Claudia Machado Cooke, MD, FACP, MPH  |  Health Through Understanding

Alopecia/Hair Loss

Non-scarring alopecia is a type of hair loss without permanent destruction of the hair follicle. This may result from hormonal factors, chemical exposures, infectious causes, autoimmune conditions, hereditary factors, and nutritional factors.

There are 3 phases in the life of the hair follicle: growth, involution and resting phase. Under normal circumstances, about 75 hairs are shed daily at the end of the resting phase as about the same number enter the growth phase. Telogen effluvium, a massive loss of hairs in the resting phase, is the most common cause of diffuse hair loss. High fever, pregnancy, psychological traumas, thyroid disorders, or a major illness, among others, may all predispose to diffuse hair loss.

Nonscarring alopecia is typically diagnosed by scalp biopsy and laboratory review and treated by withdrawal of offending agents, reassurance with “tincture of time”, and sometimes medication.

Dr Cooke takes conventional modes of diagnosis and treatment into account. She reviews the nutritional profile in depth, with examination of the multiple nutritional and hormonal factors such as hidden thyroid disorder and sex hormones which may influence hair loss. Nutrition and dietary supplementation, hormonal management, and acupuncture for stress reduction, may all play a part in the treatment plan. She has helped a number of women on their return to hair regrowth.

Nutrients which may play a part: Biotin, zinc, iron, protein content and assimilation in the diet, sea vegetables, and others.