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.
Dermatologist: The short answer is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the skin, its structure, functions, and diseases, as well as its appendages (nails, hair, sweat glands). The longer definition (as defined by wikipedia) Dermatologists are physicians (Medical Doctors, M.D.) or Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and tumors of the skin and its appendages. There are medical and surgical sides to the specialty. Dermatologic surgeons practice skin cancer surgery (including Mohs’ micrographic surgery), laser surgery, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and cosmetic procedures using botulinum toxin (‘Botox’), soft tissue fillers, sclerotherapy and liposuction. Dermatopathologists interpret tissue under the microscope (histopathology). Pediatric dermatologists specialize in the diagnoses and treatment of skin disease in children. Immunodermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and management of skin diseases driven by an altered immune system including blistering (bullous) diseases like pemphigus. In addition, there is a wide range of congenital syndromes managed by dermatologists.

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.
With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
My visit to Dr. Redmond (endocrinologist) was very informative. First, he confirmed that I was not going crazy. I am sure many of you have heard that from loved ones. It is true that was is noticeable to you and your eyes is not noticeable to everyone else. I do try and live each day to the fullest right now and not let what the future might hold (worse hair loss) bother me, but it is tough. After alot of normal tests, Dr. Redmond confirmed my suspicion that I am suffering from androgenic alopecia (AA or women pattern baldness). He has put me on sprironolactone 200mg in the morning and Yasmin (birth control) in the evening). I just started on this regimen so I will keep you posted. Here are the tests that he wanted to me to get done:

In 2010, a genome-wide association study was completed that identified 129 single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with alopecia areata. The genes that were identified include those involved in controlling the activation and proliferation of regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, interleukin-2, interleukin-2 receptor A, and Eos (also known as Ikaros family zinc finger 4), as well as the human leukocyte antigen. The study also identified two genes, PRDX5 and STX17, that are expressed in the hair follicle.[18]


The scalp pain has not gone away. I have tried 100 things prescribed by 100 doctors. Dermatologists have told me to add zinc supplements to my diet, use a cream with “clobetasol propionate” on my scalp, improve the quality of my scalp by getting rid of any flakiness – hundreds of options. Trichodynia – pain of the scalp – is a poorly understood subject. I don’t know if it is hormonally related, and exacerbated by the stress (of losing so much hair) – I cannot answer you.
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!!
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.
I need help. I have been taking Elavil for sleeping for years just reccently I have noticed alot of hair loss and I am so worried. I also take synthroid. and just got off of cytomel because that also causes hair loss.I found out by going on line that taking Elavil and synthroid together it can cause hair loss and heart rhythm disorders. I have been having lots of heart plapations too. Does anyone know if you stop taking Elavil will the hair come back or if you chance snythroid to another drug? let me know we need to stick together on this.
Alopecia areata affects people of all ages including young children. It produces circular patches of hair loss that appear overnight. More patches appear over time and eventually about 5% of people affected lose every hair on their body. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes and even nose hairs. In some people, hair grows back, either in the same place or on a previously unaffected part of the scalp or body.
Oral immunosuppressants, like methotrexate and cyclosporine, are another option you can try. They work by blocking the immune system’s response, but they can’t be used for a long period of time due to the risk of side effects, such as high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, and an increased risk of serious infections and a type of cancer called lymphoma.
Today, one of the most common problems that could degrade one's beauty is hair loss. Most individuals usually shed 50 to 100 hairs every day. This loss, usually does not cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair, as new hair simultaneously grows along. Hair loss occurs when this cycle of growth of hair and shedding of hair is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. There are a lot of causes of hair loss. Usually hair loss could be heredity or because of family history, can be due to hormonal changes, because of certain medications and also because of some medical conditions or diseases. Several conditions or diseases leads to hair loss. If you are one of those who suffer from loss of hair then you would probably love to read this article which explains about the diseases that cause hair loss.
If you have hair loss, you have options, like topical treatments, oral medications, red light procedures, to prevent more hair loss.   But, Curtis says,  "The only way to guarantee hair is the transplant."    She says once you find out what's causing hair loss, you and your doctor can decide how aggressively you want to approach the problem.   She says, "I say to patients, 'Here's what we can do to prevent further loss...'  If you say, 'Dr. Curtis, I want hair." Here's what we have to do, we're going to move it from the back to the front, nobody will know, it will look fantastic."

I look forward to seeing you both there. There are quite a few ladies that have experiences with different wigs and head coverings, including a really wonderful stylist that works with women who are losing their hair. She can also be of great help for those looking into different wig or hair system options. Her name is Mystique and here is her page:


I have been losing my hair over this past year but within the last 6 months it has changed texture and still falling out! Now my hair is very coarse and kinky! For 42 years I had long straight-as-a-board hair and now I look like a poodle! Every time I comb or brush my hair handfuls of hair comes out! My hairdresser, gyno, GP and 3 dermatologists have told me it was normal to lose this amount of hair! Many contribute it aging but I find that hard to believe. Finally, my most recent derm said I was low in iron and said that might be a factor. Now, I’m going in to see if I might be anemic. My gyno ran the same tests and said all seemed normal! It’s the most frustrating and stressful event, especially when everyone tells you things are “normal”! Has anyone experienced their hair texture changing over a short period of time? Thanks-
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).

The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.

Endocrinologist: The clinical specialty of endocrinology focuses primarily on the endocrine organs, meaning the organs whose primary function is hormone secretion. These organs include pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the endocrine system and who is trained to diagnose and treat hormone problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones to your system. Endocrinologists treat many conditions, including:
"Others are taking hair follicles out of human scalp and growing them with dermal papilla cells," Cotsarelis says. "If they grow in culture, you might be able to recombine them with skin cells and form new follicles. This would let you expand the number of follicles you get for a hair transplant. This may not be that far off -- five to 10 years, maybe. There's very good evidence you will be able to do that."
Hair transplantation involves harvesting follicles from the back of the head that are DHT resistant and transplanting them to bald areas. A surgeon will remove minuscule plugs of skin that contain a few hairs and implant the plugs where the follicles are inactive. Around 15 percent of hairs emerge from the follicle as a single hair, and 15 percent grow in groups of four or five hairs.
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. ????????

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.


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.
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.

Aside from the falling hair, I’m also experiencing bouts of arrhythmia. There are instances when my heart would beat slowly and it feels like it’s going to break my ribcage. It’s hard to breathe and I get dizzy. Do you think these are related? I don’t want to go to another doctor yet because I haven’t researched yet and because of my many disappointing experiences with them, I would never dare to consult with one without knowing anything.
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
I want to first write that I am not a fan of hair transplants for women, I personally think that most women with androgenetic alopecia are NOT candidates for this procedure. Having said that, I get emailed all the time from women looking for a good hair transplant surgeon. If you are deadset on having a consultation, please visit the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. The IAHRS (http://www.iahrs.org) is an organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. Read my thoughts about hair transplants here.

I too have been having bad hair loss. I am 25 years old and since the birth of my second child 2 1/2 years ago, it has not stopped. It is normal for it to fall out for a few months after child birth so I wasn’t too worried at first. After about 6 months it started to slow down then all of a sudden started up again. And has been falling out ever since. I am really thin in the front and around the temples and just recently, has become really unhealthy. It breaks and is very course. I have been to 3 derms. and 2 PCP’s. All my lab work has always come back normal. And they just tell me to use Rogain. The past 6 months I have been trying to get pregnant again and haven’t been able to. I got pregnant with my last 2 very easy and feel that my hair loss and not being able to get pregnant are intertwined. I also have gained about 15 pounds. I don’t want to use the Rogain because I am trying to get pregnant and don’t know the effects it will have if I did get pregnant. I don’t know what to do next. I am in the Phoenix area so if anyone know of any good docs around here please let me know.


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.”

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.


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.
I’m so glad you saw my post, and wrote back. Thank you again for writing about your experience. At the time I read it, I knew that was the path I had to go. I have a treatment plan, and intend on it being a successful one (I’m so trying to go from being a negative person to being positive, it really makes a difference). I have joined the network, and hope you do as well,. Angela, is right, there is so much caring, understanding and sharing of knowledge here, that so help with the emotional part of this thing called hairloss.
In-office laser light treatments or at-home handheld devices, such as the HairMax LaserComb, supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the area (think: an amped-up version of a scalp-stimulating shampoo). Just don’t expect the device to make your noggin go from looking like George Costanza’s to Jerry Seinfeld’s. “These lasers won’t grow any new hair. If anything, they may just help you hang on to some of the hair that you already have a bit longer,” says Dr. Joyce.
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.

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 was searching the internet and came across this wonderful site. I really appreciate you posting this article. I have always had a small bald patch on one side of my head. My mom told me it had always been there so I didn’t worry about it. Recently it has been getting larger and the hair around it is getting lighter. On the other side my hair is thinning and the color and texture is changing. It also seems to be falling out. I have excessive hair loss on a regular basis. I am only 24 years old and I can’t stand that my hair is falling out. I went to the dermatologist and he gave my injections but they didn’t work. He said I have alopecia areata and that the other side was a normal receding hairline. (He barely even looked at it) He then told me after the injections weren’t working to try Rogaine. I think it might be helpful to see an endrocrinologist as I have also been having problems with anemia. Again, thank you so much for the information you have provided.
One of the first research studies linking alopecia with celiac disease was published in 1995. Italian doctors had noticed that several of their patients with alopecia also had celiac disease and that in one of these patients—a 14-year-old boy—the missing hair on his scalp and body completely regrew after he adopted a gluten-free diet. This boy's case and a few others prompted the doctors to screen a large group of alopecia patients for celiac disease.
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.”
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“A scalp biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing hair loss,” said Dr. Marc Avram, a dermatologist in private practice with offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn. “The test examines the follicles themselves and can help determine whether the hair loss is genetic, inflammatory, infectious or due to an unusual physical or emotional shock to the system.”


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
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!
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.
Typical first symptoms of alopecia areata are small bald patches. The underlying skin is unscarred and looks superficially normal. Although these patches can take many shapes, they are usually round or oval.[6] Alopecia areata most often affects the scalp and beard, but may occur on any part of the body with hair.[7] Different areas of the skin may exhibit hair loss and regrowth at the same time. The disease may also go into remission for a time, or may be permanent. It is common in children.
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 board certified Dermatologist is best trained to diagnose and manage diseases of the hair. It would be best to select such a doctor who has a special interest in hair loss. If you are considering a surgical treatment, I would recommend selecting a physician who only does hair transplant and nothing else. This type of physician has the most experience to give you the best possible results. 
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)
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