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In our research and our conversations with experts, one name kept popping up repeatedly: Rogaine. As the first topical brand FDA-approved to help regrow hair (all the way back in 1988), Rogaine benefits from more than 20 years of clinical trials and consumer feedback. Rogaine was the first brand to offer a 5 percent minoxidil foam solution when it debuted Men’s Rogaine Unscented Foam in 2006, and virtually every treatment developed since (for both men and women) has been an imitation or derivation of that formula.
An overwhelming majority of the time the hair is on the scalp, it is growing. Only about 10% of the strands are in transition or resting at any one time. Hair grows about 6 inches a year for most people.
What to do: As with hair loss due to physical stress, this shedding will eventually abate. While it’s not known if reducing stress can help your hair, it can’t hurt either. steps to combat stress and anxiety, like getting more exercise, trying talk therapy, or getting more support if you need it.
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.
Everyone loses hair. It happens during your morning shower, while you’re blowing it dry, or when you give it a quick brush—and that’s normal. “On average, we lose fifty to a hundred hairs a day,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York City dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. “That’s just hair going through its cycles, and there will be a new one to replace it.”
Environmental factors are under review. A 2007 study indicated that smoking may be a factor associated with age-related hair loss among Asian men. The study controlled for age and family history, and found statistically significant positive associations between moderate or severe male pattern hairloss and smoking status.
Results from several small studies suggest that biotin supplements may improve thinning hair and brittle nails. Less commonly known as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B complex vitamins, which help your body metabolize fats and protein. Some experts even recommend a daily supplement for everyone since it’s generally safe and pretty hard to get too much of it.
A more recent conventional treatment option for hair loss is low level laser therapy that uses light and heat treatment for genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in both men and women. To date, doctor opinions of this treatment are mixed with many rejecting it completely. (15)
It’s hard to miss these periods of shedding, and the trauma of seeing your hair fall or noticing your scalp widen can bring out a range of emotions, from helplessness to just plain confusion. Find a dermatologist who, in their profile, specializes in hair loss, Dr. Senna says. They see hair loss often enough that they know how to handle can pinpoint your symptoms in a very systematic way. And if you’re very concerned, it’s also ok to skip the derm and go straight to a trichologist — they’re less easy to find, but incredibly skilled and well-equipped to get to the root of the problem.
In an effort to increase circulation, adding safflower to your diet is a good idea. Safflower is known to be a good vasodilator that specifically opens up the blood vessels in the scalp. Vasodilators reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, thereby increasing blood and oxygen to the scalp cells so that hair growth is stimulated.
Angela Ledford, 34, a beauty blogger, had used the Rogaine men’s formulation, after hair extensions, M.A.C. Black Carbon eye shadow, Joan Rivers hair fill-in powder and supplements all failed to hide her thinning jet-black hair. (The men’s product was not F.D.A.-approved for women, but that didn’t stop women from buying it.)
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The onset of menopause is often accompanied by a noticeable loss of hair. Menopause is part of the normal aging process, and the associated changes in hormone levels lead to a gradual thinning of hair.
“There’s people selling pills and creams and lotions and whatever else, and sometimes you can’t even trust what ingredients they have in there,” he warned us when we spoke to him over the phone. Key takeaway: The hair loss industry is crazy dishonest, so we eliminated any treatments (especially homeopathic methods) that aren’t based in concrete, peer-reviewed science.