Before you can begin to treat hair loss, you need to know what’s causing it. Your doctor is the best person to consult about this. Many factors can play a role in hair loss, including underlying health conditions and medications. Health conditions that can cause hair loss include lupus, syphilis, thyroid problems, hormone imbalance, and nutritional deficiencies (via Harvard Health Publishing). If you’re experiencing any physical symptoms along with hair loss, this can be a sign that it’s not just a common receding hairline. In this case, your doctor may decide to run tests, such as a blood panel. Medications, including warfarin, lithium, beta-blockers, heparin, and levodopa, can also cause hair loss. Typically, health conditions and medications will cause diffuse hair loss, not only a receding hairline, but it’s still a good idea to rule them out as a cause.
If a medical condition or medication is not the problem, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist who will look at your scalp for any signs of inflammation, scarring, sores, or redness. In women, frontal fibrosing alopecia often leaves telltale marks on the scalp, including pale skin, scarring, and inflammation surrounding the hair follicles (via the Belgravia Centre). A dermatologist can also conduct tests to gauge the pattern and severity of hair loss and the condition of your hair’s health. These include pull and tug tests, card test, fungal culture, trichometric analysis, punch bioposy, and blood tests (via NYU Langone Health).