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.
When healthy hair is pulled out, at most a few should come out, and ripped hair should not be distributed evenly across the tugged portion of the scalp. In cases of alopecia areata, hair will tend to pull out more easily along the edge of the patch where the follicles are already being attacked by the body's immune system than away from the patch where they are still healthy.
While diet alone won’t save your hair, there may be some truth to the old adage that you are what you eat. “You’re not going to have the healthiest hair if you’re living off doughnuts, because being nutrient-deficient weakens strands and makes them more prone to breakage,” says Denise Kernan, owner of DK Hair Techs, Inc., a member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery, and a hair transplant technician who has worked on everyone from senators to sports stars to actors to mafia guys (she won’t name names to protect the privacy of her clients).
I have had hair loss for the past several years. I have seen both endocrinologists and dermatologists. I had one derm who was good, but I unfortunately moved. She put me on minoxidil 5% and spironolactone. I am now seeing and endo but he has me on Synthroid and I was very interested to read on this site that it can actually be a cause of hair loss! If anyone can recommend a doctor in Chicago i would appreciate it. I see there are 2 other people asking for recommendations but I haven’t seen responses to them. Thanks!
Dr. Curtis says genes and hormones are the leading causes of hair loss. And it's not just something we face as we age. She says, "I've seen patients as young as 14-15 years old start having hair loss. It's all dependent on your genetics. Unfortunately the earlier it starts, the more likely it's going to be more severe in nature and the faster it can progress."
I suspect Hypervitaminosis A for my hair loss due to prolonged use of a high dosage of Retin A but I can’t find anyone who will test me. I had a PAINFUL scalp, too sensitive to touch and unbearable itching. I stopped the Retin-A 2 months ago and the scalp pain and a lot of itching stopped a week afterwards. I saw a PCP and 3 derms. All recognized hair loss but shrugged it off as hormonal or a lack of deep conditioning! Please avoid these NYC doctors at all costs:
I stumbled on this website accidentally and am amazed at all your stories. I think it’s so wonderful that you all support each other in this way. I’m so sorry that you’re all missing your beautiful hair that you previously had. I am 51 and don’t really know what it would be like to have beautiful hair. I’ve always had what my mother calls “Peter Pan” hair. It never grew up. When I was three years old, I finally started to grow some hair. It got to be the way some other very young childrens’ hair was–very soft, thin, and fine. There just wasn’t a whole lot of it to begin with. You could easily see my scalp in a lot of places on my head. Well, over the course of the next 48 years, the only change in my hair is that I’ve been steadily losing what little there was to start with. I’ve never been able to put it in a pony tail or pig tails because it looked ridiculous and the scrunchy or rubber bands wouldn’t stay in anyway. There just wasn’t enough hair. I’d have to twist the rubber bands around like 20 times to try to get them to stay in–unsuccessfully. I started to notice the diffuse thinning around the age of 30. Now, at 51, people are always asking me if I’m on chemo. I’ve seen a doctor for the depression and anxiety after my separation from my husband 10 years ago and the resulting loss of my 7-year old son, but not for the loss of my hair as I thought (and was told by my internist) that nothing could be done for me. I was very ill with the depression for years, and even now can only work PRN at my hospital; but on the days I’m not working, I don’t leave the house, I don’t eat, I don’t even get out of bed. I don’t think my hair loss is due to the Effexor XR that I take for the depression, but I’m wondering if it could be from the poor nutrition and the fact that I take no supplemental vitamins. Should I go to a doctor even at this late date? The thinning has gotten so severe on my temples, crown, and above my ears that I wonder if improved nutrition would even help. What kind of doctor would I see even if I thought it would help? I’m very embarrassed by the way I look, and very lonely since I can’t date because men want nothing to do with me and most women seem embarrassed to be seen with me. I’ve tried to live a happy life despite the way I look, but I think it would be wonderful if there were actually some way I could be helped to look like a normal woman. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you for taking the time.
*Photograph used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. This photograph was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. # 60, Gathers RC, Jankowski M, Eide M, et al. “Hair grooming practices and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia,” 660-8. Copyright Elsevier (2009). Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
A bathroom covered with loose strands or an ever-scrawnier ponytail can be startling but doesn't necessarily mean anything's wrong. By age 50, half of women will complain of hair loss. "As we age, overall hair density changes and individual strands become finer," says dermatologist Doris J. Day, MD. But just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it. Here are 13 solutions to help you keep the hair out of your brush and on your head.
What’s important to know: the cause of hair loss is specific to each individual, which is why it is so important to have a board-certified dermatologist examine, diagnose, and treat your condition. DR.DENNIS GROSS will review your symptoms, examine your scalp, perform a possible scalp biopsy, and/or order medical and blood tests if an underlying medical condition (like thyroid disease, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases like lupus) is suspected.
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
I also have been experiencing hair loss for the last 6 years and it is truly devastating. It is so hard to get up in the morning and go to work I feel so embarrassed, insecure and feel like every one around me is just staring at my head. I also just came across this website and I feel every one’s pain. For a woman, it is such a terrible thing to deal with. I will pray that we can all find the solution to this terrible situation. I live in Houston, TX and will be making an appointment with an endocrinologist soon.
Alopecia areata is not contagious. It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting heredity may be a factor. Strong evidence of genetic association with increased risk for alopecia areata was found by studying families with two or more affected members. This study identified at least four regions in the genome that are likely to contain these genes. In addition, alopecia areata shares genetic risk factors with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease. It may be the only manifestation of celiac disease.
Shedding is never fun — just ask my vacuum cleaner. It’s even less fun when you realize the golf ball size bits of hair you’re tugging out of the roller came from your own head. Oh, the horror! As we get older (yes ladies, this is for you too) our once glorious crown of healthy hair can become brittle, or even worse, be genetically predisposed to jump ship, leaving our poor, bald heads to fend for themselves.
Dr. Williams' medical and surgical hair restoration practice is dedicated to the art and science of hair surgery, integrating medical, regenerative PRP and stem cell therapies, and surgical restoration in treating hair loss in men and women. He was one of the earliest cosmetic hair transplant surgeons to incorporate Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) into his cosmetic surgical practice. He is active in the international hair restoration societies teaching hair surgery and FUE to his professional colleagues. He relates easily to his hair loss patients and is the recipient of approximately 10,200 follicular grafts with FUE.
The scalp pain has not gone away. I have tried 100 things prescribed by 100 doctors. Dermatologists have told me to add zinc supplements to my diet, use a cream with “clobetasol propionate” on my scalp, improve the quality of my scalp by getting rid of any flakiness – hundreds of options. Trichodynia – pain of the scalp – is a poorly understood subject. I don’t know if it is hormonally related, and exacerbated by the stress (of losing so much hair) – I cannot answer you.
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
When men have hereditary hair loss, they often get a receding hairline. Many men see bald patches, especially on the top of the head. Women, on the other hand, tend to keep their hairline. They see noticeably thinning hair. The first sign of hair loss for many women is a widening part. In rare cases, men see noticeably thinning hair. And in rare cases, women can see a receding hairline or bald patches. The reasons for this are unknown.
Alopecia areata is a disease that attacks your hair follicles (the part of your skin that makes hair). In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. This causes only a few bare patches. Some people may lose more hair. In only a few people, the disease causes total loss of hair on the head or loss of all body hair.
While you won’t find a miracle shampoo on the market, nioxin and some other products can help keep your scalp in tip-top shape to improve the look of any hairs you do have left on your head. In fact, feeding your hair with the proper nutrients both inside and out can make it appear healthier, so you might consider using products with natural herbs, such as rosemary and mint.
Some of the skin disorders like lupus and sarcoidosis can cause hair loss. In case of lupus, the hair tends to get brittle and may fall out in patches. Lupus hairs or short, broken hairs usually appear above the forehead. Hair loss is not permanent in general here. Some individuals with lupus also develop a form of lupus known as discoid or cutaneous lupus that affects the skin. Scars that sometimes develop on the skin of the scalp may lead to hair loss.
When alopecia areata is associated with celiac disease, treatment with a gluten-free diet allows for complete and permanent regrowth of scalp and other body hair in many people, but in others there are remissions and recurrences. This improvement is probably due to the normalization of the immune response as a result of gluten withdrawal from the diet.
I know that Planned Parenthood offers thyroid screening, should I try there to get mine checked to see if this is why my hair is thinning? I have no health insurance, I’m unemployed, and between feeling depressed and just incredibly tired, I don’t know how I can get a job and wait until benefits kick in to actually see a doctor. It’s so depressing. I always had fine hair, but a lot of it. It was shiny, mostly straight with a little wave, but now it’s just, what I consider to be, disgusting. I hate how my hair looks and it’s gotten to the point that I’m so stressed out I don’t even want to eat anymore. Which sounds awful, but I eat and I feel entirely not hungry and almost nauseated. I think it’s the tremendous stress. I’m afraid to call Planned Parenthood because part of me doesn’t want to know if there’s nothing that can be done, but do you think they can test for PCOS as well? My periods were always normal. I got it when I was 12, about 3 months before I turned 13, and they were like clockwork. Then when I was about 15/16, my grandparents died and that was a major shock and I got a few grey/white hairs, still not thinning/balding. Then when I was 17, I dyed my hair almost black because I was depressed, but hated it, tried to remove the color with over the counter stuff, and my hair turned into straw and was brassy orange. I ended up perming it at 18 because it was so frizzy and a friend convinced me that it’d be easier to just wear it curly than to keep blow drying it straight only to have it fuzz up/frizz up. This is probably tmi, and I’m sorry, but I need to vent. I was raped at 18 (a virgin) by 3 boys. I started eating a bunch of junk and withdrawing. I was always what I consider a chunky girl, but my weight has ballooned up since then. I have so much stress and the stress of this is exascerbating my hair loss I think, but I also fear I might have either hypothyroidism or PCOS, or potentially both. I’m even fearful I could have Cushings. The problem is that I don’t have health insurance anymore and any job I get will take about 3 months to kick in as far as benefits go. I just feel like it’s so unfair. Of course life isn’t fair, but still, it’s like this never ending circle for me. I can’t get to the doctor and get help without a job, but I don’t feel I can actually function without going to the doctor because I feel lousy. Oh, and my periods are all out of whack. I bleed monthly, but it’s like ceaseless. It’s so depressing knowing something is wrong, and having no hope to fix it. Thanks for listening.
Just found this site today and want to thank everyone who is sharing. I don’t have the words for how devastated I feel about losing my beautiful, beautiful hair. Thank you for the information and fellowship here. I have a wonderful internist, but she hasn’t been able to help, (been dealing with PCOS for 12 years now and severe hair loss since Feb 2008). Will be looking for an endocrinologist and a dermatologist now too. Hope I can give back some day with good news.
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
So in closing, I echo my initial sentiments that I would always suggest seeing more than one doctor if possible. Look for one that is not only knowledgeable but one that also cares. Hair loss is not the same thing has having a blackhead removed from your back and requires more sensitivity and emotional understanding on the part of the physician. Ask a lot of questions and do your own research, even after receiving your “diagnosis.” Doctors are people and make mistakes too, this is your body and you have to be comfortable with the treatment.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?
Ironically, taking the hormone levothyroxine to treat an underactive thyroid can contribute to some hair loss, among other side effects, but this seems to be more common within the first month of treatment and more often in children than adults. This hair loss is only temporary and will go away as treatment is continued and thyroid hormone levels stabilize.