“There’s people selling pills and creams and lotions and whatever else, and sometimes you can’t even trust what ingredients they have in there,” he warned us when we spoke to him over the phone. Key takeaway: The hair loss industry is crazy dishonest, so we eliminated any treatments (especially homeopathic methods) that aren’t based in concrete, peer-reviewed science.
Just found this site today and want to thank everyone who is sharing. I don’t have the words for how devastated I feel about losing my beautiful, beautiful hair. Thank you for the information and fellowship here. I have a wonderful internist, but she hasn’t been able to help, (been dealing with PCOS for 12 years now and severe hair loss since Feb 2008). Will be looking for an endocrinologist and a dermatologist now too. Hope I can give back some day with good news.
I am mostly afraid that my boyfriend will leave me now, because he found out last night, and he said he doesn’t mind it. He told me that his great grandma had the same thing. He loves me, or so he says, and acts like he does anyway, but I don’t want to lose him. I know I have had a hard time living with this, and since a friend of mine told him before I was ready to tell him, I’m afraid he thinks I’m keeping secrets, but I’m not keeping them. That’s my only one. I was just wondering if anyone else had this same thing happen to them and how they dealt with it. I am aware that this is not a relationship site, but the problem is the hair loss may scare him away. It is not something that can just be ignored, and I just wanted to know if anyone else out there knows how I feel.
Minoxidil (Rogaine, generic versions). This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman's hair loss.
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:
Alopecia areata is characterized by a localized area of complete hair loss (Figure 5). This may extend to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis)12,13 (Figure 6). Alopecia areata is probably secondary to an autoimmune reaction involving antibody, T-cell, and cytokine-mediated losses.14–16 The trait appears to be polygenic, affecting 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the population, with men and women equally affected.14 On microscopic evaluation, “exclamation-point” hairs are found, in which the proximal hair shaft has thinned but the distal portion remains of normal caliber (Figure 7). Spontaneous recovery usually occurs within six to 12 months, with hair in areas of re-growth often being pigmented differently.1,13 Prognosis is not as good if the condition persists longer than one year, worsens, or begins before puberty. Persons with a family history of the disorder, atopy, or Down syndrome also have a poorer prognosis.1 The recurrence rate is 30 percent, and recurrence usually affects the initial area of involvement.12 Thyroid abnormalities, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia frequently accompany alopecia areata.1,12,14
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.
Cicatricial alopecias tend to cause permanent hair loss. These disorders destroy hair follicles without regrowth and follow an irreversible course.21 It is likely that they involve stem-cell failure at the base of the follicles, which inhibits follicular recovery from the telogen phase.21 Inflammatory processes, including repetitive trauma as in trichotillomania, also may lead to stem-cell failure. Other processes may be caused by autoimmune, neoplastic, developmental, and hereditary disorders. Among these are discoid lupus, pseudopelade in whites, and follicular degeneration syndrome in blacks. Dissecting cellulitis, lichen planopilaris, and folliculitis decalvans also may cause scarring alopecia. Some disorders respond to treatment with intralesional steroids or antimalarial agents.21 Patients with these conditions should be referred to a physician who specializes in hair loss disorders.
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-
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.
While you won’t find a miracle shampoo on the market, nioxin and some other products can help keep your scalp in tip-top shape to improve the look of any hairs you do have left on your head. In fact, feeding your hair with the proper nutrients both inside and out can make it appear healthier, so you might consider using products with natural herbs, such as rosemary and mint.

@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.
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.
Side effects and concerns: Minoxidil is safe, but it can have unpleasant side effects even apart from the alcohol-related skin irritation. Sometimes the new hair differs in color and texture from surrounding hair. Another risk is hypertrichosis — excessive hair growth in the wrong places, such as the cheeks or forehead. (This problem is more likely with the stronger 5% solution.)
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.
What a helpful website, thank you ladies for sharing. I am 55 and am loosing hair by handfuls when I shampoo. I have been using Minoxodil extra strength for about 5 years and it was helping but not anymore. I also have been taking Nioxin hair vitamins and they helped for the first 3 years but not now. I am going to check out Dr Redmond like several of you recommended and head to Sallys for hair extensions also. Does anyone know of a good Dermotologist or Endo Dr. in Humble or Kingwood Tx area? Karen
Furthermore, Penn dermatopathologists developed an even more advanced method called the HoVert technique for diagnosing hair loss and other disorders from a scalp biopsy. The technique uses a unique horizontal and vertical testing approach that provides a greater amount of information to the referring dermatologist than standard industry longitudinal scalp biopsies.
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.

No one wants to lose their hair, but for women it is especially traumatic. Men can shave their heads and look hip, even sexy. Most women don’t want to be bald. Though it is more common — and visible — in men, many women lose their hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 30 million women in this country have hereditary hair loss, compared with 50 million men. But many additional women experience thinning hair that results from menopause or health problems.

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


I am 43 and I have been thinning/losing my hair for the past four years. It is so upsetting. I know very few people who can relate…until I came across this site. Has anyone tried apple cider vinegar? I read that it can help with hair loss, but I am skeptical, as all of the remedies I’ve tried thus far have been disappointing. I try to put my hair loss situation in perspective, but I’m not always successful. Best wishes to all of the women on this site. I hope hair restoration is around the corner for all of us.
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
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.
“While nutritious eating isn’t going to bring your hair back by any means, eating plenty of protein-rich foods and healthy fats can make the hair that you still have look thicker and shinier.” Skimping on the B vitamins in particular can interfere with the formation of hair cells and, therefore, hair growth. The best sources of Bs are protein-packed foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and pork, as well as leafy greens such as spinach. (These foods are also good for melting belly fat, so it’s a win win).
I’m 26 and started losing my hair (in the course of about a month) one year ago. I’ve seen three doctors about it. The General practitioner just pulled my hair and said it looks like my hairloss had already righted itself. Well, I didn’t believe her. So I went to a derm and he said he saw little regrowth hairs so it was just temporary hairloss and if, for some reason, I haven’t regrown my hair in to a noticable length in a year to come back to him for more bloodwork. (I had gotten my thyroid checked in my yearly physical and they said it was just slightly elevated . However, they told me this was not enough to put me on medication that they would check it again in one year) It has been one year and I think my hair is actually getting thinner. I’m just panicking. I’ve always had thick, straight as a board hair like another woman on this post had said, and now it is very thin, breaks easily and is ‘kinky’. I don’t understand why its kinky, why would my really long hairs that took years to grow now start to be damaged and kink when they fall out? I never got split ends, I never had short hairs fall out and when my hair did fall out in its normal pattern it would always fall out in one long, straight, thick strand. Does this mean I have a miniaturization of my follicles that has been going on for years? That maybe my hair strands are growing back thinner? I agree with another girl on this site that said she feels like there is no hope now. I was assured by my derm that my hair loss would not get worse. This helped me to cope a bit because instead of looking like someone with thick hair, I just had to look like someone with thin, wispy hair. I thought maybe I could deal with that, as long as I didn’t have to go bald. Well as much as this site has encouraged me in that ‘misery loves compay’ I now see that there are very few solutions and left untreated it can make us bald! I might also mention that I was never on birth control, and have no idea why I just suddenly started losing my hair. However, I have always had PMS and heavy periods. I guess I just want to know, is this for sure a problem with my hormones? Is it because my thyroid is slightly elevated? Should I even bother going to a doctor anymore? How can women as young as 18-30 be getting this problem? I guess I just am in that panic mode, where I really just want some reassurance that the odds of this getting better are good. I’ve past that one year mark of when I’m supposed to know if it was temporary or not and so now that sense of panic is renewed. Is this just going to keep getting worse? What do I do!? I hope some of you have some comments that could help me out. Thanks for listening to me rant.
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.
Rogaine’s foam squirts out just like hair mousse and is applied with “cool, dry hands.” Applying means working the foam down to the scalp where you want to see thicker growth — for it to work, “it has to get into your scalp,” Dr. Wolfeld explains. “If it sits on your hair, it’s not really as effective.” Once massaged, it dissolves into a watery liquid that leaves a tingly sensation, “but no burning!” one of our balding testers was happy to discover.
Finasteride inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men, and unlike minoxidil, this drug can actually help hair grow back, as well as prevent further loss. All you have to do is take one pill a day, and according to Dr. Evan Rieder, dermatologist in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, two-thirds of men taking this treatment will see improvements in hair density over time.
I am 43 and I have been thinning/losing my hair for the past four years. It is so upsetting. I know very few people who can relate…until I came across this site. Has anyone tried apple cider vinegar? I read that it can help with hair loss, but I am skeptical, as all of the remedies I’ve tried thus far have been disappointing. I try to put my hair loss situation in perspective, but I’m not always successful. Best wishes to all of the women on this site. I hope hair restoration is around the corner for all of us.
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.
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.
Happily divorced in 2006. Coming up to my 52nd birthday, my hair is thin and fine, my hairdresser just shakes her head. In pictures all you see is scalp with a faint nimbus that is what’s left of my hair. Lost my job in December. When I interview, no one looks me in the eyes… they talk to my nearly naked scalp. So here I am, wanting to date and find work, and feel constantly judged because of an outward manifestation of something that’s happening inside of (what appears to be) a healthy body. It looks like I’m on chemo, or at the affect of some kind of some huge illness or medication… and shunned. How much of my self-image is subliminally dictated by my lack of hair… working on that with my therapist. LOL!!
Though, it is important to point out that a lot of these companies are developing procedures that involve implanting hair, which means there is a chance they will be expensive — as we mentioned before, traditional hair transplants are costly. But a few companies and products such as Follicum’s FOL-S-005 and Fidia Pharma’s Brotzu Lotion are being designed as topical treatments.
Protein: When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to shut down hair growth. About 2 to 3 months after a person does not eat enough protein, you can see the hair loss. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Meats, eggs, and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet.
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.
I was searching the internet and came across this wonderful site. I really appreciate you posting this article. I have always had a small bald patch on one side of my head. My mom told me it had always been there so I didn’t worry about it. Recently it has been getting larger and the hair around it is getting lighter. On the other side my hair is thinning and the color and texture is changing. It also seems to be falling out. I have excessive hair loss on a regular basis. I am only 24 years old and I can’t stand that my hair is falling out. I went to the dermatologist and he gave my injections but they didn’t work. He said I have alopecia areata and that the other side was a normal receding hairline. (He barely even looked at it) He then told me after the injections weren’t working to try Rogaine. I think it might be helpful to see an endrocrinologist as I have also been having problems with anemia. Again, thank you so much for the information you have provided.

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Greetings ladies, I am so happy I found this website. I have a 19 year old daughter who has been experiencing hair loss for the past 5 years. Throughout high school, she wore hair weave to camouflage what was going on. She is now a sophomore in college and wants to wear her natural hair. It is frustrating her because we don’t know why its happening. Does anybody know of a good endocrinologist in Chicago? Do you think treatments varies depending on ethnicity? She is African American.
One more disease that causes hair loss is male pattern baldness. About two out of three men, experience hair loss by their age of 60 and most of the time, the hair loss is because of male pattern baldness. Such type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follow a classic pattern where the hair recedes at the temples, thus leaving an M-shaped hairline.
Though we think our hair is super important, our bodies consider it nonessential (read: we don’t need it to stay conscious). Other bodily functions, like breathing, are more pressing and get first access to the nutrients in our diet. Our hair gets the leftovers. Protein is your hair's best friend, so reach for healthy protein such as eggs and fish and avoid fasting or yoyo dieting. These can deprive your body of these essential building blocks for a healthy scalp and hair. Wild salmon, tuna and trout are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help provide moisture and prevent dry and brittle hair. Foods rich in B vitamins also help keep hair follicles healthy, decreasing the risk for hair loss. Fruits and vegetables, and beans and lean meat sources, such as chicken or turkey breast, are all great sources for vitamin B.
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.[9] 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.[12] A few cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata have been reported.[13]
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.
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