Dr. Danya, Episode #1
“Hair Loss During the Pandemic”

When the pandemic hit, I was still reeling from the loss of my husband Murray, and like everyone, I began to live in isolation. In the spring I was hospitalized due to a minor infection. In the fall, I started noticing unsettling changes in my hair and within a week and a half, I had lost half of my hair. I immediately called Dr. Jodi LoGerfo at the Orentreich Medical Group. I have been a patient of the Orentreich Medical Group since I was a young girl modeling in New York City. Dr. Norman Orentreich, the “go to” dermatologist of the modeling and acting community, had kept my skin healthy and clean during that period of my life. In my late 40’s due to surgery and antibiotics I began to lose my hair in patches and the Orentreich Medical Group came to the rescue and managed to save my hair due to early intervention. Once Dr. Jodi joined the practice, she became my go-to specialist.

As I made my appointment with Dr. Jodi, I realized this topic of hair loss, which has reached epic proportions during the pandemic, was the perfect launch for our new investigative Dr. Danya Series. Dr. Danya Reich started her career as a film producer and at the ripe age of 37, decided to go to medical school. Dr. Danya chose Family Medicine as her practice and has been a frontline worker on many levels since the pandemic hit. She has a production background, is a doctor with an inquisitive mind and wants to bring to light all the new advances in medicine, along with interviewing the doctors making those advances.

HipSilver is proud to introduce you to Dr. Danya and her new Wellness Series. We hope you enjoy, learn and discover.

While I’m “Dr. Reich” in the office, when my friends and family want my medical help, they call me “Dr. Danya” – a shorthand way to ask for my medical expertise in their moment of need. I want you to think of me as Dr. Danya too as that is the role I'm taking on with this series. To find out what new issues are coming up for you. To research different types of treatments that could be helpful. To ask the questions for you, to sort through the answers, and to bring us to a place where we are better informed and better equipped to be our healthiest Silver selves.

In this first episode of the Dr. Danya series, we are exploring hair loss in the Silver Age, and the unique ways that the stress of the pandemic might affect it. All our bodies are wildly different, have different genetic makeup, and we all lead different lives-- each of these things ultimately factor into how our bodies change throughout our lives. In every person’s lifetime, there will be an inevitable point where hair loss will increase and for some of us, it can feel like a burden or a problem that we just don’t know how to deal with.

Many people seek out help first from their hairdressers when noticing thinning or hair loss. What most people don't know is that studying and treating hair loss is a particular specialty within the field of dermatology. Dr. Jodi LoGerfo is one of these folks who has years of insight and research under her belt to offer the most unique and personal treatment a patient can find. Dr. Jodi is considered an authority on hair loss amongst her peers and consults for major hair product corporations. 

The four most common types of hair loss are:

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is also known as male or female patterned hair loss. It is the most common form of hair loss that affects approximately 50% of women over the course of their lifetime, but really can occur at any time in life after puberty. Its incidence increases with age and, for women, it most commonly happens during menopause. When left untreated, AGA causes a slow, progressive decrease and loss of hair density of the scalp.

Male Pattern Hair Loss

Telogen Effluvium (TE) is a type of diffuse, sudden hair loss is non-scarring. There are several different causes of TE including illness, major surgery or hospitalization, childbirth, malnutrition, and severe emotional distress, amongst many other bodily stressors.

Alopecia Areata (AA) is a chronic, autoimmune disease that targets the hair follicles in the anagen (growth phase), causing a non-scarring loss of hair.

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is a type of scarring alopecia that causes permanent hair loss. The hair loss can expand around the center in a circular formation.

Images provided by Orentreich Medical Group & UpToDate

Dr. Jodi LoGerfo not only can identify these patterns of hair loss and offer a range of treatment options, she even addresses hair loss from a psychological/emotional perspective by offering a support group alongside a clinical psychologist so that she can holistically meet the needs of a patient.

Some of these needs are hard to predict or even notice when we’re busy living our lives. Significant changes to our hair growth can happen as early as our late 30’s, but people are often caught up raising families or conquering new career heights. So much so, we forget ourselves in the process. Hair loss is an inevitable part of aging -- it may not be curable, but it absolutely can be treated. The biggest key here is starting treatment as soon as possible. At any age, it’s perfectly normal to shed between 100-150 hairs a day just like any other mammal, but patterned hair loss can sometimes, if left untreated, reduce one’s hair growth by 50%. If treatments are initiated right away as well as using supportive products recommended by dermatologists, hair density can be encouraged in the existing follicles and the process of hair loss can be slowed down significantly! These treatments include androgen blockers, off-label medications and topical, injectable, and oral medications.

HipSilver’s own Gail Bruce has been a patient of Dr. Jodi’s for years. Gail manages a diagnosis of Androgenetic Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium, which means: hormonal/hereditary impact, as well as stress induced. Androgenetic Alopecia is very common specifically in post-menapausal women and one can inherit the genetic tendency from any family history of hair loss (meaning, the wives tale about it being based on gender is a myth--it can come from any family member!). While Gail has been taking control and being proactive of the genetic half of this for some time, she had a tough year that exacerbated the problem. She’s now coming to Dr. Jodi with the help of Dr. Danya Reich to explore new ways she can better care for herself and in the process, help educate the HipSilver community.