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.
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:
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That's where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don't divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
A hair growth cycle consists of three phases. During the anagen phase, hair grows actively. This phase may last for years. During the catagen phase, hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, which is the structure beneath the skin that holds the hair in place. The catagen phase lasts about 10 days. During the telogen phase, the follicle rests for two or three months, and then the hair falls out. The next anagen phase begins as a new hair grows in the same follicle. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle.
How many of us are out there… feeling alone and pretending to not be ashamed. As a child, I had so much hair that my mother used a thinning shears on my locks. In high school I had a glorious mane, cut into a ‘Gypsy’… what great pictures. By my mid-20’s I had to cut my hair short because it was so thin that it wouldn’t hold a style. Was diagnosed with PCOS and told that this syndrome, combined with heredity, caused my hair loss.
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp, usually caused by Microsporum or Trichophyton species of dermatophytes19 (Figure 11). It usually occurs in prepubertal patients. The most severe form of tinea capitis is a kerion, a fluctuant, boggy lesion with overlying hair loss. Tinea capitis can result in widespread hair loss with increased fragility of the hairs and frequent breakage. If fungal infection is suspected, a potassium hydrochloride slide or culture can be obtained. A Wood's lamp fluoresces several types of fungi; however, the most common fungus in the United States (i.e., Trichophyton tonsurans) does not fluoresce, lessening the value of this test. Treatment includes oral antifungal agents such as griseofulvin (Grifulvin), itraconazole (Sporanox), terbinafine (Lamisil), and fluconazole (Diflucan), with the newer agents having fewer side effects.20 Oral steroids may be necessary if a patient has a kerion, to decrease inflammation and potential scarring.
Alopecia areata is characterized by a localized area of complete hair loss (Figure 5). This may extend to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis)12,13 (Figure 6). Alopecia areata is probably secondary to an autoimmune reaction involving antibody, T-cell, and cytokine-mediated losses.14–16 The trait appears to be polygenic, affecting 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the population, with men and women equally affected.14 On microscopic evaluation, “exclamation-point” hairs are found, in which the proximal hair shaft has thinned but the distal portion remains of normal caliber (Figure 7). Spontaneous recovery usually occurs within six to 12 months, with hair in areas of re-growth often being pigmented differently.1,13 Prognosis is not as good if the condition persists longer than one year, worsens, or begins before puberty. Persons with a family history of the disorder, atopy, or Down syndrome also have a poorer prognosis.1 The recurrence rate is 30 percent, and recurrence usually affects the initial area of involvement.12 Thyroid abnormalities, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia frequently accompany alopecia areata.1,12,14
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
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?
“The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, which is genetic pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The root cause of this type of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that shrinks certain hair follicles until they eventually stop producing hair.
@Amanda P. I regrew my hair and you can too. -I've been bleaching my hair on and off since forever. My hair wouldn't grow any longer it would just snap off. I've dreamed about having thick, long hair. And when I say dreamed, I mean it quite literally. So i decided to do something about it. My friend suggested Biotin when we were talking about my hair loss.
I am 30 and am trying Rogaine and spironolactone but only stopped the loss and I want to try Propecia. I know about the side effects for a male fetus, but I have chosen myself that I do not ever want to create a child out of my body. I will adopt or foster, but have intense lockeophobia. I even agreed to sign a legal document saying such, but my doctor would still not prescribe me propecia unless I had had a hysterectomy. He said it was for safety reasons, but as far as I understand it the only safety issue would be to such a fetus that will not exist. So I am confused about his reservations.
Men, oh yeah, different ball game. Just think how much money is spent on prostate research and medication versus female cancers!!!!! This IS a male society, but just smile, that makes you feel better. Do not let this get under your skin. KNOW who you are with or without hair, you are one fabulous person, loving and shining your light on this world. Step into that, claim it, own it. Whoever is unkind to you, just love them, bless them and wish them well. They have a bigger problem than you, trust me. And the WILL bump into it one day and not know what hit them.
Hair is made up of the hair follicle (a pocket in the skin that anchors each hair) and the shaft (the visible fiber above the scalp). In the hair bulb, located at the base of the follicle, cells divide and grow to produce the hair shaft, which is made from a protein called keratin. Papilla that surround the bulb contain tiny blood vessels that nourish the hair follicles and deliver hormones to regulate the growth and structure of the hair.
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.
However, I had to post a reply to you when I read what you wrote yesterday. Girl, you have GOT to get a hold of your priorities. Trust me, I know what you are going through. I may not have your same exact situation, but it is close. I think you are so focused on this that you are likely deeply depressed. I am sorry to be so blunt, but I know when I am down, sometimes some straight talk is the just the thing I need to hear to get moving on and making positive changes.
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 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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Though we think our hair is super important, our bodies consider it nonessential (read: we don’t need it to stay conscious). Other bodily functions, like breathing, are more pressing and get first access to the nutrients in our diet. Our hair gets the leftovers. Protein is your hair's best friend, so reach for healthy protein such as eggs and fish and avoid fasting or yoyo dieting. These can deprive your body of these essential building blocks for a healthy scalp and hair. Wild salmon, tuna and trout are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help provide moisture and prevent dry and brittle hair. Foods rich in B vitamins also help keep hair follicles healthy, decreasing the risk for hair loss. Fruits and vegetables, and beans and lean meat sources, such as chicken or turkey breast, are all great sources for vitamin B.
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.
Many medications are being studied, including abatacept, MEXIS/M6S, triamcinolone, secukinumab, tralonkinumab, apremilast, botulinum toxin, INCB018424, bimatoprost, clobetasol, AS101, autologous platelet-rich plasma, topical minoxidil, and nitric oxide gel. Some of these medications are approved for other diseases, others are not available outside of studies.
I’m 42 and I noticed my front top and sides thinning about a year ago – a lot coming out when brushing after washing. I went to the doctor who happened to be African-American (I’m caucasion) and she actually asked me if I wore “corn rows” a lot! Needless to say, she was worthless and just prescribed me something for dandruff, which I do not have! I went to an endocrinologist to see if my thyroid or menopause was the problem – tests turned out honky dorie! Now I can see through the top of my head when the sun shines on it (scar-y) and I’m having to cover over the temple areas with sweeps of hair from the other side (interesting, the right side is much thinner). I will say that I’ve gone through hell and back with a mentally ill young adult but if it was stress, wouldn’t it have come out quicker than just in the last year (I’ve been dealing with his illness for 7 years now)?? I’ve heard that sometimes it takes 2 or 3 blood tests and doctors to finally see that one has thyroid problems. Is this the experience of others, and would I be throwing my money away by seeing my general practitioner?
The loss of hair can be sudden, developing in just a few days or over a period of a few weeks. There may be itching or burning in the area before hair loss. The hair follicles are not destroyed and so hair can re-grow if the inflammation of the follicles subsides. People who experience just a few patches of hair loss often have a spontaneous, full recovery without any form of treatment.
Physical stress can also be a cause for hair loss. Any kind of physical trauma surgery, a severe illness, an accident, even the flu can lead to temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss known as Telogen effluvium. Hair loss usually gets noticeable 3-6 months after the trauma but once your body recovers, your hair would start growing back again.
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.
I haven’t seen any information about DHT blockers which I’ve read iis the leading cause of hair loss. It’s a “bad” hormone released that causes hair loss. Any comment or recommendations? One supplement to reverse DHT contains saw palmetto, which I’ve heard isn’t recommended for women. Totally stumped, depressed and irritated with so many suggestions that may or NOT work. Compassionately sending this message to all those suffering with hair loss….it’s totally devistating.
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:
Evaluating and treating hair loss (alopecia) is an important part of primary care, yet many physicians find it complex and confusing. Hair loss affects men and women of all ages and frequently has significant social and psychologic consequences. This article reviews the physiology of normal hair growth, common causes of hair loss, and treatments currently available for alopecia.
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:
Triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog), 0.1 mL diluted in sterile saline to 10 mg per mL, is injected intradermally at multiple sites within the area to a maximum dosage of 2 mL per visit.6 The main side effect, atrophy, can be minimized by not injecting too superficially and by limiting the volume per site and the frequency of injection (no more often than every four to six weeks).6 Because spontaneous resolution often occurs in patients with alopecia areata, assessing treatment response can be difficult. Intralesional steroids should be discontinued after six months if no improvement has been noted.
You lose up to 100 hairs from your scalp every day. This is normal, and in most people, those hairs grow back. But many men – and some women – lose hair as they grow older. You can also lose your hair if you have certain diseases, such as thyroid problems, diabetes or lupus. If you take certain medicines or have chemotherapy for cancer, you may also lose your hair. Other causes are stress, a low protein diet, a family history or poor nutrition.
Hi Lisa, hope you were able to speak with your doctor. I also talked at length with my mom and sister and feel a little better. My mom has hair but it is very thin but I forget she has had surgeries and takes a lot of meds for various conditions and she knows this has caused her hair loss. My sister has PCOS and that has made her hair thin out. I had a good appt with my dermatology nurse. She sat and talked with me and listened and was very interested and caring. I cried for about half the visit. She examined my head and does see the thinning but it isn’t consistent for androgentic alopecia and there aren’t any just out of nowhere hairloss in the family (she seemed more concerned with females than male relatives). What I haven’t stated is that I don’t handle stress well, the last time I underwent major stress was with the acne and she thinks it has taken on another form. To be as brief as I can besides taking two night classes, working full time, single mom no help from their dad ( a teen daughter and preteen son!), major stress at work, separated/divorced, financial stress, found out my dad’s prostate cancer came back, aging parents (they can’t take care of things like they used to and I’m living with them and it’s on me now), and just found my ex husband (not my kids’ dad) has lung/brain cancer and we aren’t on speaking terms and we work for the same company, oh yeah and I have new boyfriend. The last of this list happened all this month. I know I haven’t been eating well, and with the constipation if I’m severely stressed it runs right through me, then I know its bad. So she and I decided to go with biotin & a multivitamin, see my PCP she really wants me back on anti anxiety pills, I will still see him but I want to talk to him more at length because it can cause hairloss, we are continuing my 200 mg of aladactone, my orthotricyclen, eat better, I do have regrowth in my bangs. She is very concerned about my mental health (my BFF says to me “how is my ball of nerves today?” that’s how bad I am!). I know I just need to manage it better and talking to her was the first step because she too went through a stress shedding period (I do remember it, it was a year ago) and her hair is coming back in. She said it will come back for me. But for my own psychological health she said for me to get the rogaine foam for men and use it, just so I can see regrowth faster. She said they say not to use if for women because of the pregnancy issue and that isn’t a factor for me. I also had burning and itching but with the use of Nioxin it is better. She also said only wash my hair once a day (I usually do twice), and use low heat for my hair. She is going to see me in three weeks.
In May I was diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis and was put on arava, which is known to cause hair loss. After four months I noticed I was losing a bit more hair than normal so the rhuematologist added Enbrel, which I inject once a week. After a month on both my hair really started to fall out and thin. The nurse practitioner (who thinks she’s an MD) told me to stop the Arava and not to stress about it. Yeah, right! I went back to my gyne who ran lab work and found my testosterone level to be 235, way high! I had an MRI of my adrenal glands and my ovaries since these two produce testosterone. I also had an ultrasound of my ovaries. All exams were normal.
I have had alopecia universalis for 12 years now. It was very difficult in the beginning when my hair began to fall out. I was in college and devastated because I thought my life was over. I have now grown to accept myself and the way I look now. I know I would not be who I am today without this having happened, and I really like me! It does get better, but it is a process. A good support system and love from family and friends gets you through. Good luck to you all on your journey.
I don’t know in which proportion including diet, all of these things occurred but I believe A-Ret abuse was a large part of it as evidenced by blood tests taken by my PCP which I was never able to get re-evaluated due to doctor apathy. My sister is experiencing an unrelated bout of hair loss concentrated at her crown and feels hopeless. I’m sending her to this board and to all of your suggestions right away. My problem seems to have subsided but I’m remaining only optimistically cautious and still very vigilant about monitoring hair loss. Thank you everyone again for contributing to this board.
I’m so glad I came across this site. I’m 41 and started to lose my hair in Aug 2011. It started out as two bald spots in the back near the hairline. I went to a Dermatologist who started me on steroid injections, Topicort, and hair, skin and nails vitamins. After a few months, they didn’t seem to help. I went to my Internal Medicine md. He ordered all types of blood tests, $4,000 worth, which all but my Vitamin D came back normal. I started a Vitamin D supplement. He suggested I live my life and be happy. I then went to an Integrative Medicine md, who ran more blood tests that came back normal, urine tests that came back normal, and had me do a GI Repair Kit. I even tried going gluten free. I take a multivitamin, Omega 3, B Complex, Vitamin D 10,000 units, and hair, skin and nail Vitamins. I’ve cut out fast food and processed food. Drinking lots of water. Not exercising like I should. I began to gray in my twenties and have been dyeing my hair for years. The Dermatologist told me it didn’t cause the hair loss. I went months without dyeing my hair just to see if it would help. Nothing has helped or stopped my hair loss. I have now lost most of the hair in the back and on the left side over my ear leading to the front. A month a go I noticed a huge bald area on the right side in the front. I have been so depressed and self-conscious about my hair loss. I have been staying in the house and avoiding gatherings for fear of someone noticing. After spending lots of money and not getting any answers, I feel so helpless. I purchased a wig, but since my remaining hair is long and covers the bald areas, I haven’t started wearing it yet. It is a comfort knowing that I’m not the only one going through this. People don’t seem to understand. I know I’m not my hair, and my hair doesn’t make me, but it is a very traumatic thing to go through. I’ve decided to take my Internal Medicine md’s advice and to just live my life. I can’t continue to be depressed over something I can’t control. I wish everyone luck and I will continue to follow.
Before men or women invest in hair restoration, consultation and workup by a board-certified dermatologist experienced should be performed first to rule out other medical conditions that may trigger hair thinning and second to maximize medical therapy. Full medical therapy as prescribed and outlined by a board-certified dermatologist must continue in order to protect one's investment in hair transplant such as NeoGraft hair restoration.