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).

Use a gentle hair brush, take advice on dyes and other chemicals, beware of hair extensions and extreme heat from straighteners or high intensity hair dryers which can weaken hair. If you're a swimmer, like myself, make sure to wet your hair under a shower with plain water before it comes in contact with chlorine - so that the water that is absorbed by your hair first is not chlorinated. Wear and cap and use gentle, natural shampoo and conditioner after swimming.


Lichen planopilaris, a type of alopecia, occurs when a common skin condition, called lichen planus, affects the scalp. Lichen planopilaris may cause a dry, flaky rash to appear on the skin that causes hair on the scalp to fall out in clumps. The scalp may also become red, irritated, and covered in small white or red itchy, painful, or burning bumps.
Another sneaky culprit of hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that confuses the hair for an attack on the immune system. According to Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, if your hair loss is occurring in round circles on your scalp, then you most likely are a victim of alopecia. Alopecia can be treated with steroids and even over-the-counter products like Rogaine.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it's important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
If you are losing patches of hair in an apparently random manner you may have alopecia, a condition where a person (male or female) loses patches of hair from parts of their body. In extreme cases this may affect all of the hair on the body. Alopecia is thought to have hereditary and autoimmune factors (where the body mistakenly attacks itself). It is not the same as male pattern baldness.
It’s important to keep your stress levels in check to prevent a hormonal imbalance. Reduced estrogen production can affect your brain chemistry and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. However, doing yoga and other breathing relaxation methods are especially effective in fighting menopausal symptoms. Exercising regularly can also help reduce stress.
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.
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.
Treatment of pattern hair loss may simply involve accepting the condition.[3] Interventions that can be tried include the medications minoxidil (or finasteride) and hair transplant surgery.[4][5] Alopecia areata may be treated by steroid injections in the affected area, but these need to be frequently repeated to be effective.[3] Hair loss is a common problem.[3] Pattern hair loss by age 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females.[3] About 2% of people develop alopecia areata at some point in time.[3]
The important distinction between male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss is that, whilst men may develop absolute baldness – when the damaged follicles can no longer function so hair growth stops, and the skin takes on a smooth, shiny appearance – this is rare in women. Women’s hair loss may become advanced, but true baldness – as men experience it – is highly unlikely.
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?
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.
I am 18 year old male and have been experiencing hairfall since i am 16 years old.More than 60 hairs shed everyday and I have formed a typical m shape.The hair is falling from all over the scalp and become thin from all over the scalp.Also if I don’t shampoo my hair for one or two days, excessive oil comes in my hair.I am also shedding hair from the sideburns.Also my eyebrow,eyelashes and public hair are falling.Is this male pattern baldness.
There are also other visual cues that women can look for over time. Although men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head, women tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp. Sometimes their frontal line stays intact, says Nicole Rogers, MD, of Old Metairie Dermatology in Metairie, La. Women may see a part that is gradually becoming wider or see more of their scalp than normal when their hair is pulled back.

The association among food plus hair is simple. Hair is completed up of a protein call keratin. Therefore, it’s vital that you comprise enough protein in your diet. A low-protein diet orders your body to keep the accessible protein for extra purpose, like upgrading cells, therefore stingy hair of it. Green tea is valuable as it blocks out Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone which causes hair loss.
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.
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.
Tightly pulling back your hair in ponytails, cornrows or braids can lead to traction alopecia, characterized by hair breakage along the hairline and temples. Women athletes who often wear their hair pulled back are particularly at risk. A change in hairstyle usually helps; however, hair loss may be permanent if the tight styling techniques have been used too long.
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.
Great article and helpful information. When I was a younger age I didn’t worry about having hair loss, but I knew already that thinning hair can affect men and women of any age. Hair loss can happen for all sorts of reasons, for example, it can be related to diet, exercise, illness, stress, disease, or hereditary causes, like you mentioned in this post. Toppik is a hair building fiber treatment that may overcome it. Thanks a lot. .

After I had my first baby, I started getting post-partum hair shedding, which is totally normal. When you're pregnant you retain all your hair and it's shiny and thick and lovely, and then once you give birth it starts to shed. It can seem quite extreme because you haven't been shedding your hair naturally over time like you would when you're not pregnant, but it's totally normal.

“Right now, the only FDA approved medication, for hair loss is topical Minoxidil, which comes as a 2% solution for twice-daily use in women. The FDA did approve 5% Rogaine Foam for once-daily use in women, but it is not being sold in stores yet.Women may also use various low-level light therapy devices such as the HairMax Lasercomb, which has FDA clearance to treat hair loss,” according to Dr. Rogers.
Decades ago, this would have been the most accurate way of determining your odds—looking at old photos of your ancestors—but now there are more scientific means of predicting hair loss. These days, your doctor can take a swab of DNA from the saliva inside your cheek, and it will show how sensitive you are to dihydrotestosterone (known as DHT, which is the hormone created by the body’s testosterone). This swab will also tell you your odds for balding (and how quickly), and can predict how you might react to hair-loss medications like Propecia or Finasteride treatment.
Here's what I gleaned from my blood tests and research into hair loss at-large. Many various symptoms can causes hair shedding—as any cursory WebMD search can tell you, from stress to chemotherapy–but 90 percent of hair loss is genetic and needs to be treated with medication. It can also be a sign of a thyroid disorder, says endocrinologist, Dr. Emilia Liao, who diagnosed me with mild hypothyroidism.

If you're going through or about to enter the menopause, changes in your body may also have an effect on your hair. "Hair loss becomes more prevalent leading up to and after the menopause" reveals Anabel. That being said, "it's important to realise that our hair ages, and as we get older, hair naturally gets finer. It's a totally normal part of the ageing process."
Treatment of pattern hair loss may simply involve accepting the condition.[3] Interventions that can be tried include the medications minoxidil (or finasteride) and hair transplant surgery.[4][5] Alopecia areata may be treated by steroid injections in the affected area, but these need to be frequently repeated to be effective.[3] Hair loss is a common problem.[3] Pattern hair loss by age 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females.[3] About 2% of people develop alopecia areata at some point in time.[3]

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!
The relationship between food and hair is simple. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. So, it's essential that you include sufficient protein in your diet. A low-protein diet forces your body to save the available protein for other purposes, like rebuilding cells, thus depriving hair of it. Dr Shah says spinach, almonds, walnuts, paneer, tofu and milk are hair-happy foods. Green tea is effective because it blocks out Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that causes hair loss.
Devices that emit low-energy laser light may help new hair grow. They're available in some clinics and for home use. Several are approved for both men and women, and studies show they do work. But it might take 2-4 months before you see results. Keep in mind: The FDA doesn’t require the same rigorous testing for devices as for medicines. The long-term safety and effects aren’t known.
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.
Some things are harder to let go of than others. However, wisdom helps us nurture deeper feelings of self-esteem and a positive spirit. If you find that you are experiencing sudden hair loss, be sure to see your physician. In the meantime, get creative with a new fun style that can make your hair loss less noticeable.  It is not exactly “modern medicine”, but today we have access to hair extensions, clip-ons, scalp camouflages,  and oodles of accessories that can add the appearance of length and fullness without anyone knowing.
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.

Hair loss induced by cancer chemotherapy has been reported to cause changes in self-concept and body image. Body image does not return to the previous state after regrowth of hair for a majority of patients. In such cases, patients have difficulties expressing their feelings (alexithymia) and may be more prone to avoiding family conflicts. Family therapy can help families to cope with these psychological problems if they arise.[12]

Although it’s generally only prescribed as a last resort for menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy is a common and very effective hair loss treatment for some women — as long as they are menopausal or post-menopausal and are not at higher risk for adverse effects from HRT. It's most often prescribed for women who have androgenetic alopecia, also called pattern baldness. Hormone replacement therapy has a number of benefits for both general health and symptom management, but also a number of side effects — which range from unpleasant to dangerous.
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