Sinclair Scale: The 5-point Sinclair Scale is a modified visual grading scale. Grade 1 is normal. This pattern is found in all girls prior to puberty, but in only half of women age 80 or over. Grade 2 shows a widening of the central part. Grade 3 shows a widening of the central part and thinning of the hair on either side of the central part. Grade 4 reveals the emergence of diffuse hair loss over the top of the scalp. Grade 5 indicates advanced hair loss. This grade is uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of women.
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
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.
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.”
Just happened to find this website and have spent 3 hrs getting to know the trials us women go through with or without our hair. I have cried with you, laughed with you and felt your pain. I have frontal fibrosing alopecia and have gone to Stanford Medical Center and saw a dermatologist. I have been using clobetasol 0.05% topical solution on my hair line and sides every night and morning as well as take finasteride 2.5mg daily. Not sure if it is doing anything and what falls out will never grow back with scaring alopecia. If it gets to the point where I can’t hide it anymore I will get a real hair wig. The main thing is how beautiful each and every one of you are! The light you shine towards others makes you beautiful and makes us feel beautiful! Being thankful for what we do have always lifts the spirit and our outward appearance.
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.
Thank you so much ladies, I am grateful I was able to find this website. Can anyone suggest a Doctor in the South Florida Area ( West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood or Miami)? I have seem countless of Doctors in the past 20 years; felt like none really cared or took an honest interest. The last Doctor I visited didn’t even bother to see me in person, she just called me on the phone and told me nothing can be done, use Rogaine if you want, she said. Needless to say my condition is serious. After this I am at the point of giving up but if I could find a Doctor that really cares I am willing to try again. Any advise is welcome. Thanks again.
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, hair health is tied to two things: kidney energy and the blood, which nourish the hair. The solution: acupuncture and Chinese herbs. While there isn't a lot of hard science to back this up, Maureen Conant, a TCM practitioner at Full Bloom Acupuncture in Seattle, says that she's seen women's hair stop falling out and then gradually regenerate after a few months of weekly treatments.
I am 46 and starting menopause, according to my bloodwork. I didn’t have any tradtional menopause symptoms. My only health issue was burning scalp and hairloss–a lot. (I do not use any chemicals on my hair and don’t even blow dry it.) After losing almost half of my hair in 3 months I went off the pill (mircette which is low estrogen) and withing 48 hours the burning decreased by about 50%. Then I started using progesterone cream. Within 3 days the hairloss slowed from losing 65+ hairs in the morning to just 15-20. By the 6th day the burning is 95% gone. I can wear my hair in a ponytail with a soft scrunchie today! Maybe I have estrogen dominence, which is talked about in Dr. Lee’s book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone”. I hope that I continue to improve and I hope each one of you finds the solution to your hairloss. By the way, my doctor ( GP) told me to stay on the pill and that nothing could be done for my hairloss. It was the owner of a family-owned pharmacy that suggested the progesterone cream and to stop the pill.
I want to say that all of you are very courageous and sharing. I appreciate everything I have read here. Thankfully, I am starting out in a slightly better position – I still have a fair amount of hair left. I started with a HUGE amount of hair. For the last 6 – 12 months, I have been losing handfulls of hair in the shower every morning, then some more when I comb it out, then a bit more when I put styling product in it, then just a bit more during the day. The shower is the huge hit, though. I’m 37 and on a ton of medication – synthroid, neurontin (an amitryptiline derivative), anti-depressants, and a host of pain medications for a degenerative back problem. I brought my hair loss up to a doc around the time it started, since I was already on synthroid, he re-tested my levels, and said everything was fine. My hair structure has always been on the thin side, but there was just so damn much it didn’t matter – now there is a lot less. What used to take upwards of 20 minutes to dry with a dryer, now takes 5. I’ve been worried about it for quite a while, and didn’t know what to do. I started my on-line research today with hair extensions and stumbled on this site. I am encouraged that I’m starting my search for an answer relatively early in my hair loss journey. I have some great advice and questions to go in to see my doc about. If anyone has any recommendations for the Boise, ID area for a dermatologist and endocrinologist, I would really appreciate it.
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.
Medications are available that encourage regrowth of hair. These medications, such as topical minoxidil* and oral finasteride, are not appropriate for everyone with hair loss. Hair growth medications work to varying degrees in different people, and only trigger complete regrowth in a minority of individuals. They work best for people who have smaller amounts of hair loss. Hair loss returns if you stop taking the medication. Finasteride is not appropriate for women who may become pregnant, as it can cause severe birth defects. Spironolactone, although not approved by Health Canada for this purpose, is a medication that may help women who are losing hair due to excess testosterone. Biotin is a vitamin that makes hair and nails stronger and is often used as an adjuvant therapy.
Rogaine’s foam squirts out just like hair mousse and is applied with “cool, dry hands.” Applying means working the foam down to the scalp where you want to see thicker growth — for it to work, “it has to get into your scalp,” Dr. Wolfeld explains. “If it sits on your hair, it’s not really as effective.” Once massaged, it dissolves into a watery liquid that leaves a tingly sensation, “but no burning!” one of our balding testers was happy to discover.
A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.
Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry. Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons (these straighten hair by using high heat) and curling irons.
I too have suffered from hair loss, more noticebly over the past 2 year, although it first started 10 years ago. I am 39 female and always had a full head of hair. Now, my hair has gone dry, dull and and has lost it volume. I have been to my Dr and have had test done, however everything has come back ok. i.e. my hair los was not found to be down to any internal deficiencies hormones, nutrient levels, diseases etc , so now my Dr is referring me to a dermatoligst to see if the problem is due to the skin on my scalp. However it maybe advisable if you havent already, to visit a licesend Trichologist, this is someone who specifically deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp, and would have a more thorough knowledge about your hair than any GP and by conducting a hair analysis, can identify your hair loss problem. I intially visited, and it was he who suggested I go along to my GP and ask for specific types of tests. However, he also informed me for some cases there are conditions that can be cured, but with other, it could simply be that hair loss pattern is heriditary which can occur in both male and female ( this does not necessarily need to come from your parents or grandparent, it could come from family gene from generations back, that so happened to show up in you generations later!). In this case, the frank truth is little can be done. However there are different topical treatments, and people do not have to go to the extreme of hair surgery or even having to wear undignified wigs. Below is a link to a product called Toppik which I have used. Basically it small fibre which are made from the same fibres as natrual hair, which use sprink onto your hair to cover bald and thinning areas. It adds body, volume, and makes your hair ‘magically’ appear full regardless of the lenghth of your hair. Its not expensive, and also come with conditoner and shampoo to give your hair that added volume, even to the most thinnest of hair. I hope this will provide some solution and even comfort to those experiencing hair loss. The link is below – Good luck
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.
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.
Hi,this is really tough for me and I don’t know what to say. I have always lost a lot of hair but I had a ton of hair. However,my mom commented that she noticed that it has thinned out more than usual and it has. And today, I just took picture of the top of my head and see a spot. Like you Lisa, I am completely freaked out, I am two weeks away from my 34th birthday. Sorry, Lisa I don’t know of any doctors except for my dermatologist that I am calling tomorrow and I found an endocrinologist through United Healthcare that I will call. I’m so upset that the crying just won’t stop. What worries me is that I’ve been on aladactone for about a year for acne (but was only at 50 mg) BUT she did up the dosage about 5 months ago (but only consistently take at the 200 mg for 3 months). But my fear is that the aladactone didn’t help prevent it for me. But the thinning out has been noticeable since about May/June of this year so maybe there is hope. Now, I have to put in there I went through a very stressful period from March until now. And had a rapid weight loss of 35 pounds (went from 168 to 133) and I’ve been doing a lot of running. But my concern is my sister has female pattern balding and so does my mom so I am very worried. My sister said the doctor said to up her protein and get super b-12 complex which I started two weeks ago, my sister said she has seen some regrowth. Today, I went and got biotin, magnesium and iron. And bought Nioxin shampoo as i heard it help give the appearance of more hair. I am calling the doctors tomorrow in hopes that it really was just my rapid weight loss, I have to admit I was under a lot of stress and barely eating, I’m eating better now though but again it runs in my family and I am completely freaked out. Lisa if I have any success I will let you know who my doctors were. Know that I too, live in Phoenix and am going through the same thing. It is hard, now I am afraid my boyfriend will leave me. Keep faith.
although I have plenty of hair round the sides I was rather thin on top, and quite bald on the crown. So I started using onion juice to kick start the folicles. Then after, started to use juiced ginger. After a minute or so of either application I rubbed in coconut oil, and left the mixture on for an hour or so. Problem with wishing to see the hair growth as soon as possible, hair is slow growing and new hair is even slower, so one will have to wait 3 months for a good result. So, once or twice a week use onion and the same with the ginger. I found white onions are best, grate on the smallest hole ( not much needed)…..bonus, white hair turns black.
Evaluating and treating hair loss (alopecia) is an important part of primary care, yet many physicians find it complex and confusing. Hair loss affects men and women of all ages and frequently has significant social and psychologic consequences. This article reviews the physiology of normal hair growth, common causes of hair loss, and treatments currently available for alopecia.
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 am on Arava and my hair has become extremely coarse, frizzy, and tight tight curls in the back. The sides of my hair are pure frizz and the top is straight, with frizz. It used to be smooth and so easy to manage. Now it takes so long and it looks awful. Anyone find the same thing and anything that helps? I have tried so very many hair products, so has my beautician. She says it is like I have 3 completely different textures on my head.
As mentioned above, an autoimmune response is commonly associated with hair loss related to alopecia areata. Patients who have this condition see their body’s immune system attack their hair follicles. The patient’s hair follicles become very small and hair growth begins to stop. A major symptom of alopecia areata is patchy hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, which says patients often first notice the problem when they see clumps of hair on their pillow or in the shower.
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.
One is how much emphasis the company places on compliance, the major stumbling block in the efficacy of any treatment, said Dr. Senna, an author of studies on the subject. Prospective users are questioned about their ability to stick to a regimen because the extract must be applied every day, and they are told that the more conscientious they are, the better. Users are also reminded and encouraged with regular check-ins.
Without a doubt, poor nutrition (often caused by eating disorders and crash dieting) is a common trigger of temporary hair loss. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may respond by shutting down hair growth—resulting in hair loss. Great source of protein include red meat and dairy products, as well as quinoa, legumes, and nuts and nut butters (all great options for vegetarians). Hair loss can also be triggered by anemia, or a deficiency in iron. Getting enough iron (found in red meat) is key to treating this; often times, an iron supplement can help. If this is the cause of your hair loss, our dermatologists can do a simple blood test to confirm this.
Furthermore, Penn dermatopathologists developed an even more advanced method called the HoVert technique for diagnosing hair loss and other disorders from a scalp biopsy. The technique uses a unique horizontal and vertical testing approach that provides a greater amount of information to the referring dermatologist than standard industry longitudinal scalp biopsies.
Telogen effluvium is the second most common type of hair loss. It is predominantly seen in women between the ages of 40-70, but may occur at any age. Its symptoms include excessive thinning, shedding, and balding and it may happen abruptly. Common causes of sudden hair loss include changes in hormone levels such as with child birth, menopause, poor nutrition, medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia and hypothyroidism, medications, severe illness or infection, major surgery, and even extreme levels of stress.
in between all these years, i also tried some homeopathic methods. i read dr. andrew weil’s book on health and used to take 2000mg of alpha-linolenic acid either by evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil or borage oil. it didn’t regrow my hair but i do feel that it helped stall it. only problem is that after a year or so it stopped working for me, but it may help some of you out. there’s a connection, according to dr. weil, between alpha-linolenic acid and hair. i’ve also used homemade rosemary water and washed my hair with it, but it only helps with making me smell like the bush it comes from.
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
Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why.
In 2010, a genome-wide association study was completed that identified 129 single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with alopecia areata. The genes that were identified include those involved in controlling the activation and proliferation of regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, interleukin-2, interleukin-2 receptor A, and Eos (also known as Ikaros family zinc finger 4), as well as the human leukocyte antigen. The study also identified two genes, PRDX5 and STX17, that are expressed in the hair follicle.
I took spironolactone several years ago, and after 3 days got tinnitus (ringing in ears) permanently. Quit using it. Now, I take Fo-ti, Beta sitosterol, saw palmetto, and black cohosh. Also don’t use commercial hair dyes, as they made more hair fall out and if you have a yeast infection, take yeast defense as an itchy scalp from yeast (think too much sugar in diet) will make your hair fall out. Fructis has come out with a shampoo called Fall Fight that seems to help. My hair loss has stopped, although the volume has not come back. Look for solutions on your own, plenty of articles on the internet. Good luck!