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:
Finally people who understands what I am going through …I am in a desperate search for doctors in the Miami/Boca Raton, Florida area. Can anyone help? I dont know yet what has been causing my hair loss…I had been loosing some hair throighout the years, and sometimes it gets lees severe but lately has just gotten worse and there is no stopping it seems. I had mt Tyroid checked by PCP a coulpe months ago and my iron level also looked normal …getting desperate. Would appreciate some help.

Dr. Curtis says genes and hormones are the leading causes of hair loss.  And it's not just something we face as we age.  She says, "I've seen patients as young as 14-15 years old start having hair loss. It's all dependent on your genetics. Unfortunately the earlier it starts, the more likely it's going to be more severe in nature and the faster it can progress."
Also, re: the Proscar, I think that it may already be helping some as I think my shedding may be tapering off a bit more. I am losing a few less hairs Per day now. Maybe? I don’t know, but I am trying to stay positive!! I have no real regrowth. Just wisps, extremely fine hair, almost hard to see. Kind of transparent. I am not expecting miracles, but trust me…. THe moment I feel I have any true results to share with you girls, I will definitely be posting them! There aren’t many success stories out here. We need more. I guess people don’t come out here as much if they are experiencing good things w their hair?
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
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some — not all — women, it can't restore the full density of the lost hair. It's not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won't see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you'll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you'll start to lose hair again.
The condition affects 0.1%–0.2% of the population,[26] and occurs equally in both males and females. Alopecia areata occurs in people who are otherwise healthy and have no other skin disorders.[7] Initial presentation most commonly occurs in the late teenage years, early childhood, or young adulthood, but can happen at any ages.[9] Patients also tend to have a slightly higher incidence of conditions related to the immune system, such as asthma, allergies, atopic dermatitis, and hypothyroidism.
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. 

But you must start these medical therapies before you lose all your hair. McAndrews likens it to brushing your teeth, in that both are preventative measures. “The sooner you start doing it, the better at slowing down this aging process,” he explains, adding, “Is toothpaste perfect? No, you’re still getting tooth decay with toothpaste, but you’re slowing down tooth decay.”
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.
The characteristic finding of alopecia areata is one or more well-circumscribed areas of otherwise normal, hairless skin in hair-bearing areas. Occasionally, it may be necessary to biopsy the scalp to confirm the diagnosis. Other findings that may be helpful are the appearance of short hairs that presumably represent fractured hairs, short thin hairs, and gray hair growing in a bald area. Other causes of hair loss are generally excluded from the consideration by history and clinical evaluation.
Harklinikken (“hair clinic” in Danish) inspires great loyalty. Four out of five users come as referrals from satisfied customers, said Lars Skjoth, the company’s founder and chief scientist. The results are certainly compelling. After four months of daily application — that is, working the tea-colored tonic into the hair section by section, then letting it sit on the scalp for six hours — most users regain at least 30 percent of lost density, and some as much as 60 percent, according to company figures.

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.
My hair was healthy. No split ends and thick and tame – I could not break it. The healthy condition of my hair may be the reason that I didn’t loose all of it. My hair loss was due to a “HAIR DESTROYER” causing chemical damage, burning my scalp and my hair ( I think she used a product banned in Australia). I had bald spots on my crown the size of 50 cent pieces and the rest of my hair was singed. I lost my hair gloss, I was left with hair that was as thin a rice paper and breaking everywhere. I had severe itching on my scalp for two years. Not pleasant. I cursed her every day and still do. I bought myself a pair of hairdressing scissors and cut as much hair off as I could; and chipped into it everywhere. I do this every two weeks. Hence I will never go to a hair dresser again and have not colored my hair since December 2012 – I asked for Brown on Brown 10 vol – how could an idiot of a hair destroyer (dresser) get it so wrong.
The topical sensitizers, diphencyprone or squaric acid dibutylester, have been used in those suffering from recalcitrant alopecia areata or those with more than 50% hair loss. The goal of treatment is to create an allergic contact dermatitis of the scalp. This alteration in the immune response occasionally is accompanied by hair regrowth. The efficacy of the topical sensitizers has been demonstrated in both young children and adults, but it probably works less than half the time. Recent success using oral janus kinase inhibitors, including tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, and baricitinib, have been shown to be efficacious in severe, extensive alopecia areata in adults, but long-term therapy has potential side effects. The durability of response to these medications is variable, and most patients experience recurrence of hair loss after discontinuation. Perhaps topical therapy with these types of drugs may be available in the near future.
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.
Topical immunotherapy (i.e., contact sensitizers) is the most effective treatment option for chronic severe alopecia areata (Table 5).6 Response ranges from 40 to 60 percent for severe alopecia areata, and reaches approximately 25 percent for alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis.6 Because of potentially severe side effects, only clinicians who have experience with these agents should prescribe them.
although I have plenty of hair round the sides I was rather thin on top, and quite bald on the crown. So I started using onion juice to kick start the folicles. Then after, started to use juiced ginger. After a minute or so of either application I rubbed in coconut oil, and left the mixture on for an hour or so. Problem with wishing to see the hair growth as soon as possible, hair is slow growing and new hair is even slower, so one will have to wait 3 months for a good result. So, once or twice a week use onion and the same with the ginger. I found white onions are best, grate on the smallest hole ( not much needed)…..bonus, white hair turns black.
Finally people who understands what I am going through …I am in a desperate search for doctors in the Miami/Boca Raton, Florida area. Can anyone help? I dont know yet what has been causing my hair loss…I had been loosing some hair throighout the years, and sometimes it gets lees severe but lately has just gotten worse and there is no stopping it seems. I had mt Tyroid checked by PCP a coulpe months ago and my iron level also looked normal …getting desperate. Would appreciate some help.
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. 

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.
Susan – I am horrified to read that two of your doctors actually made fun of you… oh my gosh that is awful! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I am also surprised that your doctors wouldn’t do any bloodwork other than thyroid. What City/ State do you live in? Maybe someone can recommend a doctor in your area that would be more helpful. While many times bloodwork results end up coming back normal there is that possibility that your results would point to something that may be the cause of your hair loss, especially since you say you have no genetic hereditary hair loss in your family. I know you stated your hair is still falling out, but do you see any results from the propecia and mens rogaine? When did your hair loss start?
Also, re: the Proscar, I think that it may already be helping some as I think my shedding may be tapering off a bit more. I am losing a few less hairs Per day now. Maybe? I don’t know, but I am trying to stay positive!! I have no real regrowth. Just wisps, extremely fine hair, almost hard to see. Kind of transparent. I am not expecting miracles, but trust me…. THe moment I feel I have any true results to share with you girls, I will definitely be posting them! There aren’t many success stories out here. We need more. I guess people don’t come out here as much if they are experiencing good things w their hair?
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.
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?
In the field of aesthetic medicine and cosmetic surgery, Dr. Williams advances the philosophy and disciplines of prevention, longevity and anti-aging medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, and a board certified primary care physician. He is and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Physicians, and a Fellow and active member with numerous leadership committees with the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. Dr. Williams is the founder and principle physician and surgeon at the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery-Orange County Hair Restoration. Finally, he is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report medical blog.
I”m sitting here reading all your letters hoping that you’ve helped someone and hoping that you can help me, too. I’m 48 and all my life I’ve been told how beautiful my hair was. I now live in S Florida and within the last couple of years I stopped styling my hair because of the heat and the humidity. I usually wear it in a ponytail (never tight – I’m sure that’s not the problem). About a year ago I noticed athat a lot of hair was on the back of my car seat.I mean A LOT.When I went home to NY I tried to style my hair like I used to and it didn’t work. It just layed there.The more I looked I noticed how thin it was. I came back to Fl and went to a dermatologist who barely looked at me and told me to try rogaine.
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