In some cases, a hormonal abnormality, such as excess male hormones known as androgens, may be responsible for hair loss in women. One clue that hormones are involved is if the hair loss pattern resembles that of a man’s hair loss. This can be treated with prescription medications such as spironolactone or oral contraceptives.
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If it’s serious, consider an Rx. Some women are genetically predisposed to female-pattern hair loss, and birth control pills can suppress overproduction of male hormones. At menopause, thinning increases; if you’re on hormone therapy, it may minimize hair loss.
Low protein, low iron stores, low vitamin D and calcium can cause hair loss, says Bergfeld. But taking nutritional supplements for what you might be missing isn’t necessarily the answer. A study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that excessive levels of supplements can actually cause hair loss and should not be used unless there is an actual deficiency.
Fun (and hopefully obvious) fact: Hair needs nutrients to grow and be healthy. If you’re constantly stuffing your piehole with, say, sugar, fried food, and refined grains, then you’re not giving your hair much chance to get ahead. In fact, researchers have found that men with high blood pressure and insulin resistance are more likely to be bald. The good news: There are some essential anti-balding vitamins and nutrients. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
Weight loss, low iron levels, poor diet and stress, along with thyroid and hormonal imbalances, can all cause hair to fall, trichologists say. Hair needs a healthy diet and a well-functioning endocrine system to flourish.
The Indian gooseberry or amla provides a great many benefits to your hair and scalp. It contains tannins, vitamin C, antioxidants, kaempferol, flavonoids, and Gallic acid. All these nutrients help in enhancing the hair texture. Amla also contains Vitamin C, the lack of which in the body is one of the major reasons for hair loss.
As the only FDA-approved proven ingredient, the drug has years of research to back it up—and about 50% of women using it improvement. Minoxidil can enhance the size of the follicle so that it produces a bigger strand of hair, says Wilma Bergfeld, a Cleveland Clinic dermatologist. Try Women’s Rogaine Treatment for Hair Loss & Hair Thinning Once-A-Day Minoxidil Foam ($36 for a 4-month supply, amazon.com).
Alopcia areata is not related to a more serious condition known as cicatricial alopecia, in which the immune system attacks the stem cells in the bulge of the folicle. This results in permanent hair loss.
Some professional hair products are made specifically for protection against the sun’s harsh rays (like Paul Mitchell Color Care Color Protect Locking Spray, Wella Sun Protection Spray, Nioxin System 4 Scalp Treatment and Pureology Density Definer Medium Hold Crème Wax).
Pumpkin seeds — Pumpkin seeds are one of the top foods high in zinc, which is necessary for healthy hair health. Research has also shown that a zinc deficiency is linked with hypothyroidism and hair loss. (3)
For more severe hair loss, wigs and hairpieces can provide good results if you are willing to try them. Either of these options can be used in combination with medications or surgery if the results of styling or the hairpiece alone are not satisfying.