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.
Even though modern folklore, and even some limited scientific studies, have suggested that the mother's side of the family is largely responsible for a genetic predisposition toward baldness, the truth is balding is not all our mothers' fault. In fact, doctors now say baldness patterns are inherited from a combination of many genes on both sides of the family. There are some environmental factors that come into play, too.
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.
There are numerous diseases that can affect the hair and scalp. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of conditions. Diseases such as alopecia areata, anemia, male/female pattern baldness, and infections of the scalp can all cause significant difficulty and loss of daily well-being. Stanford Dermatology has established a special clinic focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders of the hair.
Happily divorced in 2006. Coming up to my 52nd birthday, my hair is thin and fine, my hairdresser just shakes her head. In pictures all you see is scalp with a faint nimbus that is what’s left of my hair. Lost my job in December. When I interview, no one looks me in the eyes… they talk to my nearly naked scalp. So here I am, wanting to date and find work, and feel constantly judged because of an outward manifestation of something that’s happening inside of (what appears to be) a healthy body. It looks like I’m on chemo, or at the affect of some kind of some huge illness or medication… and shunned. How much of my self-image is subliminally dictated by my lack of hair… working on that with my therapist. LOL!!
Hair transplants will likely lead to better results in the long run (you are introducing new hairs to the balding areas), but you’ll still need to use minoxidil or finasteride after surgery to maintain the results. Like all hair loss treatments, hair transplants are best when combined with other methods, and you’ll want to speak with your doctor to see what combination is best for you.
Though we think our hair is super important, our bodies consider it nonessential (read: we don’t need it to stay conscious). Other bodily functions, like breathing, are more pressing and get first access to the nutrients in our diet. Our hair gets the leftovers. Protein is your hair's best friend, so reach for healthy protein such as eggs and fish and avoid fasting or yoyo dieting. These can deprive your body of these essential building blocks for a healthy scalp and hair. Wild salmon, tuna and trout are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help provide moisture and prevent dry and brittle hair. Foods rich in B vitamins also help keep hair follicles healthy, decreasing the risk for hair loss. Fruits and vegetables, and beans and lean meat sources, such as chicken or turkey breast, are all great sources for vitamin B.
Loose anagen syndrome, which most commonly presents in young children, occurs when hair that is not firmly rooted in the follicle can be pulled out easily. Most of the time, hair falls out after it has reached an arbitrary maximum length. Children with loose anagen syndrome often cannot grow hair beyond a relatively short length. The condition more commonly affects girls with blond or brown hair.
My ob-gyn gave me spirnolactone (?). I like the idea of finding an endocrinologist. I am changing insurance companies right now so as soon as I get sorted, I’ll be making an appointment for sure! I know there is something wrong with me, I lose hair by the handful daily. I’m hoping hair club will at least allow e to build some of my confidence back up while I try to find out what is really going on.
Minoxidil (Rogaine). This is an over-the-counter (nonprescription) medication approved for men and women. It comes as a liquid or foam that you rub into your scalp daily. Wash your hands after application. At first it may cause you to shed hair as hair follicles. New hair may be shorter and thinner than previous hair. At least six months of treatment is required to prevent further hair loss and to start hair regrowth. You need to keep applying the medication to retain benefits.
I want to first write that I am not a fan of hair transplants for women, I personally think that most women with androgenetic alopecia are NOT candidates for this procedure. Having said that, I get emailed all the time from women looking for a good hair transplant surgeon. If you are deadset on having a consultation, please visit the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. The IAHRS (http://www.iahrs.org) is an organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. Read my thoughts about hair transplants here.
I am 18 years old and about a month ago i noticed my hair falling out increasingly fast. It has scared me to death. I’ve gone to see my general practitioner and he said that hair goes through shedding stages and that it is normal. It is definitely not normal for me. I insisted that he check my thyroid and my results came back normal. My family just repeatedly tells me that I’m crazy and have no reason to worry. I have just purchased an apartment with my friends and will start college in the fall. I am terrified to begin my new life with a hair loss problem. My hair has always been my best feature. It has always been thick, healthy, beautifully wavy, and I have always received compliments on it. I am emotionally devastated to watch my hair fall out in large amounts just from taking a shower or brushing my hair. It is nice to know that I’m not crazy, or alone. Thank You All!
My current solution is this : I have bought clip in hair extensions from Sally’s Beauty Supply store (about 100$) I actually just trim them myself and dye the hair left on my head and the extensions using an ammonia free hair dye (L’oreal or Garnier) in order for them to blend. I use a lot of root lifter and fill in the balding spots with Toppik (dark brown) and top it off with a shine spray. I’m telling you, most people have NO clue of my problem. I feel this is the best way to feel like a woman as I continue on this quest to solve my hair loss problem. I’d be happy to tell more of you about the regimine … high maintenance yes, but you know what, we all have to do what we need to do.
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.
Hi, I cannot afford to go to see Dr. Redmond even though I live in NY (he’s just too pricy, I have no insurance, etc…) but I’m going to see the ob/gyn towards then end of the month to get help because I’m convinced I have PCOS (literally all the symptoms) and I was wondering, what birth control is best for hair? I’ve read Dr. Redmond’s site before and I could have sworn that Yaz or Yasmin kept popping up in the faqs section or somewhere on that site as good bcp for hair loss. I realize some people experienced hair loss after going off those pills, but if you have hair loss prior to bcp, I could have sworn Dr. Redmond listed those as good at helping hair loss and I thought some women claimed (elsewhere, not on his site) that they’ve regrown some hair after going on Yasmin. Sorry if I’m rambling, but does anyone know? Thanks. If I have PCOS, which I’m sure I do, I’m pushing for Spironolactone because I’ve read of a bunch of women who’ve had great success at regrowing hair with it, and one story on this site about a woman named “Jen” had great results. I think it took her 2 years, and she allegedly grew back 90-95% of her hair (also taking Metformin, dieting and exercising, and using Nizoral shampoo) so I’m trying to remain optimistic. It’s not just being 27 & single that makes me horrified at losing hair, though it doesn’t help, I’d still be freaking out if I was 57. If I could regrow even 30% to 50% I’d be elated. Because ultimately, I’m holding out hope for stem cells to be all of our “saviors.” Lol. There are 3 companies working on adult stem cell therapies for hair loss (from what I’ve seen here and elsewhere, they are Histogen, Follica, and Aderans) not to mention a Cairo Dermatologist who has successfully helped children with alopecia areata/totalis regrow significant amounts of hair, though only in one study and the results are only preliminary. Who knows. But still, fingers crossed that I can get these stupid hormones under control and stop my daily horror at washing my hair and seeing my once beautiful hair fall away. I always took my hair for granted and often complained about it, but I’d give anything for my thick long hair back. I had fine hair always, but tons of it and I always wore it long. Now I wear it pulled back in a bun to hide as best I can all that scalp showing through. Thanks for this site, it’s keeping me from going off the deep end.
Women also may experience AGA, often with thinning in the central and frontal scalp area but usually without frontal–temporal recession (Figure 3). A history and physical examination aimed at detecting conditions of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism, ovarian abnormalities, menstrual irregularities, acne, and infertility are indicated. Laboratory tests are of little value in women with AGA who do not have characteristics of hyperandrogenism.5
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).
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.
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.
“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.