What Are the Main Causes of Alopecia?

The definition of alopecia is hair loss. It can affect just the scalp or the entire body, and it can show up as pattern baldness, patches of bald spots, or sudden hair loss that may gradually grow back again.

There are many reasons why people experience various types of alopecia. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of hair loss and who you can talk to about treatment that would work for you.

Causes of Hair Loss

A healthy adult loses about 100 hairs each day. Normally this doesn’t cause any noticeable effects, because new hair is constantly growing in and growing longer.

There are a handful of causes that are often to blame for a person’s hair loss, including the following:

Family History

The most common cause of hair loss is if you have inherited a genetic predisposition to lose your hair in a certain way. This is called male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.

This type of hair loss occurs with age – even as early as the 20s – and in certain predictable patterns. Men may lose their hair at the crown of their head and/or in an “M” shape with a widow’s peak, while women’s hair tends to thin out especially along where they part their hair.

Health Conditions

Many conditions such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause/andropause, and thyroid issues can all cause alopecia. Contracting ringworm can cause patches of hair loss.

Hair loss is often distinguished in the following ways:

  • Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches.
  • Alopecia totalis is when a person loses all the hair on their scalp, including eyebrows and eyelashes.
  • Alopecia universalis is when a person loses all the hair on their body.

Medications and Supplements

A side effect of chemotherapy, which is often used to fight cancer, is that it can cause complete hair loss. This is also true of certain medications that are used to treat arthritis, heart problems, high blood pressure, and some antidepressants.

Radiation therapy, especially when directed toward the head, may cause permanent changes to the hair follicles. When the treatments cease, the hair may grow back very differently than how it was before. Patients often report that the hair grows back with a coarser texture and in a different color; some patients’ hair may not grow back. Your hair restoration doctor can evaluate your condition and give you advice about what you can do about your hair.


After experiencing a tremendous emotional or physical shock, you may notice hair coming out in clumps in the shower. This type of alopecia is usually a temporary condition.

Hairstyles or Hair Treatments

Styles that pull the hair tightly, such as braids, cornrows, or pigtails, can result in traction alopecia. Similarly, hot oil treatments or excessive permanents can cause inflammation and scarring of the hair follicle. If the follicle becomes badly damaged from treatments or traction, the hair loss will be permanent.

Hair Restoration Doctor in Kansas City, MO

If you have started losing your hair and you want to save it, speak to our hair loss and treatment physician at Darling Hair Restoration. Dr. Scott Darling has years of experience in successfully restoring patients’ hair, and he offers many different treatment options.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Darling, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (816) 792-3400 or by filling out our appointment form online now. We look forward to helping you get your “look” back!

Hair Loss

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

The average person sheds between 50 and 100 hairs a day. This is completely normal and all part of hair’s natural life cycle. It is also normal to experience episodes of excessive hair shedding, which may result from a traumatic or stressful event. Hair loss, however, occurs when something physically stops hair from growing or causes hair to fall out at a faster speed than normal. Many factors can cause such issues.

Hair Growth Cycle

Hair on the scalp consists of 100,000 to 150,000 follicles, which is a small number in comparison to the approximate 5 million follicles covering the rest of the body. Each hair follicle has a natural renewal cycle and goes through stages: a growth stage (anagen), a stage of active loss (catagen) and a rest stage (telogen).

In a healthy scalp, 90% of the hairs remain in the anagen phase, which can last a period of 3 years. The next phase, the catagen phase, usually lasts approximately 1 to 3 weeks. During this phase, the hair separates from the dermal root but remains in place only by a thin strand of connective tissue. The final stage, the telogen phase, occurs and lasts around 3 to 4 months, leading to the hair shaft eventually falling out. Hair can start to thin if the rate of hair loss exceeds that of hair growth.

Hair Shedding Versus Hair Loss

Hair shedding, also known as telogen effluvium, is a condition that occurs when a person sheds significantly more than the average 50-100 hairs per day, but the shedding is usually only temporary and often stops on its own. Excessive hair shedding is a common occurrence in people who may have experienced a stressor, such as:

  • Giving birth
  • Losing excessive weight
  • A period of high stress (bereavement, divorce, losing a job)
  • Recovering from an illness or a high fever
  • Undergoing a surgical procedure
  • Stopping birth-control medication

Excessive hair shedding may not be noticeable for several months after the stressful event, but this type of hair loss is not uncommon and is usually only temporary before the hair regains its normal fullness again.

Hair loss, also known as anagen effluvium, is when something prevents the hair from growing, meaning the hair ceases to grow back until the underlying issue has been treated successfully. Common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary conditions (such as male pattern baldness)
  • Immune system deficiencies
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Medical Conditions
  • Certain drugs and treatments (such as chemotherapy)
  • Certain hairstyles and harsh hair care treatments

Hair loss is often hereditary. Genetic signals can cause hair follicle cells to gradually slow down, which results in shorter, finer hair in the affected areas of the scalp.

Hair Loss Treatment Options

If you are concerned with your level of hair loss, seek advice from a hair specialist, who will be able to tell whether you have excessive hair shedding or hair loss through an evaluation and can discuss appropriate treatment options with you.

Hair restoration has advanced over the past decade, meaning treatments that provide natural-looking results are more effective and readily available than ever before. A hair transplant doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best suited to your needs. They provide a number of different surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options which can include low level laser therapy (LLLT), platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments, hair transplant surgery, and other medical treatments to promote hair growth and slow down hair loss.

Hair Restoration in Kansas City, West Des Moines & Liberty, MO

Regardless of the cause, you don’t have to live with hair loss. At Darling Hair Restoration, we are committed to helping you find the right solution. Our hair transplant surgeon Dr. Scott Darling is a leading hair restoration specialist who can evaluate and diagnose your hair loss and provide a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs.

For more information about the services we offer or to book a consultation, contact us today at (816) 792-3400 or you can use our convenient online appointment request form.

Hair Regrowth

Are Stem Cell and PRP Therapy Effective for Hair Regrowth?

If you are suffering from the effects of alopecia, male pattern baldness, or female hair loss, take heart. Your own body may hold the key to natural hair regrowth. All that’s needed is the switch to turn it on.

That trigger mechanism is your natural stem cells. When these special cells are extracted from your own body’s excess fat tissue and then injected into your scalp, they can reverse the shrinking of hair follicles and enlarge them again for hair regrowth. That’s because stem cells have unique regenerative properties which give them the ability to repair and heal a variety of conditions and injuries at the cellular level.

In addition to stem cell therapy, there is also platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This is another autologous (obtained from the patient’s own body) therapy that uses your own blood components to initiate hair regrowth by stimulating a healing response. Platelets are best known for their role in forming scabs.

How Does PRP Work with Stem Cells?

Stem cells and PRP can be used together within hair follicles to promote new hair growth in those who are dealing with thinning hair or balding areas. Best of all, by promoting safe and natural healing, both of these treatments provide an alternative to hair transplant surgery.

When combined, stem cell + PRP therapy is most effective for patients who are in the early stages of hair loss or who are not candidates for surgery. It is also ideal for those who don’t have enough quality donor hair for a transplant or who prefer to avoid hair surgery.

What to Expect from Stem Cell + PRP Treatment

The PRP procedure is safe and relatively simple. First, your hair restoration specialist will draw a sample of your blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood cells. The doctor then performs a mini liposuction to obtain 1 to 2 ounces of adipose (fat) tissue, usually taken from your abdominal area, to extract stem cells.

The stem cells are then combined with the PRP. Next, the doctor administers a number of stem cell + PRP injections into your scalp or the area where you want hair regrowth.

The virtually painless procedure takes only about three to four hours. Although, for best results, two treatments within a three- to six-month period may be recommended.

How Long Does It Take to Recover and Get Results?

There is hardly any downtime associated with stem cell + PRP therapy. However, you may experience some soreness in the area of the mini liposuction, as well as your scalp, for up to seven days. Nevertheless, you can resume your normal activities, including going back to work, after treatment, while refraining from exercise for at least a week. Your doctor will explain what is best in your case, because everyone is different.

Like other hair loss treatments, results from stem cell + PRP therapy usually take six to eight months before you will notice an improvement in hair density. But it is certainly worth the wait.

Regrow Your Hair Naturally with Stem Cell and PRP Therapy

By utilizing your body’s own healing powers, stem cell + PRP therapy is a natural way to regrow hair. Here at Darling Hair Restoration, Dr. Scott Darling has successfully performed stem cell + PRP therapy for many of his patients.

Contact our friendly team today by calling us at (816) 792-3400, or use our convenient online Request an Appointment form to arrange a consultation with Dr. Darling. We look forward to helping you love what you see in the mirror!



hair coloring

Can Coloring Your Hair Lead to Hair Loss?

Many popular hair treatments can be damaging to hair – from straightening and curling to relaxers and perms. One of the most popular hair treatments people do is hair coloring.

While the possibilities are endless when it comes to coloring hair, it’s important to keep in mind the damage it can cause in the process. One common question people have about hair coloring is whether it leads to hair loss.

The answer is yes, hair coloring can lead to hair loss – but it isn’t necessarily permanently lost. Let’s talk about why and how this can happen.

Does Hair Dye Weaken the Hair?

Hair coloring involves applying chemicals to the hair that alter the color of the hair strands. During the process of changing the color of the hair, a few things happen.

First, the hair is prepared and combed for effective and thorough coloring. This is especially true when dying hair to a lighter shade. However, this can weaken hair and increase hair loss temporarily, because the hair is pulled on repeatedly.

Additionally, most hair coloring dyes contain chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide that are essential for altering the color of the hair. These are harsh chemicals that can cause hair loss because they loosen, weaken, and break hair strands.

Lack of Hair Growth vs. Hair Loss

When it comes to hair loss, there is a difference between hair not growing vs. actually losing existing hair. Hair dyes do not stop hair from growing, but hair dye can cause hair to fall out more easily and quickly than before.

Fortunately, hair dye does not damage the scalp. This is good news, because it means hair can be restored after it’s been damaged from hair coloring. If you experience hair loss due to frequent coloring using harsh chemicals, once you stop using them, your hair can grow back.

Preventing Hair Loss Due to Coloring

To help your hair start to grow back again, do the following things:

Use Colors that Are Close to Your Natural Hair Color

The further away you go from your natural hair color, the stronger the chemicals must be to change the color. While it may be enticing to change your hair color drastically, try to stay as close as possible to your natural color so there is less need of harsh chemicals.

Avoid Dyes with Harsh Chemicals

There are numerous brands of hair dyes – some are better than others. Talk to a hair loss specialist about which types of dyes are better for you and which specific chemicals to avoid.

Talk to a Hair Restoration Specialist

Hair loss can happen gradually, and most people wait to see a specialist until it has progressed significantly. There are a lot of things you can do early on to slow down and prevent hair loss, and a hair loss doctor can explain what you can do to help maintain your hair.

Who Can Restore My Hair?

If you are interested in learning more about how to stop hair loss, Darling Hair Restoration would love to help. Our experienced medical team has a wealth of knowledge in the field, and we use the latest treatment options available to help our clients look amazing.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott Darling, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (816) 792-3400 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. Let us help you get back to a fuller head of hair so you can feel great about yourself again!