The blame can't be blamed solely on your hair care habits, either—if there's baldness anywhere in your family tree, you're at risk. Unlike male-pattern baldness, though, where patches of hair fall out over time, female hair loss means a reduction in hair volume, making transplantation extremely difficult. "The total number of hairs doesn't always decrease, but the diameter of each strand shrinks," says Kingsley. And too-thin hairs won't grow past a certain length—which explains the baby fuzz around my hairline.
The warning signs for men and women with genetic hair loss are slightly different. For men, the two “danger zones” are the crown and the hairline, which are usually where evidence of thinning hair can signal the start of male pattern hairloss – although less eagle-eyed or image-conscious individuals may take many months or even years to notice the gradual changes.
Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help promote regenerative hair growth. Taking care to not pull or twist hair in destructive ways and avoiding other physical traumas such as harsh processing techniques or excessive heat in styling will also help to protect hair.
My hair has become slightly thicker in recent years due to trying out some other medications, and I have recently started using Regaine foam for women. I've had to come to terms with the fact I will never have thick hair, but it still gets me down now and then, especially when I go through periods of stress and it thins again. I found that about 6 months after I was hospitalised whilst travelling in Africa, and after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal (I was a volunteer there at the time) my hair suddenly thinned again, which is apparently common after traumatic events.
Nine months ago, whilst blow drying my hair, I noticed a small circular bald patch on my left temple. I had no idea what it was and instantly called the doctors surgery hoping to book an appointment. I was told over the phone that it sounded like I had something called Alopecia and the doctor couldn't see me for a few weeks, but there's no cure, so I wasn't an urgent case compared to others.
Tightly pulling back your hair in ponytails, cornrows or braids can lead to traction alopecia, characterized by hair breakage along the hairline and temples. Women athletes who often wear their hair pulled back are particularly at risk. A change in hairstyle usually helps; however, hair loss may be permanent if the tight styling techniques have been used too long.
One especially effective supplement has emerged in the last few years, and Fusco calls it “a real game changer.” It’s a multivitamin blend called Nutrafol for Men. (Fusco is not paid to endorse it.) She says they many of her patients have “seen regrowth, thicker hair and a healthier scalp after using it. It’s packed with botanical ingredients that help multiple causes of poor hair health, including hair loss from inflammation, stress, hormone imbalance, genetics, and environmental toxins.”
Loose anagen syndrome, which most commonly presents in young children, occurs when hair that is not firmly rooted in the follicle can be pulled out easily. Most of the time, hair falls out after it has reached an arbitrary maximum length. Children with loose anagen syndrome often cannot grow hair beyond a relatively short length. The condition more commonly affects girls with blond or brown hair.
Trich is mostly considered untreatable; there's not enough research into the mental, or neurophysiological mechanisms of action to really underpin the cause. I suspect it works in a similar way to any other addiction; a stimulus like a small amount of pain induces a dopamine response, a pleasurable feeling. After a while, your physiological urge for the dopamine hit overpowers your reasoning to stop.