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There are also other visual cues that women can look for over time. Although men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head, women tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp. Sometimes their frontal line stays intact, says Nicole Rogers, MD, of Old Metairie Dermatology in Metairie, La. Women may see a part that is gradually becoming wider or see more of their scalp than normal when their hair is pulled back.
Another sneaky culprit of hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that confuses the hair for an attack on the immune system. According to Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, if your hair loss is occurring in round circles on your scalp, then you most likely are a victim of alopecia. Alopecia can be treated with steroids and even over-the-counter products like Rogaine.
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Several types of hair shaft abnormalities can lead to hair loss. These conditions cause strands of hair to thin and weaken, making them vulnerable to breaking. The hair loss doesn’t occur in the follicle but as a result of a break somewhere along the hair shaft, which is the visible part of a hair strand. This can result in overall thinning, as well as in many small, brittle hairs.
Chris Deoudes has been a fitness writer since 2006, with articles published at Bodybuilding.com and Avant Labs. He is certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise and as a performance sport nutrition specialist by the International Sports Sciences Association. He has a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and business management from the University of Florida.
In other words, no one’s truly safe from the condition. But even in the face of these seemingly insurmountable odds, not all hope is lost for your precious locks. To show your hair some TLC (and prevent further thinning), look out for these surprising culprits—and combat them accordingly. And if you need a quick way to mask any thinning hair, just check out the 15 Best Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger.
I explained to Emily that The Iowa Writers’ Workshop wasn’t really in the business of handing out medical degrees, but that since my hair was also thinning, and since I was curious, and since I supposed we weren’t the only two women on the planet who wanted some answers, I’d do some research. This is what I came up with for how to handle hair loss during perimenopause.
When your hair thins at an early age it can lead to anxiety, self-esteem issues, and lowered satisfaction when it come to your personal appearance. Initially, many guys try to overcome this by wearing a baseball cap or looking for over-the-counter hair thickening shampoos. Some brave souls will accept their genetic fate and go completely bald – but that look doesn’t always work for everyone.
Extreme hair loss should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner. But in the case of mild to moderate thinning hair, which is usually a result of thyroid imbalance, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, or elevated stress hormones, most women can get relief naturally — without having to resort to a new hair cut or experiment with hair thickening creams!
Just as pregnancy hormone changes can cause hair loss, so can switching or going off birth-control pills. This can also cause telogen effluvium, and it may be more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause may also have the same result. “The androgen (male hormone) receptors on the scalp becoming activated,” explains Mark Hammonds, MD, a dermatologist with Scott & White Clinic in Round Rock, Texas. “The hair follicles will miniaturize and then you start to lose more hair.”
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.
decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride because Finasteride decreases PSA levels. Changes in PSA levels will need to be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Finasteride. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have not been taking Finasteride as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different approaches at different times or any combination of them depending on the duration and severity of symptoms. Today, more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved by the FDA for female pattern hair loss. It can slow or stop it in most women and may help hair grow back. But the benefits go away when you stop using it. Corticosteroids can help regrow hair for women with alopecia areata. And if the cause is an underlying medical problem or poor nutrition, your locks should grow back on their own once things are under control.
Role of Hormones -- Just as high levels of female hormones during pregnancy leave women with fuller, healthier hair, the declining levels during menopause may have the opposite impact. In addition, when the levels of female hormones fall, the effects of androgens (male hormones) can increase, causing certain hair follicles to fail. Depending on your genetic risk, these follicles produce progressively weaker hair and then eventually none at all. If your doctor has recommended replacing your declining testosterone levels, this also may work against your luscious locks as many aging women can experience increased hair loss from testosterone, especially if they are "androgen sensitive."
Lifestyle changes, combined with alternative medicines, are a highly effective treatment option for most women suffering from menopausal hair loss. However, for some women, the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. Before beginning to take prescription medicine or getting surgery, a woman should consult a trusted medical professional to better understand the potential benefits and risks involved.