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Women's hair loss is still so taboo because the socio-economic system we exist under puts unwarranted and unnecessary 'value' on physical appearance and social status, regardless of gender. Until we can liberate ourselves from this patriarchal and repressive system profiting from our insecurity, it will always be a taboo to stand out from 'the normal', which contributes to a lot of mental health problems across the board.
When you think of hair loss, men usually come to mind. You don’t see a lot of women walking around with receding hairlines or shaved heads as a result of hair loss. However, nearly 40% of women experience some form of hair loss by age 60. This hair loss is usually triggered by every woman’s favorite period of life: menopause. Since it’s a lot less socially acceptable for women to show signs of hair loss, balding can be emotionally devastating for many women.
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 method is to wear a hat or a hairpiece—a wig or toupee. The wig is a layer of artificial or natural hair made to resemble a typical hair style. In most cases the hair is artificial. Wigs vary widely in quality and cost. In the United States, the best wigs—those that look like real hair—cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Organizations also collect individuals' donations of their own natural hair to be made into wigs for young cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or other cancer treatment in addition to any type of hair loss.
Follicles grow in cycles (growing – resting – falling out). Therefore, not all follicles grow at the same time and they have periods of rest. During the rest period the hair may remain in the follicle for some time or it may fall out. This cycle repeats itself for the whole of your life. It takes 8-12 weeks for a hair to grow from the base of the follicle to the surface of the skin. This means that if you remove a hair, you may have to wait 8-12 weeks for it to grow again. Hairs you see growing a few days later in the same area are from different follicles.
In fact, most of the women I spoke with would not accept the diagnosis of genetic hair loss. They would rather have an illness. If a cure could not be found, at least there was a reason beyond their control. A woman appearing without hair because of a cancer fight is brave. What about those of us who are just losing our hair? There is no place for us, so we hide in shame.
Oral Medication: “In cases of androgenetic alopecia, finasteride is still the gold standard,” says Fusco. (Finasteride is the generic version of Propecia, which can be prescribed by your dermatologist and is also available via mail subscriptions.) Fusco says that even younger men can slow or delay hair loss by starting a daily finasteride prescription. “This medication works by inhibiting an enzyme that leads to hair loss,” she notes. “In clinical trials, 90 percent of the patients either gained hair or maintained their hair over a five-year period.”
Hair loss is a pretty tricky topic and most experts and doctors are never really able to pinpoint the cause. However, if you are looking to reduce your chance of hair loss or slow hair loss that is already progressing, you should consider the factors listed above. Your doctor may help you determine if a hormone imbalance or other medical condition may be the cause of your premature hair loss. If so, they may suggest hormone therapy, diet changes or other medications and treatments to help manage to condition or balance your hormones, which may naturally solve your hair loss problem.
Menopause is a natural biological process that all women experience at some point in their lives. During this time, the body goes through numerous physical changes as it adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. Many women have unpleasant symptoms during menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Hair loss is another common occurrence.
Just because hair loss is a visible condition doesn’t mean that you’ll see it right away. In fact, people often don’t notice that they are experience hair loss until half of the process has occurred. It’s important to keep an eye on the following symptoms so that you can treat the condition as early as possible. The earlier you treat hair loss, the better your results will be. Here are a few common female hair loss symptoms:
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle.[43] 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.[44] 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.
7.Iron Deficiency in women, the number-one cause of iron deficiency is too-heavy periods, says Jacques Moritz, M.D., director of gynecology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt in New York City. “They lose too much blood, replace about half of it, and then lose too much again the following month,” he says. “It’s like filling up a car with a small hold in the tank.” Your period should only fill two to three tablespoons each month. Try the tampon test: If you have to change your tampon more frequently than every two hours, talk to your gyno.
Another of the key clues is a feeling that the hair is not as thick as usual – for instance when putting the hair into a ponytail, it may seem less dense. Although this may make it difficult for any obvious changes to be observed, many women intuitively know when something is different – and this would be a good time to see a hair loss expert to ascertain exactly what is going on.
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.
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.
Yes. Doctors use the Savin scale. It ranges from normal hair density to a bald crown, which is rare. The scale helps document female pattern baldness, a condition your doctor might call androgenic alopecia. You probably know it as male pattern baldness, but it affects about 30 million American women. Experts think genes and aging play a role, along with the hormonal changes of menopause. Your hair could thin all over, with the greatest loss along the center of the scalp. 

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Mine has definitely thinned, but I am absolutely not willing to take drugs for it, or for any of the relatively minor issues that I’ve experienced. Although I do know men who have had great experience with hair drugs. Still, I don’t like putting more stuff into my body if I don’t have to. I’d like better hair, but my self-image doesn’t depend on it.

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.

Calling all gym fanatics—if you’re spending more time in the gym than you’re spending at home, it may be time to reevaluate your regimen. According to a study in the Annals of Dermatology, the more strenuous a participant’s workout routine was, the more likely they were to experience hair loss later in life. If you’re pumping iron more than a few hours a day, it’s going to affect your hairline. So, if you’d like to keep your hair, cutting a few hours of gym time every week may be the trick.
Be consistent. Dr. Robert Bernstein, a respected hair restoration surgeon suggests staying on Propecia and minoxidil for 12 months because hair growth may take a long time to become visible. Bernstein also notes that although Propecia and minoxidil were only proven to regrow hair on the top of the scalp, they "definitely can" work for the temple region so long as there is still hair remaining in that area.
Before you venture into the confusing world of Internet hair loss advice, you should first pay a visit to a hair loss specialist. The doctor will sit down with you and discuss your family and medical history, then take a look at your hair loss and make a recommendation. The doctor might recommend one of the following treatment options for young males who are experiencing hair loss:
Minoxidil is the only medically-proven hair loss treatment suitable for women that has been shown to regrow hair and stop female pattern hair loss. Whilst it is licensed by the MHRA and approved by its US counterpart, the FDA for the treatment of genetic hair loss in both men and women, minoxidil is also known to be effective for other hair loss conditions.
Hi Will, my hairline has been receding since the age of 17. I’m 21 now and my hairline has receded worse, and I feel so bad at how I look that I barely communicate with people anymore 🙁 I want to know if excessive masturbation could have anything to do with my hairloss, but its supposedly a myth?! Is there any info you can share on this topic, Will?
The phases of your hair follicles rotate on different time intervals. Some follicles have shorter intervals than others, and research has never been able to pinpoint the cause for the discrepancy in phase time periods. Sometimes, hair follicles prematurely reach the telogen phase, resulting in hair loss. In other cases, follicles may reach this resting phase and never return to the anagen phase, meaning there is no new hair growth after the hair falls out.
Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) and the side effects of its related medications can cause hair loss, typically frontal, which is particularly associated with thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows (also seen with syphilis). Hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid) can also cause hair loss, which is parietal rather than frontal.[23][unreliable medical source?]
Widely trusted as a cause for losing hair in the mid 20s, is diet. We all know a bit about this as the media is full to the brim daily with articles and findings about diets, side-effects and the negative aesthetics of poor health choices. However it’s very much true; if you’re not getting enough regular nutrients into your digestive system, you’re not getting them anywhere near your hair follicles either. On the other hand, extreme dieting or general physical trauma may also be a reason for hair loss in the mid 20s, so care should always be taken to ensure a balanced diet and gradual, healthy weight loss with the support of a dietician, if needed.
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.
During this procedure, surgeons remove a narrow strip of scalp and divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts, each containing just a few hairs. Each graft is planted in a slit in the scalp created by a blade or needle in the area of missing hair. Hair grows naturally this way, in small clusters of one to four follicles, called follicular units. As a result, the graft looks better than the larger "plugs" associated with hair transplants of yesteryear.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Before you start hormone replacement therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor about the possible risks and negative effects versus the benefits of HRT. If you're already at an increased risk for health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and blood clots, HRT may not be the best hair loss treatment for you. If you are prescribed HRT, it important to take the lowest doses that are effective, and to only take the drugs for the shortest amount of time needed to control symptoms. 

About half of all women find their hair thinning by age 50. Although some websites promote estrogen as a way to prevent hair loss, the hormone’s effects on hair growth are not well known, and long-term hormone therapy is linked to serious health risks, “so unless you need to take it for other reasons, it’s not something I would recommend,” said Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, the regional director for hair disorders at Kaiser Permanente-Northern California.
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