I want to say that all of you are very courageous and sharing. I appreciate everything I have read here. Thankfully, I am starting out in a slightly better position – I still have a fair amount of hair left. I started with a HUGE amount of hair. For the last 6 – 12 months, I have been losing handfulls of hair in the shower every morning, then some more when I comb it out, then a bit more when I put styling product in it, then just a bit more during the day. The shower is the huge hit, though. I’m 37 and on a ton of medication – synthroid, neurontin (an amitryptiline derivative), anti-depressants, and a host of pain medications for a degenerative back problem. I brought my hair loss up to a doc around the time it started, since I was already on synthroid, he re-tested my levels, and said everything was fine. My hair structure has always been on the thin side, but there was just so damn much it didn’t matter – now there is a lot less. What used to take upwards of 20 minutes to dry with a dryer, now takes 5. I’ve been worried about it for quite a while, and didn’t know what to do. I started my on-line research today with hair extensions and stumbled on this site. I am encouraged that I’m starting my search for an answer relatively early in my hair loss journey. I have some great advice and questions to go in to see my doc about. If anyone has any recommendations for the Boise, ID area for a dermatologist and endocrinologist, I would really appreciate it.
Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. Often it results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin. Psychological stress may result. People are generally otherwise healthy. In a few, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.
Telogen effluvium occurs when the normal balance of hairs in growth and rest phases is disrupted, and the telogen phase predominates. The disproportionate shedding leads to a decrease in the total number of hairs. Axillary and pubic areas often are involved, as well as the scalp.2 The hair-pluck test usually shows that up to 50 percent of hairs are in the telogen phase (in contrast to the normal 10 to 15 percent), although these results can vary in persons with advanced disease.4 The patient often is found to have had inciting events in the three to four months before the hair loss (Table 4).1,4 If 70 to 80 percent of hairs are in the telogen phase, the physician should look for causes of severe metabolic derangements, toxic exposures, or chemotherapy.1,4 No specific treatment for hair loss is required because normal hair regrowth usually occurs with time and resolution of underlying causes. Lack of significant historical events and a delay in regrowth should raise suspicion for syphilitic alopecia.1
Graccey, you are spot on with the PPD allergy. It is amazing how difficult it is to connect the dots. It took me a year to figure it out. It caused 2 very aggressive cases of TE, my hair is not coming back on it’s own. I have been using Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo (I put one baby aspirin in it to balance the PH level because it is very alkalinity and the baby aspirin is an acid that brings it down, a lot of research to figure that one out too, but I just put the baby aspirin in an ounce of filtered water to dissolve and pour it in the baby shampoo) but anyway it was the only thing I wasn’t sensitive to and yes you are right it is something that continues to progress and makes you sensitive to all chemicals. I went a year without coloring my hair to allow it to rest. And now I will only foil it leaving 1/2″ of roots showing. This has devastated me beyond. I have just started using rogaine and the hairmax comb (for scalp health) I don’t think the comb helps with hair regrowth but it does seems to help with scalp health. It is a miracle I can use rogaine but it does seem to be helping. I use the women’s 2% every other night. Good luck with your regrowth. You are right on with the PPD and I think it is much more common than people think!
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.
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.
The pattern of hair loss, especially whether it is focal or diffuse, also may be helpful (Figure 1). The hair-pull test gives a rough estimate of how much hair is being lost.2,4 It is done by grasping a small portion of hair and gently applying traction while sliding the fingers along the hair shafts. Usually one to two hairs are removed with this technique. The hairs are then examined under a microscope (Table 2).
The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on the scalp. These patches are often several centimeters or less. Hair loss might also occur on other parts of the face, like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body. Some people lose hair in a few places. Others lose it in a lot of spots.
The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.
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.
Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry. Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons (these straighten hair by using high heat) and curling irons.
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
It is perfectly normal for people to shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. This generally doesn't cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time that hair is shedding. However, hair loss occurs when this hair growth cycle and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle becomes destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common form of hair loss in women. This occurs gradually and is caused by genetics (from either side of the family), age, and the action of a specific male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is found in lesser amounts in women and it preys on the hair follicles, preventing them from receiving vital nutrients for proper hair follicle growth, leading to the hairs shrinking, and resulting in a shorter lifespan. Interestingly, DHT does not need to be elevated to generate hair loss. Estrogen, when lowered as commonly seen in menopause, creates a change in the ratio of male to female hormones, giving an edge to these male hormones. Compounded with the sensitivity of DHT to the hair follicles, heredity can affect the age at which a woman begins to lose her hair, as well as the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness.
When healthy hair is pulled out, at most a few should come out, and ripped hair should not be distributed evenly across the tugged portion of the scalp. In cases of alopecia areata, hair will tend to pull out more easily along the edge of the patch where the follicles are already being attacked by the body's immune system than away from the patch where they are still healthy.
I would just like to spare anyone else In Los Angeles thinking about going to see the dermatologist who supposedly specializes in hair lossat UCLA (Dr Strick or something like that I think is his name) He is the most insensitive and uncaring Dr. I have ever met. After waiting close to 2 hours after my scheduled appt to see him. He gave me some xeroxed copy of an article on T E that was out of Glamour or Cosmopolitan or some Fashion magazine like that. He asked no questions. I wasnt even there for 10minutes but when I showed him a big bag of hair which I saved, that had fallen out in the past several weeks. He just very insensitively told me it was T E and it would grow back-basically like just get over it, then he gave me the bums rush out the door.
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 too have been having bad hair loss. I am 25 years old and since the birth of my second child 2 1/2 years ago, it has not stopped. It is normal for it to fall out for a few months after child birth so I wasn’t too worried at first. After about 6 months it started to slow down then all of a sudden started up again. And has been falling out ever since. I am really thin in the front and around the temples and just recently, has become really unhealthy. It breaks and is very course. I have been to 3 derms. and 2 PCP’s. All my lab work has always come back normal. And they just tell me to use Rogain. The past 6 months I have been trying to get pregnant again and haven’t been able to. I got pregnant with my last 2 very easy and feel that my hair loss and not being able to get pregnant are intertwined. I also have gained about 15 pounds. I don’t want to use the Rogain because I am trying to get pregnant and don’t know the effects it will have if I did get pregnant. I don’t know what to do next. I am in the Phoenix area so if anyone know of any good docs around here please let me know.
A medical event or condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, childbirth, surgery, or a fever, typically triggers this type of hair loss. Telogen effluvium may also occur as a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency—iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women—or the use of certain medications, such as isotretinoin, prescribed for acne, or warfarin, a blood thinner. Starting or stopping oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may also cause this type of hair loss.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
My visit to Dr. Redmond (endocrinologist) was very informative. First, he confirmed that I was not going crazy. I am sure many of you have heard that from loved ones. It is true that was is noticeable to you and your eyes is not noticeable to everyone else. I do try and live each day to the fullest right now and not let what the future might hold (worse hair loss) bother me, but it is tough. After alot of normal tests, Dr. Redmond confirmed my suspicion that I am suffering from androgenic alopecia (AA or women pattern baldness). He has put me on sprironolactone 200mg in the morning and Yasmin (birth control) in the evening). I just started on this regimen so I will keep you posted. Here are the tests that he wanted to me to get done:
The course of typical alopecia areata is not predictable with a high likelihood of spontaneous remission. The longer the period of time of hair loss and the larger the area involved, the less likely the hair will regrow spontaneously. Therefore, there are a variety of treatments, but none of these can confidently be predicted to impact the course of this disease. Local steroid injections intracutaneously may be very helpful in restarting the hair growth cycle in treated areas. Steroid creams, lotions, and shampoos have been used for many years but are of limited benefit at best. Although oral systemic steroids are known to induce hair growth in affected patients, their long-term use is contraindicated because of the likelihood of undesirable side effects.
The trick about all of these hair-loss products and treatments is that they’ll stop working as soon as you stop using them. “They have to be ready for a lifetime commitment,” says Rieder. But, just like brushing your teeth, as long you keep on keeping on with the scientifically proven preventative treatments, those hairs on your head should be just fine.
A hair restoration is a surgical procedure, but per government regulations, any physician of any background with a valid medical license, regardless of training, presence or lack of any board certificate in anything at all, is permitted to call themselves a "hair restoration surgeon." For instance, a psychiatrist, who has not even seen a surgical instrument in 20 years, can tomorrow decide that he would like to be a hair restoration surgeon, and offer the surgery to the public. Therefore it is important to make sure your surgeon has actual surgery training, which is usually a 5 to 7 year course of intense training in the years immediately following medical school, and upon successful completion, surgeons receive a board certificate in their chosen specialty.
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.
Each hair develops from a follicle — a narrow pocket in the skin — and goes through three phases of growth. Anagen (A), the active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Catagen (), the transition phase, lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin's surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle. Telogen (C), the resting phase, lasts around three months and culminates in the shedding of the hair shaft.
Alopecia areata is a disease that attacks your hair follicles (the part of your skin that makes hair). In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. This causes only a few bare patches. Some people may lose more hair. In only a few people, the disease causes total loss of hair on the head or loss of all body hair.
Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your home. That breaks my heart for you. I wish you the best in recovery of your home and blessings on your finances. But I do have to say I think that only losing 20 sounds like a dream! I absolutely know that my TE was triggered by PPD in hair dye. I only wish that I would have figured it out sooner. I was forewarned with itching for a year, no dandruff flaking or anything just itching and that was my body trying to heal itself against the allergy and the all hell broke lose on my head! Please keep me posted propecia; I wouldn’t even look for any improvement for 6 months though. But please be here when you do see it! Have a blessed day!
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-
One is how much emphasis the company places on compliance, the major stumbling block in the efficacy of any treatment, said Dr. Senna, an author of studies on the subject. Prospective users are questioned about their ability to stick to a regimen because the extract must be applied every day, and they are told that the more conscientious they are, the better. Users are also reminded and encouraged with regular check-ins.
While diet alone won’t save your hair, there may be some truth to the old adage that you are what you eat. “You’re not going to have the healthiest hair if you’re living off doughnuts, because being nutrient-deficient weakens strands and makes them more prone to breakage,” says Denise Kernan, owner of DK Hair Techs, Inc., a member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery, and a hair transplant technician who has worked on everyone from senators to sports stars to actors to mafia guys (she won’t name names to protect the privacy of her clients).
^ 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.
Alopecia areata is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own anagen hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. For example, T cell lymphocytes cluster around affected follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss. It has been suggested that hair follicle in a normal state are kept secure from the immune system, a phenomenon called immune privilege. A breech in this immune privilege state is considered as the cause of alopecia areata. A few cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata have been reported.
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.