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).

Jimenez, J. J., Wikramanayake, T. C., Bergfeld, W., Hordinsky, M., Hickman, J. G., Hamblin, M. R., & Schachner, L. A. (2014). Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 15(2), 115–127.
I just came across this website, I thought by chance but I think not! I have been having scalp pain, like my skull wanted to crack open. Then the tendersness of my hair folicals when the wind would blow. I started to loose lots of hair so went to my family doctor. All the test were done for Thyroid problems…all turned out what they call “normal”. Have you seen the wide range which is considered normal? How can this be when everyone is so different? I am loosing hair as I sit and write this message. The hair just gently falling onto my shoulder. I need to color my hair as it is time from the length of my silver roots but the last time I had my hair touched up, I thought I was going to die from the pain when the stylist tried to just shampoo the color off. Oh my God! Painful, painful. I used to be a stylist so you can imagine my shock when I was told it wasn’t my Tyroid!

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.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
In addition to diagnosing and treating any underlying disorder, treatments for alopecia areata include immunomodulating agents and biologic response modifiers (Table 5).6 Although topical and oral corticosteroids have been used, the treatment of choice in patients older than 10 years with patchy alopecia areata affecting less than 50 percent of the scalp is intralesional corticosteroid injections (Figure 8).6
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.)
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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.”
Hi, my name is Kim, but I guess you already figured that. My story begins when I was a child, but it started getting bad when I was ten. When I was little my mom would notice that I had little bald spots. The doctors just said “she’s not getting enough iron” and they would send me home. My mom would take me home and increase my iron intake and my hair would grow back within two weeks. When I was 10, my hair loss started happening on the back of my head just above my neckline, and we tried increasing my iron, yet nothing. We tried for three months, but it only got worse. Then, my once beautiful locks of hair started coming out more and more all over my head. It was embarrassing because I could not wear pony tails like other girls, I couldn’t curl it, I couldn’t go swimming without a swim cap, and mostly, I couldn’t be a kid. When I turned 11, my mom took me to a dermatologist who couldn’t diagnose it clearly, but he said I had alopecia. He also said that we didn’t catch it in time and that it was all doomed to fall out. He prescribed me Olux and sent me home. I tried it but it caused my scalp to turn red back there where it had all come out, and on different spots on my head. Mind you I was still a little kid and still had to go to school, only to be mocked by the shame and horror that I had to endure as a young girl. Kids are mean, and they too will find every way in their power to ridicule you given the chance. I hated middle school because it was a very bad experience for me. I couldn’t do anything the other kids could physically, and I felt very out of place. My mom found another dermatologist that we went to, and he said that if we had not used the Olux, my hair could have been saved and fully regrown. But by the time we did get to this doctor, I barely had any hair left on my head. My 12th birthday was the day that he prescribed me to take 1200 mg of biotin twice daily, and to take four pills of prednisone a day. Within two months, we noticed little hairs growing from my scalp, a miracle! But we also noticed that my appetite was dangerously increased. I went from being a size 2 in women’s pants to a size 15 in those two months as well. I was so puffed out from the swelling that the prednisone caused that I couldn’t wear shoes that I had to put my feet in. I went from 120 lbs to 170 lbs as a 12 year old. I was only fortunate that my school allowed me to wear a hat to cover my “progress in distress”to allow myself and others to pay attention to the teachers in class, not my lack of hair. By the time summer came around my grandma took me to a wig store and bought me my first real hair wig. When I got back to school that next august, my peers thought that my hair had grown back, well, at least some of them did. Some of them had conspiracies that I was an alien trying to blend in, while others tried to plot to snatch it away from me. I knew people were planning to do this because I saw the way they watched me, looking at my every move, waiting for the chance to intercept. I stayed paranoid that they would do this.

There can be several factors behind hair loss such as environmental effects, aging, too much stress, excessive smoking, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, genetic factors, scalp infections, use of wrong or chemically enriched hair products, certain medicines and medical conditions like thyroid disorder, autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), iron-deficiency anemia, and chronic illnesses.

What is a Dermatologist? A certification by the Board of Dermatology; practitioners treat pediatric and adult patients with disorders of the skin, mouth, hair and nails as well as a number of sexually transmitted diseases. They also have expertise in the care of normal skin, the prevention of skin diseases and cancers, and in the management of cosmetic disorders of the skin such as hair loss and scars.

The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
Brushing your hair every morning about 30 mins and evening about the same duration of time with rounded tip hair-brush, will do recondition your scalp with better blood circulations. Do not use comb, it will damage your scalp. Also take hair supplements/vitamins. Believeth or not, ladies still flirting on me, even-though I’m in my mid 40s with lots of hair. 🙂
I have struggled with my hair for a long time now. I am quickly approaching my 40s and I have bad hair quality. Recently, I have also noticed that my hair has stopped growing as it used to. A few years ago I went to the salon on a monthly basis. Now, it takes me almost two months before I even need to cut my hair! I am desperate and I really need help right now. Hair is one of the most important parts of a woman and I don’t want to give up on this one. I went to the doctors but they didn’t found anything wrong with me. The exams I took showed that I am healthy and there’s no reason for this to even happen to me. Please, I really need hair advice urgently!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Cicatricial alopecias tend to cause permanent hair loss. These disorders destroy hair follicles without regrowth and follow an irreversible course.21 It is likely that they involve stem-cell failure at the base of the follicles, which inhibits follicular recovery from the telogen phase.21 Inflammatory processes, including repetitive trauma as in trichotillomania, also may lead to stem-cell failure. Other processes may be caused by autoimmune, neoplastic, developmental, and hereditary disorders. Among these are discoid lupus, pseudopelade in whites, and follicular degeneration syndrome in blacks. Dissecting cellulitis, lichen planopilaris, and folliculitis decalvans also may cause scarring alopecia. Some disorders respond to treatment with intralesional steroids or antimalarial agents.21 Patients with these conditions should be referred to a physician who specializes in hair loss disorders.
Hair transplants are not an options for a very large proportion of women with genetic hair loss as the pattern of hair loss is diffuse or the amount of thinning is not suitable for restoration.  Also, hair transplantation is not an option for women with chronic telogen effluvium, nor for women with active frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen planopilaris and a host of other conditions. 
Oops forgot to mention also went to Dermatologist who said it is probably just stress related but I really don’t stress ever. I am going back for a scalp biopsy just to be sure nothing going on there. I did lose 12 kg over a 15 week period last year (ending about May – hair loss started in July) but it was done properly eating well and just increasing my exercise level so not sure if this is related other than that I am totally lost as to why I am BALD.
CURRENT REGIMEN: 6 weeks ago I purchased Hair Essentials… and am seeing some fine hair growth. Weight loss & exercise can also heighten follicular dormancy. (Have lost 90 lbs. in the last year.) Important to maintain 50-60mg/daily protein levels, as well as routine multi-vitamin, higher levels of B-Complex, D and Calcium levels while dieting… heavily impacts hair, nails & skin. Am researching possible relationship between gastrointestinal health and hair loss.
You are what you eat – and that’s true for your hair as well. A diet containing mostly whole foods, especially the skin of plants such as cucumbers, potatoes, peppers, and even bean sprouts are rich in the mineral silica and contribute to hair strength. Foods like lean meats are high in iron and are essential to the protein-based, building blocks of hair growth.
Hello ladies, I’m 32 yrs old and suffering from hair thinning. My hair just seems to have stopped growing. It’s now half of what it used to be 2 years ago! GP did some extensive tests, nothing came out. Might be birth control (on Quasense for 2 years – hair thinning started after that) but can’t stop it (it’s the only BC that’s worked for my very horrible cramps). Anyway, any suggestions for doctors (dermatologists/endo/any other) in San Francisco Bay Area or somewhere in California?
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.
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?
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
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.
“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.
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That said, there are products that don’t have FDA approval or clearance, but may help prevent hair loss. For example, shampoos with ketoconazole, a chemical with anti-DHT properties, is widely used to treat fungal infections but has become popular among consumers as a hair loss treatment. It makes sense — research shows that ketoconazole actually has beneficial effects on hair growth (especially for those with seborrheic dermatitis).


I’m typing on my iPad so forgive the many mistakes I will make. Thank you so much fornrplying I’ve been wondering where u and Pilar are. And good for u for not visiting. Ive had my moments where I can stay away and eve feel good. I had all of my extensions removed and I think it has affected the way I feel. But bit feels so good for them to be gone! And in all honesty my hair is in even better shape than it was before I got them. My ends are not as wispy as they were. I wore them for two months and they really made me feel better but I could never wash my hair like I wanted and every time my husband touched my head he said when are u going to get these out! Anyway I’ve felt not as good since I had them removed. I like to hibernate but my husband is a social butterfly; I use to be……but we All know how this changes you! Please please let me know how the propecia works. If there are any side affects, etc….like weight gain, moodiness, gloating etc…..there is a lady bin our office on spire and I have been reading the horrific side affects it has and I’m wondering about propecia. I hope u r doing really good. U sounded really strong in ur post and I’m glad. And yes I am deeply depresses over this. I would so get a hair system but my husband is soooooo anti fake anything. Which drives me crazy. I just want to feel better. Have a blessed nite and thank u. Please keep in touch and thank u for replying I felt I would hear from u. Have u spoken to the doc since u ve been on pro?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system, which is your body’s method of protecting you from disease, turns against itself and attacks healthy cells in your body. It’s not clear what causes any autoimmune diseases. There is evidence that they tend to run in families. And it’s also known that women, particularly African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American women, are more prone to getting them.
Minoxidil should be applied twice daily, and one year of use is recommended before assessing its efficacy.6,7 Women also may benefit from adjunctive treatments such as estrogen (hormone replacement or oral contraceptives) or spironolactone (Aldactone). In men, minoxidil may work better in areas with higher concentrations of miniaturized hairs, and its efficacy may be increased by the synergistic use of once-daily tretinoin (Retin-A) applied at separate times during the day.6,8 Minoxidil does not work on completely bald areas and has relatively few side effects; a dosage of 2 mL per day of a 2-percent solution costs about $10.00 to $12.50 per month.
There is no cure for the condition.[2] Efforts may be used to try to speed hair regrowth such as cortisone injections.[1][2] Sunscreen, head coverings to protect from cold and sun, and glasses if the eyelashes are missing is recommended.[2] In some cases the hair regrows and the condition does not reoccur.[2] In others hair loss and regrowth occurs over years.[2] Among those in whom all body hair is lost less than 10% recover.[5]
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.
If a pregnant woman comes in contact with crushed or broken Finasteride tablets, wash the contact area right away with soap and water. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in Finasteride, a healthcare provider should be consulted. If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby swallows or comes in contact with the medicine in Finasteride, the male baby may be born with sex organs that are not normal.
Hi there.. I to am experiencing hair loss.. lots of it.. Doesn’t even feel like hair.. and my scalp hurts.. almost like a throbbing.. I have leukemia and have had since 2005 but doesn’t appear to present a problem. I’ve had trouble a couple of times in the past few years due to stress (lost a sister in a car wreck) but my hair got healthy again. This time around there has been no stress.. I was low in B12 (261), however, I’ve been getting shots and its up to 450. They’ve ruled out thyroid.. Any ideas what else it could be and how I should move forward in figuring it out? I’m very anxious.. I’ve always had long very thick coarse hair but always healthy.. now it looks limp and always feels dirty..
I took accutane for my acne for about five months ( I specifically asked my nurse practitioner if accutane could cause hair loss & after she told me no). I felt optimistic about reducing my acne & breakouts. During the fifth month I noticed shedding. Three months later I have a thinning hair line, had to cut my hair and my self esteem (already lowered by years of acne) is non-existent!
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.
The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on the scalp. These patches are often several centimeters or less. Hair loss might also occur on other parts of the face, like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body. Some people lose hair in a few places. Others lose it in a lot of spots.
Lichen planopilaris, a type of alopecia, occurs when a common skin condition, called lichen planus, affects the scalp. Lichen planopilaris may cause a dry, flaky rash to appear on the skin that causes hair on the scalp to fall out in clumps. The scalp may also become red, irritated, and covered in small white or red itchy, painful, or burning bumps.
I’m going to see an endocrinologist, a trichologist, a hematologist and a gastroenterologist and maybe this Dr. Redmond. I’m done with ‘hair loss experts’ pushing cosmetic surgery and trying the all around approach. My insurance is crap, but….Anyway, thanks all for your stories and knowing I’m not alone in hair loss and the fight against disinterested medical establishment. xxx
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