Hi there.. I to am experiencing hair loss.. lots of it.. Doesn’t even feel like hair.. and my scalp hurts.. almost like a throbbing.. I have leukemia and have had since 2005 but doesn’t appear to present a problem. I’ve had trouble a couple of times in the past few years due to stress (lost a sister in a car wreck) but my hair got healthy again. This time around there has been no stress.. I was low in B12 (261), however, I’ve been getting shots and its up to 450. They’ve ruled out thyroid.. Any ideas what else it could be and how I should move forward in figuring it out? I’m very anxious.. I’ve always had long very thick coarse hair but always healthy.. now it looks limp and always feels dirty..
Well, I got the news yesterday – at 61, vital and as healthy as anyone could possible ever wish to be, yep, hair thinning on the vertex and allopecia of the eyebrows, the latter are almost gone. It started probably 10 months ago, still donot know exactly why, but laser skin therapy on my face and arms for those liver spots may have triggered it. I went to see Dr. Shelly Friedman here in Scottsdale, AZ. His assistant is very, very knowledgeable and extremely empathetic and friendly. Long and short: no cure, no idea where it really comes from. BUT, now there is laser therapy, the so-called Laser Cap, FDA approved etc. You put it on 3x/wk for 45 min. at home, you purchase the cap, and within 3 months your hair really becomes fuller and actually it already starts to grow back within 4 weeks. That would be a good solution for the head. You will have to continue doing this for the rest of your life, or until the scientists have found a different solution.
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.
I have used Rogaine (5% – the real risk is if your pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. I didn’t think there was a point to taking “women” rogaine which is a 2% solution). You can buy this in sam’s club with no prescription. I think it may have caused some stabilization but it was hard for me to use it because it would make my hair oily and the thinning would appear worse. So I use it randomly and not twice a day as it should be used.
I am scared to find out whether I have PCOS…I was hoping to find out about my insulin as I sensed a major blood sugar problem for years, but I took the news surprisingly poorly. I’m more stressed than before and am terribly depressed. The doctor, by the way, had zero to say about it all. Nothing. His words “Ask your gynocologist, I am just a lowly MD.” [gasp]
I’ve been to one Endocrinologist, probably 5 Dermatologists, and a Trichologist for my hair loss. I agree that you will probably need more than one doctor to get to the bottom of the cause of your hair loss. I wasn’t really happy with any of the doctors I saw (which is why I kept finding new Dermatologists). I even went to a Dermatologist “specialist” in hair loss at UCLA, and he just said I had TE and told me I could try Rogaine to jump-start my re-growth, but otherwise he had no suggestions. I think the most valuable visit I had was to a Trichologist, because he was the most caring and had the greatest knowledge about hair loss. He, along with some of the Derms, told me I had TE, and no miniaturization.
Susan – I am horrified to read that two of your doctors actually made fun of you… oh my gosh that is awful! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I am also surprised that your doctors wouldn’t do any bloodwork other than thyroid. What City/ State do you live in? Maybe someone can recommend a doctor in your area that would be more helpful. While many times bloodwork results end up coming back normal there is that possibility that your results would point to something that may be the cause of your hair loss, especially since you say you have no genetic hereditary hair loss in your family. I know you stated your hair is still falling out, but do you see any results from the propecia and mens rogaine? When did your hair loss start?
“A scalp biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing hair loss,” said Dr. Marc Avram, a dermatologist in private practice with offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn. “The test examines the follicles themselves and can help determine whether the hair loss is genetic, inflammatory, infectious or due to an unusual physical or emotional shock to the system.”
Dr. Williams is also the primary investigator in a National Institute of Health (NIH) approved IRB study in regenerative medical treatment procedures with stem cell/stromal therapy for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia. A new study treating scaring and autoimmune (Alopecia Areata) alopecia is expected in 2017. Dr. Williams believes the foundations of health and hair restoration are founded on prevention and wellness. His primary practice is hair restoration surgery in Orange County, and he is involved in teaching medical students and residents from various medical training programs in northern and southern California. He is on the clinical teaching faculty of Western University of Health Science in Pomona, California; and Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in San Francisco, California, and Chapman University new Health Science teaching facilities.
“I think their effectiveness is not as significant as finasteride or minoxidil,” says Dr. Wolfeld, “however, it’s something that can be used quite easily by patients at home. If they use it two or three times a week, I tell them it can help to thicken their hair.” Results can take up to 18 months to show up, so Dr. Wolfeld stresses that patience is a virtue.
Re-growing hair: It is likely that the hair will grow back even without treatment. It may fall out again, though. Most patients lose their hair more than once before the disease goes away for good. Even people who lose all the hair on their scalp and body can have their hair grow back. When hair loss is widespread (lots of hair loss on the scalp and/or body), there is a greater chance that the hair will not re-grow.