OKC Professionals Discuss Women's Hair Loss - 405 Magazine

OKC Professionals Discuss Women’s Hair Loss

Dr. Lauri Stucki, of Elysian Wellness, and Malissa Skrastins, of Willow & Co. Salon, on hair loss in women and how to deal with it.

Illustration of hair loss

According to the Cleveland Clinic, an estimated 50% of women will experience some form of hair loss in their life. My own mother is currently rocking a buzz-cut after losing most of her hair last year from taking a medication long-term. For many women, their hair is part of their identity. So with everything from COVID, postpartum factors and hormonal changes to aging causing hair loss, we have gathered some information on steps you can take if you too are experiencing this problem. 

Our hair follicles go through three stages. The anagen, or growth stage, is the stage 80-90% of hair follicles are in at any given time. The catagen, or resting stage, is a transitional time when the hair stops growing. Women lose an average of 50-100 strands of hair per day, which is referred to as shedding, or the telogen stage. 

Most of us notice as we run shampoo through our hair that a few strands or a small clump might be left in our hand, which is a totally normal result of the telogen stage. If you notice an increase in hair being shed, you may be experiencing hair loss. 

The medical term for hair loss is alopecia, which can be categorized in one of three ways:

Anagen effluvium- Hair loss caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle. Chemotherapy is the medication that people generally associate with hair loss, but many others, including antidepressants, birth control pills, blood thinners and NSAIDs, are known to have this listed as a side effect.

Telogen effluvium- This usually happens after people experience a change or major stressor to their body, causing the follicle to reach the telogen stage early. Hair loss following COVID, delivery of a baby, rapid weight loss or any other trauma or stress falls within this category. This is almost always temporary, and the hair should grow back after three to six months, without treatment.

Adrogenetic alopecia- Also called female pattern hair loss, this type is most common, usually occurring around the time of menopause. As our hormone levels fall, the follicle becomes smaller and hair will become finer and thinner. Hair will not grow as quickly and falls out more easily. Seeing a health provider to have hormone, iron and thyroid levels tested and treated can be beneficial in fighting this type of hair loss. 

Dr. Lauri Stucki, DNP and owner of Elysian Wellness in Oklahoma City, has become an expert in treating hair loss in women. “The treatment depends on the patient, but we like to attack hair loss from all angles” she said. Stucki encourages all of her patients to take a good multivitamin, and add supplements such as biotin, collagen and Nutrafol to support the hair follicle and promote growth. Topical or oral Rogaine also has good results. 

Stucki has found platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to be most beneficial in treating hair loss. This involves drawing blood from the patient, spinning it down to isolate the plasma growth factors, then injecting that back under the skin, done as an in-office procedure. 

Women should expect initial results with all treatments within four to six weeks, with optimal growth occurring in six months. 

Malissa Skrastins, owner and master stylist at Willow & Co. Salon in OKC, provided these tips to combat hair loss at home: 

  • Cleanse the scalp with a clarifying shampoo, but only three times a week. Use dry shampoo to combat oiliness between washes. 
  • If you notice scalp showing through your hair, try a topical tinted powder or spray to provide coverage and make your hair look thicker at the root. 
  • When styling, add volume. Add light layering around the areas that are thinning, use volumizing products and blow dry the hair up so it’s off the scalp and appears fuller. 
  • For severe hair loss, purchase a hair “topper,” a clip-in hair piece that covers the crown of the head. Work with your stylist to match the color and cut. These should be undetectable and provide the confidence you need.
Hear from other local experts on health topics such as healthy living tips for 2024 and preventive care.