Here's what I gleaned from my blood tests and research into hair loss at-large. Many various symptoms can causes hair shedding—as any cursory WebMD search can tell you, from stress to chemotherapy–but 90 percent of hair loss is genetic and needs to be treated with medication. It can also be a sign of a thyroid disorder, says endocrinologist, Dr. Emilia Liao, who diagnosed me with mild hypothyroidism.
After I had my first baby, I started getting post-partum hair shedding, which is totally normal. When you're pregnant you retain all your hair and it's shiny and thick and lovely, and then once you give birth it starts to shed. It can seem quite extreme because you haven't been shedding your hair naturally over time like you would when you're not pregnant, but it's totally normal.
I too have spent 25 year researching what causes balding. I have found other reasons that cause balding that I believe to be true. The common link for all humans balding on the vertex of the head is the mandible is in a class 2 skeletal position. This causes the condyle to occlude the superficial temporal artery where it passes between the base of the skull and the condyle. In a normal healthy temporalmandibular joint, there is sufficient clearance for the superficial temporal artery. The skeletal class 2 position places the teeth, the mandible, the Ramos and the condyle in a retrognathic position. In conclusion, the dislocated class 2 skeletal jaw is functioning outside the glenoid fossa in a distalized position, towards the back of your head occluding on the superficial temporal artery. This causes the only connection the vertex follicle pad has to the body to be cut off ending the growth cycle of the hair follicle pad of the vertex.
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle. Ordinarily, hair follicle renewal is maintained by the stem cells associated with each follicle. Aging of the hair follicle appears to be primed by a sustained cellular response to the DNA damage that accumulates in renewing stem cells during aging. This damage response involves the proteolysis of type XVII collagen by neutrophil elastase in response to the DNA damage in the hair follicle stem cells. Proteolysis of collagen leads to elimination of the damaged cells and then to terminal hair follicle miniaturization.
I found out I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) coupled with insulin resistance, which were the causes of the hair loss. This was over 12 years ago and unfortunately for me not much was known about the condition, which affects so many women. All the GPs and specialists I saw were middle aged men, who were dismissive and often clueless about what was going on. I was told there was really not much to be done, and put on the pill which was supposed to balance things out. At one point I was even told not to worry over something as trivial as hair loss.
What sometimes surprises women is that female pattern hair loss has the same cause as male pattern baldness: an inherited sensitivity to the testosterone-byproduct dihydrotestosterone (DHT). While men’s hair loss treatment for makes use of a clinically-proven drug named finasteride 1mg to block its production, this is not a suitable option for women.
Genetics is the most common reason for baldness, yes, but, according to this study in PLOS Genetics, it’s a more complicated process than we initially thought, and involves more than 280 genes. From this genetic map, researchers were able to determine which participants were in danger of losing their hair, and from those in the danger zone, about 20 percent could blame their mothers for such a predicament—not their father. Though, it is important to note that men and women lose their hair in very different ways. For men, the hair slowly begins receding at the temples, before eventually forming an M-shaped hairline, while women may notice a gradual widening of the scalp and thinning texture of their hair.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It's called androgenetic alopecia, or female (or male) pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic "M" shape; hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman's hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
Another way to diagnose what the problem is just by looking and listening, Rogers says. She asks what a patient’s mother, aunts, or grandmothers look like - if they have similar, or greater amounts, of hair loss. Using magnification on the scalp can show if a woman’s follicles vary in size - with some thick and others thin. These are two telltale signs of female pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia.
Fifty is the average age for menopause, but changes to your hair can begin long before, and is one reason why hair thinning during menopause is difficult to counteract. Nobody over 40 has the same volume of hair they had in their twenties, but menopause is an accelerating cause. The pattern of menopausal hair thinning is similar to the early stages of male pattern hair loss.
There’s no single cause. Triggers range from medical conditions -- as many as 30 -- to stress and lifestyle factors, like what you eat. Your genes play a role, too. Sometimes doctors can’t find a specific reason. As a starting point, hair loss experts suggest you get tested for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances. Hair often grows back once the cause is addressed.
Side effects and concerns: Minoxidil is safe, but it can have unpleasant side effects even apart from the alcohol-related skin irritation. Sometimes the new hair differs in color and texture from surrounding hair. Another risk is hypertrichosis — excessive hair growth in the wrong places, such as the cheeks or forehead. (This problem is more likely with the stronger 5% solution.)
One-fifth of men will experience significant hair loss by age of 20(!), and that percentage grows proportional to age. Bauman says that significant loss increases steadily with age: 30 percent will experience it in their 30s, 40 percent in 40s, and so on. “This math proves true for men into their 90s,” he says. “If you go unchecked but have maintained most of your hair by middle age, then your sensitivity to DHT is probably on the low side, meaning you have a slower rate of male pattern hair loss going on.”
Further help is available from additional hair growth supporting products, which bring additional armaments to the fight against thinning hair. One of which – Hair Vitalics for Women – is a food supplement developed exclusively for The Belgravia Centre by our hair experts. In addition to key nutrients including biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth, these highly-targeted one-a-day tablets feature elements, such as the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzen, which are unlikely to feature in a normal diet. Whilst not intended to replace a balanced diet or hair loss treatment, this convenient product can help to give the hair a boost from the inside out.
Temple hair transplantation is quite possible and in fact is one of the areas that makes the face much more youthful. Although temple recession is generally seen in advanced stages of hair loss, thinning of the area could be seen much earlier. Transplanting hair to the temple areas is more challenging than a other areas of scalp due to the steep angles and especial distribution of hair in the area.
Sleep helps all our bodily functions and alow the body to build, repair and restore order. Have a calming bed-time routine such as a lavender bath, avoid stress and technology before bed and try to sleep in a darkened room if possible. Healthy sleep will help to rebalance hormones and nourish the adrenal glands which are the glands that produce stres hormones like cortisol.
Harmful lifestyle plus sure kinds of medications otherwise diseases can lead to hormonal imbalance in men. This inequity might trigger extreme secretion of DHT hormone. Consequently hair begins to fall off in droves. Superior testosterone is linked to hair loss. If you have genetic hair loss, what you inherit is hair follicles which enclose a senior sensitivity to DHT that is a hormone collected of single kind of testosterone.
Some women notice that their hair becomes thinner or patchy at menopause. For most women it's not as dramatic as male hair loss but it can be a very sensitive subject that can badly knock your confidence. The pattern in women tends of gradual thinning - maybe a more obvious scalp or a wider parting. Thinning can be seen on the top of the scalp as well as at the sides. Some women notice hair on their pillow, in the shower or it may come out in clumps while brushing.
This is probably the most common sign that your hair is starting to thin out. The receding hairline usually starts out as something small – maybe the hair around your temples gets a little bit thinner than the rest of your hair, or your forehead is a centimeter taller. At first, it’s not that big of a deal. But when you leave the receding hairline unchecked, it usually continues to grow until it creates a large M-shape pattern in the hair.
When women have female pattern hair loss, the pattern of the shedding is completely different. While it is still located around the top of the head, it affects the vertex more diffusely, as opposed to being confined to defined areas. While thinning can certainly be significant, the chances of it forming noticeable bald areas are much less likely than with men. Instead, hair tends to look less voluminous than it once did, and the severity of the loss is recorded on something called the Ludwig Scale, which can be seen here.
According to psychologist Dr. Ana Fonseca, “For women, self-esteem and self-concept are the reflex of social influence, which can act as a source of conflict and misfit, with repercussions on body image and health. The relationship with the hair often includes anxiety about its general condition, if it’s thinning and falling out, or going gray. Hair is valued in connection with beauty and femininity, sexuality and attractiveness, so when losing it, people are affected negatively in their self-esteem and self-image. Hair loss threatens our vanity, how much we value ourselves and is usually seen as unattractive and often associated with being unwell or aging. It is recognized that there are also emotional factors associated with hair loss so it can mean psychological discomfort.”
I took your quiz. Sadly, the answers I gave were as of my early 20s, when my hairline started receding and had that ‘M shape’. I receded to Norwood 3, but mysteriously, the receding stopped there. The only explanation I can think of is that I gave up junk food and started eating more fresh fruit and veggies and started regular running and hiking. I lost a lot of weight and felt great. Until my early 50s, when suddenly my hair began to rapidly recede and I developed a bald spot in back. I panicked, thinking that I might have a serious medical condition, since I had not changed my good living habits. My doctor reassured me that I was still very healthy. Next stop: hair restoration specialist. He informed me that I had male pattern baldness and would eventually go completely bald on top. To my surprise and delight, my wife was thrilled that I was going bald and begged me to just let nature take its course. She confessed to me that she had always secretly wished that I would someday go bald and was delighted that her wish was finally coming true. Reluctantly, I agreed to just let myself go bald. Two things amaze me: First, how fast I went bald (less than two years to go completely bald on top). It was as if I was making up for lost time. Secondly, the sudden change in my attitude. Whereas I was panicked my wife would hate it, now thanks largely to her encouragement, I couldn’t go bald fast enough. It was a huge turn of for my wife and me. She still loves to sneak up behind me while I’m relaxing watching TV news or sports and kiss me on top of my bald head. I haven’t just adjusted to being bald. I really love being bald and wouldn’t ever try to regrow my hair. Not at my age. I’m in my 70s and it is quite normal for someone my age to be bald. The information you email to me I will pass on to my two sons, who, like me, face the likelyhood that they will eventually go bald. They are in their mid 30s and their hairlines are beginning to recede a little at their temples. I chose to go bald. They don’t have to. Oh, a third thing amazes me: that there are women out there who prefer bald men to men with a full head of hair. Thank God I am married to one of those women.
However, both men and women are able to use the MHRA licensed and FDA-approved minoxidil – a dose-dependent drug which is applied topically to the scalp where needed to promote hair growth. Various formulations of high strength minoxidil are available for men and women and can form part of a targeted treatment course aimed at stopping shedding and encouraging regrowth.