I am so so grateful and want to thank everyone who has contributed to this forum. I am 52 years old, and in June of this year my Obgyn said it was time for me to get off Birth control pills , as I was getting too old and the estrogen levels would be dangerous at this time. I had been on BCP since the age of 18 with a break from the age of 35-38, and always been under the impression that BC pills might cause hair loss, but was totally unaware that when you came off them that the real deal happened. He just casually said, don’t take them and we will see if you are in menopause. Well I did and 2 months later (mid Aug..) I went straight into menopause, hot flashes all day, night sweats, etc., Then came the shedding, TE, as I am to understand. By mid-September the texture of my hair felt strange and the hair on the right side/back of my hair thinned out considerably, and I was developing a bald patch. Having always had very thin hair that I was always self conscious about (I had to wear a wig as a child, as I had monilethrix an inherited hair disease, which went into remission, but the hair loss caused terrible self esteem issues throughout my teenage years.), I cried my eyes out, then went on a quest to find out who to see. Derm, another ObGyn or endocrinologist? From everything that I had read, everyone went to countless doctors to find a cure. Having dealt with my HMO over the years to get a quality specialist in different areas, I knew I would be bald by the time I found the right doctor. Then I came across this forum, like Hope in Aug, I have spent countless hours on the internet in search of a solution. Thanks to her post and Toni on 7/14/08 and Shelleo, I found my answer. I called Dr. Redmond, in New York, and prayed that I could get an appointment right away. My prayers were answered, and I have an appointment this coming Monday 10/28!! I will be getting his book I the next day or so, as recommended, and truly feel, from what I have read, if anyone can help me, he is the one. Thank you for sharing your stories. I will make sure to check back, so I can, too, possibly help someone else.
The complex actions of genetics, DHT, shifting of hormone ratios and age-related volume loss can commonly occur in women in their 40’s and 50’s. However, just like in men, genetic hair loss can appear at all ages after puberty. In fact, hair loss occurs with relatively high frequency even in women in their 20’s and 30’s. The majority of women with female pattern hair loss initially develop diffuse thinning over the front and top of the scalp, while maintaining the frontal hairline. This thinning may present with a widening through the central part line while others may present initially with either episodic or continuous hair shedding, prior to any noticeable decrease in hair volume. In addition, thinning may also be seen throughout the scalp, including the temple areas as well as the back and sides.
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Hi,this is really tough for me and I don’t know what to say. I have always lost a lot of hair but I had a ton of hair. However,my mom commented that she noticed that it has thinned out more than usual and it has. And today, I just took picture of the top of my head and see a spot. Like you Lisa, I am completely freaked out, I am two weeks away from my 34th birthday. Sorry, Lisa I don’t know of any doctors except for my dermatologist that I am calling tomorrow and I found an endocrinologist through United Healthcare that I will call. I’m so upset that the crying just won’t stop. What worries me is that I’ve been on aladactone for about a year for acne (but was only at 50 mg) BUT she did up the dosage about 5 months ago (but only consistently take at the 200 mg for 3 months). But my fear is that the aladactone didn’t help prevent it for me. But the thinning out has been noticeable since about May/June of this year so maybe there is hope. Now, I have to put in there I went through a very stressful period from March until now. And had a rapid weight loss of 35 pounds (went from 168 to 133) and I’ve been doing a lot of running. But my concern is my sister has female pattern balding and so does my mom so I am very worried. My sister said the doctor said to up her protein and get super b-12 complex which I started two weeks ago, my sister said she has seen some regrowth. Today, I went and got biotin, magnesium and iron. And bought Nioxin shampoo as i heard it help give the appearance of more hair. I am calling the doctors tomorrow in hopes that it really was just my rapid weight loss, I have to admit I was under a lot of stress and barely eating, I’m eating better now though but again it runs in my family and I am completely freaked out. Lisa if I have any success I will let you know who my doctors were. Know that I too, live in Phoenix and am going through the same thing. It is hard, now I am afraid my boyfriend will leave me. Keep faith.
Aside from the falling hair, I’m also experiencing bouts of arrhythmia. There are instances when my heart would beat slowly and it feels like it’s going to break my ribcage. It’s hard to breathe and I get dizzy. Do you think these are related? I don’t want to go to another doctor yet because I haven’t researched yet and because of my many disappointing experiences with them, I would never dare to consult with one without knowing anything.
I am 31; as a child I had beautiful brown smooth hair with a hint of a wave. As soon as I hit puberty at 13 (1st period on my 13th b-day), my hair turned wavier. Same year, I remember looking down on my legs horrified at the hair I had developed. Only 1 thought came to me: “NOT NORMAL!” Body hair on women is a tricky subject, though, with media heavily influencing what’s considered ‘normal’. My mom, similarly hairy, just told me it’s genetic and normal.
My current solution is this : I have bought clip in hair extensions from Sally’s Beauty Supply store (about 100$) I actually just trim them myself and dye the hair left on my head and the extensions using an ammonia free hair dye (L’oreal or Garnier) in order for them to blend. I use a lot of root lifter and fill in the balding spots with Toppik (dark brown) and top it off with a shine spray. I’m telling you, most people have NO clue of my problem. I feel this is the best way to feel like a woman as I continue on this quest to solve my hair loss problem. I’d be happy to tell more of you about the regimine … high maintenance yes, but you know what, we all have to do what we need to do.
But you must start these medical therapies before you lose all your hair. McAndrews likens it to brushing your teeth, in that both are preventative measures. “The sooner you start doing it, the better at slowing down this aging process,” he explains, adding, “Is toothpaste perfect? No, you’re still getting tooth decay with toothpaste, but you’re slowing down tooth decay.”
Our other recommendation is the HairMax Ultima 12 LaserComb. The comb uses low-level lasers to stimulate hair follicles and modulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a hormone that causes the most common type of hair loss. While it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, the treatment works, and the dermatologists we consulted reported that their patients saw thicker and longer hair when combined with our top pick. The only catch: The comb isn’t as effective as minoxidil treatments, and at nearly $400, it’s a much bigger investment. Still, it’s the best option if you’re looking for a non-invasive, non-chemical treatment.
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.
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.
Dr. Curtis says genes and hormones are the leading causes of hair loss. And it's not just something we face as we age. She says, "I've seen patients as young as 14-15 years old start having hair loss. It's all dependent on your genetics. Unfortunately the earlier it starts, the more likely it's going to be more severe in nature and the faster it can progress."
@Amanda P. I regrew my hair and you can too. -I've been bleaching my hair on and off since forever. My hair wouldn't grow any longer it would just snap off. I've dreamed about having thick, long hair. And when I say dreamed, I mean it quite literally. So i decided to do something about it. My friend suggested Biotin when we were talking about my hair loss.
Men’s Rogaine Extra Strength Solution is the liquid version of our top pick. It didn’t make our final cut because it includes propylene glycol, which causes irritation in roughly one-third of its users. With that said, Dr. Wolfeld finds that it can be even more effective in practical daily use. In his experience, “the solution can penetrate and get into your scalp a little bit better” than the foam — especially if you’re not taking the time and effort to apply the foam correctly. This seems crazy to us since the foam so quickly dissolved into a liquid in our tests, but if you’re worried, try a one-month supply of the liquid and make the switch to foam if you notice any irritation.
I’m interested in what took place 4 months before the onset of your hair loss (and others with telogen effluvium). For me, it has always been either a baby born or a course of antibiotics. Oral birth control can also cause a sudden change in the gut flora–as can pretty much any medication. Staph infections are another connection I think should be pursued. Some women don’t know they’re colonized with Staph but they constantly have dry, cracked (mild or severe) sores in their noses.
Hi, my name is Kim, but I guess you already figured that. My story begins when I was a child, but it started getting bad when I was ten. When I was little my mom would notice that I had little bald spots. The doctors just said “she’s not getting enough iron” and they would send me home. My mom would take me home and increase my iron intake and my hair would grow back within two weeks. When I was 10, my hair loss started happening on the back of my head just above my neckline, and we tried increasing my iron, yet nothing. We tried for three months, but it only got worse. Then, my once beautiful locks of hair started coming out more and more all over my head. It was embarrassing because I could not wear pony tails like other girls, I couldn’t curl it, I couldn’t go swimming without a swim cap, and mostly, I couldn’t be a kid. When I turned 11, my mom took me to a dermatologist who couldn’t diagnose it clearly, but he said I had alopecia. He also said that we didn’t catch it in time and that it was all doomed to fall out. He prescribed me Olux and sent me home. I tried it but it caused my scalp to turn red back there where it had all come out, and on different spots on my head. Mind you I was still a little kid and still had to go to school, only to be mocked by the shame and horror that I had to endure as a young girl. Kids are mean, and they too will find every way in their power to ridicule you given the chance. I hated middle school because it was a very bad experience for me. I couldn’t do anything the other kids could physically, and I felt very out of place. My mom found another dermatologist that we went to, and he said that if we had not used the Olux, my hair could have been saved and fully regrown. But by the time we did get to this doctor, I barely had any hair left on my head. My 12th birthday was the day that he prescribed me to take 1200 mg of biotin twice daily, and to take four pills of prednisone a day. Within two months, we noticed little hairs growing from my scalp, a miracle! But we also noticed that my appetite was dangerously increased. I went from being a size 2 in women’s pants to a size 15 in those two months as well. I was so puffed out from the swelling that the prednisone caused that I couldn’t wear shoes that I had to put my feet in. I went from 120 lbs to 170 lbs as a 12 year old. I was only fortunate that my school allowed me to wear a hat to cover my “progress in distress”to allow myself and others to pay attention to the teachers in class, not my lack of hair. By the time summer came around my grandma took me to a wig store and bought me my first real hair wig. When I got back to school that next august, my peers thought that my hair had grown back, well, at least some of them did. Some of them had conspiracies that I was an alien trying to blend in, while others tried to plot to snatch it away from me. I knew people were planning to do this because I saw the way they watched me, looking at my every move, waiting for the chance to intercept. I stayed paranoid that they would do this.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
What I hate most is how I feel about myself. As others have shared, I don’t want to wash or fix my hair any more than I have to for fear of lossing even more hair, thus I don’t want to leave the house. I also don’t like that most health care professionals give you a standard excuse for the hair loss: you’re getting older, hair thins; it’s hereditary; or the worst one..it’s due to stress! I wasn’t stressed until I pick a clump of hair from the shower drain or my hairbrush daily!
I have had alopecia universalis for 12 years now. It was very difficult in the beginning when my hair began to fall out. I was in college and devastated because I thought my life was over. I have now grown to accept myself and the way I look now. I know I would not be who I am today without this having happened, and I really like me! It does get better, but it is a process. A good support system and love from family and friends gets you through. Good luck to you all on your journey.
The follicles on the sides of the scalp are more genetically resistant to DHT, which is why male pattern baldness often results in a “crown” of hair. But its downsides are serious. “With women, finasteride is not an option,” says Dr. Wolfeld. “It’s not FDA-approved for women to take, so we don’t prescribe it.” In fact, due to the drug’s effect on hormone levels, pregnant women are advised to not even touch broken or crushed tablets.
Hair: It’s a natural part of being a human. But when the temperature climbs, and skin is exposed, it’s one of those things that a good many of us want to control. This week, we’re tackling hairlessness, not just the process of hair removal (electric shavers and ingrown-hair treatments and aesthetician-approved tweezers) but also what to buy when you’re losing your hair, and even how to take care of a Sphynx cat. Here, we’re talking to dermatologists and hair-loss doctors about hair-loss treatments that actually work.