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Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller. This may be related to change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown. Quite often, there may be a loss of hair (telogen effluvium) after delivery or a few months later which will eventually normalize.
Every once in a while, hair loss is a symptom of something else that’s going on with your body. If your hair loss is sudden and excessive or simple solutions aren’t working, talk with your doctor about other possibilities, including:
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Symptoms of hair loss include hair loss in patches usually in circular patterns, dandruff, skin lesions, and scarring. Alopecia areata (mild – medium level) usually shows in unusual hair loss areas e.g. eyebrows, backside of the head or above the ears where usually the male pattern baldness does not affect. In male-pattern hair loss, loss and thinning begin at the temples and the crown and either thins out or falls out. Female-pattern hair loss occurs at the frontal and parietal.
Little known side effect of birth control: the hormones suppressing ovulation can cause hair loss. It’s more likely if you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss, i.e., if you have family members who have experienced hair loss. Sometimes hair loss will actually begin after you’ve stopped taking birth control pills. The American Hair Loss Association (yes, that’s a real thing) has a list of oral contraceptives that have been linked to hair loss. The major factor is the “androgen index,” or the level of the hormone androgen, which in itself can cause hair to thin in some women. If you think this is happening (maybe you’re on birth control for the first time, maybe you just started a new kind of birth control), talk to your gyno!
Hair loss that is genetic is known as androgenetic alopecia and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is the most common cause of hair loss. The gene can be inherited from either your mother’s or father’s side of the family, though you’re more likely to have it if both of your parents had hair loss.
Scalp reduction: Bald scalp is surgically removed and hair-bearing scalp is brought closer together to reduce balding. Scalp reduction surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with a hair transplant.
What to do: There are topical creams like minoxidil (Rogaine; $45 on amazon.com) and oral medications such as finasteride (Propecia) that can halt hair loss or even cause some to grow; surgery to transplant or graft hair is also an option.
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Topical spironolactone is a weak topical DHT blocker. Some users swear by it, but the general tone is that spironolactone is not as effective as finasteride. If you are concerned about the side effects of finasteride or if you are a woman, it is worth giving topical spironolactone a try.
You can get away with using it only where your hair has receded, but I would apply it all over my scalp to help prevent further recession. If you experience side effects talk to your doctor. But keep in mind they may well be just psychological.
I am thinking of using minoxidil to spot treat part of my receding hairline. The patchiness is not really that bad and it’s been concentrated on one side for a few years without getting worse, but I can’t really change the style of my hair much, and that’s the biggest issue for me since I get bored very easily.
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 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.
When you don’t get the answers you need, including how to stop hair loss or how to make a million dollar, sit in silence and focus on your breath. In other words, meditate. It’s a piece of advice yogis or sages have given for thousands of years.
While there are no overtly harmful ingredients in over-the-counter minoxidil, liquid solutions contain propylene glycol, which may cause itching, redness, and irritation. The topic is a contentious one — researchers point out documented cases of irritation while others point to studies that show small amounts are harmless and even safe to eat.
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.
“There are a few research-proven options to consider for male pattern baldness,” says Debé. “These include tocotrienols, saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol. A good food source for beta sitosterol is pistachios”. Walnuts and other nuts contain oils that add to the amount of elastin in your hair. Elastin keeps hair supple and stops it from breaking. Walnuts are just one of the 6 Best Nuts for Weight loss!
Sudden hair loss is scientifically known as alopecia and refers to the condition where a person loses hair at a faster rate than normal. Typically, each hair follicle grows approximately ¼ of an inch per month, and continues growing for a maximum of six years. After this period, the hair falls out and is replaced by new growth. Under normal circumstances, an adult sheds 50 – 100 hairs a day. Alopecia occurs when this cycle is disrupted and the rate of hair loss exceeds that of re-growth.
Use essential oils combined with a scalp massage. Massage promotes good circulation in the scalp and increases blood flow to your follicles. Gently massage your scalp daily by hand for a couple of minutes. To enhance the massage, use a few drops of lavender, rosemary, thyme, peppermint, or cedarwood essential oil in an almond, coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, or sesame oil base on your scalp.
This condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time. If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will regrow. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails, and extensions are the most common styling causes.
This is a hereditary condition that affects about 30 million American women, according to the America Academy of Dermatology, and is the most common kind of hair loss Rogers sees in her practice. She tells WebMD that it happens to about 50% of women. Although it mostly occurs in the late 50s or 60s, it can happen at any time, even during teenage years, Rogers says.
The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Under normal conditions, women have a minute fraction of the level of testosterone that men have, but even a lower level can cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women. And certainly when those levels rise, DHT is even more of a problem. Those levels can rise and still be within what doctors consider normal on a blood test, even though they are high enough to cause a problem. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if you have the kind of body chemistry that is overly sensitive to even its regular levels of chemicals, including hormones.
Hair loss is extremely common, affecting about 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. About 50% of men will have some hair loss by the time they turn 50. Hair loss is not life-threatening, though it can have devastating psychological effects, particularly in women.
Lavender Oil with its wonderful fragrance is beneficial for preventing hair loss due to its antioxidant nutrients as well as antifungul and antiseptic properties. This oil derived from lavender flowers treats dandruff as well as itching, controls hair breakage all to prevent hair loss. It deeply conditions the hair and also controls dandruff. Lavender oil is widely used to treat alopecia areata too. Alopecia areata is a condition when excessive hair is lost and that too in patches. In such extreme cases daily massage with lavender oil is required. Jojoba and grapeseed oils can be used as base or carrier oil for any essential oil including lavender.