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SPEAKING TO A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT WOMEN'S HAIR LOSS

STEP 1: Create a simple diary tracking your hair health

Jot down a list of out-of-the-ordinary experiences you have been having with your hair, such as more frequent and/or larger clumps of hair in the drain after showering, or an increased number of strands on your pillow. Take these daily observations over a 1- to 2-month time period. These are all things you want to mention to your healthcare professional.

STEP 2: Feel free to bring the evidence

Jot down a list of all the self-diagnostic tools and tests you’ve used and the results from these tests. Bring them with you to your appointment. You may also bring photos of your scalp. Some women bring in clumps of hair in a plastic bag for their healthcare professional to examine. Don’t be shy. He or she is there to help you.

STEP 3: Fill your healthcare professional in about lifestyle habits or changes that may be related to hair loss that is not hereditary

Although hair loss is usually due to genetic factors, remember that there are still other causes of hair loss in women, such as long-term everyday stress and, in more rare cases, a medical condition (perhaps related to your thyroid).

STEP 4: Inquire if any further testing is necessary

Expect your healthcare professional to ask further questions and to do a detailed review of your medical history covering topics such as recent childbirth, surgeries or cancer treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy), menopause, and familial history of hereditary androgenetic alopecia (e.g. genetic hair loss). To make the most of this visit, be sure to inquire about your family’s medical history, particularly pertaining to hair loss.