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.
Minoxidil should be applied twice daily, and one year of use is recommended before assessing its efficacy.6,7 Women also may benefit from adjunctive treatments such as estrogen (hormone replacement or oral contraceptives) or spironolactone (Aldactone). In men, minoxidil may work better in areas with higher concentrations of miniaturized hairs, and its efficacy may be increased by the synergistic use of once-daily tretinoin (Retin-A) applied at separate times during the day.6,8 Minoxidil does not work on completely bald areas and has relatively few side effects; a dosage of 2 mL per day of a 2-percent solution costs about $10.00 to $12.50 per month.
*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.
Hello Ladies. I love this site. I will be brief. I have only been to 1 Endo and they told me my glucose was pre diabetic but that my TESTOSTERONE was too high. Not over the line but right there. He put me on the cure all of metformin but I haven’t taken it yet. I am trying to lower my testosterone by diet and exercise and also watching everything I eat. Its not doing much but I have been doing this for about a month now. The holidays kill me with wine, coffee, and sweets. I have read the reviews and will probably pick up that book but also hit another endo and a dermo. You guys keep the faith. PS In Houston. Any suggestions on a dermo or endo you like, shoot them my way.
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.
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-
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)

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.)

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?
Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body.[1] Often it results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin.[2] Psychological stress may result.[2] People are generally otherwise healthy.[2] In a few, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.[1][2] 

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?

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?

Starting in my very early 20s i noticed the beginnings of my hair loss and started asking doctors about it with no hope/no answers until my 27.5 year. A local dermatologist “heard” something about the spironolactone/yaz combo and was willing to try it out -along with biotin, rogaine and omegas. I believe she helped the quality of my skin and hair, but did not help the fact that my hair continued to disappear.
I wanted to say I have been to both a GYN here and a hair loss dermatogist here in Lake Mary FL, with no results, so I am still looking for another derm that knows something about hair dye allergys. I have had my hormones tested, the dr said that my estro was high, but she expected that since their is no period. I am only 45 , I used to have very thick coarse hair. Had a bad eposide of itching, then hair lost last year. I told the derm that I suspected the hair color. They did not seem intested, said that hair loss comes with age. I have now had another spell, of bad rashing. It is the hair dye. From my reseach it can have PPD, in it almost all do. Check the web for PPD allergy. As you color you can become more and more subseptable to it. My hair stylist always commented on the hair loss. I think that hormones changing can effect it also. You can become allergic to this chemical at any time. It is hard to connect the dots. Dr.’s don’t seem interested. Natualist, I tried accupunture and non homotherphy, no noticable difference.. I have tried Jason hair shampoo, not much luck with that either. BUT look for PPD/free hair colors…and test before using, that will save some hair from falling. So far I have found a Wella, Yo Colors, Reflex, Nauture Pat It usually happens a week later, not right after coloring FYI…What does work is Botin…..

Oral immunosuppressants, like methotrexate and cyclosporine, are another option you can try. They work by blocking the immune system’s response, but they can’t be used for a long period of time due to the risk of side effects, such as high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, and an increased risk of serious infections and a type of cancer called lymphoma.
^ 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

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.


Almost all hair loss in guys results from male-pattern baldness, a genetic trait that comes from your parents. Other causes include certain medications, too much vitamin A, or not enough protein. Illness or stress can lead to sudden, heavy shedding called telogen effluvium. Good news, though: Hair loss that isn’t from male-pattern baldness often reverses itself.
You ARE the same inside, but you are also different… you’ve been through a lot and it is so difficult to to stay strong through this experience. I won’t even go into the hair stuff, because it sounds to me that this is not what your post is about. You need to get some really solid support and find something other than your hair to focus on. You need an awesome hair system…and support system. From there, I hope and pray for you, that you will be able to find happiness and balance in your life again. You are a glorious human…don’t doubt that for a moment!
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.
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.
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.
Men may also experience some sexual and emotional side effects while taking it: In a study published in the June 2011 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Dr. Michael Irwig of George Washington University found as many as 92 percent of test subjects reporting problems in the bedroom. The study also reported that “the mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and the mean duration of persistent sexual side effects was 40 months,” meaning that side effects lingered long after subjects stopped taking the pill.
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.
Women also may experience AGA, often with thinning in the central and frontal scalp area but usually without frontal–temporal recession (Figure 3). A history and physical examination aimed at detecting conditions of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism, ovarian abnormalities, menstrual irregularities, acne, and infertility are indicated. Laboratory tests are of little value in women with AGA who do not have characteristics of hyperandrogenism.5
Speaking of a new style: Don’t choose one that’s so high maintenance that it needs to be heat styled daily—the damage you’ll do with too much hot tool usage can leave strands damaged and fried, and breaking before it can grow to a certain length. Plus, thinner hair tends to break easier, so you want to avoid any extra damage-inducing practices at all costs. Make a conscious effort, too, to brush more gently, and use a moisturizing and reparative hair mask to hydrate hair and nourish the scalp—where hair gets most of its strength.
Alopecia areata is not contagious.[9] It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting heredity may be a factor.[9] 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.[14] In addition, alopecia areata shares genetic risk factors with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease.[3] It may be the only manifestation of celiac disease.[15][16]
Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.

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.
Thank you all for sharing your stories. I have various health issues including arthritis of the spine, GI problem and Poly ovarian cyst syndrom… I had exetremely thick and full hair all my life 5yrs ago my hair started falling out in huge clumps all day long so much so that I leave huge hair balls under my desk at work… I also have sjordren syn. When I first went to my family doctor he told me it was because of my high stress job… I said that I did research on the internet and that all my conditions were supposed to be linked to hairloss he was mad and said why did I come to him if I had all the answers… I have been to 2 dermos who said its nothing. I went to the only endocrinologist in a 100 plus mile radius of my home who was taking new patients who said that there is nothing wrong with me and that if I cared about my health as much as my hair loss I would loss weight ( I know I not skinny but…) he did not even LOOK at my tests when he came in he said we didnt get your urine samples results back. I said that I went 3 weeks ago. He then said oh here they are… but did not even look at them before his fat comment… since I do not want to swear on here I will just say “jerk”. I cried the whole way home. I went back to my family doc and saw the PA because it seems he is sick of me. Again among other sympt. my hairloss is getting worse… the PA’s answer “yea that’s pretty bad.” (wow I’m paying for this advice ) She brought me back samples and said this should help. it was an anti depressant….I said I am not depressed I am upset that everyone can acknowledge my sympt. but no one seems to be able to help my. My arthritis doctor ran tests only to shut me up and said my folate levels were fine so it had to be stress… not their problem. I came from my 3rd gyno today who said now since my cysts were gone and my test. levels were normal that I can’t have children anyhow then I shouldn’t worry about hairloss… no advice whatsoever about the diease less than 5 mins. $400.00 40 mile trip another day of work gone. This doc. did even think I should be concerned that I cannot get preg. or my pain (so it does not surprise me about the hairloss) I said is there anything else that can cause my hair to fall out besides test. levels he said not gyno related…. He said if you like we can test you again in three more months. I would give up but I know it is not something just in my head or even just a cosmetic problem…. I feel sometimes they just want to milk my insurance dry my running the wrong test so they can keep charge you for the expensive stuff instead of working on a cure for you. The worst maybe is that my family and friends are also sick of me and think I just like attention. From your post I looks like a lot of have similar health and experiences. Although I am very upset I am glad be able to vent to people who also my have be treated like hypocons… and armed me will more info.
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.
It’s really great reading this website. No one in my life truly understands what hair loss does to a woman emotionally. I completely thought I was blowing it out of proportion when I first became obsessed with my hair loss when I was 19. I am 24 now and have lost a little bit more hair but it is not immediately noticeable. I also appreciate that people share my sentiments about how unwilling doctors are to help us with this problem- they do not care about helping us solve the problem- only throw solutions at us for us to figure it out on our own–mostly to figure out they don’t work! I am going to try to see an endocrinologist and hope he/she can help. Although I have lost a lot of hair, I still have enough to cover my scalp left so I may not be able to talk, but I think what we think people see and what they actually see is completely different. I know we’re all beautiful women and I just try to think of hair loss as preparing me for getting old! (at which time I’m sure to have a crisis as well). Well, I will continue reading this site for hope and support. Thank you!
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.
I have had alopecia universalis for 12 years now. It was very difficult in the beginning when my hair began to fall out. I was in college and devastated because I thought my life was over. I have now grown to accept myself and the way I look now. I know I would not be who I am today without this having happened, and I really like me! It does get better, but it is a process. A good support system and love from family and friends gets you through. Good luck to you all on your journey.
Lisa, don’t know if you are out there and reading this but I called my dermatology office today. I have worked with them since about 2003/2004 when I had severe cystic acne (it is about as bad as hair loss in dealing with it) and together the nurse and I were successful. I have hope, I got in to see her tomorrow and I’m taking all the meds/vitamins I am taking. Call Arizona Skin & Cancer Institute, they are in Chandler AZ right by Chandler Regional. I’ve been in tears all day because a clump came out. I thank God for my beautiful children who were there for me through the acne and my mom. You just listen to me talk about what I am going through. Getting through work was hard today. Anyway, Lisa call them and try to get in. I don’t know if I will have success but I’ve done a lot a research and I know what to ask. I did look up symptoms of protein deficiency – strange I had great hair in October 07 and my nails were really hard and now they are brittle and breaking and my hair is falling, I also went through a couple of weeks of this werid swelling of my arms, legs, feet, hands in April. And have been constipated, and my running isn’t giving me the usual firm legs, all signs of not enough protein. Maybe I’m grasping at straws but anyway…hope you are doing ok.
Why? Unwanted hair growth (sideburns, for example) is a reported side effect of minoxidil. The belief is that a higher concentration of minoxidil would result in more unwanted hair, which is why women are instructed to use it less often. However, the study in Skin Therapy Letter reports that unwanted hair was more common in 2 percent minoxidil solutions than 5 percent, and women are instructed to use Rogaine’s 2 percent solution twice daily — so what gives?
The more research i do about hair color and PPD/PTD allergy the more I think that my hair loss is from that… it has been 7 months now and my hair is growing back. I have not had a tight /itchy scalp/ no more feeling as though bugs are crawling in my hair. I have only gone to the Hair loss dermatologist-whom did not think it was hair dye and the regular doctor to check my hormones. I would love to cover my gray – My hair is very dry at the roots. I went to a stylist(hair loss sprecialist) not much info there-master colorist-she did not know about PPD allergy- I do think stopping coloring my hair has help me keep me from lossing more hair and I think some have grown back. I really would like to color, but I am blonde and gray so I don’t think henna will work. I want to tell you about the reaction I had was first itching and then hair loss. Please take note if that happens to you. Then doctors- they said it was probably not the dye.Wrong! They said Hair loss came with age and hormones. I had all of those tested . Then 6 months later I had the salon dye my hair and a bad reaction bumps and itching and hair loss.Again! I still would like to see a doctor that has knows about hair loss or PPD allergy Or a salon. I have not found anyone in Florida. Keep researching. Mostly I have learned from these web sites and I have educated the doctors and the salon. I know it is all about money and that is how these chemicals stay in the products we are using. I did use rogaine before my first reaction. I thought might have had a chemical reaction from the rogaine and hair dye being used in the same week.
Mistakenly thought of as a male disease, around 40% percent of women will suffer from some form of hair loss by the age of 50. A woman’s hair is an important part of her aesthetic make-up. It represents her style and taste, and frames her face while accentuating her best features. Unfortunately, most physicians don’t have answers or solutions for women who begin to lose their hair.  Plano, TX hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Joseph Yaker, understands that this can be extremely catastrophic to a woman’s self-confidence, body image and quality of life. Clinical studies have shown that psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety are more common in people with hair loss, especially women. 
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