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There are numerous ways to categorize hair loss. One must first examine the scalp to determine if the hair loss is due to the physical destruction and loss of hair follicles (scarring alopecia). If the scalp appears perfectly normal with plenty of empty hair follicles, this is called non-scarring hair loss. On the other hand, the follicles are permanently destroyed in scarring hair loss. Non-scarring hair loss can also be seen in situations where there is physical or chemical damage to the hair shaft resulting in breakage. Occasionally, it may be necessary to do a biopsy of the scalp to distinguish these conditions. Sometimes, a physician may pull a hair to examine the appearance of the hair shaft as well as the percentage of growing hairs (anagen phase). This article will concentrate on the non-scarring types of hair loss.
While dermatologists are not exactly sure how it works, Minoxidil seems to improve scalp circulation and extend the “anagen” phase of the hair cycle. As such, it only works while you use it. After three months, the hairs that extended their natural life-cycle will begin to shed. In most men, the medication itself will not cause the hair to shed. (ROGAINE® uses Minoxidil.)
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 converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is held in a hair follicle’s oil glands. Scientists now believe that it’s not the amount of circulating testosterone that’s the problem but the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles. DHT shrinks hair follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.
Close to 50 percent of women will experience some degree of hair loss or thinning before age 50, which often worsens with menopause, according to the North American Menopause Society. “Your hormones have been supporting your hair growth,” explains Bergfeld. “When estrogen dips, the hair begins to change.”
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that rests in the front base of the neck. It secretes thyroid hormones that are used by every cell in the body. Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels are a common reason for hair loss in women. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may both trigger hair loss. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heart rate, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, and anxiety. In addition to hair loss, hypothyroidism may be associated with weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, slow heart rate, and constipation. Luckily, thyroid hormone imbalances are easily detectable with blood tests. Treatment helps alleviate symptoms, including hair loss.
Two vitamins your hair really loves are Vitamin D and B12; low levels or deficiencies in these can result in slow hair growth or worse, thinning. If you’re worried, ask your Doctor for a blood test to check these levels before you start taking a supplement – just in case there’s an underlying issue.
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
But it initially wasn’t charged that way. When the case first went to court in September, the man faced only charges of “sexual infraction,” a crime punishable with a maximum of five years in jail and a €75,000 fine. Under French law, a charge of rape requires “violence, coercion, threat, or surprise,” even if the victims are as young as the girl in the Montmagny case. When the case, initially postponed, went back to court in February, the man’s attorneys did not deny the sexual encounter but argued that the girl had been capable of consenting. “She was 11 years and 10 months old, so nearly 12 years old,” defense lawyer Marc Goudarzian said. Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, his fellow defense lawyer, added: “We are not dealing with a sexual predator on a poor little faultless goose.”
Spironolactone (Aldactone) is primarily used to treat fluid build-up due to heart failure, kidney disease, or liver scarring. It’s also used for treating high blood pressure, low blood potassium, excessive hair growth in women, and transgender hormone therapy.
Also, even if medical reasons have been ruled out, it’s a good idea to look at your overall diet and see if there are improvements that can be made. Jeanette Kimszal, a registered dietitian-nutritionist, recommends ensuring there is adequate protein in the diet in addition to eating foods high in iron, vitamin B’s and vitamin C.
Hereditary thinning or baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia): This is the most common cause of hair loss. It affects men and women. About 80 million people in the United States have hereditary thinning or baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia, commonly called male or female pattern baldness, was only partially understood until the last few decades. For many years, scientists thought that androgenetic alopecia was caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts under normal conditions. While testosterone is at the core of the balding process, DHT is thought to be the main culprit.
10-20% of your hair is always in resting at any given time. Hair loss occurs when your hair falls out without completing this 3 stage cycle. The hair loss becomes permanent when the follicle stops producing hair, leading to balding. There are two types of hair fall that can lead to balding; keep reading to find out what they are.
According to Dr. Robert Nettles, hair loss expert and the founder of Stop and Regrow, the single most common cause of hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss.
The leading cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia. Male pattern baldness is characterized by hair receding from the lateral sides of the forehead (known as a “receding hairline”) and/or a thinning crown (balding to the area known as the ‘vertex’). Both hair recession and hair thinning become more pronounced until they eventually meet, leaving a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the back of the head.
What you can do: Most cases of PCOS are treated with birth control pills such as Yasmin, which contains a potent anti-androgen that blocks testosterone. If you can’t use birth control pills, your doctor may prescribe spironolactone (Aldactone), which also blocks male hormones. Losing weight can also help by decreasing the effect of the male hormones.