Product Spotlight: Blood Tests for Hair Loss Prevention

hair loss blood testingEvery day the average adult loses 100 hairs from his or her head. Sometimes these hairs do not regenerate and this eventually leads to permanent hair loss. The physical and emotional effects of hair loss can be devastating, but there is hope.

Walk-In Lab offers a number of different blood test options targeted for hair loss.  These tests identify underlying causes of hair loss, such as vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, thyroid disease, lupus, or diabetes. At the earliest signs of hair loss you can order these blood tests to help you better understand why you are losing your hair and to support hair loss prevention.

Here is a quick guide to understanding hair loss, as well as the underlying conditions of hair loss.  This will help you choose a specific blood test for identifying why you are losing your hair.

How does hair loss happen?

During healthy hair growth, about 90% of the hair on your scalp is growing. Each of your hair follicles is in one of three stages of growth: active hair growth, transitional hair growth, or resting phase when a hair is shed and the growth process begins.

Hair loss—also called alopecia—occurs when a hair follicle remains in the resting phase. There are several types of hair loss:

  • Involutional alopecia is natural hair thinning with age as more follicles move to the resting phase and remaining hairs become shorter.
  • Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition in men and women. Male pattern baldness can start as early as teens or 20s with hair loss at the crown and frontal scalp. Female pattern baldness becomes visible at age 40 or later with a general thinning over the entire scalp, particularly at the crown.
  • Alopecia areata results in patchy hair loss in children and young adults. It may result in complete baldness; however, hair growth will return within a few years for most people with this condition.
  • Alopecia universalis causes all body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
  • Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition resulting in hair thinning over the scalp that occurs because many hair follicles enter the resting phase at the same time.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can be a result of external exposure to chemicals that damage the hair, such as chemical color or “perm” treatments. Internal exposure to chemicals such as chemotherapy can also cause hair to fall out. When these chemical exposures are not a factor, doctors administer a number of different hair loss tests. Each blood test for hair loss helps to identify possible bodily imbalances causing hair loss. Some of these imbalances can be caused by:

  • Hormones—abnormal levels of androgen hormones produced by men and women
  • Stress
  • Infection—including fungal infections such as ring worm
  • Childbirth
  • Injury—including burns or exposure to radiation
  • Autoimmune disease—an overactive immune system can damage hair follicles
  • Medical conditions—including thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, iron deficiency, eating disorders, and anemia
  • Diet—including low-protein and extreme calorie restriction, which can cause vitamin deficiencies

Which Walk-In Lab tests identify the possible causes of hair loss?

Walk-In Lab offers 26 tests that aid in the evaluation of many conditions related to hair loss. Review a summary of these tests to choose which test or tests are most applicable for you in your hair loss prevention efforts. Each summary offers a description of what the test evaluates, as well as instructions to prepare for testing and in some cases a sample report is provided to give you a preview of how to read your own test report. Certain tests are tailored for men or women.

Here is a look at a few of Walk-In Lab’s blood tests for hair loss: