Hair: It’s a natural part of being a human. But when the temperature climbs, and skin is exposed, it’s one of those things that a good many of us want to control. This week, we’re tackling hairlessness, not just the process of hair removal (electric shavers and ingrown-hair treatments and aesthetician-approved tweezers) but also what to buy when you’re losing your hair, and even how to take care of a Sphynx cat. Here, we’re talking to dermatologists and hair-loss doctors about hair-loss treatments that actually work.

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.
Honestly, for female pattern baldness (what I have) I don’t think there really is any effective treatment — the only hope is learning to cope psychologically. (Just my humble opinion) So I don’t totally “hate” him for not being able to help me medically regarding the hair — but he was such a let down. I really expected more. (he’s an excellent dermatologist, for skin things at least)
Each day the scalp hair grows approximately 0.35 mm (6 inches per year), while the scalp sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, and more with shampooing.1 Because each follicle passes independently through the three stages of growth, the normal process of hair loss usually is unnoticeable. At any one time, approximately 85 to 90 percent of scalp follicles are in the anagen phase of hair growth. Follicles remain in this phase for an average of three years (range, two to six years).1 The transitional, or catagen, phase of follicular regression follows, usually affecting 2 to 3 percent of hair follicles. Finally, the telogen phase occurs, during which 10 to 15 percent of hair follicles undergo a rest period for about three months. At the conclusion of this phase, the inactive or dead hair is ejected from the skin, leaving a solid, hard, white nodule at its proximal shaft.2 The cycle is then repeated.
Finasteride has relatively few side effects, and a dosage of 1 mg per day costs about $49.50 per month. Women who could be pregnant should not handle finasteride, because it may cause birth defects in a male fetus. Finasteride has not proved effective in the treatment of female AGA and is not FDA-approved for use in women.11 [Evidence level A: randomized controlled trial] Continued use is required to maintain benefits.
What I hate most is how I feel about myself. As others have shared, I don’t want to wash or fix my hair any more than I have to for fear of lossing even more hair, thus I don’t want to leave the house. I also don’t like that most health care professionals give you a standard excuse for the hair loss: you’re getting older, hair thins; it’s hereditary; or the worst one..it’s due to stress! I wasn’t stressed until I pick a clump of hair from the shower drain or my hairbrush daily!
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.
Happily divorced in 2006. Coming up to my 52nd birthday, my hair is thin and fine, my hairdresser just shakes her head. In pictures all you see is scalp with a faint nimbus that is what’s left of my hair. Lost my job in December. When I interview, no one looks me in the eyes… they talk to my nearly naked scalp. So here I am, wanting to date and find work, and feel constantly judged because of an outward manifestation of something that’s happening inside of (what appears to be) a healthy body. It looks like I’m on chemo, or at the affect of some kind of some huge illness or medication… and shunned. How much of my self-image is subliminally dictated by my lack of hair… working on that with my therapist. LOL!!
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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. 

I understand how you feel, I really do. I’ve spent so much time crying that I’m certain all my tears could have filled up an olympic size swimming pool by now. You must not give up hope, even when it seems there is none. It is so important. Without that I don’t know how I would get by. Once you say what city/state you are in, I really hope someone can recommend a good doctor. I think that is part of your despair, that you haven’t really been heard out by a physician and received the bloodwork you want and are entitled to.
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.
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.

again, she found my testosterone level a tad high, in the 50’s. she initially wanted me to start on both metformin and spironolactone. i am not a diabetic, but apparently the metformin stops testosterone production and the spironolactone inhibits testosterone from absorbing…or something to that nature. she didn’t come out and say that my elevated level was the cause of my hair loss, but she did say elevated levels “could” be the culprit, but that either way she wanted my levels to normalize. makes sense. she listened to me patiently and spent a good amount of time, medically, with me. she ordered labs: not anemic, good iron, good protein, no thyroid problems. the metformin made me sick. she told me to start slowly with each med and that she’d increase it with time, based on my body’s reaction. with spiro you need to have your potassium checked within two weeks of starting it. sadly, i didn’t follow through with the meds because they made me feel so sick and i couldn’t go back to her since i lost my insurance. but after reading all of these posts, i have scheduled another appt with her in a few weeks and will ask her to put me on spiro only and will see if this helps.
Also my energy levels are high. I remember that at the beginning i did heavy cardio and interval training which helped me lose weight fast but i did not realize how biotin played a part in my weight loss until AFTER i stopped working out. I continue to take biotin every day and now that I am no longer on my diet i eat whatever i want and i don't gain weight. It appears the biotin may be keeping my metabolism to the level it was at during my training. So i highly recommend it to you. For me the best is www.certifiedbiotin.com my friends also use this one.
My name is Leslie and IO was recently diagnosed with pcos. My hair has been falling out for about two years! I am African American and I have always had thick healthy hair now you can see my scalp. I started using a product called regrow and my bald spots are filling in but my hair is still thinning! I was fortunate enought to have a child in 2003 I have been trying to have another child for 3 years with no luck can somebody help me with my thinnig hair and infertility……..I don’t even feel like a woman anymore.
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.
So in closing, I echo my initial sentiments that I would always suggest seeing more than one doctor if possible. Look for one that is not only knowledgeable but one that also cares. Hair loss is not the same thing has having a blackhead removed from your back and requires more sensitivity and emotional understanding on the part of the physician. Ask a lot of questions and do your own research, even after receiving your “diagnosis.” Doctors are people and make mistakes too, this is your body and you have to be comfortable with the treatment.
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.
A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.

I am so so grateful and want to thank everyone who has contributed to this forum. I am 52 years old, and in June of this year my Obgyn said it was time for me to get off Birth control pills , as I was getting too old and the estrogen levels would be dangerous at this time. I had been on BCP since the age of 18 with a break from the age of 35-38, and always been under the impression that BC pills might cause hair loss, but was totally unaware that when you came off them that the real deal happened. He just casually said, don’t take them and we will see if you are in menopause. Well I did and 2 months later (mid Aug..) I went straight into menopause, hot flashes all day, night sweats, etc., Then came the shedding, TE, as I am to understand. By mid-September the texture of my hair felt strange and the hair on the right side/back of my hair thinned out considerably, and I was developing a bald patch. Having always had very thin hair that I was always self conscious about (I had to wear a wig as a child, as I had monilethrix an inherited hair disease, which went into remission, but the hair loss caused terrible self esteem issues throughout my teenage years.), I cried my eyes out, then went on a quest to find out who to see. Derm, another ObGyn or endocrinologist? From everything that I had read, everyone went to countless doctors to find a cure. Having dealt with my HMO over the years to get a quality specialist in different areas, I knew I would be bald by the time I found the right doctor. Then I came across this forum, like Hope in Aug, I have spent countless hours on the internet in search of a solution. Thanks to her post and Toni on 7/14/08 and Shelleo, I found my answer. I called Dr. Redmond, in New York, and prayed that I could get an appointment right away. My prayers were answered, and I have an appointment this coming Monday 10/28!! I will be getting his book I the next day or so, as recommended, and truly feel, from what I have read, if anyone can help me, he is the one. Thank you for sharing your stories. I will make sure to check back, so I can, too, possibly help someone else.
Spironolactone, an aldosterone antagonist with antiandrogenic effects, works well as a treatment for hirsutism and may slow hair loss in women with AGA, but it does not stimulate hair regrowth. Estrogen may help to maintain hair status in women with AGA, but it also does not help with regrowth. Few controlled studies have examined the many non–FDA-approved hair growth agents such as cyproterone acetate (not available in the United States), progesterone, cimetidine (Tagamet), and multiple non-prescription and herbal products. A full discussion of approved and unapproved treatments for AGA can be found elsewhere.6,7 In all forms of alopecia, hairpieces and surgical transplants can produce satisfactory results but are expensive.
If you find yourself snacking at night before bed, it may be because you're bored or anxious — not truly hungry — and eating makes you feel better. Try eating a healthy dinner a bit later in the evening. If your stomach is truly growling before bed, try a protein-based snack like a hard-boiled egg or a slice of cheese. A few spoonfuls of yogurt or some fruit is another good option. 

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. 

When alopecia areata is associated with celiac disease, treatment with a gluten-free diet allows for complete and permanent regrowth of scalp and other body hair in many people, but in others there are remissions and recurrences.[15] This improvement is probably due to the normalization of the immune response as a result of gluten withdrawal from the diet.[15]
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.”
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.
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