There are several health conditions that can lead to hair loss, including stress, thyroid disease, anemia, and medications for heart disease. Talk to your doctor to make sure it’s not one of these other issues.
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle. Ordinarily, hair follicle renewal is maintained by the stem cells associated with each follicle. Aging of the hair follicle appears to be primed by a sustained cellular response to the DNA damage that accumulates in renewing stem cells during aging. This damage response involves the proteolysis of type XVII collagen by neutrophil elastase in response to the DNA damage in the hair follicle stem cells. Proteolysis of collagen leads to elimination of the damaged cells and then to terminal hair follicle miniaturization.
Aim for a minimum of 600 IU of vitamin D per day, 800 IU if you’re over 71 years old. While it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D in your diet, salmon packs 450 IU per 3-ounce serving, and fortified milk and orange juice has 115 to 135 IU. And consider a vitamin D supplement, which has more than just healthy hair benefits: It could prevent heart disease, cancer, and bone fractures. Click here to find the best dose for you.
Multiple vitamins, including biotin, have been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won’t worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution. There is only anecdotal evidence that oral or topical application garlic, onion juice, saw palmetto, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, apple cider vinegar, creatine, and pumpkin seed oil are of benefit for hair loss.
If you’re suffering from hair loss, chances are a hormonal imbalance is to blame. The state-of the-art tests used by BodyLogicMD affiliated physicians test your female hormones: estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones and cortisol to determine if your hair loss is hormonal or genetic. If a hormonal imbalance is the culprit, your highly trained bioidentical hormone doctor will prescribe bioidentical hormones made by a compounding pharmacy to help you bring your hormone levels back to optimal balance and effectively treat hormonal hair loss in women.
Mix together three tablespoons of onion juice and two tablespoons of aloe vera gel. You can also add one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture onto your scalp and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off and shampooing your hair.
Another way to diagnose what the problem is just by looking and listening, Rogers says. She asks what a patient’s mother, aunts, or grandmothers look like – if they have similar, or greater amounts, of hair loss. Using magnification on the scalp can show if a woman’s follicles vary in size – with some thick and others thin. These are two telltale signs of female pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For hair loss, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
Temporary or permanent hair loss can be caused by several medications, including those for blood pressure problems, diabetes, heart disease and cholesterol. Any that affect the body’s hormone balance can have a pronounced effect: these include the contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy, steroids and acne medications.
When the skin on the scalp is inflamed and itchy, and you frequently scratch the hell out of it, your hair may start to shed more than usual. Dandruff is the most easily treated cause of hair loss, Fusco says, because you can treat it with a zinc pyrithione shampoo (she recommends Clear Complete Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff System). Consistency is the trick, so it’s important to find a shampoo and conditioner you like, she says. Similarly, seeing a dermatologist to treat your psoriasis and restore your scalp’s health will get your hair growing back normally.
Male Pattern Baldness indeed a genetic hair loss condition. Another common misconception is that it is inherited from the mother’s side of the family, but the truth is that it can be passed on via either the paternal or maternal line. One famous example of Male Pattern Baldness being passed down the paternal line is Prince William’s hair loss, which has followed in the follicular footsteps of his father Prince Charles, and uncle Prince Edward.
As such, it is also often referred to as androgenic alopecia. While androgens have many different jobs within an individual’s system, a big one is organizing hair growth. Every hair strand on an individual’s head has a growth cycle, so in the case of MPB, the cycle starts to get weak, and hair follicles get smaller; creating short and fine hair strands. As time goes on, this growth cycle for hair ends, with no newer hair growing in to replace it – thus causing the baldness. While older men seem more at risk for MPB, it is quite normal for this condition start in males, as early as their teenage years.
Most cases of increased shedding will gradually resolve on their own without treatment, Schlosser says. But if your hair doesn’t return to its normal fullness after six to nine months, see a doctor for an evaluation to find out if something else is going on. If you ever have any symptoms like itching, pain, burning, flaking, redness, or notice you can’t see as many hair follicles anymore, you should seek help sooner. See your primary care provider or go directly to a dermatologist who specializes in treating hair loss. They can determine what type it is and what the right treatment approach is for you.
A substantially blemished face, back and limbs could point to cystic acne. The most severe form of the condition, cystic acne arises from the same hormonal imbalances that cause hair loss, and is associated with dihydrotestosterone production. Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced and builds up on the scalp (looking like an adult cradle cap) is also a symptom of hormonal imbalances, as is an excessively oily or dry scalp. Both can cause hair thinning.
You can also massage with olive oil, almond oil or mustard oil. Heat the oil a little and give a gentle massage to the scalp to improve circulation. A mixture of lemon juice and coconut oil can be used.
Warning: Always consult your doctor before you undertake any new type of vitamin, mineral or herbal program of any type to make sure it does not interfere with any medical treatment you may currently be on.
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.
There is a great deal of future hair loss treatments and possible cures in development. But these won’t be available anytime soon. And when they finally hit the market, they most likely won’t be cheap.
For women who are experiencing hair loss due to vitamin deficiencies, there are various strategies you can put into place to improve your outcome. Repleting vitamin D with healthy doses of D3 and correcting iron deficiency — by giving supplemental iron paired with vitamin C for better absorption — is essential, and biotin, a B vitamin, can be added to help the process, as it acts as a building block for new hair, says Levitan. The challenge is this is a slow process, and it can easily take three to six months to see hair thickness and amounts improve.
Though a seal doesn’t guarantee safety, the approval of organizations like U.S. Pharmacopeia and NSF International means that a supplement was manufactured properly, contains what is on the label, and doesn’t contain harmful levels of contaminants.
Ever notice what sits atop nearly every ancient Greek statue? A mop of thick, full, wavy hair. An artistic choice? Perhaps. But maybe it’s due to the thick, protein-rich yogurt that Greeks and other cultures have been eating since 500 B.C. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), which helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Check out our picks for the Best Greek Yogurts for Weight Loss!
Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women typically retain the hairline on the forehead but have a broadening of the part in their hair.
Caffeine — Wait, didn’t I say the opposite above? Yes, in small amounts, organic coffee and tea can be beneficial to hair health, but you don’t want to overdo it because too much caffeine can cause dehydration, hormone imbalances and even production of DHT.
Far from being my crowning glory, my hair has been the bane of my life. But one question has always plagued me: is my problem on my head, or in my head? While I’ve suspected my hair has been thinning for decades, few people ever believed me and at times I even doubted it myself.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
A trigger event. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary. Examples of trigger events include sudden or excessive weight loss, a high fever, surgery, or a death in the family.
Formulated with Active Protein Complex and tested by dermatologists, this penetrates into the roots of your hair, provides essential nourishment to the hair follicles, replenishes hair, heals damage, and controls hair fall.
When you lose a lot of weight rapidly, your body counts that as an inciting event, Dr. Senna says. Making a big diet change, like cutting out an entire food group, can also make your hair shed because your body isn’t getting the same nutrients that it did before. If you did make a big change, Dr. Senna says tracking your food for just three consistent days can be a helpful way to assess whether or not your new diet is balanced. It’s usually easy to figure out where you can add a protein boost, like a scoop of beans or some more yogurt, she says.
In order to properly diagnose the reasoning behind hair loss, there are tests that can be performed to pinpoint the triggering factor(s). The tests can eliminate the possibility of certain conditions and help in finding a cause for those disorders that are treatable. Sometimes with testing for hair loss, it’s a process of elimination to get to the root of the problem.
If hair loss is caused by an illness, treatment of the illness is the best treatment for hair loss. The decision to treat androgenetic alopecia depends upon its emotional effect on the patient’s sense of well-being. Many different therapies to stop hair loss and to regrow hair are promoted; you should discuss these options with your physician to establish their validity.