Each follicle produces hair for 2 to 6 years and then takes a break for several months. While the hair follicle is in its rest phase, the hair falls out. There are around 100,000 follicles on the scalp, but because each follicle rests at a different time and others produce hairs, hair loss is usually unnoticeable. More noticeable hair loss occurs when there is a disruption to the growth and shedding cycle, or if the hair follicle is obliterated and replaced with scar tissue.

Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.

Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata is caused by an abnormality in the immune system that damages hair follicles. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, a misguided immune system that tends to attack its own body. As a result, the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. In alopecia areata, for unknown reasons, the body's own immune system attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation. Biopsies of affected skin show immune lymphocytes penetrating into the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. The diagnosis or treatment of these diseases is unlikely to affect the course of alopecia areata. Sometimes, alopecia areata occurs within family members, suggesting a role of genes.
I have recently noticed my hair thinning about a year ago. I was 19 when it stated and I am now 20. I have seen well over 10 different doctors including dermatologist, gynecologist and your normal everyday doctor. They have done thousands of dollars worth of blood work on me and they have yet to figure out what is going on. I went from loosing 20 hairs a day to 100 and talk about wanting to cry every night. I have lost over 50% of my hair and everyone including my parents blow me off like it completely normal. My doctors have strung me out in every medicine and when that didn’t work they thought it was all in my head. They told me that it’s normal to lose hair and that it will eventually stop. I’ve had doctors laugh and blow me off, I’ve had doctor to prescribe me depression medicine and a psych. I feel like I’m alone and no one understands what I’m going through. I went from being the funny outgoing person who didn’t care what people think to a self conscious and antisocial person I don’t know. It’s been the worst year of my life, sometimes it feels like a nightmare. I just hope the next doctor I see will give me hope that one day I’ll have my think pretty long hair that I use to have.
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), or male-pattern baldness, is hair thinning in an “M”-shaped pattern; hair loss occurs on the temples and crown of the head with sparing of the sides and back5 (Figure 2). This pattern reflects the distribution of androgen-sensitive follicles in most people.6 Starting at puberty, androgens shorten the anagen phase and promote follicular miniaturization, leading to vellus-like hair formation and gradual hair thinning.6
Sinclair Scale: The 5-point Sinclair Scale is a modified visual grading scale. Grade 1 is normal. This pattern is found in all girls prior to puberty, but in only half of women age 80 or over. Grade 2 shows a widening of the central part. Grade 3 shows a widening of the central part and thinning of the hair on either side of the central part. Grade 4 reveals the emergence of diffuse hair loss over the top of the scalp. Grade 5 indicates advanced hair loss. This grade is uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of women.

Dr. Williams is also the primary investigator in a National Institute of Health (NIH) approved IRB study in regenerative medical treatment procedures with stem cell/stromal therapy for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia. A new study treating scaring and autoimmune (Alopecia Areata) alopecia is expected in 2017. Dr. Williams believes the foundations of health and hair restoration are founded on prevention and wellness. His primary practice is hair restoration surgery in Orange County, and he is involved in teaching medical students and residents from various medical training programs in northern and southern California. He is on the clinical teaching faculty of Western University of Health Science in Pomona, California; and Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in San Francisco, California, and Chapman University new Health Science teaching facilities.
Its been 1.5 years since my problem started. I noticed first the texture became course or wiry. Then I wore a hair net and hard hat for 8 years I don’t know if that helped with my condition or not. Then I went to got my hair highlighted within 1 week my hair broke off to 1/2″ just in front the rest was full. Since then I have tried all kinds of hair therapy. The texture changed to being normal but I have Nice shiny almost bald spot on my head. Nothing I tried helped in regrowth. Went over all my mess with my doctor she said no should damage my hair. Also it grows but as soon as it starts looking decent I have breakage. What to do what to do.

Finally people who understands what I am going through …I am in a desperate search for doctors in the Miami/Boca Raton, Florida area. Can anyone help? I dont know yet what has been causing my hair loss…I had been loosing some hair throighout the years, and sometimes it gets lees severe but lately has just gotten worse and there is no stopping it seems. I had mt Tyroid checked by PCP a coulpe months ago and my iron level also looked normal …getting desperate. Would appreciate some help.


Consider consultation with a dermatologist who has an interest in hair loss disorders. They can, admittedly, be difficult to find. Looks like you are about 3 hours away from a noted hair loss expert, Dr. Elise Olsen at Duke University. If it is very important to you, it may be worthwhile for you to travel. Hair loss cannot be appropriately diagnosed without a face-to-face consultation.
Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.
Testosterone replacement is becoming popular for men. Cotsarelis warns that this may accelerate hair loss. Propecia might help -- but because it prevents testosterone breakdown, it might affect the dose of male hormone replacement therapy. Cotsarelis warns men taking both Propecia and testosterone replacement to make sure their doctor carefully monitors their testosterone levels.
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