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
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.
About 2 years ago I lost approximately 50% of my hair and the quality went from thick, strong, straight, healthy hair to thin, weak, frizzy, kinky dry hair that not only sheds but breaks and flakes off pieces at my ends. My skin has become very dry and my nails have become weak also. I went to an endocronologist that put me on 125mg spironolactone which had been increased slowly over a period of a year. He also decided he wanted to give me a layered approach by adding on 2 other medications over a year, one was Glumetza ER 500mg twice a day and Actos 15mg once a day. He said my DHEA was a little high and that these drugs used for off label treatment would help grow my hair back. My hair stopped falling out and a little grew back but the quality of my hair was still very sickly almost like someone on a chemo drug. I was concerned about my liver and stopped taking the drugs, unfortunately my hair started shedding again.
In answer to which doctor should I see for my hair loss, my opinion is that you should probably see both. Most doctors don’t know enough about hair loss as it is, so seeing doctors in different specialties may actually help you get a better, more accurate diagnosis. I am sure there are various conditions of hair loss that might be better served by seeing one more than the other. Perhaps a dermatologist would be better suited in determining if the cause was an infectious skin condition such as ringworm or scaring alopecia, and an endocrinologist may be better at diagnosing hormone related hair loss. The truth is, any doctor whether it is an endocrinologist, dermatologist, or general practitioner with a strong interest and knowledge in hair loss can make a proper diagnosis and work with you on the the treatment they think will produce the best results. The operative words here are “interest and knowledge.”
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!
A medical event or condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, childbirth, surgery, or a fever, typically triggers this type of hair loss. Telogen effluvium may also occur as a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency—iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women—or the use of certain medications, such as isotretinoin, prescribed for acne, or warfarin, a blood thinner. Starting or stopping oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may also cause this type of hair loss.
Finasteride inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men, and unlike minoxidil, this drug can actually help hair grow back, as well as prevent further loss. All you have to do is take one pill a day, and according to Dr. Evan Rieder, dermatologist in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, two-thirds of men taking this treatment will see improvements in hair density over time.
If a pregnant woman comes in contact with crushed or broken Finasteride tablets, wash the contact area right away with soap and water. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in Finasteride, a healthcare provider should be consulted. If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby swallows or comes in contact with the medicine in Finasteride, the male baby may be born with sex organs that are not normal.
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 have been trying to deal with thinning hair for the past several years. I am 37 yrs and used to have very thick, lock, curly hair. I am not an arrogant person, but I did love my hair and I thought it was a beautiful feature. My attempts to cover up the hair loss by using Toppik has been somewhat favorable, but it has not been a solution by any means. I tried Rogaine and as a result, I ended up looking like a warewolf with hair growth on my cheeks. (I had to laugh at that sight!) I have been to a dermatologist who recommended Rogaine and ordered expensive labs that my insurance would not cover (I did not follow through with the labs b/c I do not have the money and I did not return to him because I was disappointed in his suggestion for Rogaine with the initial visit.) My endocrinologist (I have hypothyroidism) shrugged off my report of hair loss by saying “it’s not that noticable.” I’ve been to two different nutritionalists and spent hundreds (if not close to a thousand) on supplements. I have new insurance and I’m looking for a new endocrinologist and dermatologist. I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, so I am trying to control my stress level to decrease the pain. At times I feel guilty for being consumed by my insecurities and by the lack of results for my hair regrowth. So many others have much more serious conditions, and I remind myself that the situation could be much worse. I continue with the Toppik applications and I have ordered a topper in case my hair loss worsens. I am afraid that I will embarrass my son and that my boyfriend will not see me as attractive any more. But, I do continue to have faith that the Lord will see us through any trial, and in the end, we will come out stronger. Sometimes I need to vent and get things off my chest, and I don’t have anyone who can relate so this forum is very helpful for me. I thank you all for your stories and I hope that we all find peace and that we do not allow this burden to overcome us. Be encouraged and Be Blessed!
Interesting. After reading these posts, I called a dermatologist in the Houston, TX area asking for an appt. and whether he prescribes medication for hair loss in women. I mentioned Spironolactone. He told the nurse that he does not, and that it can actually cause hair loss. This is exactly the frustration we all experience. You hear a different opinion from each Dr. and don’t know what the right answer is. If anyone knows of a good endocrinologist in Houston, please let me know. I’ve been losing hair for about 5 yrs (now 39 yrs) and have to use hair-loc extensions just to feel confidence when in public. I did not see much about Propecia in these posts. Have any women taken it w/ much success?
I”m sitting here reading all your letters hoping that you’ve helped someone and hoping that you can help me, too. I’m 48 and all my life I’ve been told how beautiful my hair was. I now live in S Florida and within the last couple of years I stopped styling my hair because of the heat and the humidity. I usually wear it in a ponytail (never tight – I’m sure that’s not the problem). About a year ago I noticed athat a lot of hair was on the back of my car seat.I mean A LOT.When I went home to NY I tried to style my hair like I used to and it didn’t work. It just layed there.The more I looked I noticed how thin it was. I came back to Fl and went to a dermatologist who barely looked at me and told me to try rogaine.