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Psychology linked to hair loss – Trichotillomania
While trichotillomania is a hair loss condition,
it is also diagnosed as a psychological condition since it causes individuals to pull their hair involuntarily.
The repeated hair pulling action leads to hair loss in the areas that are manipulated on a regular basis by the patient.
A person can be diagnosed with trichotillomania if:
The repeated pulling out of the hair results in noticeable hair loss
There is an increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair or when attempting to resist the behavior
Pleasure, satisfaction, or relief is a direct result of pulling out the hair
The condition is not caused by another mental or medical condition
The condition causes significant distress or interference in the life of the person
The main cause of this psychological disorder is thought to be anxiety but there are other theories that the condition is the result of genetics, OCD or stress.
The diagnosis of trichotillomania is made based on a history of hair pulling,
observation of the patients’ behavior and microscopic evidence of broken hair at the affected area.
Modern medicine has not discovered one particular treatment that can be described as “the best option” for everyone suffering from the disease.
The two treatment options widely recommended by doctors are:
Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) –
A therapy option that seeks to alter the behavior of the person by identifying and focusing on the triggers for hair pulling in the patient.
The attending doctor seeks to redirect and form positive responses to the triggers.
Medications – As of the writing of this article,
there has not been one particular medicine discovered to work for all trichotillomania patients.
Consult with your physician to see if any medications are appropriate for the treatment of your specific symptoms.
Can Hair Transplant Help?
A hair transplant is not recommended if this psychological condition persists for a patient.
Hair will regrow in many cases after the treatment of the underlying causes of the condition and when a patient with trichotillomania stops his/her hair pulling behavior.
However, hair regrowth is not always complete in these patients and constant traction on hair follicles may cause permanent hair loss.
We do not recommend a hair transplant for at least 6-12 months after the patient stops the hair pulling behavior in order to make sure the behavior of hair pulling does not start again.
We also prefer to wait until after the successful completion of any treatment for the underlying psychological condition.
We will reevaluate the condition 6 months after the discontinuation of hair pulling behavior.
If there is no clinical evidence of new balding patches following the waiting period
and, if a microscopic scalp analysis shows no new lesions, a hair transplant is then a viable option.
A hair transplant can be considered in stable patients only if the patient is recovered from the active phase and not at risk of pulling the hair anymore.
SHOCK LOSS AFTER HAIR TRANSPLANT
One type of hair loss that is not as well-known by the public is shock loss after surgery.
In general, shock loss is a result of stress to the scalp during surgery such as the stress that results from inflammation and healing.
The shock loss process can begin anywhere from a few days to a few months after hair transplant surgery.
The loss is normally seen in the area of the scalp where hair grafts are implanted around existing natural hair.
Will My Hair Grow Back After the Shock Loss?
The simple answer is…”Yes, hair will grow back after shock loss in most patients.”
New hairs will start to grow and emerge from the scalp 3-4 months after a hair transplant procedure.
all of the hairs that fall out due to shock loss will not grow back at the same rate so it could be a year,
or even more, before the final results of the hair transplant become visible.
The different speeds at which the hairs mature and grow are a natural part of the healing process.
What Can I do to Avoid Shock Hair Loss?
After Surgery hair loss You should know that shock hair loss is a common side effect of the healing process after a hair transplant.
Thankfully, the hair loss is usually temporary.
New healthy hairs will grow in alongside the hair that has been transplanted by the surgeon.
The new hair that grows in will be thin at first and the hair will eventually mature to thick, healthy hair.
There is a prescription medication that has been shown to help minimize the rate of shock loss that usually occurs after a hair transplant procedure is performed by an experienced and board-certified surgeon.
It is now commonly recommended to take this medication for a few months after a hair transplant in order to prevent shock loss.
Women who undergo hair restoration surgery may use Rogaine or Minoxidil on the areas of the scalp that are prone to suffering from baldness in order to prevent shock loss.