What a helpful website, thank you ladies for sharing. I am 55 and am loosing hair by handfuls when I shampoo. I have been using Minoxodil extra strength for about 5 years and it was helping but not anymore. I also have been taking Nioxin hair vitamins and they helped for the first 3 years but not now. I am going to check out Dr Redmond like several of you recommended and head to Sallys for hair extensions also. Does anyone know of a good Dermotologist or Endo Dr. in Humble or Kingwood Tx area? Karen
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Wow, I just started doing some research on this because I have been having problems with my hair thinning on the top of my head for several years, along with some sensitivity. I went to my internal medicine Doctor and he didn’t say much, which struck me as odd… he referred me to my women’s doctor who was slightly more sypathetic but offered no suggestions other than to see a dermatologist. I have been putting it off because I feel like I am getting the run-around. I see that I am not alone!
I am so glad this site exsists. Thank you ladies for sharing your experiences and making this whole hair loss crisis feel less lonely. I’ve been having soo much hair loss over the past 8 months that now there’s a visibly bald spot at the top of my head and I have to wear a headband to hide it! Most days I contemplate shaving my head and walking around with a bandana so I don’t have to deal with the daily shedding (which literally causes me neck tension!). I’ve gone to my primary doctor twice and both times she’s drawn blood to test my thyroid levels. The first time the results showed my levels were normal but she still put me on levothyroxin to see if it would make a difference with the breakage. It didn’t. I just went back a second time and she took blood again to do a second test on my thyroid levels and also to see if I have lupus. I’m waiting for those results. I just want to know why this is happening now. I’m only in my early 30’s. I am so grateful that there are others of you out there dealing with this too, atleast we’re not by ourselves in this process.
I’ve been to five doctors. Two of them made fun of me. Only one doctor was remotely interested in my hair loss. He prescribed propecia, mens Rogain, and told me to take 2600 ml of biotin a day. My hair is still falling out. I am almost bald. None would give me any tests to determine the cause (other than thyroid, which has been done twice). The doctors tell me it is hereditary. If they could see my family, they would know that is not true. No one that I know of in my blood line has lost their hair. I am beside myself. I barely leave the house anymore. I wish I could find some help somewhere.
Alopecia areata is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own anagen hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. For example, T cell lymphocytes cluster around affected follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss. It has been suggested that hair follicle in a normal state are kept secure from the immune system, a phenomenon called immune privilege. A breech in this immune privilege state is considered as the cause of alopecia areata. A few cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata have been reported.
A hair growth cycle consists of three phases. During the anagen phase, hair grows actively. This phase may last for years. During the catagen phase, hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, which is the structure beneath the skin that holds the hair in place. The catagen phase lasts about 10 days. During the telogen phase, the follicle rests for two or three months, and then the hair falls out. The next anagen phase begins as a new hair grows in the same follicle. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle.
I’m so glad you saw my post, and wrote back. Thank you again for writing about your experience. At the time I read it, I knew that was the path I had to go. I have a treatment plan, and intend on it being a successful one (I’m so trying to go from being a negative person to being positive, it really makes a difference). I have joined the network, and hope you do as well,. Angela, is right, there is so much caring, understanding and sharing of knowledge here, that so help with the emotional part of this thing called hairloss.
I am relieved to find out that I am not the only female going through this problem. Don’t get me wrong. I am sorry that you are all going through this, but I was beginning to think I was the only female with this problem. I am 22 years old and I have been experiencing hair loss for the last two years. At first, it didn’t really bother me and I imagined it wouldn’t last. Then, it progressively got worse and has continued for the last two years. I have seen my PCP, GYN as well as various Endocrinologists and ENT’s to try and get to the source of my hair loss. They have all laughed at me and told me not to worry about it. I feel like they’ve all blown me off because I’m so young; However, no one understands how emotionally and physically destructive this is! I used to have tons of hair! I was even named “Best Hair” my senior year in high school and now I am ashamed to go out in public or even look at myself. I have very little hair left and it’s ruining my life, my relationship with my boyfriend, and my ability to maintain other relationships. I am now suffering from a lot of anxiety, depression and low self esteem. I’m all out of ideas and hope! My mother suggested that I go see a dermatologist, but I wouldn’t even know who to trust with this issue. The last thing I need is another doctor looking at me like I’m crazy and thinking that because I’m so young I should just ignore it. I can’t ignore it! It has been going on for far too long and all I want is someone who will listen to me and try to help me. I live in Arizona. Do any of you know of a good dermatologist that I can go see? I hate that this is happening to me and the negative impact it has been having and will continue to have on my life. I’m afraid that it’s only going to get worse and I will wake up one day completely bald! If any of you have advice or suggestions, I would be glad to hear them!
The loss of hair can be sudden, developing in just a few days or over a period of a few weeks. There may be itching or burning in the area before hair loss. The hair follicles are not destroyed and so hair can re-grow if the inflammation of the follicles subsides. People who experience just a few patches of hair loss often have a spontaneous, full recovery without any form of treatment.
How many of us are out there… feeling alone and pretending to not be ashamed. As a child, I had so much hair that my mother used a thinning shears on my locks. In high school I had a glorious mane, cut into a ‘Gypsy’… what great pictures. By my mid-20’s I had to cut my hair short because it was so thin that it wouldn’t hold a style. Was diagnosed with PCOS and told that this syndrome, combined with heredity, caused my hair loss.
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.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, where a person's immune system attacks the body, in this case, the hair follicles. When this happens, the person's hair begins to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The extent of the hair loss varies; in some cases, it is only in a few spots. In others, the hair loss can be greater. On rare occasions, the person loses all of the hair on his or her head (alopecia areata totalis) or entire body (alopecia areata universalis).
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.
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.
Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata is caused by an abnormality in the immune system that damages hair follicles. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, a misguided immune system that tends to attack its own body. As a result, the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. In alopecia areata, for unknown reasons, the body's own immune system attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation. Biopsies of affected skin show immune lymphocytes penetrating into the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. The diagnosis or treatment of these diseases is unlikely to affect the course of alopecia areata. Sometimes, alopecia areata occurs within family members, suggesting a role of genes.
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.
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.
In contrast to trichotillomania, traction alopecia involves unintentional hair loss secondary to grooming styles. It often occurs in persons who wear tight braids (especially “cornrows”) that lead to high tension and breakage in the outermost hairs (Figure 10). Traction alopecia also occurs commonly in female athletes who pull their hair tightly in ponytails. The hair loss usually occurs in the frontal and temporal areas but depends on the hairstyle used. Treatment involves a change in styling techniques. Other hair-growth promoters may be needed in end-stage disease, in which the hair loss can be permanent even if further trauma is avoided.1
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.
Men’s Rogaine Extra Strength Solution is the liquid version of our top pick. It didn’t make our final cut because it includes propylene glycol, which causes irritation in roughly one-third of its users. With that said, Dr. Wolfeld finds that it can be even more effective in practical daily use. In his experience, “the solution can penetrate and get into your scalp a little bit better” than the foam — especially if you’re not taking the time and effort to apply the foam correctly. This seems crazy to us since the foam so quickly dissolved into a liquid in our tests, but if you’re worried, try a one-month supply of the liquid and make the switch to foam if you notice any irritation.
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?
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.
My hopes and prayers are for all of us… that somewhere a doctor, an organic chemist, SOMEONE… ANYONE… will care enough to actually research this. Thank you, all of you, for your tears, suggestions and sharing. I WILL NOT WEAR A WIG… WHAT LIES BEHIND US, WHAT LIES AHEAD OF US, PALES IN COMPARISON TO WHAT IS INSIDE OF US. WE ARE STRONG, VIBRANT… WE WILL PREVAIL.
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.)
Its been 1.5 years since my problem started. I noticed first the texture became course or wiry. Then I wore a hair net and hard hat for 8 years I don’t know if that helped with my condition or not. Then I went to got my hair highlighted within 1 week my hair broke off to 1/2″ just in front the rest was full. Since then I have tried all kinds of hair therapy. The texture changed to being normal but I have Nice shiny almost bald spot on my head. Nothing I tried helped in regrowth. Went over all my mess with my doctor she said no should damage my hair. Also it grows but as soon as it starts looking decent I have breakage. What to do what to do.
I’m a dermatologist and am more interested in telogen effluvium these days because I have it bad–and this time it’s not because I just had a baby. I’m learning more about the gut-skin-hair connection and am suspicious that it has to do with the bacterial flora in your gut. You can learn more about changing your gut flora at BodyEcology.com. Her book is intense but I’ve decided to give it a try after recommending it and seeing it work so well with acne patients.
Hi Lisa, hope you were able to speak with your doctor. I also talked at length with my mom and sister and feel a little better. My mom has hair but it is very thin but I forget she has had surgeries and takes a lot of meds for various conditions and she knows this has caused her hair loss. My sister has PCOS and that has made her hair thin out. I had a good appt with my dermatology nurse. She sat and talked with me and listened and was very interested and caring. I cried for about half the visit. She examined my head and does see the thinning but it isn’t consistent for androgentic alopecia and there aren’t any just out of nowhere hairloss in the family (she seemed more concerned with females than male relatives). What I haven’t stated is that I don’t handle stress well, the last time I underwent major stress was with the acne and she thinks it has taken on another form. To be as brief as I can besides taking two night classes, working full time, single mom no help from their dad ( a teen daughter and preteen son!), major stress at work, separated/divorced, financial stress, found out my dad’s prostate cancer came back, aging parents (they can’t take care of things like they used to and I’m living with them and it’s on me now), and just found my ex husband (not my kids’ dad) has lung/brain cancer and we aren’t on speaking terms and we work for the same company, oh yeah and I have new boyfriend. The last of this list happened all this month. I know I haven’t been eating well, and with the constipation if I’m severely stressed it runs right through me, then I know its bad. So she and I decided to go with biotin & a multivitamin, see my PCP she really wants me back on anti anxiety pills, I will still see him but I want to talk to him more at length because it can cause hairloss, we are continuing my 200 mg of aladactone, my orthotricyclen, eat better, I do have regrowth in my bangs. She is very concerned about my mental health (my BFF says to me “how is my ball of nerves today?” that’s how bad I am!). I know I just need to manage it better and talking to her was the first step because she too went through a stress shedding period (I do remember it, it was a year ago) and her hair is coming back in. She said it will come back for me. But for my own psychological health she said for me to get the rogaine foam for men and use it, just so I can see regrowth faster. She said they say not to use if for women because of the pregnancy issue and that isn’t a factor for me. I also had burning and itching but with the use of Nioxin it is better. She also said only wash my hair once a day (I usually do twice), and use low heat for my hair. She is going to see me in three weeks.
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.
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.
Onion - A study published in the Journal of Dermatology examined the results when onion juice was used in people with alopecia areata. Twenty-three people applied onion juice directly to the scalp twice daily for two months. Participants began to experience hair growth after just two weeks of treatment. At four weeks, hair regrowth was seen in 17 people and at six weeks, hair growth was apparent in 20 people.
Let me give a background of my health issues. I am 54 years old and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (hypothyroid) disease AND going through menopause about 6 years ago. I have a great ob/gyn that will treat both using compounded bio-identical hormones. I have bloodwork at least twice a year, more if I’m not feeling 100%. My testosterone levels were usually on the low side, but still WNL.
I just came across this website and would welcome any recommendations on hair loss specialists in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I have an appointment with my family doctor in a couple weeks, and I’m sure she’s going to run blood work. I’m a 55 yo female and have been experiencing large amounts of hair loss in the past few months. I am generally in good health with the exception of some “structural” issues (scoliosis, etc.). Thank you!
Bald spots, thinning, and breakage can be symptoms of a serious underlying health condition such as alopecia, lupus, thyroid issues, and other common types of disease that cause hair loss. If you have noticed a dramatic increase in shedding or other change in the appearance of your hair, Drs. Robert J. Dorin and Robert H. True can help. During an evaluation at one of our offices in New York, New Jersey, or Boston, we can discuss your options and provide you with solutions to restore your appearance and confidence.
i also have learned that most people are low in their vitamin d levels, which may also contribute to hair loss. i actually had labs done to check for my vitamin d level, by a cardiologist. my heart is fine, thankfully, but she did tell me to take 2000i.u. daily of vitamin d3, specifically. when i researched about it, i found the possible hair connection. so i do take that daily. i will also be buying vitamin b6 and 12 and biotin. and i will research the gut connection because biologically speaking, it makes sense. i will return with another post in a few months and update.
Aside from the falling hair, I’m also experiencing bouts of arrhythmia. There are instances when my heart would beat slowly and it feels like it’s going to break my ribcage. It’s hard to breathe and I get dizzy. Do you think these are related? I don’t want to go to another doctor yet because I haven’t researched yet and because of my many disappointing experiences with them, I would never dare to consult with one without knowing anything.
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.