You know, in this day and age, we can be really brutal with our hair, all these sprays, and heating tools, and hair dryers, and hair straighteners, so just watch what you're actually doing with your hair because if it's starting to get a little thinner and a little more brittle, then using a lot of these harsh treatments can speed up the deterioration process.
Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 2-3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts around two to four months, the hair rests.
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.
Turns out I may be on to something. Research shows that if scalp massages are done with essential oils, including lavender, cedarwood, thyme, and rosemary (the latter being especially effective), they do indeed stimulate hair growth. Of course, the nice thing is, we don’t need to embarrass ourselves by making crazy requests to fancy hair salons (although, if the salon is fancy enough, of course, no request will be seen as crazy); we can give scalp massages to ourselves. And if your sleeping partner doesn’t care, or if you sleep by yourself, then for an additional benefit, you can do what I sometimes do, which is rub rosemary oil with coconut oil into my scalp before bed, and then sleep with it in my hair/head all night.
Decades ago, this would have been the most accurate way of determining your odds—looking at old photos of your ancestors—but now there are more scientific means of predicting hair loss. These days, your doctor can take a swab of DNA from the saliva inside your cheek, and it will show how sensitive you are to dihydrotestosterone (known as DHT, which is the hormone created by the body’s testosterone). This swab will also tell you your odds for balding (and how quickly), and can predict how you might react to hair-loss medications like Propecia or Finasteride treatment.
Hair loss affects over 60% of men before the age of 30. Some men begin to experience hair loss, commonly a result of male pattern baldness, in their late teens or early twenties. If you have recently looked in the mirror to discover you have thinning, balding patches of hair or a receding hairline, you may be suffering from male pattern baldness or another condition that’s causing your hair loss. Hair loss is not entirely understood by researchers, though, so slowing balding and regenerating hair growth can sometimes be a guessing game. There are options, though, for young men who experience mild to severe hair loss. You should start by trying to understand the cause of your baldness to help you decide which treatment (or lifestyle changes) may work for you.
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.