Fashionista: What causes female hair to thin? Candace Hoffmann: There can be a number of reasons women lose hair. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common. How do you know if this might be the reason for your hair loss? Look around at your family. If you have parents, relatives with thinning hair or who are frankly bald --male or female--there is a good chance you could have the propensity as well. That being said, for women, it’s not so cut and dry. Men can easily discern such a connection, women can have multiple reasons for hair loss--sometimes, it's temporary hair loss (telogen effluvium). Here are some common reasons for hair loss in women that are not genetic:
Hair loss is a pretty tricky topic and most experts and doctors are never really able to pinpoint the cause. However, if you are looking to reduce your chance of hair loss or slow hair loss that is already progressing, you should consider the factors listed above. Your doctor may help you determine if a hormone imbalance or other medical condition may be the cause of your premature hair loss. If so, they may suggest hormone therapy, diet changes or other medications and treatments to help manage to condition or balance your hormones, which may naturally solve your hair loss problem.
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.
Then I hit a wall. I couldn't cover it up anymore. It was obvious to everyone around me that I was trying to hide my hair loss. I had two options: accept the situation or change it. The treatment options didn't work for me, I wasn't about to shell out money for a risky hair transplant surgery and I didn't feel comfortable wearing a toupee. I had to learn to embrace my male pattern baldness or live with constant anxiety and depression.
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.”
Androgenic Alopecia: This affects both men and women, but is more common in men. This is also referred to as “male pattern baldness” and can affect men as early as their late teenage years or early twenties. Typically, this type of alopecia will produce a gradually receding hairline, which eventually results in loss or thinning of most of the hair on the scalp. This is the most common type of alopecia that causes early hair loss.
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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.
Before you start hormone replacement therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor about the possible risks and negative effects versus the benefits of HRT. If you're already at an increased risk for health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and blood clots, HRT may not be the best hair loss treatment for you. If you are prescribed HRT, it important to take the lowest doses that are effective, and to only take the drugs for the shortest amount of time needed to control symptoms.
A hair growth cycle consists of three phases. During the anagen phase, hair grows actively. This phase may last for years. During the catagen phase, hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, which is the structure beneath the skin that holds the hair in place. The catagen phase lasts about 10 days. During the telogen phase, the follicle rests for two or three months, and then the hair falls out. The next anagen phase begins as a new hair grows in the same follicle. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle.
It seems more than a little unfair, doesn’t it? You’d think the one thing we could count on was that hair loss or male or female pattern balding was an older person’s game. No way would hair loss occur as early as the mid 20s, right? Well, unfortunately for some of us, we may start seeing hair loss as early as our late teens and 20s, making for a very distressing discovery so soon after finishing school. Approximately 25 percent of men begin balding by age 30 and there are a great many theories as to why hair loss in mid 20s might happen.
There's a chance you're genetically predisposed to hair thinning, which means you may see a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume. "In these instances, certain hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones – and this sensitivity causes follicles to gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter hairs with each passing hair growth cycle." Explains Anabel.
One of the most common yet least talked about symptoms of menopause, hair loss can be devastating for the millions of women who suffer from it. Americans spend upwards of a billion dollars per year on hair loss treatments. According to the American Hair Loss Society, 99% of these treatments are unfortunately ineffective. Most women do not want to sit back and let their hair fall out slowly without taking action. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are safe and effective for the multitudes of women experiencing hair loss.
I have been loosing hair for 3 years now. It started at the temples, but actually it falls from anywhere in the scalp. I notice that my hair is pretty thin and weak. I’ve changed my diet in the last month and a half, but it keeps falling almost the same. I have a pretty stressful life, but I’m not sure if that’s the only reason (because on non stressful periods of time, the falling is almost the same). The thing is that I notice that my scalp is almost always itchy, a lot of the hairs that falls, falls with a grease yellow or white bulb at the end. I have to wash my hair almost every day I read that it could be Telogen effluvium, but it has been falling for so long that I don’t think that it’s the reason… It is starting to be noticeable the lack of density, specially in the front. I should be more active as well, but even if I do exercise, I keep feeling that my hair is thin and breaks and falls easily… I would really like to regrow what I’ve lost, but my main focus right now is to stop the hair from falling. Do you think I could have some sort of skin condition that is making this happen? (I have visited 2 dermatologist but both said it was AGA without almost looking at my scalp). Or is this also possible in typical Male pattern baldness?
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.
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 explained to Emily that The Iowa Writers’ Workshop wasn’t really in the business of handing out medical degrees, but that since my hair was also thinning, and since I was curious, and since I supposed we weren’t the only two women on the planet who wanted some answers, I’d do some research. This is what I came up with for how to handle hair loss during perimenopause.
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.
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.
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle. Ordinarily, hair follicle renewal is maintained by the stem cells associated with each follicle. Aging of the hair follicle appears to be primed by a sustained cellular response to the DNA damage that accumulates in renewing stem cells during aging. This damage response involves the proteolysis of type XVII collagen by neutrophil elastase in response to the DNA damage in the hair follicle stem cells. Proteolysis of collagen leads to elimination of the damaged cells and then to terminal hair follicle miniaturization.
Hi Sahil. First thing is I don’t recommend shampooing, instead simply use 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar once per week. Secondly, if you are serious about saving your hair then you need to get your diet sorted. Eating ‘shitty’ food will only make things worse and make it basically impossible to stop your hair loss. There is a lot of information here about hair growth diets so I recommend reading those articles.
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In last place on Dr. Guyuron's list of risk factors for hair loss are psychological stress and hormone imbalances. Stress is known to flood the body with hormones, he says, including some that block the action of a follicle-protecting enzyme called 5-a reductase. And when testosterone forms and then breaks down in the body, it can release "breakdown products" that have been tied to thinning hair.
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.
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.
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.
Common Mistakes to Avoid -- When it comes to hair loss, missing the early signs is one of the first mistakes many women make. A staggering 50 percent loss can occur before it's noticeable to the human eye. The other common mistake women (and men, for that matter) make when trying to treat their hair loss is not giving enough time for therapy to work and not tracking their results properly. Just like hair loss, initial changes in hair regrowth take time and can be subtle before they are noticeable to the naked eye.
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.”
During this procedure, surgeons remove a narrow strip of scalp and divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts, each containing just a few hairs. Each graft is planted in a slit in the scalp created by a blade or needle in the area of missing hair. Hair grows naturally this way, in small clusters of one to four follicles, called follicular units. As a result, the graft looks better than the larger "plugs" associated with hair transplants of yesteryear.
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.
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.
Take some time to read through our guide to female hair loss, which should give you an indication of what might be causing your problem and what you can do. You can contact The Belgravia Centre any time to arrange a free one-on-one consultation with a hair loss specialist. The good news is that most women’s hair loss conditions are treatable and can be prevented or reversed. Jump to more information on hair loss treatments for women. Please note that results may vary and are not guaranteed.
While women accept that menopause is a natural and unavoidable stage of womanhood, coming to grips with its effects, especially with female hair loss due to menopause, can be very difficult. Often, hair loss is one of the first and more depressing symptoms of menopause that a woman notices and it can have a profound effect on her sense of femininity, sexuality and self-confidence.
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.
Experts seem to agree that nobody needs to wash her hair every day. It’s not that washing our hair makes it fall out (though it may appear that way— we lose an average of 80 strands of hair a day, and it may seem that we lose all 80 of those strands in the shower when we’re shampooing in the morning), but experts say that what we do to our hair afterwards can damage it. For example, using blow dryers and curling irons on high heat settings, and extra-hold hair spray can all create hair loss.
Daily hair counts are normally done when the pull test is negative. It is done by counting the number of hairs lost. The hair from the first morning combing or during washing should be counted. The hair is collected in a clear plastic bag for 14 days. The strands are recorded. If the hair count is >100/day, it is considered abnormal except after shampooing, where hair counts will be up to 250 and be normal.
^ Jump up to: a b Blumeyer, A; Tosti, A; Messenger, A; Reygagne, P; Del Marmol, V; Spuls, PI; Trakatelli, M; Finner, A; Kiesewetter, F; Trüeb, R; Rzany, B; Blume-Peytavi, U; European Dermatology Forum, (EDF) (October 2011). "Evidence-based (S3) guideline for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women and in men". Journal of the German Society of Dermatology. 9 Suppl 6: S1–57. doi:10.1111/j.1610-0379.2011.07802.x. PMID 21980982.
Though not as common as the loss of hair on the head, chemotherapy, hormone imbalance, forms of hair loss, and other factors can also cause loss of hair in the eyebrows. Loss of growth in the outer one third of the eyebrow is often associated with hypothyroidism. Artificial eyebrows are available to replace missing eyebrows or to cover patchy eyebrows. Eyebrow embroidery is another option which involves the use of a blade to add pigment to the eyebrows. This gives a natural 3D look for those who are worried about an artificial look and it lasts for two years. Micropigmentation (permanent makeup tattooing) is also available for those who want the look to be permanent.
I am 15 and I m shedding 30 hairs per day. My hair is good I would say, and back side is also not that bad. But hair keeps falling. WheneverI ran my head through the scalp I get 3 4 hairs. My mom doesn’t have that good hair, so does my maternal grand parents. But my father’s side have very good hair. Even my 60 y/o grandfather isn’t bald. What can I do help? Is it genetic?
Another way to stimulate new follicle hair growth may be to work from within. If you're looking for a systemic solution to improve the health and happiness of your hair follicles and the skin around them, adding certain vitamin- and mineral-rich foods to your diet is a great place to start. Vitamins and minerals can keep keratin levels healthy, as do proteins, fatty acids and omega-3s. Look to nuts, avocados, biotin-rich whole grains, citrus, orange vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens like spinach to keep your locks looking full and healthy.
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.
Men often first notice hair loss on the temple area or on the hair line. Many refer to this as a "receding hair line." While this is not necessarily the beginning of progressive male pattern baldness, it can be distressing. It can also be very confusing sorting through hundreds of hair loss products and misinformation on the topic. Although it can be moderately challenging to regrow temple hair, it can be done and there is an additional permanent option if you are unsuccessful.