Thick, healthy hair is a sign of youth, good health, and beauty. It can be devastating to watch your hair fall out, not just because you might feel like you’re losing your younger self, but also because you may worry that something even more serious is going on with your body. As women, we understand that thinning hair or outright hair loss is more than just a cosmetic concern. Besides being so important to self-esteem, your hair is a reflection of your overall health picture — especially your thyroid health.
Some medications have side effects that include hair loss. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing significant hair loss and you think that your medication might be the cause. Your doctor might be able to switch you over to another type of medicine without any reported side effects. Don’t stop taking your medications until you’ve spoken with your doctor, as this could be dangerous for your health.
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.
Androgenetic alopecia, or AGA, is what you think of as male pattern baldness. Women can experience this phenomenon too. While men lose their hair in an M shape, women tend to lose hair all over. But in some cases, women also may lose hair more at the front of the hairline—right behind the bangs—and at the top of the scalp. The loss is gradual but can become apparent starting in your 20s. Your hair may also be thinner all over as well as at the front of your head.
According to psychologist Dr. Ana Fonseca, “For women, self-esteem and self-concept are the reflex of social influence, which can act as a source of conflict and misfit, with repercussions on body image and health. The relationship with the hair often includes anxiety about its general condition, if it’s thinning and falling out, or going gray. Hair is valued in connection with beauty and femininity, sexuality and attractiveness, so when losing it, people are affected negatively in their self-esteem and self-image. Hair loss threatens our vanity, how much we value ourselves and is usually seen as unattractive and often associated with being unwell or aging. It is recognized that there are also emotional factors associated with hair loss so it can mean psychological discomfort.”
Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help promote regenerative hair growth. Taking care to not pull or twist hair in destructive ways and avoiding other physical traumas such as harsh processing techniques or excessive heat in styling will also help to protect hair.
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.
I noticed that Prince William is losing his hair very fast and soon will be as bald as I am. And he is only 35 years old. What a lucky guy! I wonder if Kate Middleton, his wife, loves it as much as my wife loves it? I hope so. I suspect I’m not the only guy out there who loves male pattern baldness and that there are a lot of guys who regret that they will never be bald. I tried shaving off all my hair, but that didn’t satisfy me. I hated the ‘hair shadow’ effect and the stubble that would reappear just hours after shaving. No, I wanted male pattern baldness. I wanted to be permanently smooth and shiny bald on top. I am and couldn’t be happier about it. Hey, if you are going to be bald, it’s much better if you enjoy it and I do enjoy it.
I've never worn a wig, the remaining hair I do have is thick and really curly so it tends to hide things for me. I feel if it significantly progressed and I couldn't control it any more, then I almost definitely would. The high quality ones are very expensive though, which is a barrier for a lot of sufferers. I'm considering shaving my hair at the moment; but I know it'd be impossible for me not to pull the re-growth entirely.
Hi David, I understand where you are coming from. Losing hair at a young age is not a nice experience. Luckily, there is a lot more you could be doing besides the shampoo. Honestly I don’t know how much this will help in the long term. To get you started, you’ll probably have to adjust a few things in your diet and lifestyle to stop further loss/ regrow lost areas. A simple thing to get started would be to use a dermaroller (or even better a dermastamp) along the hairline. Remember though, pattern baldness starts from the inside out. It’s basically a sign that your body is out of balance. So try to sort that out as well.
This hormonal disorder that may cause women to have infrequent or prolonged menstrual cycles. According to the Mayo Clinic, at its worst, this syndrome causes the ovaries to develop small collections of fluids, called follicles. Another symptom that occurs in a percentage of these patients is hair loss, spurred on by the constant fluctuation in hormone levels. These symptoms can all be made more bearable with exercise and dieting.
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.
Phytoestrogenic herbs, such as ginseng or black cohosh, contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the underlying hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
Iron supplements. Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women . Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you're a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
The blame can't be blamed solely on your hair care habits, either—if there's baldness anywhere in your family tree, you're at risk. Unlike male-pattern baldness, though, where patches of hair fall out over time, female hair loss means a reduction in hair volume, making transplantation extremely difficult. "The total number of hairs doesn't always decrease, but the diameter of each strand shrinks," says Kingsley. And too-thin hairs won't grow past a certain length—which explains the baby fuzz around my hairline.
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.
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.
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.