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Any kind of unusual hair loss should not be ignored. “Since women develop hair loss for many reasons and each requires different treatment, it’s wise to consult with a dermatologist,” Wilma F. Bergfeld, senior dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic and past president of the American Academy of Dermatology, noted in an interview with HuffPost.
It’s common for hair loss sufferers to turn to hair replacement surgery and topical hair loss products in hopes of regaining their full heads of hair — or at least some of what once was. But is that the best course of action to take with hair loss? When it comes to any problem, the first step is to find the root cause. Let’s talk about the real causes of hair loss and what you can start doing today to naturally stop and hopefully reverse your hair loss. For starters there are many foods and vitamins for hair growth that won’t break the bank but can really make a difference. There also many other natural hair loss remedies like rosemary essential oil that have been shown to work as well as conventional topical products. (2)
The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.
When men have hereditary hair loss, they often get a receding hairline. Many men see bald patches, especially on the top of the head. Women, on the other hand, tend to keep their hairline. They see noticeably thinning hair. The first sign of hair loss for many women is a widening part. In rare cases, men see noticeably thinning hair. And in rare cases, women can see a receding hairline or bald patches. The reasons for this are unknown.
Hair loss in women at any age and for any reason is discouraging, frustrating, and sometimes even devastating. The most common type of hair loss in women is called female pattern hair loss, or FPHL. Many factors are to blame for hair loss including medical conditions, genetics, some medications, harsh scalp or hair treatments, and hormonal changes. Methods to treat this condition in women are effective in some cases, but in others medical and surgical interventions may be needed to restore hair growth.
The human scalp contains about 100,000 hair follicles. Hair grows from the bottom of the follicle from an area called the root. Blood vessels nourish the root, allowing hair to grow. Hair grows up and toward the skin, passing an oil gland. Oil glands keep hair shiny and soft. Too much oil may make hair greasy. Hair is dead by the time it pokes out through the skin. Hair on the head grows at a rate of about half an inch per month. Hair on your head remains there for between 2 to 6 years. That is about the length of time for the growth phase. Then the hair stops growing for a period before it falls out. The resting phase of the hair follicle is called the telogen phase. Then the cycle begins anew.
Side effects, which are most often of a sexual nature, like loss of libido and erectile dysfunction, affect only a very small percentage of patients. And more often than not, they are psychological. The chances of you experiencing real side effects are next to impossible.
Hair loss has multiple potential causes, including diet, mineral deficiency, medications, severe stress or illness, pollution, and your genetics. Up to one third of the population suffer from hair loss, and of that third, thousands are women. There are no guarantees that you can prevent hair loss that is genetically programmed, or hair loss caused by factors not within your control; however, you can do the best by your hair to give it the greatest chance of staying in top condition and not leaving your head sooner than it needs to.
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. Take steps to combat stress and anxiety, like getting more exercise, trying talk therapy, or getting more support if you need it.
It is most commonly found in people with ponytails, tight braids or any hairstyles that typically pull on hair with excessive force. In addition, rigorous brushing, heat styling and rough scalp massage can damage the cuticle, the hard outer casing of the hair. This causes individual strands to become weak and break off, reducing overall hair volume.
Rosemary is one of the top essential oils when it comes to enhancing hair thickness and growth. Rosemary oil is believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulate hair growth. Research published in 2015 even showed that rosemary oil appears to work as well as minoxidil, a conventional topical hair loss treatment. (10)
But female hair loss is complex and Dr Hugh Rushton, a Harley Street trichologist, says 72% of women with male hormone-related hair loss are also iron deficient: “The key is to get an accurate diagnosis and to eliminate all other potential factors.”
Crash diets and fad diets promise quick weight loss, but most do not work and can be dangerous. If you lose 15 pounds or more very quickly, you may lose a significant amount of hair within a matter of months. Stick to a healthy, balanced eating plan. Fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbs give your body the fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals you need to maintain a healthy body, including a full head of hair. Other dietary risk factors for hair loss? Excess vitamin A and protein deficiency may both set the stage for your luscious locks to fall out.
Most women, during, and post pregnancy, experience frequent dehydration, fatigue, and hormonal imbalance. This causes increased sensitivity in the hair follicles. It also creates unfavorable scalp conditions. All of these factors together lead to chronic hair fall.
Low level laser devices approved by the FDA are promoted for use in male pattern hair loss. These devices are used at home without a physician’s prescription and vary in cost from $50 to over $1,000. They come in the form of combs, helmets, and hats. Limited studies are moderately persuasive that they stimulate hair growth.
Congenital triangular alopecia – It is a 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.
When Heidi Imhof started losing her hair at 42, she also started losing sleep. Ms. Imhof, a lawyer, was afraid that blow-drying her straight dark hair would hasten the shedding, so she got up two hours early to shower and apply mousse and volumizers. When her hair finally air-dried, she’d pull it back, hoping to hide the bald patches on her scalp.
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.
Don’t pull your hair too tight. Some hairstyles that require tight pulling and elastics or clips can be a cause of hair loss if done on a daily basis. For example, tight ponytails, tight braids, cornrows, and plaits can lead to significant hair loss when done daily. Winding hair tightly onto rollers, especially heated rollers, is also liable to cause more hair loss.
Thanks for your response and awesome article! Do you recommend sticking with minoxidil for a period of time (i.e. 6 months) before starting finasteride or do it all at once? I would be on finasteride now if I wasn’t nervous about the potential side effects so my plan was to wait to see if minoxidal does anything for me over the next 3 months or so (at that point I will have been on it ~ 6 months). My shedding has certainly reduced so hopefully it is starting to work. I’m in the very early stages of hair loss. No one would notice (except me and my wife). Just looks my hair part on the top of my head even though it really is thinning.
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.
Going off the Pill or changing to a different type of hormonal contraception can also cause hormone-induced shedding. “Whether you’re just starting it, discontinuing it, or changing brands, your body can react by causing the hair to go into an increased shedding mode,” says Fusco.
With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
Have you noticed more hair in your brush lately than you used to see, or is you hair falling out in clumps? Do you look in the mirror and see scalp where you used to see only hair? Losing anywhere from 50 to 150 hairs per day is considered normal, but when you start losing more than that it becomes problematic, not to mention visibly noticeable. What’s really behind your hair loss, and how can you treat the cause, not just the symptoms, with effective hair loss remedies?
yes…..for me, the best thing to use is onion juice two or three times aweek…….mix it with castor oil or coconut oil………one can see an improvement in 2 weeks but it will take 6 months or so to see an excellent result……..it could work for you……try it!
If you’re suffering from hair loss, chances are a hormonal imbalance is to blame. The state-of the-art tests used by BodyLogicMD affiliated physicians test your female hormones: estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones and cortisol to determine if your hair loss is hormonal or genetic. If a hormonal imbalance is the culprit, your highly trained bioidentical hormone doctor will prescribe bioidentical hormones made by a compounding pharmacy to help you bring your hormone levels back to optimal balance and effectively treat hormonal hair loss in women.
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.