Ironically, taking the hormone levothyroxine to treat an underactive thyroid can contribute to some hair loss, among other side effects, but this seems to be more common within the first month of treatment and more often in children than adults. This hair loss is only temporary and will go away as treatment is continued and thyroid hormone levels stabilize.
I am 18 years old and about a month ago i noticed my hair falling out increasingly fast. It has scared me to death. I’ve gone to see my general practitioner and he said that hair goes through shedding stages and that it is normal. It is definitely not normal for me. I insisted that he check my thyroid and my results came back normal. My family just repeatedly tells me that I’m crazy and have no reason to worry. I have just purchased an apartment with my friends and will start college in the fall. I am terrified to begin my new life with a hair loss problem. My hair has always been my best feature. It has always been thick, healthy, beautifully wavy, and I have always received compliments on it. I am emotionally devastated to watch my hair fall out in large amounts just from taking a shower or brushing my hair. It is nice to know that I’m not crazy, or alone. Thank You All!
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.
I do not believe birth control pills nor rogaine to be an appropriate long lasting answer for hair loss. I do not want to be on drugs for a length of time. Luckily, I have researched how the answer possibly lies within your lifestyle. What you eat, How much you exercise, how much sleep you get and stress you have. As for hormone-caused hair loss, the adrenal gland produces a 1/4 tsp of hormones per year. If you go slightly under or over that amount, a hormone imbalance is the result. If you use table salt, or are on a low-salt diet…you may be negatively affecting your hormones.
I have used Rogaine (5% – the real risk is if your pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. I didn’t think there was a point to taking “women” rogaine which is a 2% solution). You can buy this in sam’s club with no prescription. I think it may have caused some stabilization but it was hard for me to use it because it would make my hair oily and the thinning would appear worse. So I use it randomly and not twice a day as it should be used.
In addition to diagnosing and treating any underlying disorder, treatments for alopecia areata include immunomodulating agents and biologic response modifiers (Table 5).6 Although topical and oral corticosteroids have been used, the treatment of choice in patients older than 10 years with patchy alopecia areata affecting less than 50 percent of the scalp is intralesional corticosteroid injections (Figure 8).6
i also have learned that most people are low in their vitamin d levels, which may also contribute to hair loss. i actually had labs done to check for my vitamin d level, by a cardiologist. my heart is fine, thankfully, but she did tell me to take 2000i.u. daily of vitamin d3, specifically. when i researched about it, i found the possible hair connection. so i do take that daily. i will also be buying vitamin b6 and 12 and biotin. and i will research the gut connection because biologically speaking, it makes sense. i will return with another post in a few months and update.
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Hair transplants are not an options for a very large proportion of women with genetic hair loss as the pattern of hair loss is diffuse or the amount of thinning is not suitable for restoration. Also, hair transplantation is not an option for women with chronic telogen effluvium, nor for women with active frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen planopilaris and a host of other conditions.
Hi Everyone I thought I was the only person with major hairloss because everywhere I look all I see is beautiful heads of hair. I am 34 years old and my hair started thinning 7 months ago at first I thought it was just my ponytail getting thinner but my hair became horrible with split ends and dryness too (I have always had extremely healthy hair and never had split ends) – I thought I had burnt my hair using a straightener and that’s why it was thinning. However it has gotten worse and worse and I finally visited a doctor. I have had full blood tests for thyroid issues, hormone levels, cholesterol etc etc all were perfectly normal, I had a thyroid antibody test which was at the high end of normal but still within normal range, I had a thyroid function test which was within normal limits however he thought I did have some slight inflammation ie thyroiditis. My doctor said this isn’t causing the hair loss either. I have loads of energy, don’t get tired, eat well am normal weight range the only other thing I have noticed is my eyelashes seem stunted in growth (not thinned out though) and my eyebrows have thinned on the outer edges. My last two nails on both hands have a dark (looks like they have lifted slight) strip just below the white nail part. I am booked to have a stress test, pelvic ultrasound and to see an endocrinologist also to rule out all other possible reasons for hairloss. I am now getting to the point of embarrassment to go out it is soooo thin on top particularly on one side of temple and majorly down the centre where I used to part my hair. HELPPPPPP!!!!!
The topical sensitizers, diphencyprone or squaric acid dibutylester, have been used in those suffering from recalcitrant alopecia areata or those with more than 50% hair loss. The goal of treatment is to create an allergic contact dermatitis of the scalp. This alteration in the immune response occasionally is accompanied by hair regrowth. The efficacy of the topical sensitizers has been demonstrated in both young children and adults, but it probably works less than half the time. Recent success using oral janus kinase inhibitors, including tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, and baricitinib, have been shown to be efficacious in severe, extensive alopecia areata in adults, but long-term therapy has potential side effects. The durability of response to these medications is variable, and most patients experience recurrence of hair loss after discontinuation. Perhaps topical therapy with these types of drugs may be available in the near future.
I have been losing my hair over this past year but within the last 6 months it has changed texture and still falling out! Now my hair is very coarse and kinky! For 42 years I had long straight-as-a-board hair and now I look like a poodle! Every time I comb or brush my hair handfuls of hair comes out! My hairdresser, gyno, GP and 3 dermatologists have told me it was normal to lose this amount of hair! Many contribute it aging but I find that hard to believe. Finally, my most recent derm said I was low in iron and said that might be a factor. Now, I’m going in to see if I might be anemic. My gyno ran the same tests and said all seemed normal! It’s the most frustrating and stressful event, especially when everyone tells you things are “normal”! Has anyone experienced their hair texture changing over a short period of time? Thanks-
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.
I had an amazing dermatologist who cured me of my acne b/c she sent me to an endocrynologitst who did agree w/ her that I had PCOS, but when the Aldactone didn’t work, the dermatologist told me “well tha’s that, you have male pattern balding.” She said it like you have two arms and two legs – just a matter of fact, no big deal, but it landed like she sent a single young woman a death sentence. I never went back to her and have not seen a dermatologist since then b/c right after her I went to Dr. Strick at UCLA same kind of stuff (mentioned it in other comment) and am now working w/ my endocrinologist and internal medicine doctors. I agree, you must go to more than one b/c doctors do not know everything and some don’t even know what they are supposed to know for their own field and specialty – they are human too and are good at some things and lacking in othters. Just keep looking until you get someone who cares that this is an upsetting matter for you and will help you find solutions that actually work for you individually instead of a bottle of Rogaine like it’s an apple or 2 aspirins and then call them in the morning.
Lisa, don’t know if you are out there and reading this but I called my dermatology office today. I have worked with them since about 2003/2004 when I had severe cystic acne (it is about as bad as hair loss in dealing with it) and together the nurse and I were successful. I have hope, I got in to see her tomorrow and I’m taking all the meds/vitamins I am taking. Call Arizona Skin & Cancer Institute, they are in Chandler AZ right by Chandler Regional. I’ve been in tears all day because a clump came out. I thank God for my beautiful children who were there for me through the acne and my mom. You just listen to me talk about what I am going through. Getting through work was hard today. Anyway, Lisa call them and try to get in. I don’t know if I will have success but I’ve done a lot a research and I know what to ask. I did look up symptoms of protein deficiency – strange I had great hair in October 07 and my nails were really hard and now they are brittle and breaking and my hair is falling, I also went through a couple of weeks of this werid swelling of my arms, legs, feet, hands in April. And have been constipated, and my running isn’t giving me the usual firm legs, all signs of not enough protein. Maybe I’m grasping at straws but anyway…hope you are doing ok.
Almost all hair loss in guys results from male-pattern baldness, a genetic trait that comes from your parents. Other causes include certain medications, too much vitamin A, or not enough protein. Illness or stress can lead to sudden, heavy shedding called telogen effluvium. Good news, though: Hair loss that isn’t from male-pattern baldness often reverses itself.
I also suspect, as you suggest, that the trichodynia is a result of rapid hair loss. I share your frustrations with how very little we dermatologists know on the subject. The only observational study on Trichodynia and chronic telogen effluvium involved only 8 patients. Only one of those eight went on to have androgenetic, permanent hair loss. The numbers followed is pathetic!
Duke’s dermatologists diagnose and treat hair disorders, such as hair loss (alopecia), excessive hairiness (hirsutism), and abnormal hair growth (hypertrichosis). We understand that abnormal hair growth can be distressing and affect your self confidence. We work closely with you to diagnose the cause of your condition, and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your medical needs, improves your condition, and helps you regain a positive self-image.
Other medical conditions — most commonly telogen effluvium and seborrheic dermatitis — can also cause hair loss, but most people can trace their follicular woes back to androgenetic alopecia, so we focused our search there. We started with more than 200 products, including all-natural solutions and high-tech gadgets, while skipping treatments that focus only on volumizing or thickening hair. We also limited our scope to the scalp, and left out specialty products designed only for eyebrows or beards.
^ Petukhova L, Duvic M, Hordinsky M, Norris D, Price V, Shimomura Y, Kim H, Singh P, Lee A, Chen WV, Meyer KC, Paus R, Jahoda CA, Amos CI, Gregersen PK, Christiano AM (July 2010). "Genome-wide association study in alopecia areata implicates both innate and adaptive immunity". Nature. 466 (7302): 113–7. Bibcode:2010Natur.466..113P. doi:10.1038/nature09114. PMC 2921172. PMID 20596022.
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.
One hard truth: Hair loss is mostly out of your control. “Baldness comes down to your genes,” says Frederick Joyce, M.D., founder of Rejuvenate! Med Spa and a member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. “If you have the baldness gene, there are some natural remedies that may make your hair stronger and healthier to slow your hair loss slightly—but they won’t prevent you from going bald. Still, maintaining hair health by eating well and using the right products—combined with medical-grade treatments—can really work all together to help you have a fuller, thicker head of hair.”
This blog is great in all the support and understanding it provides, but I had a pretty hard time finding any suggestions for treatments that have actually helped anyone. I’m 22 and my hair has been rapidly shedding over the past 5 months. It’s also gotten thin and brittle. After 2 blood screenings, a dermatologist visit, and a visit to my general practitioner, nothing has improved. The doctor’s told me to wait it out, and that sometimes this “just happens”. They tested my hairs and saw that most of them were in the “resting” telogen phase, and decided I had Telogen Effluvium (TE) for undetermined causes.
The characteristic finding of alopecia areata is one or more well-circumscribed areas of otherwise normal, hairless skin in hair-bearing areas. Occasionally, it may be necessary to biopsy the scalp to confirm the diagnosis. Other findings that may be helpful are the appearance of short hairs that presumably represent fractured hairs, short thin hairs, and gray hair growing in a bald area. Other causes of hair loss are generally excluded from the consideration by history and clinical evaluation.
Why? Unwanted hair growth (sideburns, for example) is a reported side effect of minoxidil. The belief is that a higher concentration of minoxidil would result in more unwanted hair, which is why women are instructed to use it less often. However, the study in Skin Therapy Letter reports that unwanted hair was more common in 2 percent minoxidil solutions than 5 percent, and women are instructed to use Rogaine’s 2 percent solution twice daily — so what gives?
Some of the skin disorders like lupus and sarcoidosis can cause hair loss. In case of lupus, the hair tends to get brittle and may fall out in patches. Lupus hairs or short, broken hairs usually appear above the forehead. Hair loss is not permanent in general here. Some individuals with lupus also develop a form of lupus known as discoid or cutaneous lupus that affects the skin. Scars that sometimes develop on the skin of the scalp may lead to hair loss.
Each day the scalp hair grows approximately 0.35 mm (6 inches per year), while the scalp sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, and more with shampooing.1 Because each follicle passes independently through the three stages of growth, the normal process of hair loss usually is unnoticeable. At any one time, approximately 85 to 90 percent of scalp follicles are in the anagen phase of hair growth. Follicles remain in this phase for an average of three years (range, two to six years).1 The transitional, or catagen, phase of follicular regression follows, usually affecting 2 to 3 percent of hair follicles. Finally, the telogen phase occurs, during which 10 to 15 percent of hair follicles undergo a rest period for about three months. At the conclusion of this phase, the inactive or dead hair is ejected from the skin, leaving a solid, hard, white nodule at its proximal shaft.2 The cycle is then repeated.
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some — not all — women, it can't restore the full density of the lost hair. It's not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won't see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you'll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you'll start to lose hair again.
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So far, I’ve only been on the Propecia for about three weeks. I don’t notice any side-effects thus far. I am taking 2.5 mg of Proscar, to be exact. I feel good and have not noticed any difference in my hair. I continue to lose about 20 hairs when I shower and brush it each day. That may not sound like a lot but I have already lost so much of my hair, that I think that represents more hair loss than it sounds. At least it is stable for now…I thank GOD that it is not getting worse. I DO have re-growth but it is fine and “wispy” as you said. It is not the same as the rest of my “normal” hair but hey, at least some of it is growing back in. Slowly and finer. That seems to support the AGA diagnosis. The thing that really drives me crazy is that I still don’t know WHY the TE started in the first place. The TE unmasked the AGA, but why the damn TE and what from here? Anyway….I digress and obsses!
Finasteride inhibits 5α-reductase type 2, resulting in a significant decrease in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels.6 Studies have shown that, compared with placebo, 1 mg per day of finasteride slows hair loss and increases hair growth in men.6,7,9 Dosages as low as 0.2 mg per day result in decreased scalp and serum DHT levels in men, although the DHT levels may not correlate clinically with changes in hair loss.10
Most people naturally shed about 50 to 100 hairs a day, but sometimes men and women can shed much more, leading to thinning hair, hair loss, and over time, baldness. The causes of this hair loss can be a result of hormones, underlying medical conditions, and even certain medications like antidepressants, high-blood pressure medications, and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). Sometimes, hair loss is purely genetic and can run in families.