HealthCentral's team of editors based in Arlington, Virginia, collaborates with patient advocates, medical professionals, and health journalists worldwide to bring you medically vetted information and personal stories from people living with chronic conditions to help you navigate the best path forward with your health — no matter your starting point.
Fashionista: What causes female hair to thin? Candace Hoffmann: There can be a number of reasons women lose hair. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common. How do you know if this might be the reason for your hair loss? Look around at your family. If you have parents, relatives with thinning hair or who are frankly bald --male or female--there is a good chance you could have the propensity as well. That being said, for women, it’s not so cut and dry. Men can easily discern such a connection, women can have multiple reasons for hair loss--sometimes, it's temporary hair loss (telogen effluvium). Here are some common reasons for hair loss in women that are not genetic:
I had a new baby to look after and knowing my hair was falling out just added to the stress. There was a point where my post-natal depression got so bad that the doctor wanted to prescribe me anti-depressants. But as much as the hair loss was bringing me down, as a new mum I just didn't want to feel out of it. A lot of people choose to take medication and that's totally their choice, but for me I didn't want to be in a haze at such an early stage of my child's life, or ever really. 

HealthCentral's team of editors based in Arlington, Virginia, collaborates with patient advocates, medical professionals, and health journalists worldwide to bring you medically vetted information and personal stories from people living with chronic conditions to help you navigate the best path forward with your health — no matter your starting point.
This is a hereditary condition that affects about 30 million American women, according to the America Academy of Dermatology, and is the most common kind of hair loss Rogers sees in her practice. She tells WebMD that it happens to about 50% of women. Although it mostly occurs in the late 50s or 60s, it can happen at any time, even during teenage years, Rogers says.
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective means of treating hair loss. This level of approach includes several different therapies. Herbal remedies are the most prominent, though in addition women may turn to such techniques scalp massage in order to help stimulate hair follicles and regenerate hair growth. These can be valid and effective options, though most women find that herbal remedies are the easiest alternative treatment to follow, as the others require a greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal remedies are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
Whether you've had thin hair your entire life or you're just starting to notice that your mane isn't looking quite as full as it used to, chances are, you've sought solutions to thicken or regrow the strands on your scalp. If this is the case, you're not alone – hair loss can and does happen to a lot of people. Visible hair loss tends to be more noticeable around certain parts of the scalp, like the top of the head or around the sides by the temples, but stimulating new growth can be attempted naturally at home and with just a few inexpensive items. 

In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. (See "Life cycle of a hair.") That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."
Symptoms of hair loss include hair loss in patches usually in circular patterns, dandruff, skin lesions, and scarring. Alopecia areata (mild – medium level) usually shows in unusual hair loss areas, e.g., eyebrows, backside of the head or above the ears, areas the male pattern baldness usually does not affect. In male-pattern hair loss, loss and thinning begin at the temples and the crown and hair either thins out or falls out. Female-pattern hair loss occurs at the frontal and parietal.
Ahh this is so helpful and it makes a lot of sense! Thank you so much for this! I’ll definitely take all this on board! Honestly since my hair started thinning a few months ago I’ve been so panicked and confused as to why it was happening. I’m quite vain and I’ve always loved my hair so I’ve been really worried about keeping my curly locks! My friend actually recommended getting a wig made. Apparently you can have small pieces and extensions to cover up certain thinning parts of your hair without losing all your hair (and I’m definitely leaning towards this option). I read about a company called Optima Hair (they’re located near where I live), has anyone else used them? They look good but I don’t know much about it if I’m honest so I’d appreciate any advice or recommendations people could give me! x

Hair loss is something that happens to the majority of men at some point in time. Despite the fact that most of us have a slim chance of keeping the same head of hair throughout our lives, we still cling to the idea that hair loss won’t happen to us. Unfortunately, this denial makes it more difficult to stop male pattern baldness from claiming most of our hair.


Hi Will. I have a question regarding on my hair loss problem. Currently, I’m still on my 19 but I already have that M-shaped on my hairline which is really absurd and devastating for me. I met a doctor one month ago and he prescribed me with ketoconazole shampoo. The result is quite impressive as my hair didn’t feel itchy anymore. The thing is, the hair on my hairline is still not growing as much as the other parts of my head but the fine hair didn’t fall out. Is it going to be like that or is there anything that I should consider to make it grow back?
Also my energy levels are high. I remember that at the beginning i did heavy cardio and interval training which helped me lose weight fast but i did not realize how biotin played a part in my weight loss until AFTER i stopped working out. I continue to take biotin every day and now that I am no longer on my diet i eat whatever i want and i don’t gain weight. It appears the biotin may be keeping my metabolism to the level it was at during my training. So i highly recommend it to you.
Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Hair Loss, is similar to temporary Telogen Effluvium in its causes, the main difference being that hair loss can be prolonged. The reason for this is that the underlying cause of the hair loss has not been dealt with. In order to treat Chronic TE effectively it is important not only to treat the condition with an optimum course of treatment, but also to look at the medical issues causing the problem.
What to do: Once chemotherapy is stopped, your hair will grow back although often it will come back with a different texture (perhaps curly when before it was straight) or a different color. Researchers are working on more targeted drugs to treat cancer, ones that would bypass this and other side effects. In the meantime, Here's How to Deal With Thinning Hair During Chemo.

This study in males age 60 years and older was designed to determine whether the histology and hormonal findings in older males with hair thinning are similar to Androgenetic Alopecia in young males. Males who experienced the first onset of scalp hair thinning after age 60 were compared to age-matched males (controls) without a history of hair thinning. Four scalp biopsies, two from the frontal and two from the occipital scalp, were obtained for horizontal sectioning and biochemical assay. Histologic findings were primarily follicular downsizing. Follicular drop out was not detected using elastic tissue staining, and there was no significant difference in number of follicles in frontal compared to occipital scalp.

Devices that emit low-energy laser light may help new hair grow. They're available in some clinics and for home use. Several are approved for both men and women, and studies show they do work. But it might take 2-4 months before you see results. Keep in mind: The FDA doesn’t require the same rigorous testing for devices as for medicines. The long-term safety and effects aren’t known. 

Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. Yes losing your hair, especially at a young age can be extremely traumatic. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to stop any further loss and even regrow lost hair. I suggest taking the quiz and signing up for emails where I show you the steps that really work to reverse hair loss. There are two parts to this process. T
Once considered a mark of a middle age crisis among men, hair loss and thinning hair is fairly common among women as well. Some 30 million women in the U.S. have hereditary hair loss (compared with 50 million men). Daily tasks such as brushing and washing your hair can turn from relaxing to puzzling when excess shedding around the hairline occurs. Being an unlucky victim of either genetics or improper hair styling can cause a receding hairline.
Androgenic Alopecia: This affects both men and women, but is more common in men. This is also referred to as “male pattern baldness” and can affect men as early as their late teenage years or early twenties. Typically, this type of alopecia will produce a gradually receding hairline, which eventually results in loss or thinning of most of the hair on the scalp. This is the most common type of alopecia that causes early hair loss.
Women also have more of an enzyme called aromotase, which stimulates the hormone production of estrone and estradiol; both of these hormones act against hair follicle-shrinking DHT. In most women, aromotase production is significant at the front of the hairline—meaning loss here is less common in women, but not impossible. Sometimes, conditions such as hirsutism, ovarian abnormalities, infertility and menstrual irregularities may interfere with estrone and estradiol production so that loss at the hairline occurs.
Hello Alex, I see no reason that those supplements would have made things worse. The only issue might be if the fish oil was oxidised before you consumed it, which can be common with some of the supplements (did you keep it in your fridge.) Anyway, even then I don’t think that could be the reason. Another possible answer is that the older (unhealthy) hairs are being replaced by healthier hairs, hence shedding. However, this probably isn’t the reason either. Your hair loss development is probably just continuing like normal with little affect from the supplements. Seeing a doctor might be a good idea as things will continue to get worse most likely. Please take a look at our Hair Equilibrium program and Grogenix product range. That’s probably how you’ll have most success getting your hair back.

Whether you've had thin hair your entire life or you're just starting to notice that your mane isn't looking quite as full as it used to, chances are, you've sought solutions to thicken or regrow the strands on your scalp. If this is the case, you're not alone – hair loss can and does happen to a lot of people. Visible hair loss tends to be more noticeable around certain parts of the scalp, like the top of the head or around the sides by the temples, but stimulating new growth can be attempted naturally at home and with just a few inexpensive items.
100% satisfaction guarantee — we guarantee you will be fully satisfied and feel the way you want to feel. If you don’t, just let us know within 60 days after the purchase of a Program or product and you’ll receive a prompt refund of your purchase price, minus shipping and handling, when we receive the product back, even if you’ve taken all the supplements.
Lack of sleep can push your body into a state of distress, which can actually halt hair growth. So, get some zzz’s and your hair will gladly thank you. According to Wellness Magazine, one out of every six Americans feel sleep-deprived. If your minimal sleep time is leaving you feeling exhausted, you can be sure that your hair follicles are feeling the same way.

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.”
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.
One day, about 2 months ago, I made the decision to turn my life around and get myself back on track. I was sitting at my family's holiday cottage in Strangford and the sun was glimmering on the lough and in through the window and it felt like for the first time I had energy and even a little hope. I decided it was time to share my journey with everyone so I didn't have to hide anymore.
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.
Since it directs your overall metabolism, your thyroid gland produces the hormones that stimulate hair growth. When your thyroid is out of balance, your hair can become dry, brittle, and more prone to falling out. This is why looking into your thyroid health is one of the first things to do when you notice hair loss. However, many women discover that conventional lab tests may show normal hormone ranges even while thyroid-related hair loss is happening.
What to do: Once chemotherapy is stopped, your hair will grow back although often it will come back with a different texture (perhaps curly when before it was straight) or a different color. Researchers are working on more targeted drugs to treat cancer, ones that would bypass this and other side effects. In the meantime, Here's How to Deal With Thinning Hair During Chemo.
Like anything else, genes from mom can play a role. But she’s only half the pie. You can also inherit these genes from your father, says Dr. Alan J. Bauman, Hair Restoration Physician and founder of Bauman Medical. “Hair-loss genes can be inherited from either your mother's or father's side of the family, or a combination of the two,” he says. He adds that there are roughly 200 different genes that regulate your hair growth, so the combination of these genes—from both parents—can be unique and won’t always pattern itself from one sibling to the next.
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.
A substantially blemished face, back and limbs could point to cystic acne. The most severe form of the condition, cystic acne, arises from the same hormonal imbalances that cause hair loss and is associated with dihydrotestosterone production.[9] Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced and builds up on the scalp (looking like an adult cradle cap), is also a symptom of hormonal imbalances, as is an excessively oily or dry scalp. Both can cause hair thinning.
2.Omega-3 Fatty acids -Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that plays an important role in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system and tissue maintenance. Omega-3 can be found in fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements are extracted from food sources high in omega-3, and deliver two potent fatty acids for the body. These are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).Clinical studies have found that these omega-3 fatty acids can boost mental health, improving mental skills such as concentration, focus and memory. EPA and DHA can also help lower inflammation and reduce bad cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of stroke and heart diseaseomega-3 fatty acids are extremely helpful for promoting healthy hair. Researchers publishing in Advances in Therapy analysed data collected from 30 women aged 38 to 67 years who had experienced hair loss. It was found that omega-3 significantly reduced hair loss in women.Other clinical studies found that lack of omega-3 can lead to opaque and dry looking hair which in turn can end in dandruff or an itchy scalp. Omega-3 contributes to lubricating hair follicles and so add elasticity and brightness to your hair.The best thing is that you’ll hardly struggle to eat an adequate amount of omega-3 in order to take advantage of its health-enhancing benefits. Two units of fatty fish alone provide the weekly recommended dose of DHA and EPA. The choice is vast: salmon, halibut, sardines, trout, catfish, cod, tuna and herring.Other dietary sources of omega-3 include nuts, flaxseed, shellfish, canola oil and eggs. An easy way to consume omega-3 is through fish oil supplements 

Viviscal has Biotin in it — and calcium. And vitamin C. It also contains shark cartilage, oyster extract, and a “marine complex” — which is apparently the secret elixir that gives the ingredient its power. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published an article with a double-blind placebo controlled study that showed the efficacy of this product; “significantly more” women who took Viviscal than the placebo noticed hair growth after 90 days, and even more after 180 days. Now it’s true that the funding for the study was provided by the makers of Viviscal, but double-blind is double-blind. Furthermore, in an entirely separate article, Beauty Editor writer Katrina Persad tried Viviscal for 6 months and documented her results in a quite convincing photo essay and article that showed fairly dramatic results — and Viviscal (as far as I know) did not pay her for her trouble. (Though she does seem to have gotten the product for free, which is quite a perk; the tablets cost about $40 a month.)
For those who don’t plan on counting their hair every day, there are ways to know when hair is thinning or being lost at a higher rate. Roberts tells WebMD that women will see a difference. When waking up in the morning, there may be an usually large amount on your pillow. When you comb your hair (especially without tugging, which can pull the hair out), more than normal will be left in the comb.

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.
I am a 20 year old male, and I suffered severe hair loss for the past eighteen months. The hair loss was not specific to any area of my scalp, but i noticed a marked decrease in my hair density. Any of my immediate family members never showed signs of balding before 55 years of age. My hair loss has stopped now, and it is under control with me losing not more than 5-8 hair strands a day. I... READ MORE

While hair loss can happen for a wide variety of reasons, the most likely culprit is something called androgenic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness. Contrary to the locker room tall tales you’ve probably heard, your hair won’t thin because you’ve worn a baseball cap everyday for a year straight, or because you use hair gel to style your hair. Male pattern baldness is solely due to genetics and male sex hormones.
×