Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly. 

I am 20 and have been losing hair since I was 17. It is such a confidence killer. I really do miss my beautiful thick and black hair. Now my hair is thin and a bit gray as well. I only think of it sometimes…but I used to be so depressed i can barely get out of bed. Whenever I am talking to someone, I always wonder if they are looking at my hair. I am currently using Rogaine for Women…it worked one summer when I was following the regimen religiously. However, I am so bad with routines, so now I try to remember to put it on my scalp morning and night. I recently also started to take Shen Min Hir Nutrients…not sure if it works yet. Does anyone have any advice? I really want to get a hair biopsy but I don’t know how. The places I called offered scalp analysis to prepare for hair transplants…which is not something that I am considering. I also saw 2 derms, one didn’t know what was wrong and only offered Rogaine as a solution, and the other said it is androgenic alopecia. I think I might have hormonal problems, but really not that sure. My scalp is always oily and so is my skin. Before my hairloss, I had really itchy scalp. Now it’s still oily but I wash it every other day. I also dye my hair to hide the gray. Sometimes I just feel so ugly and depressed in thinking about my hair. Beautiful hair is the only thing that I want back.

Thank you for all your post. My daughter had extremely thick hair about eight years ago. It was so thick you could barely put it in a scrunchie. Her hair has been continuously thinning to the point that you can see through it. All the women in my family on both sides have extremely thick hair. We live in the north east and have seen several GP and a Dermatologist who act like there is nothing wrong. I work in the medical field and when I hear this I get so mad because I feel like they want to just brush of like no big deal. It is a big deal to all women no matter what ages. I have written done some of the post advise and will continue to look for an endocrinologist for her. Please keep me postes on any new developements.


If you do decide to start treatment to save your hair, a good place to start is with minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine. Don’t expect this hair-loss treatment to create luscious locks; minoxidil is better at slowing down or preventing more loss rather than promoting hair growth. But, according to Dr. Amy McMichael, professor and chair of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, it is effective “if used as recommended, with evidence of improvement seen around six to nine months.” Simply massage the foam or solution into your scalp once or twice daily, and for best results, use a formula with 5 percent concentration.
I’m a dermatologist and am more interested in telogen effluvium these days because I have it bad–and this time it’s not because I just had a baby. I’m learning more about the gut-skin-hair connection and am suspicious that it has to do with the bacterial flora in your gut. You can learn more about changing your gut flora at BodyEcology.com. Her book is intense but I’ve decided to give it a try after recommending it and seeing it work so well with acne patients.
I have had hair loss for the past several years. I have seen both endocrinologists and dermatologists. I had one derm who was good, but I unfortunately moved. She put me on minoxidil 5% and spironolactone. I am now seeing and endo but he has me on Synthroid and I was very interested to read on this site that it can actually be a cause of hair loss! If anyone can recommend a doctor in Chicago i would appreciate it. I see there are 2 other people asking for recommendations but I haven’t seen responses to them. Thanks!

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.


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.
While female hair loss may not cause physical pain, it does cause mental anguish. Fortunately, in many cases, female hair loss can be successfully treated with today’s advanced nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. After a diagnosis has been confirmed, Dr. Yaker will create a customized treatment plan depending on one’s hair characteristics, the level of hair loss and the aesthetic goals of the patient.
In answer to which doctor should I see for my hair loss, my opinion is that you should probably see both. Most doctors don’t know enough about hair loss as it is, so seeing doctors in different specialties may actually help you get a better, more accurate diagnosis. I am sure there are various conditions of hair loss that might be better served by seeing one more than the other. Perhaps a dermatologist would be better suited in determining if the cause was an infectious skin condition such as ringworm or scaring alopecia, and an endocrinologist may be better at diagnosing hormone related hair loss. The truth is, any doctor whether it is an endocrinologist, dermatologist, or general practitioner with a strong interest and knowledge in hair loss can make a proper diagnosis and work with you on the the treatment they think will produce the best results. The operative words here are “interest and knowledge.”
i am a mother of a 10 yr old beautiful daughter who at this moment has started to lose some hair on her eyebrows.. at first i thought it was just skin disorder because it started out as an round and whitish spot on her left eyebrow…and only applied ointment on it. but then i statrted to notice that her eyebrows are have seen to not look normal and both end of her eyebrows are gone … and so i immediately took her to a dermatologist and with just one look at her through a lighted mirror ( i think) she told me – its alopecia.. due to stress, – that really shocked me…she’s a happy ten year old girl.. attending grade school.. she’s my only child … day and night we are together..so i am very secured in knowing that if she has any problem in school or with her friends – she would tell me as she always does.. and then the doctor showed me pictures od bald older men and told me that sometimes _ alopecia showed itself in men’ s mustaches.. sideburns… etc. then she gave us a prescription for an ointment to use on her brows 2 x a day and get back at her after two weeks.

I’m 28 and suffer from patches of hair loss. recently it has become so bad that i can no longer leave my hair down. it is really distressing for me, especially as I have recently met a guy and I’m not sure whether I should tell him about it or not. Currently when I meet him, I back brush my hair and try my hardest to cover the gaps; this ultimately means i am making things worse for my hair! I dont know what to do


Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss often associated with pregnancy, medication use, life stress, diets, or surgery. It results in a larger amount of hair cycling into the resting (telogen) state where the hairs are ready to fall out. This type of alopecia usually improves on its own after several months. While it usually resolves, it can become chronic without regrowth of hair.


Hair transplants will likely lead to better results in the long run (you are introducing new hairs to the balding areas), but you’ll still need to use minoxidil or finasteride after surgery to maintain the results. Like all hair loss treatments, hair transplants are best when combined with other methods, and you’ll want to speak with your doctor to see what combination is best for you. 

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.


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.


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


Alopecia areata tends to occur most often in adults 30 to 60 years of age. However, it can also affect older individuals and, rarely, young children. Alopecia areata is not contagious. It should be distinguished from hair shedding that may occur following the discontinuation of hormonal estrogen and progesterone therapies for birth control or the hair shedding associated with the end of pregnancy. There are a number of treatable conditions that could be confused with alopecia areata.
However, ketoconazole is still not FDA approved for hair loss treatment, which means it cannot be endorsed or marketed as such. Put simply, ketoconazole likely curbs hair loss, but additional research is needed for the FDA to give it approval. While it is safe to use as a supplement to our top picks, we wanted to recommend products with as much scientific backing as possible. So, we stuck with FDA approved minoxidil or FDA cleared laser treatments. But we’ll keep a close eye on products like ketoconazole shampoos and update as new research appears.

Wow, I just started doing some research on this because I have been having problems with my hair thinning on the top of my head for several years, along with some sensitivity. I went to my internal medicine Doctor and he didn’t say much, which struck me as odd… he referred me to my women’s doctor who was slightly more sypathetic but offered no suggestions other than to see a dermatologist. I have been putting it off because I feel like I am getting the run-around. I see that I am not alone!


Thank you Diana. If you find out any more information, I would appreciate it. I have a dermatologist across the street from the Skin and Cancer Institute. I’m still not sure who to start with, the dermatologist or an endocronologist. I left a message for my PCP today to see if she is comfortable working with female hair loss or if not if she could refer me to someone who specializes in it. I will let you know what I hear back. In the meantime, thanks for your support. Take care.
Hi everyone, I am a 19 years old girl that is loosing my hair. I started to lose my hair since I was 14. once 18 I decided to go for a hair transplant surgery. I wanted to feel as any another girl and be confident. I went to bosley may 2007 and did the surgery. They told me it will take 6 to 8 months for my new hair to grow few inches. I went there after 6 and after 8 months but unfortunatly we havent seen any growing hair yet. The doctor told me that it depends from one person to another and it might take me from 12 to 15 months. I went to see him yesterday and by then it was almost 15 months… he walked in looked at my hair didnt say any word for a while and then told me: “I am going to give you your money back” I cried right away for a while I couldnt take it. I haddreams and hope. I imagined my life differently after the surgery. Anyways all that to tell you guys if you wanna go for a hair restoration AVOID BOSLEY. I live in boston nd went to the bosley place in the newbury street. I believed them because of all their advertising. Now i dont even know what to do. School is almost starting and i dont feel like going. I wanna look nice and feel relaxed. I feel the pain every morning before going to school. I cry every night when I get home. I need to find a solution. i thought about extensions but cant go for them cuz i am scared to lose more hair. My God help us!
Many other agents have been used to treat alopecia areata, including minoxidil, psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), and anthralin (Anthra-Derm), but success rates vary. Anthralin, an anti-psoriatic, in combination with topical corticosteroids and/or minoxidil, is a good choice for use in children and those with extensive disease because it is relatively easy to use and clinical irritation may not be required for efficacy.6 Hairpieces and transplants may be the only options available for persons with severe disease that remains unresponsive to available medical treatments. Patients with recalcitrant, recurrent, or severe disease should be referred to a subspecialist.
My hair was healthy. No split ends and thick and tame – I could not break it. The healthy condition of my hair may be the reason that I didn’t loose all of it. My hair loss was due to a “HAIR DESTROYER” causing chemical damage, burning my scalp and my hair ( I think she used a product banned in Australia). I had bald spots on my crown the size of 50 cent pieces and the rest of my hair was singed. I lost my hair gloss, I was left with hair that was as thin a rice paper and breaking everywhere. I had severe itching on my scalp for two years. Not pleasant. I cursed her every day and still do. I bought myself a pair of hairdressing scissors and cut as much hair off as I could; and chipped into it everywhere. I do this every two weeks. Hence I will never go to a hair dresser again and have not colored my hair since December 2012 – I asked for Brown on Brown 10 vol – how could an idiot of a hair destroyer (dresser) get it so wrong.

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.
I stumbled on this website accidentally and am amazed at all your stories. I think it’s so wonderful that you all support each other in this way. I’m so sorry that you’re all missing your beautiful hair that you previously had. I am 51 and don’t really know what it would be like to have beautiful hair. I’ve always had what my mother calls “Peter Pan” hair. It never grew up. When I was three years old, I finally started to grow some hair. It got to be the way some other very young childrens’ hair was–very soft, thin, and fine. There just wasn’t a whole lot of it to begin with. You could easily see my scalp in a lot of places on my head. Well, over the course of the next 48 years, the only change in my hair is that I’ve been steadily losing what little there was to start with. I’ve never been able to put it in a pony tail or pig tails because it looked ridiculous and the scrunchy or rubber bands wouldn’t stay in anyway. There just wasn’t enough hair. I’d have to twist the rubber bands around like 20 times to try to get them to stay in–unsuccessfully. I started to notice the diffuse thinning around the age of 30. Now, at 51, people are always asking me if I’m on chemo. I’ve seen a doctor for the depression and anxiety after my separation from my husband 10 years ago and the resulting loss of my 7-year old son, but not for the loss of my hair as I thought (and was told by my internist) that nothing could be done for me. I was very ill with the depression for years, and even now can only work PRN at my hospital; but on the days I’m not working, I don’t leave the house, I don’t eat, I don’t even get out of bed. I don’t think my hair loss is due to the Effexor XR that I take for the depression, but I’m wondering if it could be from the poor nutrition and the fact that I take no supplemental vitamins. Should I go to a doctor even at this late date? The thinning has gotten so severe on my temples, crown, and above my ears that I wonder if improved nutrition would even help. What kind of doctor would I see even if I thought it would help? I’m very embarrassed by the way I look, and very lonely since I can’t date because men want nothing to do with me and most women seem embarrassed to be seen with me. I’ve tried to live a happy life despite the way I look, but I think it would be wonderful if there were actually some way I could be helped to look like a normal woman. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you for taking the time.
Onion - A study published in the Journal of Dermatology examined the results when onion juice was used in people with alopecia areata. Twenty-three people applied onion juice directly to the scalp twice daily for two months. Participants began to experience hair growth after just two weeks of treatment. At four weeks, hair regrowth was seen in 17 people and at six weeks, hair growth was apparent in 20 people.
The more research i do about hair color and PPD/PTD allergy the more I think that my hair loss is from that… it has been 7 months now and my hair is growing back. I have not had a tight /itchy scalp/ no more feeling as though bugs are crawling in my hair. I have only gone to the Hair loss dermatologist-whom did not think it was hair dye and the regular doctor to check my hormones. I would love to cover my gray – My hair is very dry at the roots. I went to a stylist(hair loss sprecialist) not much info there-master colorist-she did not know about PPD allergy- I do think stopping coloring my hair has help me keep me from lossing more hair and I think some have grown back. I really would like to color, but I am blonde and gray so I don’t think henna will work. I want to tell you about the reaction I had was first itching and then hair loss. Please take note if that happens to you. Then doctors- they said it was probably not the dye.Wrong! They said Hair loss came with age and hormones. I had all of those tested . Then 6 months later I had the salon dye my hair and a bad reaction bumps and itching and hair loss.Again! I still would like to see a doctor that has knows about hair loss or PPD allergy Or a salon. I have not found anyone in Florida. Keep researching. Mostly I have learned from these web sites and I have educated the doctors and the salon. I know it is all about money and that is how these chemicals stay in the products we are using. I did use rogaine before my first reaction. I thought might have had a chemical reaction from the rogaine and hair dye being used in the same week.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
I took spironolactone several years ago, and after 3 days got tinnitus (ringing in ears) permanently. Quit using it. Now, I take Fo-ti, Beta sitosterol, saw palmetto, and black cohosh. Also don’t use commercial hair dyes, as they made more hair fall out and if you have a yeast infection, take yeast defense as an itchy scalp from yeast (think too much sugar in diet) will make your hair fall out. Fructis has come out with a shampoo called Fall Fight that seems to help. My hair loss has stopped, although the volume has not come back. Look for solutions on your own, plenty of articles on the internet. Good luck!
×