“There’s people selling pills and creams and lotions and whatever else, and sometimes you can’t even trust what ingredients they have in there,” he warned us when we spoke to him over the phone. Key takeaway: The hair loss industry is crazy dishonest, so we eliminated any treatments (especially homeopathic methods) that aren’t based in concrete, peer-reviewed science.
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, hair health is tied to two things: kidney energy and the blood, which nourish the hair. The solution: acupuncture and Chinese herbs. While there isn't a lot of hard science to back this up, Maureen Conant, a TCM practitioner at Full Bloom Acupuncture in Seattle, says that she's seen women's hair stop falling out and then gradually regenerate after a few months of weekly treatments.
Sinclair Scale: The 5-point Sinclair Scale is a modified visual grading scale. Grade 1 is normal. This pattern is found in all girls prior to puberty, but in only half of women age 80 or over. Grade 2 shows a widening of the central part. Grade 3 shows a widening of the central part and thinning of the hair on either side of the central part. Grade 4 reveals the emergence of diffuse hair loss over the top of the scalp. Grade 5 indicates advanced hair loss. This grade is uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of women.
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.
Age-onset thinning, or “miniaturization,” refers to a progressive decrease of the hair shaft’s diameter and length. This happens at least in part because of androgens like dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that causes hair follicles to literally shrink in diameter. This type of hair thinning is referred to as androgenic alopecia, and it occurs in an equal pattern all over the scalp. However, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, medications, emotional or physical shock, and birth control pills can all affect hormone levels, making it complicated to pinpoint the reason for hair loss. For example, polycystic ovarian disease can exacerbate androgens and manifest as thinning, in which case you could treat the condition and fix hair loss. Get your hormone levels checked to see if an underlying health issue is the root cause.
Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is a disfiguring disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. The disease is spread from person to person through nasal secretions or droplets. Symptoms and signs of leprosy include numbness, loss of temperature sensation, painless ulcers, eye damage, loss of digits, and facial disfigurement. Leprosy is treated with antibiotics and the dosage and length of time of administration depends upon which form of leprosy the patient has.
I had embolization and an angiogram for an AVM on my jaw. I was told there would be some hair loss because of the radiation (The size of a quarter). Well I have lost all but 1/3 of my hair left …not the area of a quarter! Has anyone ever had this happen? My doctor says the hair should grow back, but it has been three months and it is still coming out and no new growth. I don’t know what to do! Any suggestion? As with many women my hair was a part of my identity. I am not bragging but people remember me as the girl with all the hair. I realize we are more than our hair, but it makes me so sad!
Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
Family history will often tell the doctor what type of alopecia a person has. Occasionally, a punch biopsy may be necessary to determine the type of hair loss. Looking at plucked hairs under a microscope can help to tell the difference between alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Other tests might be done to check for autoimmune diseases like lupus that can accompany alopecia.
I agree with Dr. Franks in his opinion that not all board certified dermatologists are experts in the most recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of hair loss, and that a good place to look is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. It's the most academically-oriented of the many groups and alliances and coalitions of hair restoration doctors, and the one that does not require 5 figure payments annually to stay on their "preferred doctor's list," as so many of these groups operate in this fashion.
Im new here and suffer from hair loss. I’m 25 and have developed bald spots about 2 yrs ago back in 09. On the side of my head near my temple areas. I hide the bald spots with headbands every chance i have because i feel as if people just look directly there…im self concious about myself because about a year ago i had a head full of hair and now i dont..I want to seek help just doesnt know where to begin…im currently takin biotin and keep hope alive…
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!
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.
Re-growing hair: It is likely that the hair will grow back even without treatment. It may fall out again, though. Most patients lose their hair more than once before the disease goes away for good. Even people who lose all the hair on their scalp and body can have their hair grow back. When hair loss is widespread (lots of hair loss on the scalp and/or body), there is a greater chance that the hair will not re-grow.
Duke’s dermatologists diagnose and treat hair disorders, such as hair loss (alopecia), excessive hairiness (hirsutism), and abnormal hair growth (hypertrichosis). We understand that abnormal hair growth can be distressing and affect your self confidence. We work closely with you to diagnose the cause of your condition, and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your medical needs, improves your condition, and helps you regain a positive self-image.
I’ve had a small bald patch in my part since I was a teenager..I used to think it was a scar from a bad scrap I got once. I recently cut my hair rather short and donated it and have since noticed alot more hairs falling out. Part of me thinks I notice simply because now they land on my shirt and before they always just fell off. I’m just worried that it could be baldness, because God love him my Dad has been going bald since he was like 19. I’m 20, have had a kid and hypo-thyroidism runs in my mother’s family. I don’t want to go bald, I’m terrified of it actually and was just wondering who the best person to go to, to figure out if this is just a scar or if I’m really going bald. Anyone have any suggestions?
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.
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.
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....
Hair: It’s a natural part of being a human. But when the temperature climbs, and skin is exposed, it’s one of those things that a good many of us want to control. This week, we’re tackling hairlessness, not just the process of hair removal (electric shavers and ingrown-hair treatments and aesthetician-approved tweezers) but also what to buy when you’re losing your hair, and even how to take care of a Sphynx cat. Here, we’re talking to dermatologists and hair-loss doctors about hair-loss treatments that actually work.