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What you can do: Slow the hair loss by applying minoxidil (Rogaine) to the scalp twice a day. The drug works on both women and men, although women should use a lower-strength formula to prevent unnecessary side effects. Women should not use minoxidil if they are pregnant or nursing. Men may be treated with finasteride (Propecia), an oral medication.
The way it is supposed to work is to cause minor damage to your skin so it starts to heal and ‘regenerate,’ as it wouldn’t do so otherwise. It should also increase collagen and help better absorb nutrients in the area.
It can be alarming when your brush seems to hold more hair than your scalp does. The good news is that some hair loss is to be expected (the average person loses up to 150 strands a day). If you’re shedding significantly more than that, however, any number of physiological or psychological factors could be to blame. But you don’t have to tear your (remaining) hair out. Whatever the cause, there are strategies that can help.
The symptoms: The condition can occur in three forms. Alopecia areata commonly causes round, smooth patches of baldness on the scalp, eyebrows, or legs, Dr. Fusco says. Total hair loss on the head is known as alopecia totalis, while hair loss that occurs all over the body is called alopecia universalis. Some patients have reported that before the bald spot occurred, they felt something in that area—a tingling or an irritation, Dr. Fusco says.
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Ever notice what sits atop nearly every ancient Greek statue? A mop of thick, full, wavy hair. An artistic choice? Perhaps. But maybe it’s due to the thick, protein-rich yogurt that Greeks and other cultures have been eating since 500 B.C. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), which helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Check out our picks for the Best Greek Yogurts for Weight Loss!
The loss of hair (alopecia) is a natural phenomenon in all hair-baring animals that normally occurs during the hair growth cycle. It is estimated that most individuals (assuming they have a full head of hair) lose about 100 scalp hairs over a 24-hour period. Hair loss can become a cosmetic problem when it occurs in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong individual. True hair loss should be distinguished from damage to the hair shaft, which may cause breakage close to the scalp. This sort of damage is often caused by exogenous chemicals used to alter the physical characteristics of the hair shaft (hair dye, etc.) or other forms of self-manipulation.
The tests: There are no tests for telogen effluvium, but your doctor may ask you about recent life events and look for small club- shaped bulbs on the fallen hair’s roots. The bulbs mean the hair has gone through a complete cycle of growth, suggesting that the cycle may have sped up due to stress.
“Hair that easily breaks or grows very slowly might mean that the hair is staying too long in the resting phase and that the hair growth stage has been shorted,” Dubsky says. “HairMax laser treatments help to normalize and extend the hair growth phase so that hair can grow longer and stronger.”
Most hair loss is not associated with systemic or internal disease, nor is poor diet a frequent factor. Hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall aging process. Many men and women may notice mild physiologic thinning of hair starting in their 30s and 40s. Life vicissitudes, including illness, emotional trauma, protein deprivation (during strict dieting), and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause hair loss.
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There are many different types of hair loss. Some, like genetic andogenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) are irreversible and out of your control—you get the hand you’re dealt. But others, like the very common telogen effluvium, which is temporarily increased shedding caused by a wide variety of health and hormonal changes, can be fixed. With telogen effluvium hair loss, you need to think back to four or so months before to determine the culprit, Bethanee Schlosser, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology and director of the Women’s Skin Health Program for Northwestern Medicine, tells SELF. Shedding peaks about four months after the incident that caused it, she explains. Other types of hair loss may happen progressively over some time and depending on whether they damage the hair follicle, can be either permanent or fleeting.
Demodex folliculorum, a microscopic mite that feeds on the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, denies hair essential nutrients and can cause thinning. Demodex folliculorum is not present on every scalp and is more likely to live in an excessively oily scalp these, or similar agents, may prove helpful in treating your hair loss, they have other effects for which they are FDA approved to treat. Talk with your doctor about using these medications. Your doctor will consider your other medications and any existing medical conditions in treating your hair loss.
There is another type of female hair loss, however, that is less dramatic and less visible, but can be incredibly distressing. The hair thins gradually, often over decades, around the top frontal area and extending back to the crown. It can start at any age, is progressive and inherited.