A few years back, your hair was so thick that we could barely see your scalp. But these days, parting your hair leaves a noticeable gap that everyone can see. This is because you’ve lost some of the hair in your crown area, effectively losing some of your hair’s volume. The problem is that you never really know how much thinning is going to happen. For some men, it could just be a little bit of shedding. For others, their hair could continue thinning until there are large bald patches.
A clinician diagnoses female pattern hair loss by taking a medical history and examining the scalp. She or he will observe the pattern of hair loss, check for signs of inflammation or infection, and possibly order blood tests to investigate other possible causes of hair loss, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and iron deficiency. Unless there are signs of excess androgen activity (such as menstrual irregularities, acne, and unwanted hair growth), a hormonal evaluation is usually unnecessary.

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.


Symptoms of gradual hair loss are sometimes hard to notice until nearly half the hair is gone. The most obvious signs are a thinning of the temples and hairline recession. Otherwise, the hair loss can be more widespread and balanced. This steady shedding is called “invisible baldness”, since the hair becomes gradually less dense until suddenly it is perceptible to the naked eye. “In general, hair loss is a chronic, progressive condition that gets worse over time without treatment,” Bauman says.

Hormones are often not the only things to blame when it comes to female hair loss. Several factors can be at play. If female hair loss runs in your family, you may be more likely to experience hair loss during menopause. Other hormonal imbalances, nutritional or iron deficiencies, medication, illness, conditions (like thyroid disease and anemia), diets, and surgeries can also contribute to hair loss. 

There is a condition called Traction Alopecia, which is caused by constant pulling or tension of your hairs over a long period. You don’t have to be dragged around the floor by your head to suffer from this either – if you often wear tight braids, particularly cornrows, or tight ponytails, you are more likely to get Traction Alopecia. So try not to pull your hair tight excessively. Some experts also recommend exercise as a good way to maintain a healthy head of hair.
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.
Senescent thinning was indistinguishable from androgenetic alopecia in older males. Inflammatory changes were not a significant feature. Biochemical analysis for androgen receptors, 5 -reductase type 1 and 2, and aromatase, in scalp biopsies from older males showed nearly a two fold decrease in levels compared to levels in young males with Androgenetic Alopecia.
An unhealthy scalp environment can play a significant role in hair thinning by contributing to miniaturization or causing damage.[citation needed] Air and water pollutants[citation needed], environmental toxins,[citation needed] conventional styling products and excessive amounts of sebum have the potential to build up on the scalp.[citation needed]. This debris can block hair follicles and cause their deterioration and consequent miniaturization of hair.[citation needed]. It can also physically restrict hair growth or damage the hair cuticle[citation needed], leading to hair that is weakened and easily broken off before its natural lifecycle has ended.[citation needed]
Other approaches to hair thinning include using cosmetic "camouflage" sprays and powders that cover the scalp with a color close to one’s own hair color, which reduces the contrast between hair and scalp and makes the hair loss less noticeable. Surgical hair transplants are an option, but you must have enough "donor" hair to spare at the back of your scalp. A new treatment approved by the F.D.A. uses low-level laser lights on the scalp but the benefit is “modest,” Dr. Mirmirani said.
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.
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.”
One-fifth of men will experience significant hair loss by age of 20(!), and that percentage grows proportional to age. Bauman says that significant loss increases steadily with age: 30 percent will experience it in their 30s, 40 percent in 40s, and so on. “This math proves true for men into their 90s,” he says. “If you go unchecked but have maintained most of your hair by middle age, then your sensitivity to DHT is probably on the low side, meaning you have a slower rate of male pattern hair loss going on.” 

It’s simple, really: the more you mess with your hair, the more damage you cause to your follicles. This truth was laid out in Dove Men+Care’s Hair Fall Study, which found that the over-styling and use of heated tools were incredibly damaging to hair. As it turns out, the solution to this problem is equally simple: don’t overdo it. At the most, you should only need to use heat on your hair once a week. To make your style last longer, it may be time to invest in a can of dry shampoo. And for more hair care tips, This is the Healthiest Way to Straighten Your Hair.
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?
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Beyond Hormones, Contributing Factors -- When it comes to menopausal hair loss, lower female hormones might be the most common culprit, but other contributing factors may need to be considered as well. These risk factors include genetic predisposition, unusual levels of stress, other hormonal imbalances -- like thyroid, for example -- nutritional or iron deficiencies, crash diets, as well as illness, medications and your surgical history. A detailed medical history and diagnostic tests are obtained as an important part of a medical hair-loss evaluation to identify risk factors.

Nutritional deficiencies. Hair loss can also be a sign of certain nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies of vitamins A and D, iron and protein. It should come as no surprise that one of the first recommendations we make to women concerned with accelerated hair loss is to check their diet and add a medical-grade multivitamin to fill any gaps.
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.
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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? 
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