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!
In 2010, a genome-wide association study was completed that identified 129 single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with alopecia areata. The genes that were identified include those involved in controlling the activation and proliferation of regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, interleukin-2, interleukin-2 receptor A, and Eos (also known as Ikaros family zinc finger 4), as well as the human leukocyte antigen. The study also identified two genes, PRDX5 and STX17, that are expressed in the hair follicle.[18]
For the first time in my life also, I have been experiencing a lot of scalp pain. I think it is because this time, it is not slow and diffuse like it was in my teenage years, at the onset of PCOS. Quitting the pill after 5 years of dependency meant a major hormonal shock to the system which provoked both a mix of both Telogen Effluvium (shock loss), and Androgenic Alopecia (the testosterone from the PCOS back in full form, killing hair follicles).
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.
Sea salt has the ability to stabilize hormones, alkalize the body (which is SUPER important), and do a plethora of other beneficial things. Due to very weak experimentation by doctors, most people believe the stigma that salt causes high blood pressure and we should avoid salt. It’s true, TABLE (or refined) salt causes blood pressure to rise. Table salt is sucked dry of 80 minerals in order to make it look pure/white. Unrefined light grey salt (aka sea salt) contains 80 minerals our bodies need. It has the ability to LOWER blood pressure, stabilize hormones, correct pH levels, prevent acid reflux, detox, decrease hypertension, strengthen the immune system, helps with chronic fatique, etc, etc…
The tricheologist advised me to take four (4) fish oil -1000 (blackmores brand) – this also helped sooth the scalp can reduced the itchiness down further. Using the B Complex and the fish oil daily I also saw more hair growth over the period of eight months and am continuing on this regime. I try aim at 300 minutes of walking a week and drinking water. I don’t drink soft drinks nor have sweets and try to avoid processed food.

Hair loss often occurs in patients suffering or recovering from a medical condition or illness. Amongst a growing list of issues and concerns, hair loss can then lead to additional stress and anxiety as the amount of hair loss becomes more prevalent and noticeable to others. Although there are a vast number of health issues that result in hair loss, some of the most common diseases include:

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.

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.
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!
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 am 30 and am trying Rogaine and spironolactone but only stopped the loss and I want to try Propecia. I know about the side effects for a male fetus, but I have chosen myself that I do not ever want to create a child out of my body. I will adopt or foster, but have intense lockeophobia. I even agreed to sign a legal document saying such, but my doctor would still not prescribe me propecia unless I had had a hysterectomy. He said it was for safety reasons, but as far as I understand it the only safety issue would be to such a fetus that will not exist. So I am confused about his reservations.
Alopecia areata is not contagious.[9] It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting heredity may be a factor.[9] 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.[14] In addition, alopecia areata shares genetic risk factors with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease.[3] It may be the only manifestation of celiac disease.[15][16]
A medical event or condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, childbirth, surgery, or a fever, typically triggers this type of hair loss. Telogen effluvium may also occur as a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency—iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women—or the use of certain medications, such as isotretinoin, prescribed for acne, or warfarin, a blood thinner. Starting or stopping oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may also cause this type of hair loss.
This blog is great in all the support and understanding it provides, but I had a pretty hard time finding any suggestions for treatments that have actually helped anyone. I’m 22 and my hair has been rapidly shedding over the past 5 months. It’s also gotten thin and brittle. After 2 blood screenings, a dermatologist visit, and a visit to my general practitioner, nothing has improved. The doctor’s told me to wait it out, and that sometimes this “just happens”. They tested my hairs and saw that most of them were in the “resting” telogen phase, and decided I had Telogen Effluvium (TE) for undetermined causes.
Interesting reading all the stories, I had great hair until 15 years ago,and then the texture of my hair drastically changed. It be became “dead hair” wirery. I call it it my chicken feathers just taking its time to fall out which it has done over a long period of time, but I now have bald spots on the sides and thinning in my bangs. I started buying wigs years ago knowing that this was something that was inevitable. I’ve had all the tests and tried all the products, nothing..just curious if anyone else has had the “dead hair” issue
I don’t know in which proportion including diet, all of these things occurred but I believe A-Ret abuse was a large part of it as evidenced by blood tests taken by my PCP which I was never able to get re-evaluated due to doctor apathy. My sister is experiencing an unrelated bout of hair loss concentrated at her crown and feels hopeless. I’m sending her to this board and to all of your suggestions right away. My problem seems to have subsided but I’m remaining only optimistically cautious and still very vigilant about monitoring hair loss. Thank you everyone again for contributing to this board.

Each day the scalp hair grows approximately 0.35 mm (6 inches per year), while the scalp sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, and more with shampooing.1 Because each follicle passes independently through the three stages of growth, the normal process of hair loss usually is unnoticeable. At any one time, approximately 85 to 90 percent of scalp follicles are in the anagen phase of hair growth. Follicles remain in this phase for an average of three years (range, two to six years).1 The transitional, or catagen, phase of follicular regression follows, usually affecting 2 to 3 percent of hair follicles. Finally, the telogen phase occurs, during which 10 to 15 percent of hair follicles undergo a rest period for about three months. At the conclusion of this phase, the inactive or dead hair is ejected from the skin, leaving a solid, hard, white nodule at its proximal shaft.2 The cycle is then repeated.
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.
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 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.
I’m 42 and I noticed my front top and sides thinning about a year ago – a lot coming out when brushing after washing. I went to the doctor who happened to be African-American (I’m caucasion) and she actually asked me if I wore “corn rows” a lot! Needless to say, she was worthless and just prescribed me something for dandruff, which I do not have! I went to an endocrinologist to see if my thyroid or menopause was the problem – tests turned out honky dorie! Now I can see through the top of my head when the sun shines on it (scar-y) and I’m having to cover over the temple areas with sweeps of hair from the other side (interesting, the right side is much thinner). I will say that I’ve gone through hell and back with a mentally ill young adult but if it was stress, wouldn’t it have come out quicker than just in the last year (I’ve been dealing with his illness for 7 years now)?? I’ve heard that sometimes it takes 2 or 3 blood tests and doctors to finally see that one has thyroid problems. Is this the experience of others, and would I be throwing my money away by seeing my general practitioner?
Sea salt has the ability to stabilize hormones, alkalize the body (which is SUPER important), and do a plethora of other beneficial things. Due to very weak experimentation by doctors, most people believe the stigma that salt causes high blood pressure and we should avoid salt. It’s true, TABLE (or refined) salt causes blood pressure to rise. Table salt is sucked dry of 80 minerals in order to make it look pure/white. Unrefined light grey salt (aka sea salt) contains 80 minerals our bodies need. It has the ability to LOWER blood pressure, stabilize hormones, correct pH levels, prevent acid reflux, detox, decrease hypertension, strengthen the immune system, helps with chronic fatique, etc, etc…
The truth is, the amount of propylene glycol in hair loss treatments is not likely to cause any real harm and the FDA has given the chemical approval for many uses. But even though it is safe, we wanted to ensure that our top picks would be as comfortable to use as possible. So when Dr. Khadavi told us that “a third of my patients get irritated from minoxidil products because of propylene glycol,” we decided to cut any treatments with it. In any case, it’s the minoxidil that helps curb hair loss and not the propylene glycol.

What I hate most is how I feel about myself. As others have shared, I don’t want to wash or fix my hair any more than I have to for fear of lossing even more hair, thus I don’t want to leave the house. I also don’t like that most health care professionals give you a standard excuse for the hair loss: you’re getting older, hair thins; it’s hereditary; or the worst one..it’s due to stress! I wasn’t stressed until I pick a clump of hair from the shower drain or my hairbrush daily!


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.
Honestly, for female pattern baldness (what I have) I don’t think there really is any effective treatment — the only hope is learning to cope psychologically. (Just my humble opinion) So I don’t totally “hate” him for not being able to help me medically regarding the hair — but he was such a let down. I really expected more. (he’s an excellent dermatologist, for skin things at least)
i’m currently 41. I started noticing my hair texture changes first, when I was 17, a junior in high school. as a child and teenager I had thick, curly hair. and, i started dying it in 8the grade, just the bang area, for the whole 80’s new wave look. in high school i’d dye it blue/black as i entered a new “phase” of the 80’s, lol. the texture of my hair started to feel thinner, and was getting knottier. and i noticed it was mostly the top layer; my underlying layer of hair was still bouncy. then i noticed i couldn’t wear bangs any longer. i was sad, confused and embarrassed. this was before the internet so basically i just dealt with it not knowing what was going on and no one i could talk to.
I decided to take a vitamin B complex – one a day; I increased my intake of green leafy and orange vegetables and onions, I also throw in a small amount of beef and chicken..i.e. eating lots of stirfries, curries and salads. I also now include in my diet black beans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I like spaghetti with red tomato sauce and use parsely and fenugeek . I also started using a product called Hopes Relief (the shampoo and conditioner) – anything else left a burning sensation on my scalp. This helped greatly with healing my scalp redness and reduced the itching. I was seeing an improvement in regrowth. I went to a trichecologist who advised me I have lost 10% of my hair permanently as she could see the scarring and places where the follicles would not grow.
Furthermore, Penn dermatopathologists developed an even more advanced method called the HoVert technique for diagnosing hair loss and other disorders from a scalp biopsy. The technique uses a unique horizontal and vertical testing approach that provides a greater amount of information to the referring dermatologist than standard industry longitudinal scalp biopsies.
“While nutritious eating isn’t going to bring your hair back by any means, eating plenty of protein-rich foods and healthy fats can make the hair that you still have look thicker and shinier.” Skimping on the B vitamins in particular can interfere with the formation of hair cells and, therefore, hair growth. The best sources of Bs are protein-packed foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and pork, as well as leafy greens such as spinach. (These foods are also good for melting belly fat, so it’s a win win).
I would like to encourage you to join the Network if you have not already. There are so many wonderful women in this beloved Network that would love to hear your stories. The emotional toll that hair loss can have on women can be devestating and knowing that we are not alone helps to set us on a firmer foundation as we walk this journey called “hairloss.”
I haven’t seen any information about DHT blockers which I’ve read iis the leading cause of hair loss. It’s a “bad” hormone released that causes hair loss. Any comment or recommendations? One supplement to reverse DHT contains saw palmetto, which I’ve heard isn’t recommended for women. Totally stumped, depressed and irritated with so many suggestions that may or NOT work. Compassionately sending this message to all those suffering with hair loss….it’s totally devistating.
Thank you Diana. If you find out any more information, I would appreciate it. I have a dermatologist across the street from the Skin and Cancer Institute. I’m still not sure who to start with, the dermatologist or an endocronologist. I left a message for my PCP today to see if she is comfortable working with female hair loss or if not if she could refer me to someone who specializes in it. I will let you know what I hear back. In the meantime, thanks for your support. Take care.
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 look forward to seeing you both there. There are quite a few ladies that have experiences with different wigs and head coverings, including a really wonderful stylist that works with women who are losing their hair. She can also be of great help for those looking into different wig or hair system options. Her name is Mystique and here is her page:

I want to say that all of you are very courageous and sharing. I appreciate everything I have read here. Thankfully, I am starting out in a slightly better position – I still have a fair amount of hair left. I started with a HUGE amount of hair. For the last 6 – 12 months, I have been losing handfulls of hair in the shower every morning, then some more when I comb it out, then a bit more when I put styling product in it, then just a bit more during the day. The shower is the huge hit, though. I’m 37 and on a ton of medication – synthroid, neurontin (an amitryptiline derivative), anti-depressants, and a host of pain medications for a degenerative back problem. I brought my hair loss up to a doc around the time it started, since I was already on synthroid, he re-tested my levels, and said everything was fine. My hair structure has always been on the thin side, but there was just so damn much it didn’t matter – now there is a lot less. What used to take upwards of 20 minutes to dry with a dryer, now takes 5. I’ve been worried about it for quite a while, and didn’t know what to do. I started my on-line research today with hair extensions and stumbled on this site. I am encouraged that I’m starting my search for an answer relatively early in my hair loss journey. I have some great advice and questions to go in to see my doc about. If anyone has any recommendations for the Boise, ID area for a dermatologist and endocrinologist, I would really appreciate it.
Hello Ladies. I love this site. I will be brief. I have only been to 1 Endo and they told me my glucose was pre diabetic but that my TESTOSTERONE was too high. Not over the line but right there. He put me on the cure all of metformin but I haven’t taken it yet. I am trying to lower my testosterone by diet and exercise and also watching everything I eat. Its not doing much but I have been doing this for about a month now. The holidays kill me with wine, coffee, and sweets. I have read the reviews and will probably pick up that book but also hit another endo and a dermo. You guys keep the faith. PS In Houston. Any suggestions on a dermo or endo you like, shoot them my way.
During this procedure, surgeons remove a narrow strip of scalp and divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts, each containing just a few hairs. Each graft is planted in a slit in the scalp created by a blade or needle in the area of missing hair. Hair grows naturally this way, in small clusters of one to four follicles, called follicular units. As a result, the graft looks better than the larger "plugs" associated with hair transplants of yesteryear.
I want to say that all of you are very courageous and sharing. I appreciate everything I have read here. Thankfully, I am starting out in a slightly better position – I still have a fair amount of hair left. I started with a HUGE amount of hair. For the last 6 – 12 months, I have been losing handfulls of hair in the shower every morning, then some more when I comb it out, then a bit more when I put styling product in it, then just a bit more during the day. The shower is the huge hit, though. I’m 37 and on a ton of medication – synthroid, neurontin (an amitryptiline derivative), anti-depressants, and a host of pain medications for a degenerative back problem. I brought my hair loss up to a doc around the time it started, since I was already on synthroid, he re-tested my levels, and said everything was fine. My hair structure has always been on the thin side, but there was just so damn much it didn’t matter – now there is a lot less. What used to take upwards of 20 minutes to dry with a dryer, now takes 5. I’ve been worried about it for quite a while, and didn’t know what to do. I started my on-line research today with hair extensions and stumbled on this site. I am encouraged that I’m starting my search for an answer relatively early in my hair loss journey. I have some great advice and questions to go in to see my doc about. If anyone has any recommendations for the Boise, ID area for a dermatologist and endocrinologist, I would really appreciate it. 

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. 

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.

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).
Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly.
i’m currently 41. I started noticing my hair texture changes first, when I was 17, a junior in high school. as a child and teenager I had thick, curly hair. and, i started dying it in 8the grade, just the bang area, for the whole 80’s new wave look. in high school i’d dye it blue/black as i entered a new “phase” of the 80’s, lol. the texture of my hair started to feel thinner, and was getting knottier. and i noticed it was mostly the top layer; my underlying layer of hair was still bouncy. then i noticed i couldn’t wear bangs any longer. i was sad, confused and embarrassed. this was before the internet so basically i just dealt with it not knowing what was going on and no one i could talk to.

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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