Research is looking into connections between hair loss and other health issues. While there has been speculation about a connection between early-onset male pattern hair loss and heart disease, a review of articles from 1954 to 1999 found no conclusive connection between baldness and coronary artery disease. The dermatologists who conducted the review suggested further study was needed.
Ever feel like pulling your hair out? Menopause can do that to you. Hot flashes, weight gain, crankiness—but wait—there’s more! Just when the mind reels from those menopausal symptoms, one day you notice your hair is not quite as thick and shiny as it used to be. In fact, there are some tiny patches where you can actually see scalp! What is going on?
The notion that only middle-aged men experience baldness isn’t only false, it’s damaging. It causes 20-year-old men to feel self-conscious about their hair loss, meaning that most of them refuse to confront the reality that their hair is thinning. Accepting this reality is the first step towards preventing hair loss from accelerating and getting worse.
If you are losing patches of hair in an apparently random manner you may have alopecia, a condition where a person (male or female) loses patches of hair from parts of their body. In extreme cases this may affect all of the hair on the body. Alopecia is thought to have hereditary and autoimmune factors (where the body mistakenly attacks itself). It is not the same as male pattern baldness.
Also new is the HairMax Laser Comb. It's a red light therapy hairbrush-like device that increases circulation and the biological march that makes hair. It's only approved in men (though some women are using it) and in my experience, is not as good as minoxidil. But in one study, 45% of users reported improvement after eight weeks, and 90% saw improvement after 16 weeks.
There are also autoimmune disorders--alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disorder--that can cause the hair to fall out in round smooth patches. Some men, women and children lose their hair this way or lose all their hair over their entire body. This is a devastating condition that can often go into remission and the hair will grow back as suddenly as it disappeared. This is particularly difficult for young women and I interviews some women who told me they contemplated suicide.
Needless to say, that relationship didn't last long, as I began to lose my sense of trust and self-confidence that he could find me attractive in this condition. I didn't dare ask my friends for a second opinion, because I didn't want them to scrutinize my scalp. After another frustrating physical (with no answers), I consulted my dermatologist. Instead of dismissing my concerns as mere vanity, he immediately wrote up requests for endocrine blood tests, which prompted my general practitioner to finally cave and grant me a specialist referral.
Trichotillomania, or hair-pulling disorder, often afflicts those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety attacks often result in hair-pulling episodes that can cause permanent hair loss for Trichotillomania sufferers. Those with the condition can benefit from habit reversal training, cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and, in extreme cases, mood-stabilizing medication, like Prozac or Paxil.
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
Oh my receding hairline is so tied to hormones! I lost my first batch of my thick, beautiful hair when I was pregnant and the next after my hysterectomy….I am still thinning and, you are right, it does seem to worse when I am stressed. It does change how I feel about myself. Thank you for, as usual, bringing great solutions and suggestions Ellen. I will definitely check some out!
After I had my first baby, I started getting post-partum hair shedding, which is totally normal. When you're pregnant you retain all your hair and it's shiny and thick and lovely, and then once you give birth it starts to shed. It can seem quite extreme because you haven't been shedding your hair naturally over time like you would when you're not pregnant, but it's totally normal.
Over the months to follow, I lost hair every day, whether it was in the shower coming out in handfuls or waking up with it all over my pillow. My parents and I tried everything to stop it, injections, steroid creams, immunologists, trichologists, dermatologists… a never ending stream of appointments which always resulted with the same answer -I had Alopecia, no one knew why, what it was from or how I could stop it.
Some men have a genuine fear of going bald and it can cause high stress levels, low self-esteem, reduced sex drive and even depression. But if you understand the causes and accept them you are much more likely to conquer these fears. Most men feel a momentary loss of confidence when they realise they are losing hair but this is often overcome quickly. The only way to ensure you won’t suffer psychological problems is to face up to the realities of baldness and either accept it or seek treatment that works for you.