If you’ve ever glanced down at your hairbrush and found a sizable clump of freshly-pulled hair, or looked at your hair and realized it appeared way thinner than it used to be, you know how frightening it can be. For many women, our hair is closely tied to our self-image. We style it to express our personality and style; bad hair days can leave us feeling crappy and dirty hair is one of the first things that makes us crave a shower. With all that in mind, imagine how frightening it would be to have to deal with your hair thinning and falling out on a daily basis!
In almost all cases of thinning, and especially in cases of severe hair loss, it is recommended to seek advice from a doctor or dermatologist. Many types of thinning have an underlying genetic or health-related cause, which a qualified professional will be able to diagnose.
Aloe vera when mixed with castor oil and applied onto the scalp, promotes the blood circulation. Thus, it promotes the hair growth by removing the dead cells from scalp and providing hydration to the strands.
My friends always reassured me I had a good head of hair. Most of the GPs I saw reacted the same, despite my tears and protestations. I had no bald patches or visible gaps so they’d put it down to stress or would test my iron and thyroid levels, which appeared normal.
While stories about hats choking off follicles or long hair pulling on the roots may be more folklore, repeat hair trauma like tightly woven hair pulled back and consistent friction can potentially worsen or cause localized hair loss in some individuals. Individuals who pull their hair tightly back in a rubber band can develop a localized hair loss at the front of the scalp.
A group of topical medications called prostaglandin analogs have recently began undergoing testing for potential hair regrowth. They may be used in men and women. These drugs are not currently FDA approved for scalp hair loss. Currently, these are primarily used for eyelash enhancement. One of the new medications is called bimatoprost (Latisse). Further testing and studies are required to assess the efficacy of these products in scalp hair loss. Bimatoprost solution is sometimes used off-label for help in selected cases of hair loss. It is currently FDA approved for cosmetic eyelash enhancement. Studies have shown it can treat hypotrichosis (short or sparse) of the eyelashes by increasing their growth, including length, thickness, and darkness. This medication is also commercially available as Lumigan, which is used to treat glaucoma. It is not known exactly how this medication works in hair regrowth, but it is thought to lengthen the anagen phase (active phase) of hair growth. Interestingly, during routine medical use of Lumigan eyedrops for glaucoma patients, it was serendipitously found that eyelashes got longer and thicker in many users. This led to clinical trials and the approval of cosmetic use of Latisse for eyelashes.
Because so many things can cause hair loss, a dermatologist acts like a detective. A dermatologist may begin by asking questions. The dermatologist will want to know whether the hair loss happened suddenly or gradually. Knowing this helps to eliminate causes.
The overall reduction in the size of follicles still allows for hair to grow and develop as always, only the hairs are much finer, leading to thinning of the hair as opposed to areas of baldness.
Dr. Piliang said she expects Latisse’s results to be less striking on the head than on the lashes because the drug works by shifting more hair from the resting phase to the growing phase. For lashes, only about 30 percent of the hair is in the growing phase at any given time, she said, but on the scalp, that figure is 80 or 90 percent.
Vertex baldness is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and the relationship depends upon the severity of baldness, while frontal baldness is not. Thus, vertex baldness might be a marker of CHD and is more closely associated with atherosclerosis than frontal baldness.
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That’s where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don’t divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.
^ Jump up to: a b McElwee, K. J.; Shapiro, J. S. (2012). Promising therapies for treating and/or preventing androgenic alopecia. Skin therapy letter. 17 (6): 1–4. PMID 22735503. Archived from the original on 2015-12-12.
A healthy scalp = healthy hair. Simple really. Look for products that help to tone the scalp, like Philip Kingsley’s Scalp Toner, or an exfoliating mask like Kiehl’s Mico-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment to loosen flaky build-up and stimulate growth.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder also known as spot baldness that can result in hair loss ranging from just one location (Alopecia areata monolocularis) to every hair on the entire body (Alopecia areata universalis). Although thought to be caused by hair follicles becoming dormant, what triggers alopecia areata is not known. In most cases the condition corrects itself, but it can also spread to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or to the entire body (alopecia universalis).