What’s got less evidence supporting its efficacy are the hair-growth shampoos that claim to block DHT (like those sold by Hims in their Rx Hair Kit). Rieder is skeptical that you’re going to see any tangible benefits by rubbing DHT blockers into your scalp. “I find it very difficult to believe that something that’s applied to the scalp and rinsed off is going to have any appreciable effect.” All four doctors also shut down any suggestions that hair-growth supplements or vitamins, like biotin, could help promote hair growth or stop hair loss — though a couple hypothesized that vitamins or supplements could lead to hair regrowth if your hair loss was a result of a nutritional deficiency. But otherwise, if you’re dealing with regular old male-pattern baldness, “There is no such thing as a ‘hair vitamin,’” says McMichael.
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.
Alopecia areata is not contagious. It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting heredity may be a factor. Strong evidence of genetic association with increased risk for alopecia areata was found by studying families with two or more affected members. This study identified at least four regions in the genome that are likely to contain these genes. In addition, alopecia areata shares genetic risk factors with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease. It may be the only manifestation of celiac disease.
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That's where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don't divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.
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.
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.
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.
Hair is a cutaneous appendage - just like sweat glands and oil glands. As a result, dermatologists treat ALL forms of hair loss not just the most common form, androgenetic alopecia. There are many forms of alopecia - alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, lichen planopilaris, congenital hypotrichosis.....to name a few. The treatment and management of all hair loss disorders is an integral part of a dermatologist's training and board certification. -Dr. Keaney
Trying to figure out exactly what is causing your hair loss is going to require a little detective work on the part of your physician. Several lab tests are going to need to be done. I’ll make sure to make another post this week about the standard lab tests that should be ordered to start the process. Hopefully you don’t have to bring the list to the doctors office, he/she should know already. I get concerned when women have to bring a list of tests that should be ordered to their doctor. My feeling is that if they don’t know what to order then how are they going to be able to accurately read the results. But… a good doctor is a good doctor, and if you have one that really cares and takes a strong interest in your hair loss with a willingness to work with you in finding the cause then great.
when i was 24, went to so. america to visit family. they hadn’t seen me since my last visit, which was when i was 17. there was a guy who i had liked and hung out with when i spent my 17th summer there and was excited to see him once again, “as an adult”. i think it was the second day or so of hanging out with him when he says to me: “hey, i noticed you’re losing your hair”. i was beyond embarrassed at that moment and all i could muster out was, “yeah, i know”. thanks for pointing it out there buddy. next came anger mixed with that embarrassment. i felt, and still feel, that people stare at my head and notice my thinning hair when they are talking to me. when i came back to the states a few weeks later, the first thing i did was make an appt with my pcp. she referred me to an endocrinologist who found my testosterone level slightly elevated. it was in the 70 range. i didn’t have masculinization going on so she told me she didn’t want to put me on medication and to return if i noticed in increase or changes in symptoms.
I got really sick at the age 40, 2 years after my second child was born,I started losing weight,I went from 54kg down to 47kg,my skin was splitting on the backs of my legs,both my hands,I had blisters up my arms ,on the tops of my feet,migraines that would have me vomiting none stop for ten hours,then only to sleep for 2 days to recover,no doctors were interested,I saw 8 and they all wanted me on anxiety medication because I was going through a break up that was there answer to the way I was feeling.No one wanted to listen to me.Almost feeling like
I’m going to see an endocrinologist, a trichologist, a hematologist and a gastroenterologist and maybe this Dr. Redmond. I’m done with ‘hair loss experts’ pushing cosmetic surgery and trying the all around approach. My insurance is crap, but….Anyway, thanks all for your stories and knowing I’m not alone in hair loss and the fight against disinterested medical establishment. xxx