Sometimes I am approached about types of blood tests, and if it can help in accurately identifying the cause of hair thinning.
Here is an example I’d like to share:
I would like to book an appointment for my 22 years old daughter. She has lost hair over the last few years, leaving it very thin. This hair loss affects her confidence and causes lots of stress and anxiety. We’ve tried various hair products and treatment, with no success. Doctors have done various blood tests, which show no irregularities. We’ve been advised to seek out a trichologist and really hoping you can help. Please, would it be possible for us to speak over the phone and arrange an appointment?
Blood tests for hair loss
Despite the tests and advice patients may have received, there are specific blood tests for certain conditions. This explains why so may start their enquiry with ‘blood work normal but still losing hair’.
So how do doctors test in blood for hair loss?
Biochemistry such as Ferritin is essential but must have C Reactive protein with it to validate the ferritin away from a patient’s inflammatory response influencing the reading- which is making a result appear better than it actually is. It can be a funding issue that GPs are often reluctant to blood tests any further than a full blood count or that when a patient complaining of hair loss may have pernicious anaemia (B12 deficiency or even a genetic factor such as Thalassaemia trait) the NHS will rarely fund for example B12 injections until the result is below the minimum part of the reference range. The hair loss by this point is chronically aggravated!
Are there special blood tests for thinning hair?
There is no specific blood test for thinning hair as female hair loss conditions are varied. Some women describe what turns out to be a diffuse hair loss caused by hair falling, whereas others complain of hair loss and it is actually patches or pattern thinning without an excess hair fall in the wash etc. It is totally case by case, the treatment also as some patients need to attend for clinic treatments on occasion while for financial or logistical reasons prefer home treatments, which I could provide and support with.