The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It's called androgenetic alopecia, or female (or male) pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic "M" shape; hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman's hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
THE TREATMENTS If no trigger is present, it’s likely you have androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary condition that causes the hair follicles to get progressively thinner over the years. The most effective topical medication for the condition is minoxidil (brand name Rogaine), the only treatment for hair loss in women that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
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.
Aside from medication and lasers, some opt for hair transplants — a procedure where hairs are removed from another part of your body and then transplanted to the thinning or balding areas. Does it work? In a word, yes. Research suggests that most hair transplant recipients report are "very satisfied" with their results. While successful, transplants are also far more expensive than medications, foams, or lasers with costs averaging anywhere from $4,000 or $15,000.
There’s no cure for baldness, but there are ways to hold on to what you've got. The six dermatologists and the clinical studies point to three methods: minoxidil, laser treatments, and prescription finasteride. The key is finding the combination and hair loss regimen that works for you. A doctor is your best bet for that kind of guidance — but we found a few trustworthy products that will work for most people.
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.
"We developed a protocol to drive human pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into dermal papilla cells and confirmed their ability to induce hair growth when transplanted into mice," said Prof. Terskikh. The next step in their research is "to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects."
You are what you eat – and that’s true for your hair as well. A diet containing mostly whole foods, especially the skin of plants such as cucumbers, potatoes, peppers, and even bean sprouts are rich in the mineral silica and contribute to hair strength. Foods like lean meats are high in iron and are essential to the protein-based, building blocks of hair growth.
A directed history and physical examination usually uncover the etiology of hair loss. The history should focus on when the hair loss started; whether it was gradual or involved “handfuls” of hair; and if any physical, mental, or emotional stressors occurred within the previous three to six months3 (Table 1). Determining whether the patient is complaining of hair thinning (i.e., gradually more scalp appears) or hair shedding (i.e., large quantities of hair falling out) may clarify the etiology of the hair loss.4
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 would like to encourage you to join the Network if you have not already. There are so many wonderful women in this beloved Network that would love to hear your stories. The emotional toll that hair loss can have on women can be devestating and knowing that we are not alone helps to set us on a firmer foundation as we walk this journey called “hairloss.”
Hair is made up of the hair follicle (a pocket in the skin that anchors each hair) and the shaft (the visible fiber above the scalp). In the hair bulb, located at the base of the follicle, cells divide and grow to produce the hair shaft, which is made from a protein called keratin. Papilla that surround the bulb contain tiny blood vessels that nourish the hair follicles and deliver hormones to regulate the growth and structure of the hair.
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
The tricheologist advised me to take four (4) fish oil -1000 (blackmores brand) – this also helped sooth the scalp can reduced the itchiness down further. Using the B Complex and the fish oil daily I also saw more hair growth over the period of eight months and am continuing on this regime. I try aim at 300 minutes of walking a week and drinking water. I don’t drink soft drinks nor have sweets and try to avoid processed food.
“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.
my daughter is 19 and has been diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. She has been to several dermatologists. They don’t understand the problem. I am planning to bring her to Dr. Geoffrey Redmond. I read his website. He surely knows how to treat this kind of hair loss. I spoke to his receptionist… they are very accomodating and profesional. So, as much as I would like to believe, that Dr. Redmond will be able to fix this altogether, I do understand he is not a miracle worker. But, I do believe, if anyone can understand this
Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles. Risk factors include a family history of the condition. Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected. The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.
I am so sorry you’ve been so down. I’ve had some other troubles lately that have been bringing me down so the hair loss almost seems so much less important right now. I may lose my home to foreclosure in the next month so I’m focused right now on getting that resolved and trying to stay out of foreclosure. Then I can go back to focusing on my hair again! ha!
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.
Low-level laser light brushes, combs and other devices which are FDA-cleared for both men and women are available without a prescription. Although it’s not clear how the devices work, it’s thought to “stimulate the hair follicles’ energy cells to be more active,” Francis said. They’re also foolproof, telling you when and how far to move the device and they even automatically shut off.
In our research and our conversations with experts, one name kept popping up repeatedly: Rogaine. As the first topical brand FDA-approved to help regrow hair (all the way back in 1988), Rogaine benefits from more than 20 years of clinical trials and consumer feedback. Rogaine was the first brand to offer a 5 percent minoxidil foam solution when it debuted Men’s Rogaine Unscented Foam in 2006, and virtually every treatment developed since (for both men and women) has been an imitation or derivation of that formula.
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.
I haven’t seen any information about DHT blockers which I’ve read iis the leading cause of hair loss. It’s a “bad” hormone released that causes hair loss. Any comment or recommendations? One supplement to reverse DHT contains saw palmetto, which I’ve heard isn’t recommended for women. Totally stumped, depressed and irritated with so many suggestions that may or NOT work. Compassionately sending this message to all those suffering with hair loss….it’s totally devistating.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
Men, oh yeah, different ball game. Just think how much money is spent on prostate research and medication versus female cancers!!!!! This IS a male society, but just smile, that makes you feel better. Do not let this get under your skin. KNOW who you are with or without hair, you are one fabulous person, loving and shining your light on this world. Step into that, claim it, own it. Whoever is unkind to you, just love them, bless them and wish them well. They have a bigger problem than you, trust me. And the WILL bump into it one day and not know what hit them.
Oops forgot to mention also went to Dermatologist who said it is probably just stress related but I really don’t stress ever. I am going back for a scalp biopsy just to be sure nothing going on there. I did lose 12 kg over a 15 week period last year (ending about May – hair loss started in July) but it was done properly eating well and just increasing my exercise level so not sure if this is related other than that I am totally lost as to why I am BALD.
Yes, absolutely. There are certain hair treatments, as well as styles, that can trigger hair loss: tight braids, pigtails, hair weaves, and cornrows can all trigger temporary hair loss called traction alopecia. Chemical relaxers; overuse of chemical colorants; hot-oil treatments; overuse of flat irons, curling irons, or even hot blow-dryers can all damage hair at the root, causing it to fall out. If you are experiencing hair loss, its best to schedule an appointment with our office so that we can help diagnose your issue and determine how best to your hair loss.
The Rogaine rep we spoke to explained that the different packaging (and therefore different prices) has to do with the FDA-approval process: “We discovered in clinical trials that the hair loss patterns between men and women are different,” she said by way of explanation. “Men typically have that bald spot on the crown of their head, where women generally have a general thinning throughout, but concentrated more on the top of the head. So for FDA approval, we had to come up with two different, gender-specific products, so the directions were more explanatory.”
Honestly, for female pattern baldness (what I have) I don’t think there really is any effective treatment — the only hope is learning to cope psychologically. (Just my humble opinion) So I don’t totally “hate” him for not being able to help me medically regarding the hair — but he was such a let down. I really expected more. (he’s an excellent dermatologist, for skin things at least)
I am 31; as a child I had beautiful brown smooth hair with a hint of a wave. As soon as I hit puberty at 13 (1st period on my 13th b-day), my hair turned wavier. Same year, I remember looking down on my legs horrified at the hair I had developed. Only 1 thought came to me: “NOT NORMAL!” Body hair on women is a tricky subject, though, with media heavily influencing what’s considered ‘normal’. My mom, similarly hairy, just told me it’s genetic and normal.
CURRENT REGIMEN: 6 weeks ago I purchased Hair Essentials… and am seeing some fine hair growth. Weight loss & exercise can also heighten follicular dormancy. (Have lost 90 lbs. in the last year.) Important to maintain 50-60mg/daily protein levels, as well as routine multi-vitamin, higher levels of B-Complex, D and Calcium levels while dieting… heavily impacts hair, nails & skin. Am researching possible relationship between gastrointestinal health and hair loss.
In contrast to trichotillomania, traction alopecia involves unintentional hair loss secondary to grooming styles. It often occurs in persons who wear tight braids (especially “cornrows”) that lead to high tension and breakage in the outermost hairs (Figure 10). Traction alopecia also occurs commonly in female athletes who pull their hair tightly in ponytails. The hair loss usually occurs in the frontal and temporal areas but depends on the hairstyle used. Treatment involves a change in styling techniques. Other hair-growth promoters may be needed in end-stage disease, in which the hair loss can be permanent even if further trauma is avoided.1
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.
I lost all my body hair for the last year. I have been to over 11 doctors and have learned so much that I am at the point now of just trusting God for direction and the right doctor. Thank you for sharing all your stories. I will be praying for every person on this list of hairloss! I am not giving up. I found this hormone balance natural pill called MACAFEM and I am already feeling better. It helps balance hormones and is not contraindicative with other drugs. Check out the website Macafem.com I’ve also had 11 ;panels of bloodwork done and it shows up normal. I’ve had a heart monitor put on me from the heartpalpitations i used to have and results came back normal. I am 45 years old and been under much stress. But I am finally taking it easy. Exercising evry day and eating a very balanced diet w/out junk food and high fatty food. I know its good to get checked by an endocrinologist and dermatologist. But the most important thing is to Trust God and direct us. I want to add I had hands layed on by a pastor and I felt electricity run through my hands and the anxiety and major heart palpitations ceased and I haven’t had those symptoms since! Thank God! Don’t give up your situation will get better. I have been wearing the most beautful short haired wigs and no one could notice they thought it was my own hair. So after a while I got used to it. I think the less we worry about it the better our body will react. We are putting less stress on ourselves physically and emotionally. Peace to all of you!
Hey, lady. I am glad for you that you got the extensions removed if it makes you feel better, but if it doesn’t then you should get them put back in. I understand wanting your husband to feel you are attractive, etc. but if he did not like them but you did…maybe you should talk to him and tell him how much better they made you feel about your appearance? A thought anyway. I am totally single so don’t have anyone to please but myself but I think in our hair loss, we have to make ourselves feel better first. That produces an effect that trickles down to everyone important to us in our lives. I’m sure your husband thinks you look gorgeous either way but you have to do what makes YOU feel gorgeous!
^ Lenane P, Pope E, Krafchik B (February 2005). "Congenital alopecia areata". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Case Reports. Review). 52 (2 Suppl 1): 8–11. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2004.06.024. PMID 15692503. We believe AA should be classified not only as an acquired but also a congenital form of nonscarring hair loss. It may well be more common than is thought because of lack of recognition