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Can shaving with clippers kill hair follicles?

I have shaved my heads tons of times with the clippers. This is the first time that I have had this happen. It looks like my hair thinned out on either side, but each side looks different, one is very sparse while the other looks like it is growing back to normal with little hairs growing in the places they should. PLEASE HELP. Did I mess up my hair for good? Did I kill the follicle? WHat should I do?
First of all, I can put your mind to rest that shaving your head cannot cause damage to the hair follicles! The follicles are located deep in the skin and therefore they are safely out of the way of the clippers. Even repeated shaving will not damage the follicles. However, it does sound like you have some hair loss. Therefore, you will need to see your doctor to help you figure out what type of hair loss you are experiencing and if there is a treatment needed for it. The way you describe thinning on both sides suggests that maybe this is a pattern baldness ("normal" hair loss that occurs in many men with aging"). However, the description is not totally clear, and your doctor will be able better to assess this possibility for you. It is also important to make sure there is no infection or inflammation of the skin that could be damaging the follicles and causing hair loss. Some of these possibilities include fungal infections of the scalp, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis. Additionally, some hormonal changes (for example involving the thyroid gland) can affect hair growth. Start by going to see your primary care doctor; they will help you figure out what is going on!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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