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.
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.
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.
Family history will often tell the doctor what type of alopecia a person has. Occasionally, a punch biopsy may be necessary to determine the type of hair loss. Looking at plucked hairs under a microscope can help to tell the difference between alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Other tests might be done to check for autoimmune diseases like lupus that can accompany alopecia.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
Laser light therapy is not a baldness solution, and the HairMax takes a time commitment: You have to use the product for 15 minutes a day, three days a week and you have to keep using it indefinitely to get results. Still, laser light therapy has no major side effects, and may be best for men who have noticed some increased shedding and want to maintain more of the hair they have on their head.
Im a women in age of 32 years, I lost my hair since 2008 from front of my scalp and back of my hair. I’ve tried almost every hair product but they is no different. My big worry um getting married next year and i don’t know what am i going to do and im so stressed about losing my hair.Im willing to spend even it an expensive product for my regaining my hair back.I will appreciate your help.
I just came across this website and would welcome any recommendations on hair loss specialists in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I have an appointment with my family doctor in a couple weeks, and I’m sure she’s going to run blood work. I’m a 55 yo female and have been experiencing large amounts of hair loss in the past few months. I am generally in good health with the exception of some “structural” issues (scoliosis, etc.). Thank you!
"Despite some of the claims, a shampoo or conditioner won’t be able to stop or slow hair loss, nor help with a receding hairline or thicken hair that’s becoming thinner," says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from The Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic in London. "At best, a thickening shampoo will make hair temporarily thicker for a short period of time, but they certainly won’t help with hair loss or thinning."
One of the most significant concerns for patients following a diagnosis of cancer is the side effect of losing their hair. For many, especially for those who have experienced a full, thick head of hair throughout their lifetime, the thought of losing it can be devastating. Chemotherapy treatment owes its effectiveness to a variety of powerful medications which are designed to quickly attack the compromised, cancerous cells. Unfortunately, in addition to treating cancer, the medications also attack the roots of your hair. This can cause the hair to fall out very quickly, even in large clumps, or gradually over time. Some of the most common medications leading to hair loss include:
I have recently noticed my hair thinning about a year ago. I was 19 when it stated and I am now 20. I have seen well over 10 different doctors including dermatologist, gynecologist and your normal everyday doctor. They have done thousands of dollars worth of blood work on me and they have yet to figure out what is going on. I went from loosing 20 hairs a day to 100 and talk about wanting to cry every night. I have lost over 50% of my hair and everyone including my parents blow me off like it completely normal. My doctors have strung me out in every medicine and when that didn’t work they thought it was all in my head. They told me that it’s normal to lose hair and that it will eventually stop. I’ve had doctors laugh and blow me off, I’ve had doctor to prescribe me depression medicine and a psych. I feel like I’m alone and no one understands what I’m going through. I went from being the funny outgoing person who didn’t care what people think to a self conscious and antisocial person I don’t know. It’s been the worst year of my life, sometimes it feels like a nightmare. I just hope the next doctor I see will give me hope that one day I’ll have my think pretty long hair that I use to have.
I’m dieing I needed someone to listen to me.I ended up leaving my home town to see an endroconologist in the city yep I had Hasimotos thyrioditis which wasn’t just one symptom I had them all serve fatigue,bad skin,nails,hair,my digestive system wasn’t working properly,that was a major shut down to my body coming from someone who always was fit and look after my body.got me on medication and away I go but wasn’t that easy,I was really sick ,my medication was being prescribed by my doctor but over medicating me ,I didn’t no much and kept returning to my doctor always feeling unwell to look after my small children being a single mum all on my own with no family and friends to help. Sick of feeling like this back to my endo for more test sick of the pain that was starting in my scalp and hair loss bad,I went of my medication because I felt better of it,well that was the biggest mistake ,he said my body would have gone into thyriod storm and would end up in ICU,and not to ever do that again.Well 8 years on the pain in my scalp s still bad, iv seen specialist about my hair told me I had alepecia 8 injection in my scalp,and what a painful night.I have hair shedding for the last 4 years and I cry a lot from the pain and the lose of hair .I have very long hair and when I plait it it’s the thickness of two pencils,bbbbbuuuuttt my doctor says there is nothing wrong with my hair,I feel like punching her. I have spent years reading books,and articles trying to fix myself but still nothing,I have seen naturopaths, physiotherapist ,psychologist to talk about the pain in my head and feeling sick all a time ,it’s like we’re do you go.So ladies in all the articles Iv read I still have no help with my hair and it seems lots out there like me.looks like we have to suck it up
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. 
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.
The loss of hair can be sudden, developing in just a few days or over a period of a few weeks. There may be itching or burning in the area before hair loss. The hair follicles are not destroyed and so hair can re-grow if the inflammation of the follicles subsides. People who experience just a few patches of hair loss often have a spontaneous, full recovery without any form of treatment.

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.
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.
Hello all. First, I would like to say that this site is absolutely amazing. I have never felt so touched in my life. I too suffer from hair loss. I cannot really say what the cause is because I have never been properly diagnosed–still searching for answers. I have been to many doctors and have had many blood tests only to get back normal results (which I guess is good) but how can this be? What really amazes me is when I discuss may hair loss with my doctor, whom ever it may be that day –Endo., Derm., GP., they never seem to really want to help or maybe they just don’t know. I have spent so much money on so many different doctors and it is as if they all go by the same book. Where does one go to seek answers? It really is a sad situation. I believe that all the doctors that I go to must be going through the same type of training and education. Maybe I need to go to a doctor that just got out of med school and hope and pray that he/she learned something new instead of the norm–Purchase Men’s Rogaine….Jeez.
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.
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.
Graccey, you are spot on with the PPD allergy. It is amazing how difficult it is to connect the dots. It took me a year to figure it out. It caused 2 very aggressive cases of TE, my hair is not coming back on it’s own. I have been using Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo (I put one baby aspirin in it to balance the PH level because it is very alkalinity and the baby aspirin is an acid that brings it down, a lot of research to figure that one out too, but I just put the baby aspirin in an ounce of filtered water to dissolve and pour it in the baby shampoo) but anyway it was the only thing I wasn’t sensitive to and yes you are right it is something that continues to progress and makes you sensitive to all chemicals. I went a year without coloring my hair to allow it to rest. And now I will only foil it leaving 1/2″ of roots showing. This has devastated me beyond. I have just started using rogaine and the hairmax comb (for scalp health) I don’t think the comb helps with hair regrowth but it does seems to help with scalp health. It is a miracle I can use rogaine but it does seem to be helping. I use the women’s 2% every other night. Good luck with your regrowth. You are right on with the PPD and I think it is much more common than people think!
Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?
For my hair loss I’ve seen four dermatologists, two endocrinologists and have spoken about it with my gynecologist, and general practitioner as well as have also seen someone who “specialized” in thyroid problems. All that’s missing is a partridge in a pear tree These are the total numbers I can recall over the last 8 years. Since my hair loss is hormone related I think that the endocrinologists were probably the most knowledgeable and most helpful about my situation. That’s me though, everyone’s hair loss and causes are different.
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 just began reading this post this evening. My hair loss began when I was 18, currently 29. No bald spots, but it just keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner. I have been to many doctors as well. Every PCP and family doctor have been of no help. After four dermatologists I have given up on that as well. I went to Hans Wiemann (in the St. Louis area) that offers laser treatments and hair transplants. The whole appointment was such a sales pitch that I was so aggravated and felt worse by the time I left. I have also tried an herbalist, chinese medicine, and a nutritionist/chiropractor. I try not to think about it, I really do, but let’s face it, that’s about impossible. I know my problem is NOT genetic, everyone in my family has a full head of hair. I’m healthy in terms of exercise and diet, I don’t take any medications, smoke, or drink. None of the doctors have ever found anything with blood work or urine samples. If anyone can suggest a doctor, specialist, anyone that can help in the St. Louis or Chicago area, PLEASE do let me know.

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
Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
It’s also possible that some of Harklinikken’s users are women whose hair would have grown back even if they’d done nothing. Many women who arrive in a dermatologist’s office with prior diagnoses of female pattern hair loss actually have what’s called telogen effluvium. That’s a period of acute shedding of hair — meaning up to 60 percent of hair — three months after a triggering event like pregnancy, significant weight loss or starting or stopping hormone medications.
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.
My hair started thining out this past year. I notice my hair falling out when i got pregnant with my son. I got diabetes with my pregnancy. my scalp itches and it hurts. It feels like i had my hair tied up so tight and let it go. it hurts to move my hair. i saw a dermatologist and said it was due to the stress of child birth. it has been over a year and is still falling out. has anyone heard of this and what i can do. My Pcp check my hormone levels and said everything is fine. I need help.
The loss of hair can be sudden, developing in just a few days or over a period of a few weeks. There may be itching or burning in the area before hair loss. The hair follicles are not destroyed and so hair can re-grow if the inflammation of the follicles subsides. People who experience just a few patches of hair loss often have a spontaneous, full recovery without any form of treatment.
I don’t know in which proportion including diet, all of these things occurred but I believe A-Ret abuse was a large part of it as evidenced by blood tests taken by my PCP which I was never able to get re-evaluated due to doctor apathy. My sister is experiencing an unrelated bout of hair loss concentrated at her crown and feels hopeless. I’m sending her to this board and to all of your suggestions right away. My problem seems to have subsided but I’m remaining only optimistically cautious and still very vigilant about monitoring hair loss. Thank you everyone again for contributing to this board.

Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles.[4] Risk factors include a family history of the condition.[2] Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected.[2] The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.[2]
I agree with Dr. Franks in his opinion that not all board certified dermatologists are experts in the most recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of hair loss, and that a good place to look is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.  It's the most academically-oriented of the many groups and alliances and coalitions of hair restoration doctors, and the one that does not require 5 figure payments annually to stay on their "preferred doctor's list," as so many of these groups operate in this fashion.
Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles.[4] Risk factors include a family history of the condition.[2] Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected.[2] The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.[2]
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