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.
So far, I’ve only been on the Propecia for about three weeks. I don’t notice any side-effects thus far. I am taking 2.5 mg of Proscar, to be exact. I feel good and have not noticed any difference in my hair. I continue to lose about 20 hairs when I shower and brush it each day. That may not sound like a lot but I have already lost so much of my hair, that I think that represents more hair loss than it sounds. At least it is stable for now…I thank GOD that it is not getting worse. I DO have re-growth but it is fine and “wispy” as you said. It is not the same as the rest of my “normal” hair but hey, at least some of it is growing back in. Slowly and finer. That seems to support the AGA diagnosis. The thing that really drives me crazy is that I still don’t know WHY the TE started in the first place. The TE unmasked the AGA, but why the damn TE and what from here? Anyway….I digress and obsses!
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.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
^ Lenane P, Pope E, Krafchik B (February 2005). "Congenital alopecia areata". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Case Reports. Review). 52 (2 Suppl 1): 8–11. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2004.06.024. PMID 15692503. We believe AA should be classified not only as an acquired but also a congenital form of nonscarring hair loss. It may well be more common than is thought because of lack of recognition
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)
Thank you all for sharing, For the pass years I have been having hair loss on and off. I have tried several natural treatment, example : hot oil , moist heat, acupuncture. Have seen several doctors and specialists which cost me thousands of dollars. I have insurance, but they will not accept, because they will not get pay, it is experimental my insurance paid for my lab tests. at this time my diagnosis is hypothyroidism. I am using organic foods, juicing; sunflowers seeds , pumpkin seed to make smoothie and oils from doTerra to massage my scalp. trying vitamins etc. etc. I cannot pinpoint what makes the improvement because I have used
It’s really great reading this website. No one in my life truly understands what hair loss does to a woman emotionally. I completely thought I was blowing it out of proportion when I first became obsessed with my hair loss when I was 19. I am 24 now and have lost a little bit more hair but it is not immediately noticeable. I also appreciate that people share my sentiments about how unwilling doctors are to help us with this problem- they do not care about helping us solve the problem- only throw solutions at us for us to figure it out on our own–mostly to figure out they don’t work! I am going to try to see an endocrinologist and hope he/she can help. Although I have lost a lot of hair, I still have enough to cover my scalp left so I may not be able to talk, but I think what we think people see and what they actually see is completely different. I know we’re all beautiful women and I just try to think of hair loss as preparing me for getting old! (at which time I’m sure to have a crisis as well). Well, I will continue reading this site for hope and support. Thank you!
Certain medical issues can also impair hair growth. An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can cause hair loss. So can iron deficiency. When women go through menopause and their estrogen levels fall, their hair often begins to thin. Many women also lose some hair a few months after giving birth because of the hormonal changes the body experiences.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, where a person's immune system attacks the body, in this case, the hair follicles. When this happens, the person's hair begins to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The extent of the hair loss varies; in some cases, it is only in a few spots. In others, the hair loss can be greater. On rare occasions, the person loses all of the hair on his or her head (alopecia areata totalis) or entire body (alopecia areata universalis).
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.
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.
^ Martinez-Mir A, Zlotogorski A, Gordon D, Petukhova L, Mo J, Gilliam TC, Londono D, Haynes C, Ott J, Hordinsky M, Nanova K, Norris D, Price V, Duvic M, Christiano AM (February 2007). "Genomewide scan for linkage reveals evidence of several susceptibility loci for alopecia areata". American Journal of Human Genetics. 80 (2): 316–28. doi:10.1086/511442. PMC 1785354. PMID 17236136.
Because of its psychologic nature, the mainstays of treatment are counseling, behavior modification techniques, and hypnosis. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications for depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder may be used in some cases, although no medications are FDA-approved for treatment of trichotillomania.17 If a more moth-eaten appearance of hair loss is present and no evidence of hair-pulling behavior can be elicited, syphilis should be suspected.
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.
Hair doesn’t make the man. Remind yourself of everything else you have to offer. Or take care of things you can control, like staying in shape. It’s OK to look to others for support. And if you need a little inspiration, think of bald men or guys with shaved heads who ooze confidence, like The Rock, Vin Diesel, and Pitbull. Consider yourself in good company.
i’ve come across this site before, but today has been an already 5 hour session reading everything that has been posted and researching things on the side. first and foremost, i want to thank you all for your words, rants, and honesty. i stayed home from work today after breaking down in the bathroom, already dressed for work, because of my hair. a few posts made me cry, a few made me smile and all remind me that i am not alone. i, like a few of you, hate that i focus on my hair, but even though i try my damndest to not do so, it really does depress me. i know i will bounce out of it, but it’s only a matter of time before it comes back. today is the first day that i have ever not gone in to work because of the hair situation. here’s my story:
I am 20 and have been losing hair since I was 17. It is such a confidence killer. I really do miss my beautiful thick and black hair. Now my hair is thin and a bit gray as well. I only think of it sometimes…but I used to be so depressed i can barely get out of bed. Whenever I am talking to someone, I always wonder if they are looking at my hair. I am currently using Rogaine for Women…it worked one summer when I was following the regimen religiously. However, I am so bad with routines, so now I try to remember to put it on my scalp morning and night. I recently also started to take Shen Min Hir Nutrients…not sure if it works yet. Does anyone have any advice? I really want to get a hair biopsy but I don’t know how. The places I called offered scalp analysis to prepare for hair transplants…which is not something that I am considering. I also saw 2 derms, one didn’t know what was wrong and only offered Rogaine as a solution, and the other said it is androgenic alopecia. I think I might have hormonal problems, but really not that sure. My scalp is always oily and so is my skin. Before my hairloss, I had really itchy scalp. Now it’s still oily but I wash it every other day. I also dye my hair to hide the gray. Sometimes I just feel so ugly and depressed in thinking about my hair. Beautiful hair is the only thing that I want back.
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.
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.
Starting in my very early 20s i noticed the beginnings of my hair loss and started asking doctors about it with no hope/no answers until my 27.5 year. A local dermatologist “heard” something about the spironolactone/yaz combo and was willing to try it out -along with biotin, rogaine and omegas. I believe she helped the quality of my skin and hair, but did not help the fact that my hair continued to disappear.
"This is an oral, prescription-only medication with the brand name Propecia that’s also FDA approved to treat hair loss," says Spencer. Male pattern hair loss occurs when a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) prevents hair follicles from getting the nutrients they need. Finasteride works by blocking the production of DHT, which protects the follicles.
Next week I will go for a second opinion to the Cioa Bell Institute here in Phoenix as well. Another cosmetic surgeon who sells the cap. So far the cap is only available through phycisians. I guess I can understand why, because laser therapy has many strength settings from hair removel to hair grows, so you really need some sort of a specialist to help you along the way.
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.
Im new here and suffer from hair loss. I’m 25 and have developed bald spots about 2 yrs ago back in 09. On the side of my head near my temple areas. I hide the bald spots with headbands every chance i have because i feel as if people just look directly there…im self concious about myself because about a year ago i had a head full of hair and now i dont..I want to seek help just doesnt know where to begin…im currently takin biotin and keep hope alive…
Hair transplants are not an options for a very large proportion of women with genetic hair loss as the pattern of hair loss is diffuse or the amount of thinning is not suitable for restoration. Also, hair transplantation is not an option for women with chronic telogen effluvium, nor for women with active frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen planopilaris and a host of other conditions.
There are numerous diseases that can affect the hair and scalp. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of conditions. Diseases such as alopecia areata, anemia, male/female pattern baldness, and infections of the scalp can all cause significant difficulty and loss of daily well-being. Stanford Dermatology has established a special clinic focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders of the hair.
I decided to take a vitamin B complex – one a day; I increased my intake of green leafy and orange vegetables and onions, I also throw in a small amount of beef and chicken..i.e. eating lots of stirfries, curries and salads. I also now include in my diet black beans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I like spaghetti with red tomato sauce and use parsely and fenugeek . I also started using a product called Hopes Relief (the shampoo and conditioner) – anything else left a burning sensation on my scalp. This helped greatly with healing my scalp redness and reduced the itching. I was seeing an improvement in regrowth. I went to a trichecologist who advised me I have lost 10% of my hair permanently as she could see the scarring and places where the follicles would not grow.
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.
Finasteride inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men, and unlike minoxidil, this drug can actually help hair grow back, as well as prevent further loss. All you have to do is take one pill a day, and according to Dr. Evan Rieder, dermatologist in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, two-thirds of men taking this treatment will see improvements in hair density over time.
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.
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.
To us, that meant any product with zero proven ingredients, case studies, or FDA clearance — which shrunk our list by a whopping 180 contenders. That’s right, there are only three treatments that have actually been cleared by the FDA and supported with clinical studies: finasteride (commonly marketed as Propecia), minoxidil, and laser treatments. And, since finasteride is prescription-only, it left us with two.
Results from several small studies suggest that biotin supplements may improve thinning hair and brittle nails. Less commonly known as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B complex vitamins, which help your body metabolize fats and protein. Some experts even recommend a daily supplement for everyone since it’s generally safe and pretty hard to get too much of it.
Have you experienced anything dramatic? Car wreck? Tremendous unusual stress? Are you on Birth Control? Did you stop? Did you dye your hair? I believe the arrhythmia is due to anxiety but you may want to go to the doctor for that. All of these questions may answer the problem. There is a condition called telogen efflivium (it is a temporary condition) and will run it’s course for 3-9 months no one knows the exact length. All we do know is that there is nothing to stop it. You are wise to not start rogaine but you really need to look into these questions. And if your answers are all No. Go to another dermatologist and voice your concerns. Ask for all the blood tests related to hair loss do a scalp biopsy get to the bottom of it. Find out if it is temporary and if it is let it run it’s course and do whatever you can to not stress. Then if it is more than that get into action and start treatment because the sooner you treat it the better the results. Hair loss is not cookie cutter there is no one answer for all of us at this time. I wish you the absolute best.
I’ve been to five doctors. Two of them made fun of me. Only one doctor was remotely interested in my hair loss. He prescribed propecia, mens Rogain, and told me to take 2600 ml of biotin a day. My hair is still falling out. I am almost bald. None would give me any tests to determine the cause (other than thyroid, which has been done twice). The doctors tell me it is hereditary. If they could see my family, they would know that is not true. No one that I know of in my blood line has lost their hair. I am beside myself. I barely leave the house anymore. I wish I could find some help somewhere.
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.)
Thank you Diana. If you find out any more information, I would appreciate it. I have a dermatologist across the street from the Skin and Cancer Institute. I’m still not sure who to start with, the dermatologist or an endocronologist. I left a message for my PCP today to see if she is comfortable working with female hair loss or if not if she could refer me to someone who specializes in it. I will let you know what I hear back. In the meantime, thanks for your support. Take care.
Wow, I just started doing some research on this because I have been having problems with my hair thinning on the top of my head for several years, along with some sensitivity. I went to my internal medicine Doctor and he didn’t say much, which struck me as odd… he referred me to my women’s doctor who was slightly more sypathetic but offered no suggestions other than to see a dermatologist. I have been putting it off because I feel like I am getting the run-around. I see that I am not alone!
Ironically, taking the hormone levothyroxine to treat an underactive thyroid can contribute to some hair loss, among other side effects, but this seems to be more common within the first month of treatment and more often in children than adults. This hair loss is only temporary and will go away as treatment is continued and thyroid hormone levels stabilize.
There’s no cure for baldness, but there are ways to hold on to what you've got. The six dermatologists and the clinical studies point to three methods: minoxidil, laser treatments, and prescription finasteride. The key is finding the combination and hair loss regimen that works for you. A doctor is your best bet for that kind of guidance — but we found a few trustworthy products that will work for most people.
I just came across this website, I thought by chance but I think not! I have been having scalp pain, like my skull wanted to crack open. Then the tendersness of my hair folicals when the wind would blow. I started to loose lots of hair so went to my family doctor. All the test were done for Thyroid problems…all turned out what they call “normal”. Have you seen the wide range which is considered normal? How can this be when everyone is so different? I am loosing hair as I sit and write this message. The hair just gently falling onto my shoulder. I need to color my hair as it is time from the length of my silver roots but the last time I had my hair touched up, I thought I was going to die from the pain when the stylist tried to just shampoo the color off. Oh my God! Painful, painful. I used to be a stylist so you can imagine my shock when I was told it wasn’t my Tyroid!
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.