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.
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.

The only nonchemical option offered up by the dermatologists I spoke with — short of a surgical hair transplant or platelet-rich plasma therapy, which is like Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial but for your scalp — was the laser comb. First cleared by the FDA in 2009, the HairMax LaserComb is a handheld laser device that is designed to promote hair growth. As the manufacturer explains in a letter to the FDA, “The device provides distributed laser light to the scalp while the comb teeth simultaneously part the user’s hair to ensure the laser light reaches the user’s scalp,” which, in turn, stimulates the hair follicles.
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.
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.
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Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry. Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons (these straighten hair by using high heat) and curling irons.
Age-onset thinning, or “miniaturization,” refers to a progressive decrease of the hair shaft’s diameter and length. This happens at least in part because of androgens like dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that causes hair follicles to literally shrink in diameter. This type of hair thinning is referred to as androgenic alopecia, and it occurs in an equal pattern all over the scalp. However, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, medications, emotional or physical shock, and birth control pills can all affect hormone levels, making it complicated to pinpoint the reason for hair loss. For example, polycystic ovarian disease can exacerbate androgens and manifest as thinning, in which case you could treat the condition and fix hair loss. Get your hormone levels checked to see if an underlying health issue is the root cause.
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).
Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your home. That breaks my heart for you. I wish you the best in recovery of your home and blessings on your finances. But I do have to say I think that only losing 20 sounds like a dream! I absolutely know that my TE was triggered by PPD in hair dye. I only wish that I would have figured it out sooner. I was forewarned with itching for a year, no dandruff flaking or anything just itching and that was my body trying to heal itself against the allergy and the all hell broke lose on my head! Please keep me posted propecia; I wouldn’t even look for any improvement for 6 months though. But please be here when you do see it! Have a blessed day!
I had an amazing dermatologist who cured me of my acne b/c she sent me to an endocrynologitst who did agree w/ her that I had PCOS, but when the Aldactone didn’t work, the dermatologist told me “well tha’s that, you have male pattern balding.” She said it like you have two arms and two legs – just a matter of fact, no big deal, but it landed like she sent a single young woman a death sentence. I never went back to her and have not seen a dermatologist since then b/c right after her I went to Dr. Strick at UCLA same kind of stuff (mentioned it in other comment) and am now working w/ my endocrinologist and internal medicine doctors. I agree, you must go to more than one b/c doctors do not know everything and some don’t even know what they are supposed to know for their own field and specialty – they are human too and are good at some things and lacking in othters. Just keep looking until you get someone who cares that this is an upsetting matter for you and will help you find solutions that actually work for you individually instead of a bottle of Rogaine like it’s an apple or 2 aspirins and then call them in the morning.
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.
Yes, absolutely. There are certain hair treatments, as well as styles, that can trigger hair loss: tight braids, pigtails, hair weaves, and cornrows can all trigger temporary hair loss called traction alopecia. Chemical relaxers; overuse of chemical colorants; hot-oil treatments; overuse of flat irons, curling irons, or even hot blow-dryers can all damage hair at the root, causing it to fall out. If you are experiencing hair loss, its best to schedule an appointment with our office so that we can help diagnose your issue and determine how best to your hair loss.
It is perfectly normal for people to shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. This generally doesn't cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time that hair is shedding. However, hair loss occurs when this hair growth cycle and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle becomes destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common form of hair loss in women. This occurs gradually and is caused by genetics (from either side of the family), age, and the action of a specific male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is found in lesser amounts in women and it preys on the hair follicles, preventing them from receiving vital nutrients for proper hair follicle growth, leading to the hairs shrinking, and resulting in a shorter lifespan. Interestingly, DHT does not need to be elevated to generate hair loss. Estrogen, when lowered as commonly seen in menopause, creates a change in the ratio of male to female hormones, giving an edge to these male hormones. Compounded with the sensitivity of DHT to the hair follicles, heredity can affect the age at which a woman begins to lose her hair, as well as the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness. 
I took spironolactone several years ago, and after 3 days got tinnitus (ringing in ears) permanently. Quit using it. Now, I take Fo-ti, Beta sitosterol, saw palmetto, and black cohosh. Also don’t use commercial hair dyes, as they made more hair fall out and if you have a yeast infection, take yeast defense as an itchy scalp from yeast (think too much sugar in diet) will make your hair fall out. Fructis has come out with a shampoo called Fall Fight that seems to help. My hair loss has stopped, although the volume has not come back. Look for solutions on your own, plenty of articles on the internet. Good luck!
I am scared to find out whether I have PCOS…I was hoping to find out about my insulin as I sensed a major blood sugar problem for years, but I took the news surprisingly poorly. I’m more stressed than before and am terribly depressed. The doctor, by the way, had zero to say about it all. Nothing. His words “Ask your gynocologist, I am just a lowly MD.” [gasp]
I just began reading this post this evening. My hair loss began when I was 18, currently 29. No bald spots, but it just keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner. I have been to many doctors as well. Every PCP and family doctor have been of no help. After four dermatologists I have given up on that as well. I went to Hans Wiemann (in the St. Louis area) that offers laser treatments and hair transplants. The whole appointment was such a sales pitch that I was so aggravated and felt worse by the time I left. I have also tried an herbalist, chinese medicine, and a nutritionist/chiropractor. I try not to think about it, I really do, but let’s face it, that’s about impossible. I know my problem is NOT genetic, everyone in my family has a full head of hair. I’m healthy in terms of exercise and diet, I don’t take any medications, smoke, or drink. None of the doctors have ever found anything with blood work or urine samples. If anyone can suggest a doctor, specialist, anyone that can help in the St. Louis or Chicago area, PLEASE do let me know.

"Dr. Yaker and his staff are friendly, welcoming and professional. Everyone greets you with a smile and remembers your name. His offices and procedure rooms are always clean. Dr. Yaker is extremely knowledgable and willing to spend as much time answering questions and discussing options with his patients as they desire. I use Dr. Yaker's hair vitamins and shampoo and conditioner and have definitely seen positive results. So far, I have had two PRP treatments done by Dr. Yaker and he and his staff always take care of me and make me feel comfortable. I have recommended him to many of my friends and family. He's the best!"
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?
Alopecia areata is a disease that attacks your hair follicles (the part of your skin that makes hair). In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. This causes only a few bare patches. Some people may lose more hair. In only a few people, the disease causes total loss of hair on the head or loss of all body hair.
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.)
You can buy minoxidil over the counter, for about $25 for a three-month supply. But you’ll also need to invest some patience. Minoxidil can take six months or even a year to work. Dr. Avram estimates that the drug, which must be applied twice a day, stops hair loss in 80 percent of the women who use it properly and it can actually stimulate hair regrowth in about half the users.
I am scared to find out whether I have PCOS…I was hoping to find out about my insulin as I sensed a major blood sugar problem for years, but I took the news surprisingly poorly. I’m more stressed than before and am terribly depressed. The doctor, by the way, had zero to say about it all. Nothing. His words “Ask your gynocologist, I am just a lowly MD.” [gasp]

I am 31; as a child I had beautiful brown smooth hair with a hint of a wave. As soon as I hit puberty at 13 (1st period on my 13th b-day), my hair turned wavier. Same year, I remember looking down on my legs horrified at the hair I had developed. Only 1 thought came to me: “NOT NORMAL!” Body hair on women is a tricky subject, though, with media heavily influencing what’s considered ‘normal’. My mom, similarly hairy, just told me it’s genetic and normal.
in between all these years, i also tried some homeopathic methods. i read dr. andrew weil’s book on health and used to take 2000mg of alpha-linolenic acid either by evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil or borage oil. it didn’t regrow my hair but i do feel that it helped stall it. only problem is that after a year or so it stopped working for me, but it may help some of you out. there’s a connection, according to dr. weil, between alpha-linolenic acid and hair. i’ve also used homemade rosemary water and washed my hair with it, but it only helps with making me smell like the bush it comes from. 

One is how much emphasis the company places on compliance, the major stumbling block in the efficacy of any treatment, said Dr. Senna, an author of studies on the subject. Prospective users are questioned about their ability to stick to a regimen because the extract must be applied every day, and they are told that the more conscientious they are, the better. Users are also reminded and encouraged with regular check-ins.
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.

Too much stress is bad for health and beauty, but did you know there’s a known connection between stress and hair loss, too? Constant stress can cause cortisol levels to spike, which can contribute to increased hair shedding. To relieve stress and its damaging effects on your hair, try meditation, regular exercise, keeping a regular sleep schedule, or any other activity that helps you decompress.
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.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it's important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
My hopes and prayers are for all of us… that somewhere a doctor, an organic chemist, SOMEONE… ANYONE… will care enough to actually research this. Thank you, all of you, for your tears, suggestions and sharing. I WILL NOT WEAR A WIG… WHAT LIES BEHIND US, WHAT LIES AHEAD OF US, PALES IN COMPARISON TO WHAT IS INSIDE OF US. WE ARE STRONG, VIBRANT… WE WILL PREVAIL.
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.
Thank you all for sharing your stories. I have various health issues including arthritis of the spine, GI problem and Poly ovarian cyst syndrom… I had exetremely thick and full hair all my life 5yrs ago my hair started falling out in huge clumps all day long so much so that I leave huge hair balls under my desk at work… I also have sjordren syn. When I first went to my family doctor he told me it was because of my high stress job… I said that I did research on the internet and that all my conditions were supposed to be linked to hairloss he was mad and said why did I come to him if I had all the answers… I have been to 2 dermos who said its nothing. I went to the only endocrinologist in a 100 plus mile radius of my home who was taking new patients who said that there is nothing wrong with me and that if I cared about my health as much as my hair loss I would loss weight ( I know I not skinny but…) he did not even LOOK at my tests when he came in he said we didnt get your urine samples results back. I said that I went 3 weeks ago. He then said oh here they are… but did not even look at them before his fat comment… since I do not want to swear on here I will just say “jerk”. I cried the whole way home. I went back to my family doc and saw the PA because it seems he is sick of me. Again among other sympt. my hairloss is getting worse… the PA’s answer “yea that’s pretty bad.” (wow I’m paying for this advice ) She brought me back samples and said this should help. it was an anti depressant….I said I am not depressed I am upset that everyone can acknowledge my sympt. but no one seems to be able to help my. My arthritis doctor ran tests only to shut me up and said my folate levels were fine so it had to be stress… not their problem. I came from my 3rd gyno today who said now since my cysts were gone and my test. levels were normal that I can’t have children anyhow then I shouldn’t worry about hairloss… no advice whatsoever about the diease less than 5 mins. $400.00 40 mile trip another day of work gone. This doc. did even think I should be concerned that I cannot get preg. or my pain (so it does not surprise me about the hairloss) I said is there anything else that can cause my hair to fall out besides test. levels he said not gyno related…. He said if you like we can test you again in three more months. I would give up but I know it is not something just in my head or even just a cosmetic problem…. I feel sometimes they just want to milk my insurance dry my running the wrong test so they can keep charge you for the expensive stuff instead of working on a cure for you. The worst maybe is that my family and friends are also sick of me and think I just like attention. From your post I looks like a lot of have similar health and experiences. Although I am very upset I am glad be able to vent to people who also my have be treated like hypocons… and armed me will more info.
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.
when i was 24, went to so. america to visit family. they hadn’t seen me since my last visit, which was when i was 17. there was a guy who i had liked and hung out with when i spent my 17th summer there and was excited to see him once again, “as an adult”. i think it was the second day or so of hanging out with him when he says to me: “hey, i noticed you’re losing your hair”. i was beyond embarrassed at that moment and all i could muster out was, “yeah, i know”. thanks for pointing it out there buddy. next came anger mixed with that embarrassment. i felt, and still feel, that people stare at my head and notice my thinning hair when they are talking to me. when i came back to the states a few weeks later, the first thing i did was make an appt with my pcp. she referred me to an endocrinologist who found my testosterone level slightly elevated. it was in the 70 range. i didn’t have masculinization going on so she told me she didn’t want to put me on medication and to return if i noticed in increase or changes in symptoms.
There are numerous nonsurgical treatments that when combined, can offer significant hair improvements. Dr. Yaker’s TCHR Volumizing Glycolic Acid Shampoo and Conditioner help restore vitality to the hair by deep cleaning the scalp and reestablishing lost moisture content and physiological pH to the scalp and hair. Dr. Yaker has also formulated his own oral supplement, which is a blend of Aminoplex hair repair vitamins. This is made up of amino acids (building blocks of protein) that produce keratin, which makes up close to 97% of our hair. In addition, Dr. Yaker’s specially compounded FDA approved topical medication, Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine®), is clinically proven to help slow down, stop and even reverse hair loss in women. Other nonsurgical therapies offered are Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) using the advanced LaserCap®, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with placenta-derived extracellular matrix therapy to help restore thinning hair. Lastly, Dr. Yaker offers scalp and facial micropigmentation where permanent ink is applied to the skin, creating micro dots that replicate the natural appearance of hair. This is used for the scalp and eyebrows. 
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