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.

Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
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 too have been having bad hair loss. I am 25 years old and since the birth of my second child 2 1/2 years ago, it has not stopped. It is normal for it to fall out for a few months after child birth so I wasn’t too worried at first. After about 6 months it started to slow down then all of a sudden started up again. And has been falling out ever since. I am really thin in the front and around the temples and just recently, has become really unhealthy. It breaks and is very course. I have been to 3 derms. and 2 PCP’s. All my lab work has always come back normal. And they just tell me to use Rogain. The past 6 months I have been trying to get pregnant again and haven’t been able to. I got pregnant with my last 2 very easy and feel that my hair loss and not being able to get pregnant are intertwined. I also have gained about 15 pounds. I don’t want to use the Rogain because I am trying to get pregnant and don’t know the effects it will have if I did get pregnant. I don’t know what to do next. I am in the Phoenix area so if anyone know of any good docs around here please let me know.
Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your home. That breaks my heart for you. I wish you the best in recovery of your home and blessings on your finances. But I do have to say I think that only losing 20 sounds like a dream! I absolutely know that my TE was triggered by PPD in hair dye. I only wish that I would have figured it out sooner. I was forewarned with itching for a year, no dandruff flaking or anything just itching and that was my body trying to heal itself against the allergy and the all hell broke lose on my head! Please keep me posted propecia; I wouldn’t even look for any improvement for 6 months though. But please be here when you do see it! Have a blessed day!
KARYN SPRINGER, M.D., is a staff physician at Intermountain Health Care, Orem, Utah, and a part-time faculty member at the Utah Valley Family Practice Residency Program, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Provo, where she also completed a residency. Dr. Springer received her medical degree from the University of Utah Medical School, Salt Lake City....

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.
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.
Before men or women invest in hair restoration, consultation and workup by a board-certified dermatologist experienced should be performed first to rule out other medical conditions that may trigger hair thinning and second to maximize medical therapy. Full medical therapy as prescribed and outlined by a board-certified dermatologist must continue in order to protect one's investment in hair transplant such as NeoGraft hair restoration.
Finasteride has relatively few side effects, and a dosage of 1 mg per day costs about $49.50 per month. Women who could be pregnant should not handle finasteride, because it may cause birth defects in a male fetus. Finasteride has not proved effective in the treatment of female AGA and is not FDA-approved for use in women.11 [Evidence level A: randomized controlled trial] Continued use is required to maintain benefits.
In-office laser light treatments or at-home handheld devices, such as the HairMax LaserComb, supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the area (think: an amped-up version of a scalp-stimulating shampoo). Just don’t expect the device to make your noggin go from looking like George Costanza’s to Jerry Seinfeld’s. “These lasers won’t grow any new hair. If anything, they may just help you hang on to some of the hair that you already have a bit longer,” says Dr. Joyce.
From doing this I have noticed less hair loss, some re-growth and some thickness, more coverage on the crown area, you cannot see the baldspots any more but just a long faint scalp line. But I will not go to a hairdresser or put colour in my hair. I believe this is why my hair is improving. I didn’t spend money on doctors or dermatologists and certainly will never give money to a hairdresser again. I use products with no parabens and sulfates. I hope my post helps; please try not to give up.
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:
so here i am. i’m ready to try the spiro, alone, especially after reading your posts. i’ve thought of shaving my head, and i may be closer to doing that. i keep my hair in a short bob since it helps not having it knot up when it’s longer, due to its fineness. i try to let it air dry, but blow drying it, upside down, adds volume. plus my curls do not really form anymore because of the texture. i have never counted my lost hairs individually, but i don’t need to have an exact number since just eyeballing what comes out every time i wash, comb, or just touch my hair is stressful enough. it’s hard to be in the sun. we hung out at a garden for Easter yesterday and the sun was burning my scalp. i have tried expensive shampoos, but nothing. i may look in to the toppik. i used to use this bumble and bumble brown hair powder, but since it didn’t quite match my color (it’s only available in three shades) it didn’t look so convincing. the toppik makes more sense since it’s a fibrous material.
Many medications are being studied, including abatacept, MEXIS/M6S, triamcinolone, secukinumab, tralonkinumab, apremilast, botulinum toxin, INCB018424, bimatoprost, clobetasol, AS101, autologous platelet-rich plasma, topical minoxidil, and nitric oxide gel.[27] Some of these medications are approved for other diseases, others are not available outside of studies. 

Researchers continue to strive for the holy grail of hair loss cures by trying to gain a better understanding of how the hair growth cycle is controlled. Rather than treating the symptoms of hair loss, scientists aim to target the cause, which, in turn, may yield fewer side effects. Recently, there have been numerous discoveries in the hair loss arena that may lead to new promising treatments.
Results from several small studies suggest that biotin supplements may improve thinning hair and brittle nails. Less commonly known as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B complex vitamins, which help your body metabolize fats and protein. Some experts even recommend a daily supplement for everyone since it’s generally safe and pretty hard to get too much of it.

Hair transplantation involves harvesting follicles from the back of the head that are DHT resistant and transplanting them to bald areas. A surgeon will remove minuscule plugs of skin that contain a few hairs and implant the plugs where the follicles are inactive. Around 15 percent of hairs emerge from the follicle as a single hair, and 15 percent grow in groups of four or five hairs.
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-

Each hair develops from a follicle — a narrow pocket in the skin — and goes through three phases of growth. Anagen (A), the active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Catagen (), the transition phase, lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin's surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle. Telogen (C), the resting phase, lasts around three months and culminates in the shedding of the hair shaft.
"We developed a protocol to drive human pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into dermal papilla cells and confirmed their ability to induce hair growth when transplanted into mice," said Prof. Terskikh. The next step in their research is "to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects."
Iron supplements. Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women . Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you're a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
Thank you for everyone who read and responded to my original post! Thank you Pilar for the reference! After seeing the doctors I mentioned and with time lapsing after quitting A-Ret (generic Retin-A) the IMMENSE scalp pain went away. My dermatitis also eventually cleared with aspirin masks (pulverized aspirin 2-3, honey and water) and much more frequent (and unfortunately stripping) shampooing with natural formulas.
Okay, on the latter side if things, I would like all to know that with or without hair you are all beautiful. I don’t know you but I know what I have read about you and you all seem so courageous. I know how much it hurts to see so much of our hair falling out or gone but we have to be strong and realize that it is not the hair that is going to make us but our hearts. Diana, please stop stressing so much. Stress is the number one killer. My father always tells me that I worry so much but he constantly reminds me that if I was to leave this world who will be here to take care of my babies? Find happiness and comfort in God. Seek answers by praying. My prayers will and have been answered and they keep continuously getting answered…because without my prayers I would not have come across this website.
There can be several factors behind hair loss such as environmental effects, aging, too much stress, excessive smoking, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, genetic factors, scalp infections, use of wrong or chemically enriched hair products, certain medicines and medical conditions like thyroid disorder, autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), iron-deficiency anemia, and chronic illnesses.
The topical sensitizers, diphencyprone or squaric acid dibutylester, have been used in those suffering from recalcitrant alopecia areata or those with more than 50% hair loss. The goal of treatment is to create an allergic contact dermatitis of the scalp. This alteration in the immune response occasionally is accompanied by hair regrowth. The efficacy of the topical sensitizers has been demonstrated in both young children and adults, but it probably works less than half the time. Recent success using oral janus kinase inhibitors, including tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, and baricitinib, have been shown to be efficacious in severe, extensive alopecia areata in adults, but long-term therapy has potential side effects. The durability of response to these medications is variable, and most patients experience recurrence of hair loss after discontinuation. Perhaps topical therapy with these types of drugs may be available in the near future.
Hi, I am now 25, I have been losing my hair for the past 6 years. I did find an excellent Dermatologist in Orlando, FL Dr. Crotty who helped me alot in this whole process. He started me on a regimen of 3,000 mmg of Biotin daily. I also did Kenalog shots (which is a steroid). He did localized injections in the scalp and also in the hip. I also was prescribed Olux E Complex foam to put in my hair twice daily. I had to stop using the Kenalog b/c I thought I was getting headaches from it ( IT WAS NOT THE KENALOG – (TMJ/Migraines). This three regimen combo produce amazing results for me, within months. Unfortunately, my hair has now started coming out in the front and on the right side but I changed my insurance and cannot find a in network doctor that will treat the Alopecia. I am very tempted to just Pay OOP for Dr. C. So anyone living in the Orlando area suffering from this condition please contact his office. They are the most caring individuals ever also. I love them!!!!!
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.
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. 

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.)
A directed history and physical examination usually uncover the etiology of hair loss. The history should focus on when the hair loss started; whether it was gradual or involved “handfuls” of hair; and if any physical, mental, or emotional stressors occurred within the previous three to six months3  (Table 1). Determining whether the patient is complaining of hair thinning (i.e., gradually more scalp appears) or hair shedding (i.e., large quantities of hair falling out) may clarify the etiology of the hair loss.4
*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.

Ms. Imhof, who lives in Land O’Lakes, Fla., was skeptical. The company’s before and after photos seemed too good to be true. But she went for a consultation and made the cut. (Harklinikken’s products are not available to anyone with autoimmune illnesses like alopecia or baldness from scarring, or anyone who is unlikely to see at least a 30 percent increase in growth.)
Typical first symptoms of alopecia areata are small bald patches. The underlying skin is unscarred and looks superficially normal. Although these patches can take many shapes, they are usually round or oval.[6] Alopecia areata most often affects the scalp and beard, but may occur on any part of the body with hair.[7] Different areas of the skin may exhibit hair loss and regrowth at the same time. The disease may also go into remission for a time, or may be permanent. It is common in children.
The topical sensitizers, diphencyprone or squaric acid dibutylester, have been used in those suffering from recalcitrant alopecia areata or those with more than 50% hair loss. The goal of treatment is to create an allergic contact dermatitis of the scalp. This alteration in the immune response occasionally is accompanied by hair regrowth. The efficacy of the topical sensitizers has been demonstrated in both young children and adults, but it probably works less than half the time. Recent success using oral janus kinase inhibitors, including tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, and baricitinib, have been shown to be efficacious in severe, extensive alopecia areata in adults, but long-term therapy has potential side effects. The durability of response to these medications is variable, and most patients experience recurrence of hair loss after discontinuation. Perhaps topical therapy with these types of drugs may be available in the near future.
I haven’t seen any information about DHT blockers which I’ve read iis the leading cause of hair loss. It’s a “bad” hormone released that causes hair loss. Any comment or recommendations? One supplement to reverse DHT contains saw palmetto, which I’ve heard isn’t recommended for women. Totally stumped, depressed and irritated with so many suggestions that may or NOT work. Compassionately sending this message to all those suffering with hair loss….it’s totally devistating.

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!


I decided to take a vitamin B complex – one a day; I increased my intake of green leafy and orange vegetables and onions, I also throw in a small amount of beef and chicken..i.e. eating lots of stirfries, curries and salads. I also now include in my diet black beans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I like spaghetti with red tomato sauce and use parsely and fenugeek . I also started using a product called Hopes Relief (the shampoo and conditioner) – anything else left a burning sensation on my scalp. This helped greatly with healing my scalp redness and reduced the itching. I was seeing an improvement in regrowth. I went to a trichecologist who advised me I have lost 10% of my hair permanently as she could see the scarring and places where the follicles would not grow.
The best fix by far for replacing lost hair is a transplant. Back in the day, docs used plugs that resembled cornrows (definitely not natural looking). Today, guys have more options. You can go for “the strip method” where a doctor surgically removes a strip of hair from the back of your head, dissects every hair graft under a microscope, and then plants the individual grafts onto hair-thin areas of your scalp with tiny incisions.
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.
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

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-
Physical stress can also be a cause for hair loss. Any kind of physical trauma surgery, a severe illness, an accident, even the flu can lead to temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss known as Telogen effluvium. Hair loss usually gets noticeable 3-6 months after the trauma but once your body recovers, your hair would start growing back again.
My dermatologist recently prescribed 100 mg spironolactone for a month and told me to increase the dose to 200 mg after that. He also told me to use Rogaine for men. The Rogaine instructs that it not be used in the front of the scalp (where a lot of my hair loss is) but to only use it on the crown of the head. Can I safetly use it in front? Also, how do you deal w/ putting foam on your head 2 xs a day? My hair is thin with no body. If I add foam I’ll need to restyle it. Am I missing something? I don’t mind taking a pill but the Rogaine has me freaked so I haven’t started it. Any suggestions? I’m having a hard time thinking of using Rogaine the rest of my life.
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