Whether you’re young or old, finding clumps of hair in your brush and the slow thinning of your luscious locks can be traumatic–especially if you’re female. The first step to determining the treatment for hair loss is to identify the cause, of which there are many. Even the pattern of hair loss can help to establish the root source. For example, women may lose hair from the crown of the head-similar to male pattern baldness-with an elevation of testosterone levels whereas nutritional deficiencies may cause generalized hair loss over the whole head. Blood tests can help determine the cause, but I also have some options for proper treatment:
Recommended Blood Tests
In all cases of hair loss, it’s also important to ensure that the following blood tests are completed by your doctor:
- TSH, free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies to assess thyroid gland function. All should be completed to properly diagnose a thyroid condition that may result in excessive hair loss. (Note: Optimally, your TSH should be less than 2.5).
- Ferritin (This is the storage form of iron. Low iron ( Vitamin B12 and folic acid (either of these nutrients in low levels may cause hair loss).
- Copper and zinc (excess copper relative to zinc may result in hair loss).
- Dihydrotestosterone (high levels of this hormone is related to hair loss in both men and women).
- Progesterone and estradiol (low levels of estrogen may cause an increase in hair loss).
- DHEAs and cortisol (High levels of cortisol or low DHEAs may contribute to hair loss).
- Free and total testosterone (high levels of testosterone in women may accelerate hair loss).
- Biotin (a deficiency of biotin can cause progressive hair loss).