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About two out of three men experience hair loss by age 60, and most of the time it’s due to male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follows a classic pattern in which the hair recedes at the temples, leaving an M-shaped hairline.
^ Jump up to: a b Blumeyer, A; Tosti, A; Messenger, A; Reygagne, P; Del Marmol, V; Spuls, PI; Trakatelli, M; Finner, A; Kiesewetter, F; Trüeb, R; Rzany, B; Blume-Peytavi, U; European Dermatology Forum, (EDF) (October 2011). Evidence-based (S3) guideline for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women and in men. Journal of the German Society of Dermatology. 9 Suppl 6: S1–57. doi:10.1111/j.1610-0379.2011.07802.x. PMID 21980982.
If you have inherited baldness or other conditions, which lead to hair loss, this can’t be changed, but there can make lifestyle choices that will help protect the hair you do have. The first place to start is taking a close look at your current diet. Lack of certain vitamins, such as iron or zinc, will lead to hair loss. You can make sure that your diet is full of nutrient-rich foods, including spinach, kale, beans, and leans cut of meat or tofu for vegetarians or vegans.
Women lose hair on an inherited (genetic) basis, too, but the female pattern tends to be more diffuse, with less likelihood of the crown and frontal hairline being lost. Although some women may notice hair thinning as early as their 20s, the pace of hair loss tends to be gradual, often taking years to become obvious to others. There seems to be a normal physiologic thinning that comes with age and occurs in many women in their early to mid-30s. More women have underlying causes of hair loss than men. These include treatable conditions like anemia and thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). These conditions are diagnosed by blood tests along with a historical and physical evidence. Although a few studies have suggested that baldness may be inherited through the mother’s family genes, these theories require further testing. Current studies are inconclusive. Although not indicated for female pattern balding, spironolactone (Aldactone) has had some success in treating this condition.
There are many different types of hair removal: shaving, plucking, waxing, depilation, laser hair removal, oral medications, and electrolysis. Laser hair removal is one of the longest-lasting methods of hair removal. Unfortunately, no hair-removal technique is permanent when it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair.
Anagen effluvium occurs after any insult to the hair follicle that impairs its mitotic or metabolic activity. This hair loss is commonly associated with chemotherapy. Since chemotherapy targets your body’s rapidly dividing cancer cells, your body’s other rapidly dividing cells such as hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase, are also greatly affected. Soon after chemotherapy begins approximately 90 percent or more of the hairs can fall out while still in the anagen phase.
The symptoms: Lupus often causes extreme fatigue, headaches, oral ulcers, and painful, swollen joints. Many people develop a butterfly-shaped rash across the bridge of the nose and become more sensitive to the sun. Other symptoms include fever; swelling in the feet and hands and around the eyes; chest pain; and anemia. Many people also experience hair loss, which may be mild and occur while shampooing or brushing your hair—or it may be more severe, coming out in patches and accompanied by a rash on the scalp, says Arthur Weinstein, MD, director of the division of rheumatology at the Washington Hospital Center. Because these symptoms occur in many other conditions, lupus is often called the great imitator.
The characteristic finding in anagen effluvium is the tapered fracture of the hair shafts. The hair shaft narrows as a result of damage to the matrix. Eventually, the shaft fractures at the site of narrowing and causes the loss of hair.
According to The Washington Post, American hair loss sufferers spend more than 3.5 billion dollars a year in an attempt to treat their hair loss. Unfortunately, 99% of all products being marketed in the less than ethical hair loss treatment industry are completely ineffective for the majority of those who use them.
Minoxidil (loniten) was the first drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness. For many years, minoxidill, in pill form, was widely used to treat high blood pressure. Just like finasteride researchers discovered a very interesting side effect of the drug. People taking the medication were growing hair in unexpected places like on their cheeks and the back of their hands, some even grew hair on their foreheads.
Know what to avoid eating. As well as knowing what’s good to consume, it’s best to know what to avoid too. The basic rules of a healthy balanced diet always apply, but there are a few particular things that can contribute to hair loss. The artificial sweetener, aspartame, has been cited as a cause of hair thinning and hair loss. Food additives can also have a negative effect.
What you can do: areata is usually treated with intralesional corticosteroids, Dr. Fusco says. In some cases, minoxidil (Rogaine) may also help. It’s also important to reduce stress. (See 5 stay-calm solutions from stress survivors.)