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.

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.
Hair growth and loss is a complex chemical process, affected by enzymes and hormones. AGA begins in puberty, when male sex hormones known as androgens shorten the anagen, or growth, phase of hair follicles. When this phase is shortened, hair dies sooner than usual and sheds. In a woman, hereditary hair loss is slightly more complex. In men’s AGA, an enzyme known as 5-a reductase combines with testosterone to produce dihydrotestosterone, or DHT—a hormone responsible for the shrinking and disappearance of hair follicles. Women have about half as much 5-a reductase as men do, which means their hair loss tends to be diffuse, rather than concentrated at the hairline.
However, both men and women are able to use the MHRA licensed and FDA-approved minoxidil – a dose-dependent drug which is applied topically to the scalp where needed to promote hair growth. Various formulations of high strength minoxidil are available for men and women and can form part of a targeted treatment course aimed at stopping shedding and encouraging regrowth.
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.
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.
Thank you, Ellen, for this great post; it is nice to know there are others who are experiencing the same (irritating!) things. I’ve had to deal with hair issues since my 20’s after having my thyroid removed, it is NOT fun having chunks of hair come out in the shower! My thyroid (I replace with desiccated pig thyroid – much better for me than synthetic) levels are fine, but I will look into my iron levels.
Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?
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.
I started taking Multivitamin pills daily around February,2018, and then started taking Biotin and Fish Oil supplements daily around March also, and as a result I started noticing my crown start to to get thinner and my temples started to recede as time went by. I stopped taking the Fish oil and biotin supplements first thinking that was the problem, then I stopped taking the multivitamin pills. Its been around a month now and my crown is still pretty thin, and my temples are also not borderline thin but not as full as they used to be. My question to you is did I somehow screw up my hormones now or something to the point to where I cant grow my hair like I used to because I took these supplements? Is this temporary, and will my hair go back since I stopped taking the supplements? Do I need to go see a doctor about this? What are your recommendations to how I can get my hair back to the way it used to be ? It would mean the world to me if you replied! Thank You!
I had a new baby to look after and knowing my hair was falling out just added to the stress. There was a point where my post-natal depression got so bad that the doctor wanted to prescribe me anti-depressants. But as much as the hair loss was bringing me down, as a new mum I just didn't want to feel out of it. A lot of people choose to take medication and that's totally their choice, but for me I didn't want to be in a haze at such an early stage of my child's life, or ever really.
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.
Before you venture into the confusing world of Internet hair loss advice, you should first pay a visit to a hair loss specialist. The doctor will sit down with you and discuss your family and medical history, then take a look at your hair loss and make a recommendation. The doctor might recommend one of the following treatment options for young males who are experiencing hair loss:
The VS model discussed her ongoing struggle with the disorder via Instagram saying, 'Mine started when I was around 15yo! It started with me pulling on my eyelashes and almost quick after it went to me pulling in my eyebrow hair! I no longer pull on my eyelashes and have been pulling on my eyebrows ever since! The episodes are worse under a lot of stress or when I'm not doing anything like watching tv or reading a book!'
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Minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved by the FDA for female pattern hair loss. It can slow or stop it in most women and may help hair grow back. But the benefits go away when you stop using it. Corticosteroids can help regrow hair for women with alopecia areata. And if the cause is an underlying medical problem or poor nutrition, your locks should grow back on their own once things are under control.

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:
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.

The pull test helps to evaluate diffuse scalp hair loss. Gentle traction is exerted on a group of hairs (about 40–60) on three different areas of the scalp. The number of extracted hairs is counted and examined under a microscope. Normally, fewer than three hairs per area should come out with each pull. If more than ten hairs are obtained, the pull test is considered positive.[27]


A substantially blemished face, back and limbs could point to cystic acne. The most severe form of the condition, cystic acne, arises from the same hormonal imbalances that cause hair loss and is associated with dihydrotestosterone production.[9] Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced and builds up on the scalp (looking like an adult cradle cap), is also a symptom of hormonal imbalances, as is an excessively oily or dry scalp. Both can cause hair thinning.
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.
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.

Hi Gabriel, the hair rinse tonic is a daily thing, it won’t clean the hair, it just provides ingredients to stimulate growth. We don’t want to clean the hair too much. So if you use the shampoo once or twice per week then there’s no real need to use the tonic on the same day. I would certainly stop using Alpecin C1, the SLS in it will damage your scalp.
I've just had my second baby and the hair loss is always in the back of my mind. The shedding has started again and the areas that lost more hair before are still much thinner. People often think that hair loss is something you can put a cream on and you'll be cured but a lot of the time that's not the case. Sometimes, you just have to face that it's never going to grow back and deal with that.
It's a massive self-esteem destroyer, I know I'm guilty of isolating myself from friends when I'm feeling especially vulnerable, turning down nights out and otherwise enjoyable social events. It's a vicious cycle, you feel depressed, you lose your hair. You've lost your hair, so you feel depressed. I've been suicidal over it before, no doubt about that.
Beginning at perimenopause in their 40s, women may see the effects of menopause on hair, including thinning hair, dull, graying and hair loss. Experts previously thought hair loss due to menopause was caused by low estrogen levels. But new research shows that hair loss in older women is likely due to lower levels of both estrogen and progesterone, causing hair follicles to thin and hair to fall out.

Trichotillomania, classified as an “impulse control disorder,” causes people to compulsively pull their hair out. “It’s sort of like a tic, the person is constantly playing and pulling their hair,” says Dr. Glashofer says. Unfortunately, this constant playing and pulling can actually strip your head of its natural protection: hair. Trichotillomania often begins before the age of 17 and is four times as common in women as in men.


The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It's called androgenetic alopecia, or female (or male) pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic "M" shape; hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman's hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
Hair Loss Can Have Psychological Effects -- While hair loss is often falsely thought of as merely a cosmetic problem, studies have proven that hair loss can have wide-ranging psychological effects on women, including loss of confidence and self-esteem and in some cases, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and more. Whether your hair loss is the result of natural hormonal changes and/or other underlying causes, in most cases hair loss is a treatable condition and not something you have to live with or hide. Preventing further hair loss and improving hair growth can restore a feeling of vitality, youth and confidence for women.
People have between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on their head. The number of strands normally lost in a day varies but on average is 100.[8] In order to maintain a normal volume, hair must be replaced at the same rate at which it is lost. The first signs of hair thinning that people will often notice are more hairs than usual left in the hairbrush after brushing or in the basin after shampooing. Styling can also reveal areas of thinning, such as a wider parting or a thinning crown.[citation needed]
I am 33 yrs old and just recently in the last 3 months I’ve noticed progressive hair loss near my crown and parts and my hair gets really oily like one day after I shower in my crown area. there is male pattern baldness in my family on my Dad’s side but none of the females on his side are affected. I have had a lot of emotional stress lately. I am worried that I have female pattern hair loss and it will be progressive. Can this be reversed esp at this young age if I make sure I’m nutritionally well and control my stress?
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle.[43] 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.[44] 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.
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?
What sometimes surprises women is that female pattern hair loss has the same cause as male pattern baldness: an inherited sensitivity to the testosterone-byproduct dihydrotestosterone (DHT). While men’s hair loss treatment for makes use of a clinically-proven drug named finasteride 1mg to block its production, this is not a suitable option for women.
The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.
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."
Some hair loss is associated with stress although male pattern baldness is a genetic condition found in many men. If you find your hair is falling out in clumps or at unpredictable times, it is most likely to be the symptom of something else. This could be stress related but is unlikely to be caused by sexual frustration. The best thing to do is to see your GP for a check up.
Don’t Smoke (and Don’t Drink So Much) – This disgusting habit is bad for your skin, heart, lungs and brain. But smoking may speed up hair loss too, because carbon monoxide prevents your blood from transporting essential vitamins and nutrients to the hair follicles. Moreover, nicotine constricts your blood vessels, further impeding hair growth. Your move? Quit smoking – hard to do, but with profound results.
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.
When you think of hair loss, men usually come to mind. You don’t see a lot of women walking around with receding hairlines or shaved heads as a result of hair loss. However, nearly 40% of women experience some form of hair loss by age 60. This hair loss is usually triggered by every woman’s favorite period of life: menopause. Since it’s a lot less socially acceptable for women to show signs of hair loss, balding can be emotionally devastating for many women.
Alright everyone, try things in cycles of at least 4 weeks or so, then you will have the ability to notice what works for your hair and what does not.  Hopefully some of these tips will flow into your hair care regimen leading your thinning hair to blossom to its full potential.  For most of us this will not happen overnight (or in a week).  Don’t forget – Patience is a virtue, but it also means you have to wait!  Concentrate on doing the right things with your hair now, it will definitely pay off later!  Happy hair growing!!!
The psychology of hair thinning is a complex issue. Hair is considered an essential part of overall identity: especially for women, for whom it often represents femininity and attractiveness. Men typically associate a full head of hair with youth and vigor. Although they may be aware of pattern baldness in their family, many are uncomfortable talking about the issue. Hair thinning is therefore a sensitive issue for both sexes. For sufferers, it can represent a loss of control and feelings of isolation. People experiencing hair thinning often find themselves in a situation where their physical appearance is at odds with their own self-image and commonly worry that they appear older than they are or less attractive to others. Psychological problems due to baldness, if present, are typically most severe at the onset of symptoms.[11]
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.
Reducing your stress should be your number one priority as it sounds like this could have been the original trigger. If you feel like your scalp is greasy then this could be to do with your diet. Take account of what you eat and try to remove fried foods or any foods containing vegetable oils. Processed foods in general should be avoided ideally. Seeing a doctor to find out what kind of hair loss yours is, is a good first step. Then you’ll be able to find the right treatment for it.
What can women do to treat it? As I note in my book, the first thing to do is to get a true diagnosis and find Dr. Right (for you). Women need to know that no stone has been left unturned. So the go-to person for hair loss is a dermatologist. Find a physician who is experienced in treating women’s hair loss. You should go there ready to tell the doc what’s been going on in your life--stress, recent pregnancy, severe weight loss due to dieting/anorexia/bulimia; current medications (over the counter and prescription), herbs, vitamins, birth control pills (start/stopping); HRT (start/stopping) and even habits such as wearing hair in tight buns, pony tails, corn rows etc. The physician should be able to tell if something is causing the hair loss and/or go on to a more definitive exam,which might include a scalp biopsy to rule out a fungus or other infection.
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.
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