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Chicago Hair Institute

Hair Loss and Hair Breakage: Understanding the Difference

By Dr. Raymond Konior on February 04, 2017

A woman examining her hairlineDifferent types of hair loss call for different approaches to hair restoration. This is something that we always keep in mind at our Chicago surgical hair loss and restoration center. Custom treatment for hair loss is the sure way to achieve the best results.

For instance, there's a different between hair loss per se and hair breakage. As such, the ideal treatments can differ. We'd like to define this difference and then offer some insight into potential treatment options below.

About Hair Loss (Traditional Aplopecia)

Alopecia is a broad term that applies to all sort of hair loss experienced for different reasons. In this case, we'll focus on hair loss that is the result of natural causes, such a aging, health conditions, and genetics. This will help set it apart from hair breakage, which we will discuss in more detail below.

As hair loss occurs, people will notice the appearance of bald spots and a thinning of their overall hair volume. This type of hair loss is associated with male pattern baldness and female hair thinning.

Treatment Options for Traditional Hair Loss

When it comes to traditional hair loss, a whole host of treatment options are available. Sometimes the use of medications is most ideal for treating hair loss. Other times a hair restoration specialist may recommend transplant surgery of some kind. This will involve the use of donor follicles placed into the bald portion of a person's scalp.

Ultimately the ideal option will depend on the nature and extent of the hair loss as well as the patient's aesthetic goals.

About Hair Breakage (Traumatic Alopecia)

Hair breakage is a specific kind of hair loss. Hair breakage means that a strand of hair is now shorter than it previously was as a result of some kind of trauma to the hair.

Common Causes of Hair Breakage

Some potential causes of hair breakage include the following:

  • Hairstyles That Stretch Hair – Tight braids, twists, and other hairstyles that stretch the hair can lead to pulling and breaking.

  • Styling Hair When Wet – Your hair is most fragile when it's wet. Rather than styling your hair when it's wet, it's ideal to style when your hair is just damp or damp-dry.

  • Tugging While Brushing or Combing – On the note of styling, if you tug or pull too much when brushing or combing your hair, you're more likely to damage hair strands.

  • Low-Protein Diet – Hair is mostly comprised by a protein known as keratin. Protein deficiency can lead to weak hair that's more prone to breaking.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies – Other nutritional deficiencies can lead to weakened and brittle hair as well, such as a lack of iron, zinc, or vitamin B-12.

  • Excessive Sun Exposure – The sun can do a lot of damage to the body. In addition to causing problems with you skin, excessive sun exposure can potentially weaken your hair as well.

Treatment Options for Hair Breakage

When it comes to treating hair breakage, sometimes medication and hair transplant surgery are not necessary. Changing your hairstyle, the hair products you use, your diet, and your lifestyle may improve the fullness and health of your hair.

If the hair breakage is linked to long-term hair loss and thinning, medications and surgery can be considered as needed. This can be discussed during a consultation.

Learn More About Hair Restoration Surgery

For more information about the causes of hair loss and how we can help you have a beautiful and healthy head of hair again, be sure to contact our hair restoration center today. The team here looks forward to your visit and discussing your hair restoration options in greater detail.

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