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.

You will need to check with your health insurance company to find out if hormone replacement therapy will be fully or partially covered, or how much your copayment will be. If you don't have health insurance, costs can still vary greatly depending on the type of medication you get, and whether you take brand name or generic drugs. Prices may range from as little as about $7 per month to as high as $150 a month for hormone replacement therapy.
Topical chemical treatments are used by many to help stimulate regrowth, although some believe that blood flow and circulation to old or weak hair follicles can be stimulated with only the fingertips and some common vitamin-rich items. Popular remedies for encouraging new hair follicle growth include combining a rich carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or olive oil with agents like vitamin-dense or mineral-dense aloe vera gel, potato juice, cinnamon, neem leaves or certain essential oils.
Surgical options, such as follicle transplants, scalp flaps, and hair loss reduction, are available. These procedures are generally chosen by those who are self-conscious about their hair loss, but they are expensive and painful, with a risk of infection and scarring. Once surgery has occurred, six to eight months are needed before the quality of new hair can be assessed.
Similar to hitting the gym too often, restricting your diet in unhealthy ways can have severe consequences for your luscious locks. If you’re majorly restricting your daily calorie intake, this will slow down your metabolism and your bodily functions, including the growing cycle of your hair. Aside from that, your hair will be thirsty for those essential nutrients that it is no longer receiving. If you really must diet, start taking biotin supplements to maintain hair growth.
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?
A few weeks ago I noticed a bald patch on my right forhead, I thought nothing of it but now its getting worse the top and front of my head is getting thin. and if I comb it certain spots you can see white marks across my scalp I am getting blood work done tuesday to rule anything out but, I would like to see if I can get any possible answers and when I shower nothing falls out or when I comb... READ MORE
The benefit of having a thick head of hair is that the top of your head stays protected from UV rays. But once your hair starts thinning and you begin to lose that protection, you’ll find that your scalp is more susceptible to sunburn. If you’re not spending more time outdoors than usual and your scalp is becoming more sensitive to the sun, you could be losing some of your hair.
After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a medicine taken in tablet form that partially blocks the effects of the male hormones (an 'anti-androgen'). Propecia has been shown to halt further hair loss and promote re-growth of scalp hair in approximately 80 per cent of patients after three to six months. The treatment benefits also stop when you stop taking the medication. Only available on prescription and is available on some NHS primary care trust lists for certain conditions.
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.
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.

Nutrition can play a part. If you're not eating a well-balanced diet or are severely dieting or anorexic, it will affect your hair. However, if it is nutritional, it will be a temporary hair loss. Return to a well-balanced diet and hair should return in 4 – 6 months. Supplements must be used with caution and women must understand that vitamins in excess, even those purported to help grow hair, can be detrimental and have an adverse affect. In this day and age, people are rarely deficient in the hair loss vitamins folic acid and biotin. There would be other symptoms beyond hair loss. A B-vitamin rich supplement can help grow hair, but it might not make more hair. I advise using any supplement with caution and eating vitamin-rich foods instead. And ALWAYS tell your physician the vitamins, herbs, and medications (over the counter and prescription) you are using.
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.
Finally, while it’s hard, it’s just as important to keep things in perspective with hair loss at 20. Yes, it’s creepy when you first see it, but you’re not alone. Many guys lose hair in their twenties, and a whopping one in every two will have it by 50. So you’ve got hair loss at 20. That’s a good thing. You’ve got a 30 year head start to learn how to rock that look over the guy who loses hair later in life.
If you are experiencing hair loss and are not sure what is causing it, browse our hair loss conditions section below, in order to identify your problem. We provide you with descriptions of most hair loss conditions and photos so that you are able to have an idea of your diagnosis in order to understand the cause of your problem and determine the best solution. Click on the links for more details of your hair loss condition, including whether or not it can be treated and how successful treatment is likely to be.
You’ve heard a million times and a million reasons why smoking is bad. Here’s another one for you. If you’d like to keep your glossy mane, it’s time to call it quits. According to research out of the University Hospital of Zurich, smoking causes “damage to DNA of the hair follicle, smoke-induced imbalance in the follicular protease/antiprotease systems controlling tissue remodeling during the hair growth cycle, pro-oxidant effects of smoking leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in follicular micro-inflammation and fibrosis and finally increased hydroxylation of oestradiol as well as inhibition of the enzyme aromatase creating a relative hypo-oestrogenic state.” So, yeah, switch out your nasty habit for one that doesn’t mess with your body chemistry in such profound ways.
The usual cause for hair loss in women at midlife is due to shifting and reducing hormone levels at menopause. Falling oestrogen and progesterone levels - the biggest hormone changes at menopause - can cause some women to notice that their hair becomes weaker and thinner and grows more slowly. The other hormone shift at midlife can be a dominance of androgens especially testosterone which can cause hair follicles to shrink but can also result in the appearance of unwanted hair - espcially on the face. It's a tricky business this menopause rebalance! Another form of hairloss experienced is loss of eyebrows which is also caused by hormones but the culprit here is usually thryoid.
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.
Some hair loss is associated with stress although male pattern baldness is a genetic condition found in many men. If you find your hair is falling out in clumps or at unpredictable times, it is most likely to be the symptom of something else. This could be stress related but is unlikely to be caused by sexual frustration. The best thing to do is to see your GP for a check up.
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.
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.)
Hair loss caused by folliculitis decalvans, an inflammatory disorder that leads to the destruction of hair follicles, is often accompanied by redness, swelling, and lesions on the scalp that may be itchy or contain pus, known as pustules. This type of hair loss is not reversible, but dermatologists can offer medication to control symptoms and, in some instances, stop the progression of hair loss.

I found out I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) coupled with insulin resistance, which were the causes of the hair loss. This was over 12 years ago and unfortunately for me not much was known about the condition, which affects so many women. All the GPs and specialists I saw were middle aged men, who were dismissive and often clueless about what was going on. I was told there was really not much to be done, and put on the pill which was supposed to balance things out. At one point I was even told not to worry over something as trivial as hair loss.
Similar to hitting the gym too often, restricting your diet in unhealthy ways can have severe consequences for your luscious locks. If you’re majorly restricting your daily calorie intake, this will slow down your metabolism and your bodily functions, including the growing cycle of your hair. Aside from that, your hair will be thirsty for those essential nutrients that it is no longer receiving. If you really must diet, start taking biotin supplements to maintain hair growth.

Is this a bigger issue for the current generation? (I'm 27, and it feels like so many of my friends suffer from this.) Is it a nutritional thing? That’s an excellent question and I don’t know the answer. 30 million women suffer from hair loss. That’s 1 in 4 before age 50 and 2 in 4 after age 50. We might be more hyper aware of hair loss at an earlier age now just as we are more hyper aware of a need for a facelift at earlier ages. Thing that we used to take for granted, we do not. Genetic hair loss will manifest itself in the 20s, if not sooner. The good news is that there are more things available to help than before. Will they work for everyone, no. However, topical minoxidil (Rogaine) is good for helping maintain what you have. So at the first sign of thinning hair, it’s not bad to use even if the hair loss is temporary.
Genetics is the most common reason for baldness, yes, but, according to this study in PLOS Genetics, it’s a more complicated process than we initially thought, and involves more than 280 genes. From this genetic map, researchers were able to determine which participants were in danger of losing their hair, and from those in the danger zone, about 20 percent could blame their mothers for such a predicament—not their father. Though, it is important to note that men and women lose their hair in very different ways. For men, the hair slowly begins receding at the temples, before eventually forming an M-shaped hairline, while women may notice a gradual widening of the scalp and thinning texture of their hair.
Plasma Injections: Here’s one we hadn’t heard of before: “Platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) have been used in other fields of medicine for over a decade but have only reached dermatology within the last five years,” Fusco says. Put simply: “Blood is extracted from the person with hair loss and ‘growth factors’ are extracted from the blood, then injected back into the scalp where the hair loss is occurring.” She says that a lot is still being studied and learned about the process, but that it looks promising for the treatment of hair loss and potential for regrowth.
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.”
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder also known as "spot baldness" that can result in hair loss ranging from just one location (Alopecia areata monolocularis) to every hair on the entire body (Alopecia areata universalis). Although thought to be caused by hair follicles becoming dormant, what triggers alopecia areata is not known. In most cases the condition corrects itself, but it can also spread to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or to the entire body (alopecia universalis).
In men, male pattern baldness usually begins with thinning hair in specific areas. Typically these are around the crown, along the top of the head and/or a receding hairline. Men’s hair loss may involve one, two or all three of these patterns, and they may join up to form larger bald patches. A measuring tool known as The Norwood Scale provides a guide to “how far gone” a man’s hairloss is.
“That sounds totally exhausting and really expensive. Forty dollars for one month of shark pills? And what about those poor sharks? Blow-dry my hair to create volume — but don’t blow dry my hair ‘cause I’ll damage it? Use Rogaine every day for the rest of my life — what if I live to be 100? Do you how much that’s gonna cost me? Go on the pill? I feel like I just went off the pill! This is like a part-time job! Only I’m gonna need a part-time job to pay for it all! Forget it! You know what I’m doing? I’m getting a summer hat! I saw a really cute one when I was at the mall, but it was like $50, and I thought, that’s crazy, I’m not spending fifty bucks on a stupid straw hat! Now that seems like a total bargain to me! I’m just going to wear hats all the time! Wool hats in winter, straw hats in summer. It’ll be an investment I’ll make every couple years. Done! Thank you, Kelly, you have made me realize I don’t need to solve this problem, I just need to keep covering it up.”
Hypotrichosis is a condition of abnormal hair patterns, predominantly loss or reduction. It occurs, most frequently, by the growth of vellus hair in areas of the body that normally produce terminal hair. Typically, the individual's hair growth is normal after birth, but shortly thereafter the hair is shed and replaced with sparse, abnormal hair growth. The new hair is typically fine, short and brittle, and may lack pigmentation. Baldness may be present by the time the subject is 25 years old.[7]

Further help is available from additional hair growth supporting products, which bring additional armaments to the fight against thinning hair. One of which – Hair Vitalics for Women – is a food supplement developed exclusively for The Belgravia Centre by our hair experts. In addition to key nutrients including biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth, these highly-targeted one-a-day tablets feature elements, such as the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzen, which are unlikely to feature in a normal diet. Whilst not intended to replace a balanced diet or hair loss treatment, this convenient product can help to give the hair a boost from the inside out.
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.
In my youth, stylists would always tell me, "Wow, you've got a lot of hair." So much so that I took my lush mane for granted—perming, straightening, and bleaching my way through my teens. But everything changed during my sophomore year of college, as I found myself pulling more and more tangles out of my brush and strands from the shower drain. The compliments stopped and the worry began. I jealously examined the girl next to me on the subway. Why couldn't I see through to the roots on her scalp, too?
Topical chemical treatments are used by many to help stimulate regrowth, although some believe that blood flow and circulation to old or weak hair follicles can be stimulated with only the fingertips and some common vitamin-rich items. Popular remedies for encouraging new hair follicle growth include combining a rich carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or olive oil with agents like vitamin-dense or mineral-dense aloe vera gel, potato juice, cinnamon, neem leaves or certain essential oils.

Ask your stylist. She might suggest a short cut, a different part, maybe a gentle body wave. Try a styling product for thin hair to hide bare spots. Apply it to the root area then gently blow dry to build volume. Let your hair air dry for a while before you use the dryer. Special cosmetics can disguise parts of your scalp that show. Think about keratin fiber hair cosmetics. Sprinkle them over the thinning patch. Their static charge makes hair look thicker.


Female-pattern hair loss, called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. “If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Dr. Glashofer. Unlike men, women don't tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.
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! 
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