, scaling, flaking, itching, or burning occurs. The alopecia can come on fast and furiously, leaving people holding clumps of hair in their hands, or gradually over a long period of time.

Scarring alopecia is a different story. Also known as cicatricial alopecia, scarring alopecia is an inflammatory condition that occurs in otherwise healthy people. The hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. The hair loss can happen over time and go unnoticed, or it can happen quickly, causing symptoms such as severe itching and burning. (02) Speed is essential when it comes to treating scarring alopecias. The goal is to slow or stop further hair loss and promote hair regrowth in unaffected areas.

What Type of Alopecia Do You Have?

Many different types of hair loss fall under the categories of non-scarring and scarring alopecia.  Once you know what type you have, your dermatologist will work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Examples of Non-scarring Alopecia

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss caused by stress, severe chronic illness, high fever, childbirth, thyroid disorders, major surgery, dieting, certain medications, etc.  Telogen Effluvium usually resolves itself over time.

Androgenic Alopecia

Also known as male and female pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition experienced by up to 50 percent of men and women. (03) Experts believe that pattern baldness is due to an excessive androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) response which causes hair follicles to miniaturize. When the hair follicles shrink, hair loss occurs. Androgenic alopecia typically causes frontal hair loss in men and diffuse hair loss at the crown and top of women’s heads.

Alopecia Areata

If your hair falls out in clumps around the size and shape of a quarter, you may have alopecia areata. This condition is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your body attacks its own hair follicles. With alopecia areata, hair loss is unpredictable and can happen anywhere on your body. Sometimes the condition resolves itself. However, it can also reoccur without notice. Many research studies are currently underway to understand the cause and effective treatment. (04)

Traction Alopecia  

Constant pulling on hair due to tight ponytails, buns, braids, cornrows or dreadlocks, hair extensions, weaves, and more can cause traction alopecia. This condition, that’s common among actresses and models, can cause small bumps that resemble pimples. Fortunately, traction alopecia can be reversed if you stop pulling your hair back.

Examples of Scarring Alopecia

Lichen Planopilaris

Lichen Planopilaris is the most common type of scarring alopecia. Although it can affect both genders, lichen planopilaris is more likely to affect women aged 40 to 60 than men. (05)  Redness, itching, burning, and tenderness can accompany frontal or other pattern hair loss.

Central Centrifugal Cicatrical Alopecia (CCCA)

CCCA is found almost exclusively among black women aged 30 to 55 year-old. The cause is still unknown and is being researched. Women who experience CCCA experience inflammation and associated hair loss in the crown area. (06)

Effective Hair Loss Treatment Complements Your Diagnosis

After your dermatologist determines the cause of your hair loss, he or she will discuss treatment options with you.  Keep in mind that hair reversal treatments are not one-size-fits-all.  In some cases, “cocktails” which combine specific medications and protocols may be needed. Just to give you an idea of what’s out there, here are some of the most frequently used medications and treatments:

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is available over-the-counter as a topical foam and liquid and by prescription as an oral pill.  Minoxidil is a vasodilator reduces miniaturization of the hair follicles and elongates the growth phase.

Minoxidil has proven to promote growth among men and women with male and female pattern hair loss. Minoxidil is also often recommended to patients with scarring alopecia to promote growth in unaffected areas.

Once you start using Minoxidil, you need to continue. When you stop using the medication, any new hair that grows will most likely be shed.

Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)

Finasteride is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor originally designed to treat enlarged prostates. The medication, available both as a pill and a topical solution, blocks the conversion of Testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that inhibits hair growth.

Clinical studies have found Finasteride to be highly effective in reversing hair loss in both men and women with scarring and non-scarring alopecias. (0708) Topical Finasteride is often used to treat androgenic alopecia, while oral is typically recommended for scarring alopecias.

Finasteride is only available by prescription and is not recommended for women of childbearing age. Check with a board-certified dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for the topical or oral treatment. Don’t have time to make an appointment? Don’t worry, you can get custom topical treatments and oral medications prescribed by a Happy Head board-certified dermatologist, have a consultation and get it all shipped to your door each month. Just fill out our quick questionnaire, send us a few photos, and get started on growth here.


Topical or injected steroids are often used to treat hair loss that is induced by autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris. The corticosteroids allow hair to grow by inhibiting the autoimmune disease.

Steroid treatments are only available by prescription and should be surprised by a qualified dermatologist.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

PRP injections have become a popular treatment for healing wounds and regrowing tissue such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

PRP has regenerative properties and has been primarily tested on patients with androgenetic alopecia. (09) When injected into the scalp, PRP is believed to stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and increasing the size of the hair shaft.

As the name suggests, PRP injections are made from platelets derived from your blood. Blood is first drawn, and then spun at super high speeds to separate the blood components. The resulting plasma is highly concentrated.

PRP use is still in its early stages and can be expensive. Research also indicates that PRP is most effective when used with Minoxidil, Finasteride, and other hair growth treatments.


Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, has become a familiar hair growth supplement. Sold in supplements or as an ingredient in hair care products, Biotin is promoted as a way to make your hair grow longer and healthier.

Does it work? Well, the jury is out. Not enough research has been conducted to say yeah or nay. (10) It won’t hurt you to try a new shampoo that contains Biotin, but there’s no evidence to indicate that it will help. Biotin deficiency is rare. (11) Most people get adequate amounts through their regular diets.

Many Biotin supplements sold are not FDA approved, and high concentrations of Biotin can interfere with the results of some lab tests. (12) As with any oral supplement, check with your doctor before testing it out.

Hair Transplants

Hair transplant procedures and techniques continue to improve over time. Rather than using noticeable plugs, today’s surgeries move hair strips or carefully selected hairs from one area to another to promote growth that looks natural.

When determining whether a patient is an ideal candidate for a hair transplant, dermatologists consider several factors, including:

  • Type of hair loss
  • Degree and pattern of baldness
  • Patient age
  • Hair color
  • Donor hair density
  • Patient expectations

Although hair transplants are expensive and time-consuming, they are an effective, reliable, and safe way to get lasting results.

It’s Important to Set Realistic Expectations When Treating Alopecia

We’re fortunate to live during a time when hair loss research is prolific, and the list of hair replacement options is growing.  Whether you’re 25 or 55, you don’t have to live with bald spots, a receding hairline, or thinning hair, even if your genetics or immune system are working against you.

The first step is to find a board-certified dermatologist and hair specialist you trust and get diagnosed. He or she will help you select the right treatment option for your type of alopecia and lifestyle.  Remember to set realistic expectations for your hair regrowth. Treatments don’t work overnight, so be patient and track your progress over time. After all, small signs of stubble today can lead to a fuller head of hair tomorrow. To get in touch with a Happy Head dermatologist and do your consultation over the phone, get started here and you can do it all from home.


(01) https://www.americanhairloss.org/

(02) https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/cicatricial-alopecia

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430924/

(04) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/types/alopecia

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470325/

(06) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2768748

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4809380/

(08) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9951956/

(09) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/platelet-rich-plasma-does-the-cure-for-hair-loss-lie-within-our-blood-2020051119748

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/

(12) https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/in-vitro-diagnostics/biotin-interference-troponin-lab-tests-assays-subject-biotin-interference