In men, finasteride (originally marketed as Proscar) is approved for hair loss associated with androgens. In one study, 62% of women also taking oral contraceptives containing the synthetic progestin drospirenone reported improvement. So it may be effective for female hair loss in the setting of increased androgen. But studies are limited and it is harmful to the male fetus so should not be used by women thinking about becoming pregnant or who are pregnant.
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."
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Every guy is at risk of losing his hair, some more quickly than others. It sucks. The follicle itself shrivels up and is rendered incapable of regrowing anything. This type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, often referred to as male pattern baldness. (That's the permanent kind, not the temporary thing that happens sometimes due to stress.) This plays out in two ways: the thinning of each hair and the overall loss of density. But, in certain cases of alopecia, these losses are not truly “permanent.” At least, not right away. Sometimes, it can be slowed down or delayed.
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.
I sat down, switched on my iPad and started to talk, explaining to people what I had personally been going through, what Alopecia was, showing them my hidden bald patches, and then sang a song as music had helped me through the toughest of times. I posted it on Facebook before really thinking. I had never been a public person, but for some reason, there was no doubt in my mind that my act of self-help had to be done in a very public way. We are all different, and this was my way of dealing with it.
Widely trusted as a cause for losing hair in the mid 20s, is diet. We all know a bit about this as the media is full to the brim daily with articles and findings about diets, side-effects and the negative aesthetics of poor health choices. However it’s very much true; if you’re not getting enough regular nutrients into your digestive system, you’re not getting them anywhere near your hair follicles either. On the other hand, extreme dieting or general physical trauma may also be a reason for hair loss in the mid 20s, so care should always be taken to ensure a balanced diet and gradual, healthy weight loss with the support of a dietician, if needed.
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.
As a last resort—or in extreme cases—you may want to consider a hair transplant. This process involves a surgeon removing either an entire strip of hair from your scalp, sewing the scalp closed, and then separating that strip of hair into thousands of tiny grafts, or shaving the scalp and removing only the hair follicles from the area. Both styles of hair transplant end in the follicles (or grafted hair strands) being placed inside tiny holed created in the scalp inside the balding area. New hair should grow naturally in the area. However, this process can be costly and there is always a chance that the transplant will fail and the follicles will not set and begin to produce new hairs. Your doctor will be able to discuss with you the chances of success based on your medical history and the severity of your hair loss.
A hair follicle needs energy to grow. Coenzyme Q10, found in whole grains, fish and meat, boosts the scalp’s ability to produce energy, especially in a cell’s mitochondria or energy factory. Stress causes oxidation, harming Coenzyme Q10 among other anti-oxidants, thereby accelerating hair fall. High stress has become the most common cause of numerous problems. Trichologists and hair experts agree that stress triggers problems such as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium and trichotillomania that lead to balding. The silver lining is that balding caused due to stress can be reduced by adopting stress management techniques.
The basic approach is to stimulate hair growth at the root by giving your body the support it needs. Many women find that a nutrient-rich diet, high-quality nutritional supplements and a little stress relief can do wonders. If you find your hair loss is connected to a thyroid, hormonal, or stress imbalance, a specific herbal combination product will help to rebalance your body naturally.
If follicles receive the necessary stimulus and nutrients from the body, it can stabilize hair loss during menopause and strengthen existing hair growth. This is why it’s important to nourish thinning hair follicles with the right nutrients, including marine extracts, vitamins (including B vitamins such as Biotin and Niacin) and minerals (such as Zinc), to promote hair growth during menopause. A good diet, as well as a nourishing shampoo and conditioner that is gentle on dry, aging hair, are top tips for how to treat menopause-related hair loss.
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.