Hair loss (alopecia) affects men and women of all ages and often significantly affects social and psychologic well-being. Although alopecia has several causes, a careful history, close attention to the appearance of the hair loss, and a few simple studies can quickly narrow the potential diagnoses. Androgenetic alopecia, one of the most common forms of hair loss, usually has a specific pattern of temporal-frontal loss in men and central thinning in women. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved topical minoxidil to treat men and women, with the addition of finasteride for men. Telogen effluvium is characterized by the loss of “handfuls” of hair, often following emotional or physical stressors. Alopecia areata, trichotillomania, traction alopecia, and tinea capitis have unique features on examination that aid in diagnosis. Treatment for these disorders and telogen effluvium focuses on resolution of the underlying cause.
With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
Dermatologist: The short answer is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the skin, its structure, functions, and diseases, as well as its appendages (nails, hair, sweat glands). The longer definition (as defined by wikipedia) Dermatologists are physicians (Medical Doctors, M.D.) or Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and tumors of the skin and its appendages. There are medical and surgical sides to the specialty. Dermatologic surgeons practice skin cancer surgery (including Mohs’ micrographic surgery), laser surgery, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and cosmetic procedures using botulinum toxin (‘Botox’), soft tissue fillers, sclerotherapy and liposuction. Dermatopathologists interpret tissue under the microscope (histopathology). Pediatric dermatologists specialize in the diagnoses and treatment of skin disease in children. Immunodermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and management of skin diseases driven by an altered immune system including blistering (bullous) diseases like pemphigus. In addition, there is a wide range of congenital syndromes managed by dermatologists.
The scalp is where each hair follicle receives its blood supply, allowing it to grow strong. If you show your scalp a little TLC and make sure it's nourished, hydrated and healthy, then your hair will be stronger and more resistant to breakage, promoting healthy growth. Foods packed with vitamin E, like almonds, walnuts and raspberries or strawberries, are great for promoting scalp circulation, as are vitamin C-rich foods like kiwis and broccoli. Walnuts also are a great source of zinc—zinc deficiency can cause shedding—so they’re extra powerful.
I recently noticed I was loosing hair on the front of my head, I started using the rogain Foam and after a month my hair started falling out even more. It’s gotten really bad, I can see my entire scalp now and my hair is falling out in chunks. Rogain advised you loose hair making room for new ones to grow, has anyone had any experience using rogain? Is This normal?
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.
Telogen effluvium is the second most common type of hair loss. It is predominantly seen in women between the ages of 40-70, but may occur at any age. Its symptoms include excessive thinning, shedding, and balding and it may happen abruptly. Common causes of sudden hair loss include changes in hormone levels such as with child birth, menopause, poor nutrition, medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia and hypothyroidism, medications, severe illness or infection, major surgery, and even extreme levels of stress.
Thank you so much ladies, I am grateful I was able to find this website. Can anyone suggest a Doctor in the South Florida Area ( West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood or Miami)? I have seem countless of Doctors in the past 20 years; felt like none really cared or took an honest interest. The last Doctor I visited didn’t even bother to see me in person, she just called me on the phone and told me nothing can be done, use Rogaine if you want, she said. Needless to say my condition is serious. After this I am at the point of giving up but if I could find a Doctor that really cares I am willing to try again. Any advise is welcome. Thanks again.
Topical immunotherapy (i.e., contact sensitizers) is the most effective treatment option for chronic severe alopecia areata (Table 5).6 Response ranges from 40 to 60 percent for severe alopecia areata, and reaches approximately 25 percent for alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis.6 Because of potentially severe side effects, only clinicians who have experience with these agents should prescribe them.

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!
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!!
What is a Dermatologist? A certification by the Board of Dermatology; practitioners treat pediatric and adult patients with disorders of the skin, mouth, hair and nails as well as a number of sexually transmitted diseases. They also have expertise in the care of normal skin, the prevention of skin diseases and cancers, and in the management of cosmetic disorders of the skin such as hair loss and scars.
The only nonchemical option offered up by the dermatologists I spoke with — short of a surgical hair transplant or platelet-rich plasma therapy, which is like Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial but for your scalp — was the laser comb. First cleared by the FDA in 2009, the HairMax LaserComb is a handheld laser device that is designed to promote hair growth. As the manufacturer explains in a letter to the FDA, “The device provides distributed laser light to the scalp while the comb teeth simultaneously part the user’s hair to ensure the laser light reaches the user’s scalp,” which, in turn, stimulates the hair follicles.

Hi, I’m 25 years old, and started having hair loss at 15. It started and has continued to thin around my hairline only on one side, to the point that one side is receded and extremely thin. About a year and a half ago, my overall scalp started thinning as well. It’s been about a year since I’ve dyed my hair and I rarely ever put hairspray or any other chemical in my hair. I try to just wash it and let it air dry in fear that anything I do will make more hair fall out. I haven’t been to a doctor at all so far because I’ve never had health insurance. I’m about to have insurance next month and will be looking for a doctor to go to ASAP. I’ve been trying to look online and see what information I can find about what’s happening with me, but I dont’ see anything about a similar case to mine. I used to have long, thick hair and could do anything with it, and now it’s short and thin, and I can never style it at all, and my receding hairline on my right side has me so self conscious. I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, does anyone have any suggestions to my situation or a reputable doctor in this area?

Age-onset thinning, or “miniaturization,” refers to a progressive decrease of the hair shaft’s diameter and length. This happens at least in part because of androgens like dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that causes hair follicles to literally shrink in diameter. This type of hair thinning is referred to as androgenic alopecia, and it occurs in an equal pattern all over the scalp. However, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, medications, emotional or physical shock, and birth control pills can all affect hormone levels, making it complicated to pinpoint the reason for hair loss. For example, polycystic ovarian disease can exacerbate androgens and manifest as thinning, in which case you could treat the condition and fix hair loss. Get your hormone levels checked to see if an underlying health issue is the root cause.
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.
I look forward to seeing you both there. There are quite a few ladies that have experiences with different wigs and head coverings, including a really wonderful stylist that works with women who are losing their hair. She can also be of great help for those looking into different wig or hair system options. Her name is Mystique and here is her page: 

I am 30 and am trying Rogaine and spironolactone but only stopped the loss and I want to try Propecia. I know about the side effects for a male fetus, but I have chosen myself that I do not ever want to create a child out of my body. I will adopt or foster, but have intense lockeophobia. I even agreed to sign a legal document saying such, but my doctor would still not prescribe me propecia unless I had had a hysterectomy. He said it was for safety reasons, but as far as I understand it the only safety issue would be to such a fetus that will not exist. So I am confused about his reservations.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Age-onset thinning, or “miniaturization,” refers to a progressive decrease of the hair shaft’s diameter and length. This happens at least in part because of androgens like dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that causes hair follicles to literally shrink in diameter. This type of hair thinning is referred to as androgenic alopecia, and it occurs in an equal pattern all over the scalp. However, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, medications, emotional or physical shock, and birth control pills can all affect hormone levels, making it complicated to pinpoint the reason for hair loss. For example, polycystic ovarian disease can exacerbate androgens and manifest as thinning, in which case you could treat the condition and fix hair loss. Get your hormone levels checked to see if an underlying health issue is the root cause.
My story is little different it seems. My fiancé was dionosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite. And after test after test almost losing her and so many blood drawings then blood transfusions along with dialysis. Fighting depression trying to stay possitive is getting harder everyday. We ask all her doctors about why her nails break so easy, skin changing and hair falling out handfulls at a time…..then being looked at like we’re crazy has took my faith out of their hands. 

If you’re a gentleman who’s been noticing a receding hairline or is worried about balding, the first step is to schedule a visit with a doctor or dermatologist and make sure your hair loss isn’t a sign of a more serious health issue. “Not all hair loss is male-pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Marc Glashofer, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss and practicing in northern New Jersey. A thyroid disorder, an autoimmune disease, or even a scalp issue could be making you look like Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2. But most hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness, and fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective), it’s just a symptom of getting older.
Many factors can contribute to hair disorders. Alopecia, or hair loss, may be caused by medical conditions such as lupus, thyroid disorder, protein or iron deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances.  Hirsutism -- abnormal hair growth in women (such as a beard or chest hair) -- may be caused by ovarian, adrenal, thyroid or pituitary conditions. Identifying the cause, and treating the condition are our goal. 
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.
As much as 30 percent of women will experience some sort of hair thinning, usually first noticed with age as a skinnier ponytail or a little more visible scalp peeking out. Thick hair screams “youth,” which makes thinning a tough pill to swallow. But there are many ways you can help slow down thinning and hair loss, from eating the right foods to cutting back on stress, even strategically styling your locks. Here, seven ways to stave off hair loss and keep your ‘do looking young and healthy for longer. 
Finally people who understands what I am going through …I am in a desperate search for doctors in the Miami/Boca Raton, Florida area. Can anyone help? I dont know yet what has been causing my hair loss…I had been loosing some hair throighout the years, and sometimes it gets lees severe but lately has just gotten worse and there is no stopping it seems. I had mt Tyroid checked by PCP a coulpe months ago and my iron level also looked normal …getting desperate. Would appreciate some help.
Age-onset thinning, or “miniaturization,” refers to a progressive decrease of the hair shaft’s diameter and length. This happens at least in part because of androgens like dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that causes hair follicles to literally shrink in diameter. This type of hair thinning is referred to as androgenic alopecia, and it occurs in an equal pattern all over the scalp. However, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, medications, emotional or physical shock, and birth control pills can all affect hormone levels, making it complicated to pinpoint the reason for hair loss. For example, polycystic ovarian disease can exacerbate androgens and manifest as thinning, in which case you could treat the condition and fix hair loss. Get your hormone levels checked to see if an underlying health issue is the root cause.
I had Melanoma a few years ago, a wide-excision surgery and lymph node(s) removal. I also had sleep apnea and then surgery for that. Also had a hysterectomy 10 years ago for excessive bleeding,I’ve had the clotting factor tests w/normal results though even though even having my blood taken will cause me to bleed alot and bruise.Each time I’ve had surgery, I’ve had to stay in Recovery a looong time because of the bleeding.(hence the clotting tests) Have been anemic most of my adult life too.I am under a lot of stress(have always been) I mention all this in case it rings a bell w/anyone else.

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.
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 suspect Hypervitaminosis A for my hair loss due to prolonged use of a high dosage of Retin A but I can’t find anyone who will test me. I had a PAINFUL scalp, too sensitive to touch and unbearable itching. I stopped the Retin-A 2 months ago and the scalp pain and a lot of itching stopped a week afterwards. I saw a PCP and 3 derms. All recognized hair loss but shrugged it off as hormonal or a lack of deep conditioning! Please avoid these NYC doctors at all costs:

A board certified Dermatologist is best trained to diagnose and manage diseases of the hair. It would be best to select such a doctor who has a special interest in hair loss. If you are considering a surgical treatment, I would recommend selecting a physician who only does hair transplant and nothing else. This type of physician has the most experience to give you the best possible results. 


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 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!
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