Each follicle produces hair for 2 to 6 years and then takes a break for several months. While the hair follicle is in its rest phase, the hair falls out. There are around 100,000 follicles on the scalp, but because each follicle rests at a different time and others produce hairs, hair loss is usually unnoticeable. More noticeable hair loss occurs when there is a disruption to the growth and shedding cycle, or if the hair follicle is obliterated and replaced with scar tissue.
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. 
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?
Kimberlyn’s story sounds a lot like mine….I used to have straight fine silky but thin hair…Then suddenly it turned into coarser, squiggly textured hair, and was falling out…I would hate to wash my hair because so much more would come out in the comb after washing. I had hair on my pillow, in my bed sheets, I would find hair just hanging out of my other hair, just waiting to fall out so I would grab it, and 4-5 strands would fall out…then comb with widest tooth pick I could find, and more came out..Hair would be on my arms during the day, just falling at will from my head…Now my used to be thin hair anyway is totally thinning, crown, all over thinning, hairline, nape of neck…I am so over it. My reg Dr said stress…I have OCD and do stress a lot, but I don’t feel it is due to stress as I have been this type of person all my life…and didn’t lose hair like this..I asked gyn, no response. I felt it was my thyroid, as I am in a high normal range, and really don’t like that, but don’t know what else to do as DR feels it is OK. I don’t have insurance so cannot afford to go to 10 different Drs. and still get nothing for a definative answer or solution. I take vitamins always, biotin, zinc, and have just started with Nioxin, just to make my scalp maybe healthier . I know it doesn’t “grow” hair, but maybe I can keep what I have left. I am 59 so lots of symptoms are same for thyroid, post-menopause, and just don’t know what the answer is. I have been researching wigs endlessly in case that is the only hope I will have. I live in Florida and wear a baseball cap everywhere I go…how can one dress up and feel good about themselves, and have to put a baseball cap on to cover the hair loss and protect against the sun on my scalp??? I am at a loss…No one seems to have any answers for me….
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.
Laser light therapy is not a baldness solution, and the HairMax takes a time commitment: You have to use the product for 15 minutes a day, three days a week and you have to keep using it indefinitely to get results. Still, laser light therapy has no major side effects, and may be best for men who have noticed some increased shedding and want to maintain more of the hair they have on their head.

The characteristic finding of alopecia areata is one or more well-circumscribed areas of otherwise normal, hairless skin in hair-bearing areas. Occasionally, it may be necessary to biopsy the scalp to confirm the diagnosis. Other findings that may be helpful are the appearance of short hairs that presumably represent fractured hairs, short thin hairs, and gray hair growing in a bald area. Other causes of hair loss are generally excluded from the consideration by history and clinical evaluation.


I am 20 and have been losing hair since I was 17. It is such a confidence killer. I really do miss my beautiful thick and black hair. Now my hair is thin and a bit gray as well. I only think of it sometimes…but I used to be so depressed i can barely get out of bed. Whenever I am talking to someone, I always wonder if they are looking at my hair. I am currently using Rogaine for Women…it worked one summer when I was following the regimen religiously. However, I am so bad with routines, so now I try to remember to put it on my scalp morning and night. I recently also started to take Shen Min Hir Nutrients…not sure if it works yet. Does anyone have any advice? I really want to get a hair biopsy but I don’t know how. The places I called offered scalp analysis to prepare for hair transplants…which is not something that I am considering. I also saw 2 derms, one didn’t know what was wrong and only offered Rogaine as a solution, and the other said it is androgenic alopecia. I think I might have hormonal problems, but really not that sure. My scalp is always oily and so is my skin. Before my hairloss, I had really itchy scalp. Now it’s still oily but I wash it every other day. I also dye my hair to hide the gray. Sometimes I just feel so ugly and depressed in thinking about my hair. Beautiful hair is the only thing that I want back.
Hi everyone, I am a 19 years old girl that is loosing my hair. I started to lose my hair since I was 14. once 18 I decided to go for a hair transplant surgery. I wanted to feel as any another girl and be confident. I went to bosley may 2007 and did the surgery. They told me it will take 6 to 8 months for my new hair to grow few inches. I went there after 6 and after 8 months but unfortunatly we havent seen any growing hair yet. The doctor told me that it depends from one person to another and it might take me from 12 to 15 months. I went to see him yesterday and by then it was almost 15 months… he walked in looked at my hair didnt say any word for a while and then told me: “I am going to give you your money back” I cried right away for a while I couldnt take it. I haddreams and hope. I imagined my life differently after the surgery. Anyways all that to tell you guys if you wanna go for a hair restoration AVOID BOSLEY. I live in boston nd went to the bosley place in the newbury street. I believed them because of all their advertising. Now i dont even know what to do. School is almost starting and i dont feel like going. I wanna look nice and feel relaxed. I feel the pain every morning before going to school. I cry every night when I get home. I need to find a solution. i thought about extensions but cant go for them cuz i am scared to lose more hair. My God help us!
Playing around with your haircut can sometimes mask the issue, so talk to your stylist about a style that will add volume and bounce, making hair appear thicker. Simply shifting your part can work wonders, and changing up your color can help, too. Light reflects more off lighter hair, so the color provides less contrast between the hair and the scalp, concealing any empty patches. Additionally, a light perm or wave will give hair more body and make it look thicker, and frequent trims will help prevent breakage.

Playing around with your haircut can sometimes mask the issue, so talk to your stylist about a style that will add volume and bounce, making hair appear thicker. Simply shifting your part can work wonders, and changing up your color can help, too. Light reflects more off lighter hair, so the color provides less contrast between the hair and the scalp, concealing any empty patches. Additionally, a light perm or wave will give hair more body and make it look thicker, and frequent trims will help prevent breakage.


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.

I had Melanoma a few years ago, a wide-excision surgery and lymph node(s) removal. I also had sleep apnea and then surgery for that. Also had a hysterectomy 10 years ago for excessive bleeding,I’ve had the clotting factor tests w/normal results though even though even having my blood taken will cause me to bleed alot and bruise.Each time I’ve had surgery, I’ve had to stay in Recovery a looong time because of the bleeding.(hence the clotting tests) Have been anemic most of my adult life too.I am under a lot of stress(have always been) I mention all this in case it rings a bell w/anyone else.

One of the first research studies linking alopecia with celiac disease was published in 1995. Italian doctors had noticed that several of their patients with alopecia also had celiac disease and that in one of these patients—a 14-year-old boy—the missing hair on his scalp and body completely regrew after he adopted a gluten-free diet. This boy's case and a few others prompted the doctors to screen a large group of alopecia patients for celiac disease.
You can also get a hair-loss kit from Hims, which comes with both minoxidil and finasteride. Keeps has one, as well. And though it might seem like overkill to take two different hair-loss treatments at once, this is one of those rare instances where more is actually better. McAndrews calls the combination of orally administered finasteride and topically applied minoxidil a “full-court press” against hair loss. “That’s doing the most you can for preventative medicine.” Rieder notes that taking both drugs together is more effective than taking either one alone.
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.
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A hair restoration is a surgical procedure, but per government regulations, any physician of any background with a valid medical license, regardless of training, presence or lack of any board certificate in anything at all, is permitted to call themselves a "hair restoration surgeon."  For instance, a psychiatrist, who has not even seen a surgical instrument in 20 years, can tomorrow decide that he would like to be a hair restoration surgeon, and offer the surgery to the public.  Therefore it is important to make sure your surgeon has actual surgery training, which is usually a 5 to 7 year course of intense training in the years immediately following medical school, and upon successful completion, surgeons receive a board certificate in their chosen specialty.
“The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, which is genetic pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The root cause of this type of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that shrinks certain hair follicles until they eventually stop producing hair.
If you’re a gentleman who’s been noticing a receding hairline or is worried about balding, the first step is to schedule a visit with a doctor or dermatologist and make sure your hair loss isn’t a sign of a more serious health issue. “Not all hair loss is male-pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Marc Glashofer, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss and practicing in northern New Jersey. A thyroid disorder, an autoimmune disease, or even a scalp issue could be making you look like Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2. But most hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness, and fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective), it’s just a symptom of getting older.

i’ve come across this site before, but today has been an already 5 hour session reading everything that has been posted and researching things on the side. first and foremost, i want to thank you all for your words, rants, and honesty. i stayed home from work today after breaking down in the bathroom, already dressed for work, because of my hair. a few posts made me cry, a few made me smile and all remind me that i am not alone. i, like a few of you, hate that i focus on my hair, but even though i try my damndest to not do so, it really does depress me. i know i will bounce out of it, but it’s only a matter of time before it comes back. today is the first day that i have ever not gone in to work because of the hair situation. here’s my story:


About 2 years ago my hair started thinning. I thought it was because I was in college and stressed. At that point I started going what is known as “CG” in the curly hair world. I no longer color, flat iron, use sulfates and I rarely blow-dry and use silicones. I use shampoos and conditioners with beneficial ingredients, not fillers. After 1.5 years on this Curly Girl routine, I experienced some relief and noticed my hair getting thicker. That lasted a couple months and now I’m back to losing a ton of hair. One day I counted 160 hairs…that was on a decent day. I’m sure I’ve lost 2x that amount before. My hair is noticeably thinner, drier, and it knots. It NEVER use to knot. I think my hair has become finer too, but I’m not positive. It just feels more fragile.
The earlier you begin treating hair loss, the more effective the treatment will be. Androgenetic alopecia is a condition that gradually worsens over time, so the general rule is that the earlier you seek treatment, the better. “If you’re losing your hair and you have genetic hair loss, using medication such as Propecia or minoxidil is most effective when started early,” says Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, Dr. Wolfeld’s colleague at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. Because not everyone loses hair on the same timeline, you can’t rely on statistics to tell you when you should start treatment. Some men start to notice thinning in their early 20s, while others maintain a thick head of hair well into their 50s. If you suspect that you’re starting to lose your hair and want it to stop, act quickly.
The complex actions of genetics, DHT, shifting of hormone ratios and age-related volume loss can commonly occur in women in their 40’s and 50’s. However, just like in men, genetic hair loss can appear at all ages after puberty.  In fact, hair loss occurs with relatively high frequency even in women in their 20’s and 30’s. The majority of women with female pattern hair loss initially develop diffuse thinning over the front and top of the scalp, while maintaining the frontal hairline. This thinning may present with a widening through the central part line while others may present initially with either episodic or continuous hair shedding, prior to any noticeable decrease in hair volume. In addition, thinning may also be seen throughout the scalp, including the temple areas as well as the back and sides.
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.
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