What is clear is that the same thing happens in aging men and women. Hair follicles get smaller. The anagen stage of hair growth gets shorter, and the resting (telogen) stage gets longer. The result: Thin, very short hairs — and many follicles empty of hair shafts.
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Significant and sudden hair loss can be inconvenient, embarrassing, and downright aggravating, leading some women to become self-conscious or insecure about their appearance. For women, hair loss may not seem as commonly discussed as it is with men. However, 30 million women suffer from hair loss every year. It is not a rare occurrence to face this condition in some form at some point throughout your life. There are different causes for hair loss in women that range from short-term stress to long-term, medical conditions that require continuous or more aggressive treatment.
My mother’s hair has been thinning for years, and her mother’s did too. The gene can be passed down by either or both parents, and it can affect just one sibling – my brother has a great head of hair.
Symptoms of hair loss can vary from being very mild to extreme. These include thinning of hair, bald patches, receding hairline, etc. There are many treatments, home remedies, and prevention available for the condition of hair loss; we have discussed them all in detail below.
Have you ever wondered why your hair does not grow past one point no matter how much you try? This is because, contrary to popular belief, your hair has a life cycle of 3-5 years after which it falls out to let a new hair grow in its place.
There are also other visual cues that women can look for over time. Although men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head, tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp. Sometimes their frontal line stays intact, says Nicole Rogers, MD, of Old Metairie Dermatology in Metairie, La. Women may see a part that is gradually becoming wider or see more of their scalp than normal when their hair is pulled back.
Understanding hair loss and the conditions that lead to hair thinning and balding is an important part of the restoration process. We invite you to learn more about hair loss and the progressive treatments we offer.
The tests: A blood test to measure ferritin, the protein that stores iron in your body, is usually needed to diagnose iron-deficiency anemia. Your doctor may also check your blood level of hematocrit, which gauges how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells.
Causes of hair fall vary from person to person. While in some cases external factors might be responsible, issues such as some serious medical conditions, lack of nutrition and heredity are also leading causes of baldness in most patients. Check out some of the top factors that might cause premature hair loss in women.
Treatments for alopecia areata include injecting small amounts of steroids like triamcinolone into affected patches to stimulate hair growth. Although localized injections may not be practical for large areas, often this is a very effective treatment in helping the hairs return sooner. Other treatments, such as oral steroids, other immunosuppressives, or ultraviolet light therapy, are available for more widespread or severe cases but may be impractical for most patients because of potential side effects or risks. In most mild cases, patients can easily cover up or comb over the affected areas. In more severe and chronic cases, some patients wear hairpieces; nowadays, some men shave their whole scalp now that this look has become fashionable. Recently, some beneficial results have been noted in small groups of patients with extensive alopecia areata or alopecia totalis with a JAK1/2 inhibitor, baricitinib (Olumiant). Long-term studies are under way.
Several products are available, and approved by the FDA, that use LLLT technology. While the documented results of this form of treatment do not meet scientific measures of efficacy, many individual patients did see positive results.
Congenital triangular alopecia – It is a triangular, or oval in some cases, shaped patch of hair loss in the temple area of the scalp that occurs mostly in young children. The affected area mainly contains vellus hair follicles or no hair follicles at all, but it does not expand. Its causes are unknown, and although it is a permanent condition, it does not have any other effect on the affected individuals.
Hair-pulling disorder. This condition, also called trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, whether it’s from the scalp, the eyebrows or other areas of the body.
Consider taking supplements. Talk with your medical practitioner first, but you might like to consider using supplements to prevent hair loss. The types of supplements to inquire about include biotin, inositol, iron, vitamin C, and saw palmetto. These are not proven to prevent hair loss, but some anecdotal evidence suggests they work.
When ringworm affects the scalp, the fungus triggers a distinct pattern of hair loss – itchy, round bald patches. Bald areas can appear scaly and red. Ringworm of the scalp is treated with antifungal treatments. The fungus is easily spread by direct contact so family members should also be checked for symptoms.
Less common causes of hair loss without inflammation or scarring include the pulling out of hair, certain medications including chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition including iron deficiency. Causes of hair loss that occurs with scarring or inflammation include fungal infection, lupus erythematosus, radiation therapy, and sarcoidosis. Diagnosis of hair loss is partly based on the areas affected.