Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles.[4] Risk factors include a family history of the condition.[2] Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected.[2] The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.[2]


THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it's important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
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.
Androgenic alopecia, also known as "male pattern baldness" and “female pattern baldness,” can strike younger as well as older people. It's genetic, so having a family history can predict if you might inherit it. In both men and women, it's linked to having an excess of male hormones (androgens) around the hair follicles, which can block hair growth. Women are more likely to develop androgenic alopecia after menopause, when they have fewer female hormones.
Alopecia areata is characterized by a localized area of complete hair loss (Figure 5). This may extend to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis)12,13 (Figure 6). Alopecia areata is probably secondary to an autoimmune reaction involving antibody, T-cell, and cytokine-mediated losses.14–16 The trait appears to be polygenic, affecting 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the population, with men and women equally affected.14 On microscopic evaluation, “exclamation-point” hairs are found, in which the proximal hair shaft has thinned but the distal portion remains of normal caliber (Figure 7). Spontaneous recovery usually occurs within six to 12 months, with hair in areas of re-growth often being pigmented differently.1,13 Prognosis is not as good if the condition persists longer than one year, worsens, or begins before puberty. Persons with a family history of the disorder, atopy, or Down syndrome also have a poorer prognosis.1 The recurrence rate is 30 percent, and recurrence usually affects the initial area of involvement.12 Thyroid abnormalities, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia frequently accompany alopecia areata.1,12,14
decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride because Finasteride decreases PSA levels. Changes in PSA levels will need to be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Finasteride. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have not been taking Finasteride as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.

Eyebrows unfortunately is a different ball game, that is skin transplantation from skin at the back of your head where your hair grows. This means that you would have to trim your eyebrows for the rest of your life. The cost for this surgical treatment is $5000, and again covered by Care Credit. Not sure if I want to do this. I am very light blond. I may just consider permanent eye brow tatoe. I have seen beautiful work – cost around $500.
“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.
Triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog), 0.1 mL diluted in sterile saline to 10 mg per mL, is injected intradermally at multiple sites within the area to a maximum dosage of 2 mL per visit.6 The main side effect, atrophy, can be minimized by not injecting too superficially and by limiting the volume per site and the frequency of injection (no more often than every four to six weeks).6 Because spontaneous resolution often occurs in patients with alopecia areata, assessing treatment response can be difficult. Intralesional steroids should be discontinued after six months if no improvement has been noted.

One of the most significant concerns for patients following a diagnosis of cancer is the side effect of losing their hair. For many, especially for those who have experienced a full, thick head of hair throughout their lifetime, the thought of losing it can be devastating. Chemotherapy treatment owes its effectiveness to a variety of powerful medications which are designed to quickly attack the compromised, cancerous cells. Unfortunately, in addition to treating cancer, the medications also attack the roots of your hair. This can cause the hair to fall out very quickly, even in large clumps, or gradually over time. Some of the most common medications leading to hair loss include:
I stumbled on this website accidentally and am amazed at all your stories. I think it’s so wonderful that you all support each other in this way. I’m so sorry that you’re all missing your beautiful hair that you previously had. I am 51 and don’t really know what it would be like to have beautiful hair. I’ve always had what my mother calls “Peter Pan” hair. It never grew up. When I was three years old, I finally started to grow some hair. It got to be the way some other very young childrens’ hair was–very soft, thin, and fine. There just wasn’t a whole lot of it to begin with. You could easily see my scalp in a lot of places on my head. Well, over the course of the next 48 years, the only change in my hair is that I’ve been steadily losing what little there was to start with. I’ve never been able to put it in a pony tail or pig tails because it looked ridiculous and the scrunchy or rubber bands wouldn’t stay in anyway. There just wasn’t enough hair. I’d have to twist the rubber bands around like 20 times to try to get them to stay in–unsuccessfully. I started to notice the diffuse thinning around the age of 30. Now, at 51, people are always asking me if I’m on chemo. I’ve seen a doctor for the depression and anxiety after my separation from my husband 10 years ago and the resulting loss of my 7-year old son, but not for the loss of my hair as I thought (and was told by my internist) that nothing could be done for me. I was very ill with the depression for years, and even now can only work PRN at my hospital; but on the days I’m not working, I don’t leave the house, I don’t eat, I don’t even get out of bed. I don’t think my hair loss is due to the Effexor XR that I take for the depression, but I’m wondering if it could be from the poor nutrition and the fact that I take no supplemental vitamins. Should I go to a doctor even at this late date? The thinning has gotten so severe on my temples, crown, and above my ears that I wonder if improved nutrition would even help. What kind of doctor would I see even if I thought it would help? I’m very embarrassed by the way I look, and very lonely since I can’t date because men want nothing to do with me and most women seem embarrassed to be seen with me. I’ve tried to live a happy life despite the way I look, but I think it would be wonderful if there were actually some way I could be helped to look like a normal woman. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you for taking the time. 

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.
I recently noticed I was loosing hair on the front of my head, I started using the rogain Foam and after a month my hair started falling out even more. It’s gotten really bad, I can see my entire scalp now and my hair is falling out in chunks. Rogain advised you loose hair making room for new ones to grow, has anyone had any experience using rogain? Is This normal?
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 too visited the infamous-overpriced Dr Redmond from NYC. I’m on spiro and all the meds for 7 months, going on 8. Forget regrowth, forget halting of shedding, the rate of hair shedding refuses to slow. (I’m also certain its PCOS and not lupus that causing my hairloss, thoroughly medically investigated my hairloss. ) At the start of my treatment, I cut my hair to bout 5 inch lenght, so I’d easily be able to tell thinning versus halt versus regrowth. And all I can say is, I have less hair than I started with. Unfortunately even a physicians intervention is incapable of helping me. To all those out there, atleast this approach before scratching it off your list, its the least you can do.
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.
Interesting. After reading these posts, I called a dermatologist in the Houston, TX area asking for an appt. and whether he prescribes medication for hair loss in women. I mentioned Spironolactone. He told the nurse that he does not, and that it can actually cause hair loss. This is exactly the frustration we all experience. You hear a different opinion from each Dr. and don’t know what the right answer is. If anyone knows of a good endocrinologist in Houston, please let me know. I’ve been losing hair for about 5 yrs (now 39 yrs) and have to use hair-loc extensions just to feel confidence when in public. I did not see much about Propecia in these posts. Have any women taken it w/ much success?

The HairMax Ultima 12 LaserComb ($395) makes for a great addition to any hair loss regimen — provided you can afford it. Dr. Wolfeld notes that it’s a popular option in his practice. “Some people like the action of combing something through their hair,” he says. “They find that to be a little bit easier to do as part of their routine in the morning.” Dr. Khadavi also recommends using a laser treatment of some kind in conjunction with other treatments. “Lasers do help in stimulating the hair into the growth phase. We don’t know the exact mechanism of how it works, but it definitely helps.”


Medications are available that encourage regrowth of hair. These medications, such as topical minoxidil* and oral finasteride, are not appropriate for everyone with hair loss. Hair growth medications work to varying degrees in different people, and only trigger complete regrowth in a minority of individuals. They work best for people who have smaller amounts of hair loss. Hair loss returns if you stop taking the medication. Finasteride is not appropriate for women who may become pregnant, as it can cause severe birth defects. Spironolactone, although not approved by Health Canada for this purpose, is a medication that may help women who are losing hair due to excess testosterone. Biotin is a vitamin that makes hair and nails stronger and is often used as an adjuvant therapy.
Hey, lady. I am glad for you that you got the extensions removed if it makes you feel better, but if it doesn’t then you should get them put back in. I understand wanting your husband to feel you are attractive, etc. but if he did not like them but you did…maybe you should talk to him and tell him how much better they made you feel about your appearance? A thought anyway. I am totally single so don’t have anyone to please but myself but I think in our hair loss, we have to make ourselves feel better first. That produces an effect that trickles down to everyone important to us in our lives. I’m sure your husband thinks you look gorgeous either way but you have to do what makes YOU feel gorgeous!
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.
“I think their effectiveness is not as significant as finasteride or minoxidil,” says Dr. Wolfeld, “however, it’s something that can be used quite easily by patients at home. If they use it two or three times a week, I tell them it can help to thicken their hair.” Results can take up to 18 months to show up, so Dr. Wolfeld stresses that patience is a virtue.
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.
Testosterone replacement is becoming popular for men. Cotsarelis warns that this may accelerate hair loss. Propecia might help -- but because it prevents testosterone breakdown, it might affect the dose of male hormone replacement therapy. Cotsarelis warns men taking both Propecia and testosterone replacement to make sure their doctor carefully monitors their testosterone levels.
I have used Rogaine (5% – the real risk is if your pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. I didn’t think there was a point to taking “women” rogaine which is a 2% solution). You can buy this in sam’s club with no prescription. I think it may have caused some stabilization but it was hard for me to use it because it would make my hair oily and the thinning would appear worse. So I use it randomly and not twice a day as it should be used.
I’m dieing I needed someone to listen to me.I ended up leaving my home town to see an endroconologist in the city yep I had Hasimotos thyrioditis which wasn’t just one symptom I had them all serve fatigue,bad skin,nails,hair,my digestive system wasn’t working properly,that was a major shut down to my body coming from someone who always was fit and look after my body.got me on medication and away I go but wasn’t that easy,I was really sick ,my medication was being prescribed by my doctor but over medicating me ,I didn’t no much and kept returning to my doctor always feeling unwell to look after my small children being a single mum all on my own with no family and friends to help. Sick of feeling like this back to my endo for more test sick of the pain that was starting in my scalp and hair loss bad,I went of my medication because I felt better of it,well that was the biggest mistake ,he said my body would have gone into thyriod storm and would end up in ICU,and not to ever do that again.Well 8 years on the pain in my scalp s still bad, iv seen specialist about my hair told me I had alepecia 8 injection in my scalp,and what a painful night.I have hair shedding for the last 4 years and I cry a lot from the pain and the lose of hair .I have very long hair and when I plait it it’s the thickness of two pencils,bbbbbuuuuttt my doctor says there is nothing wrong with my hair,I feel like punching her. I have spent years reading books,and articles trying to fix myself but still nothing,I have seen naturopaths, physiotherapist ,psychologist to talk about the pain in my head and feeling sick all a time ,it’s like we’re do you go.So ladies in all the articles Iv read I still have no help with my hair and it seems lots out there like me.looks like we have to suck it up
Trichotillomania is a psychiatric impulse-control disorder.17 The mean age of onset is eight years in boys and 12 years in girls, and it is the most common cause of childhood alopecia.1,15 Although any part of the body can be involved, the scalp is the most common. Patients also may eat the plucked hairs (trichophagy), causing internal complications such as bowel obstruction.18 The hair loss often follows a bizarre pattern with incomplete areas of clearing (Figure 9). The scalp may appear normal or have areas of erythema and pustule formation. A scalp biopsy may be necessary to rule out other etiologies, because patients may not acknowledge the habit.
I am on Arava and my hair has become extremely coarse, frizzy, and tight tight curls in the back. The sides of my hair are pure frizz and the top is straight, with frizz. It used to be smooth and so easy to manage. Now it takes so long and it looks awful. Anyone find the same thing and anything that helps? I have tried so very many hair products, so has my beautician. She says it is like I have 3 completely different textures on my head.
The Rogaine rep we spoke to explained that the different packaging (and therefore different prices) has to do with the FDA-approval process: “We discovered in clinical trials that the hair loss patterns between men and women are different,” she said by way of explanation. “Men typically have that bald spot on the crown of their head, where women generally have a general thinning throughout, but concentrated more on the top of the head. So for FDA approval, we had to come up with two different, gender-specific products, so the directions were more explanatory.”
Without a doubt, poor nutrition (often caused by eating disorders and crash dieting) is a common trigger of temporary hair loss. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may respond by shutting down hair growth—resulting in hair loss. Great source of protein include red meat and dairy products, as well as quinoa, legumes, and nuts and nut butters (all great options for vegetarians). Hair loss can also be triggered by anemia, or a deficiency in iron. Getting enough iron (found in red meat) is key to treating this; often times, an iron supplement can help. If this is the cause of your hair loss, our dermatologists can do a simple blood test to confirm this.
I too visited the infamous-overpriced Dr Redmond from NYC. I’m on spiro and all the meds for 7 months, going on 8. Forget regrowth, forget halting of shedding, the rate of hair shedding refuses to slow. (I’m also certain its PCOS and not lupus that causing my hairloss, thoroughly medically investigated my hairloss. ) At the start of my treatment, I cut my hair to bout 5 inch lenght, so I’d easily be able to tell thinning versus halt versus regrowth. And all I can say is, I have less hair than I started with. Unfortunately even a physicians intervention is incapable of helping me. To all those out there, atleast this approach before scratching it off your list, its the least you can do.

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.

Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why.
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.
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.

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.


Medications are available that encourage regrowth of hair. These medications, such as topical minoxidil* and oral finasteride, are not appropriate for everyone with hair loss. Hair growth medications work to varying degrees in different people, and only trigger complete regrowth in a minority of individuals. They work best for people who have smaller amounts of hair loss. Hair loss returns if you stop taking the medication. Finasteride is not appropriate for women who may become pregnant, as it can cause severe birth defects. Spironolactone, although not approved by Health Canada for this purpose, is a medication that may help women who are losing hair due to excess testosterone. Biotin is a vitamin that makes hair and nails stronger and is often used as an adjuvant therapy.
Most people naturally shed about 50 to 100 hairs a day, but sometimes men and women can shed much more, leading to thinning hair, hair loss, and over time, baldness. The causes of this hair loss can be a result of hormones, underlying medical conditions, and even certain medications like antidepressants, high-blood pressure medications, and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). Sometimes, hair loss is purely genetic and can run in families.
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.
Without a doubt, poor nutrition (often caused by eating disorders and crash dieting) is a common trigger of temporary hair loss. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may respond by shutting down hair growth—resulting in hair loss. Great source of protein include red meat and dairy products, as well as quinoa, legumes, and nuts and nut butters (all great options for vegetarians). Hair loss can also be triggered by anemia, or a deficiency in iron. Getting enough iron (found in red meat) is key to treating this; often times, an iron supplement can help. If this is the cause of your hair loss, our dermatologists can do a simple blood test to confirm this.
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.
I live in Orlando. I understand your panic. How old are you? Are you in menopause or peri or is it purely hair loss not horome related? I have been to a dermatologist I traveled 2 hours to another city. I’m like you, desperate and going from doctor to doctor. It’s a nightmare and I’m losing more hair all the time. Where are you losing your hair? on top? Is it diffuse? I feel like I’ve wasted so much time. I felt in November it was menopause related. I went in Menopause early 40s. wasted months on HRT since January and hair worse on top. I felt like I was in a nightmare and nobody understands. You truly don’t want to leave the house. I went to derm specializing in hair loss. He did biopsies. Female pattern hair loss on top. Folicullitis in back. I had even had hair fall out around nape of neck. But he just basically said nothing. I was waiting for biopsy to come back and more blood work and I said can’t I take something. He said you’re not going to lose any in two weeks. I’m like are you kidding me? every week is another nightmare. Anyway he says take spiro 50 mgs, use Rogaine. Even I know from these blogs you need to take 100 to 200 for female hair loss. Basically I go back and he says hair transplant. Did I mention he does hair transplants. So he does nothing beyond diagnosis except offer hair transplant. I’m like My hair is falling out all over. I need to get it stabilized first. sorry I’m rambling. I’m using rogaine foam. It makes me feel good to use it as if I’m doing something. Been on a month almost. Now just went on finasteride, but jury is out if that will help. But even that I asked for from him and his dose was lower than on these sites. So I asked for higher. I wish I could take spiro, but it upsets my stomach horribly. So I’m going to Redmond. I should have gone in January. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I’m sorry I’m rambling.
I recently noticed I was loosing hair on the front of my head, I started using the rogain Foam and after a month my hair started falling out even more. It’s gotten really bad, I can see my entire scalp now and my hair is falling out in chunks. Rogain advised you loose hair making room for new ones to grow, has anyone had any experience using rogain? Is This normal?
Diffuse female hair thinning and hair loss during premenopausal age is usually not heredity. It is usually caused by hormonal imbalances seeing in PCOS or thyroid disorder, nutritional deficiency (low iron), and stress. Women with PCOS produce high levels of androgens such as testosterones and DHEAS. The ratio of LH and FSH is also more than 2. Make sure you get your sex hormones check if you notice your hair thinning.
My story is little different it seems. My fiancé was dionosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite. And after test after test almost losing her and so many blood drawings then blood transfusions along with dialysis. Fighting depression trying to stay possitive is getting harder everyday. We ask all her doctors about why her nails break so easy, skin changing and hair falling out handfulls at a time…..then being looked at like we’re crazy has took my faith out of their hands.
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
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.

Our other recommendation is the HairMax Ultima 12 LaserComb. The comb uses low-level lasers to stimulate hair follicles and modulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a hormone that causes the most common type of hair loss. While it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, the treatment works, and the dermatologists we consulted reported that their patients saw thicker and longer hair when combined with our top pick. The only catch: The comb isn’t as effective as minoxidil treatments, and at nearly $400, it’s a much bigger investment. Still, it’s the best option if you’re looking for a non-invasive, non-chemical treatment.


I am 31 years old and I been loosing my hair (in the front) for 3 years now. I have seen different 4 different gynecologists and the one I have now she took blood work and other tests and the when all the tests came back everything was fine. I am trying to find a dermologist in my area that accepts my insurance. I just want to know what caused the hair loss and what can be done. It is embarrassing to even go out, when I do go out I make sure that I have a hat on. ????????

Evaluating and treating hair loss (alopecia) is an important part of primary care, yet many physicians find it complex and confusing. Hair loss affects men and women of all ages and frequently has significant social and psychologic consequences. This article reviews the physiology of normal hair growth, common causes of hair loss, and treatments currently available for alopecia. 

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. 

Thank you for all your post. My daughter had extremely thick hair about eight years ago. It was so thick you could barely put it in a scrunchie. Her hair has been continuously thinning to the point that you can see through it. All the women in my family on both sides have extremely thick hair. We live in the north east and have seen several GP and a Dermatologist who act like there is nothing wrong. I work in the medical field and when I hear this I get so mad because I feel like they want to just brush of like no big deal. It is a big deal to all women no matter what ages. I have written done some of the post advise and will continue to look for an endocrinologist for her. Please keep me postes on any new developements.
Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why.
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.
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 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.

decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride because Finasteride decreases PSA levels. Changes in PSA levels will need to be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Finasteride. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have not been taking Finasteride as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
Kimberlyn’s story sounds a lot like mine….I used to have straight fine silky but thin hair…Then suddenly it turned into coarser, squiggly textured hair, and was falling out…I would hate to wash my hair because so much more would come out in the comb after washing. I had hair on my pillow, in my bed sheets, I would find hair just hanging out of my other hair, just waiting to fall out so I would grab it, and 4-5 strands would fall out…then comb with widest tooth pick I could find, and more came out..Hair would be on my arms during the day, just falling at will from my head…Now my used to be thin hair anyway is totally thinning, crown, all over thinning, hairline, nape of neck…I am so over it. My reg Dr said stress…I have OCD and do stress a lot, but I don’t feel it is due to stress as I have been this type of person all my life…and didn’t lose hair like this..I asked gyn, no response. I felt it was my thyroid, as I am in a high normal range, and really don’t like that, but don’t know what else to do as DR feels it is OK. I don’t have insurance so cannot afford to go to 10 different Drs. and still get nothing for a definative answer or solution. I take vitamins always, biotin, zinc, and have just started with Nioxin, just to make my scalp maybe healthier . I know it doesn’t “grow” hair, but maybe I can keep what I have left. I am 59 so lots of symptoms are same for thyroid, post-menopause, and just don’t know what the answer is. I have been researching wigs endlessly in case that is the only hope I will have. I live in Florida and wear a baseball cap everywhere I go…how can one dress up and feel good about themselves, and have to put a baseball cap on to cover the hair loss and protect against the sun on my scalp??? I am at a loss…No one seems to have any answers for me….
If you do decide to start treatment to save your hair, a good place to start is with minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine. Don’t expect this hair-loss treatment to create luscious locks; minoxidil is better at slowing down or preventing more loss rather than promoting hair growth. But, according to Dr. Amy McMichael, professor and chair of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, it is effective “if used as recommended, with evidence of improvement seen around six to nine months.” Simply massage the foam or solution into your scalp once or twice daily, and for best results, use a formula with 5 percent concentration.
Taking hair supplements can be helpful for anyone who is experiencing hair loss or hair thinning. Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, previously recommended Nutrafol, a research-backed hair supplement, to Prevention. "This uses highly concentrated botanicals to address every stage of the growth cycle," she says. Nutrafol's hair supplements include vitamin E and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps balance cortisol levels in the body), among others.
There’s also a women’s version (Women’s Rogaine Foam) — but a three-month supply costs $22 more online. The only difference between the two products are the instructions; women are instructed to apply once a day instead of twice. If you’re a woman who doesn’t feel like paying extra for marketing, the men’s product will suffice. A cheaper generic version is Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam, but with a longer history on the market and more customer testimonials, Rogaine is our first choice.
Speaking of a new style: Don’t choose one that’s so high maintenance that it needs to be heat styled daily—the damage you’ll do with too much hot tool usage can leave strands damaged and fried, and breaking before it can grow to a certain length. Plus, thinner hair tends to break easier, so you want to avoid any extra damage-inducing practices at all costs. Make a conscious effort, too, to brush more gently, and use a moisturizing and reparative hair mask to hydrate hair and nourish the scalp—where hair gets most of its strength.
There’s also a women’s version (Women’s Rogaine Foam) — but a three-month supply costs $22 more online. The only difference between the two products are the instructions; women are instructed to apply once a day instead of twice. If you’re a woman who doesn’t feel like paying extra for marketing, the men’s product will suffice. A cheaper generic version is Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam, but with a longer history on the market and more customer testimonials, Rogaine is our first choice.
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