What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
Is All Hair Loss The Same
Although most cases of hair loss are attributed to hereditary hair loss, there are several other possible causes:
Hereditary hair loss is known as androgenic alopecia and is a genetic condition that shortens the time that hair spends actively growing and causes hair follicles to gradually shrink. Women with hereditary hair loss experience a general thinning of the hair, with the most extensive hair loss occurring on the top of the head and along the part. The number of women with this type of hair loss increases with age, but it can start as early as her 20s. Womens Rogaine® 5% Minoxidil Foam is only indicated to treat hereditary hair loss.
On the flipside, temporary hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, happens when stress, diet, a hormonal imbalance or a traumatic event causes the hair follicles to remain in the resting state, causing increased hair shedding and a temporary thinning of hair across the whole scalp. While the amount of time someone stays in telogen effluvium varies, once the imbalance has been corrected hair will return to its previous thickness.
A third kind of hair loss is called alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that is recognized by well-defined patches of hair loss, which may happen rapidly and could lead to complete hair loss. If you have no history of hair loss in your family and are experiencing this kind of hair loss, consult your doctor.
You May Like: What To Do If Hair Thinning
What Is Finasteride And Who Is It For
Finasteride is a prescription oral drug that doctors originally used to shrink an enlarged prostate. According to Nicholas M Birchall, MD, and dermatologist in Auckland, New Zealand, finasteride treats male- and female-pattern baldness by lowering levels of DHT. This stops the hormone from attacking the hair follicles, slowing or eliminating hair loss. Because it targets DHT, it will not work for other forms of hair loss, such as hair loss due to chemotherapy, stress, medication, or hypothyroidism.
âFinasteride is by far the more clinically effective medication compared to minoxidil,â Gary Linkov, MD, of City Facial Plastics in New York City tells WebMD Connect to Care. Linkov does caution that finasteride can cause sexual side effects such as decreased semen and reduced sexual desire. In some cases, it may also cause excessive hair growth.
According to Mayo Clinic, people who take finasteride may experience rare symptoms such as nipple discharge, enlarged breasts or breast pain, testicle pain, or trouble urinating. Contact a doctor right away if you have these symptoms.
âFinasteride should not be used in premenopausal women,â Linkov says.
You May Like: What Chemical In Shampoo Causes Hair Loss
How Do I Use Rogaine For Best Results
Use Rogaine for best results using the six easy steps below twice a day, seven days per week.
What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss
Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:
- What kinds of hair products do you use?
- What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
- What types of food do you eat ?
- Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?
They might ask about your history:
- Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
- Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
- What medications and supplements do you take every day?
- Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
- What foods are in your diet?
And, they might ask about your observations:
- How long have you been losing hair?
- Have you been shedding more?
- Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
- Does anything worsen your hair loss?
- Does anything improve your hair loss?
- Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
- Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
- Has your hair been breaking more often?
Also Check: Why Does Hair Thin During Menopause
Can Rogaine Make Hair Loss Worse
There are many different options out there when it comes to hair loss treatment and you dont always have to undergo surgery in order to help improve your hair loss. And while a hair transplant may seem like the only permanent solution to your hair loss, depending on your condition, medical treatments like Rogaine can have incredible results when used properly.
Minoxidil, or as its more commonly known as, Rogaine, was the very first and only FDA-approved topical medication for hair growth treatment and has been a game changer in the space ever since. Minoxidil is a topical solution applied directly to the affected area. We know that it dilates blood vessels in the scalp which improve blood flow, but the precise mechanisms on how it promotes hair growth are not completely understood.
While it is very effective in most cases at treating hair loss, many patients have discussed their concerns with us after starting treatment that they are noticing more hair falling out instead of less.
We know that hair loss can be a difficult thing to deal with, and when you start a treatment that is supposed to prevent it, and instead you notice the opposite effects happening, it can be very concerning, even alarming.
Rest assured though, there is an explanation for why it appears that you are losing more hair now that youve started Rogaine, as opposed to growing more hair.
Does Minoxidil Really Work
Oral minoxidil is particularly effective for hypertensive patients who have tried other drug regimens that were unsuccessful. Taking minoxidil with a diuretic and beta blocker can limit minoxidil side effects. Its benefits usually outweigh its risks.
Topical minoxidil used for hair growth is clinically proven to work. Blood vessels in the scalp open, allowing nutrients to get to the hair follicles. Minoxidil works for hereditary hair loss, which is hair loss due to heredity, hormones, and age. Minoxidil may not be sufficient for certain types of hair loss such as hair loss from an autoimmune disorder like lupus, or hair loss from chemotherapy, pregnancy, or menopause.
Many people ask if Rogaine is a dihydrotestosterone blocker. DHT is a hormone associated with male pattern baldness, but Rogaine does not affect DHT. Rogaine works to rejuvenate hair follicle health so new hair can grow.
Rogaine is most effective on long-term hair loss versus sudden hair loss. While hair growth is noticeable within four months of using the product, the benefits of this product will cease when you stop using it. You must continually use the product to maintain hair regrowth.
Most people experience hair shedding when starting and stopping minoxidil and with inconsistent use, says Susan Bard, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Vive Dermatology in Brooklyn, New York. It is recommended that patients not abruptly start and restart minoxidil and to use it consistently to prevent shedding.
Also Check: What Causes Patches Of Hair Loss
Thinning Hair Dos & Donts
Bid bad hair days goodbye with this list of volume-boosting hair care tools and techniques.
DO gently pat freshly washed hair with a microfiber towel to absorb moisture. Because it minimizes breakage, this is the best method for drying and thinning hair before styling it.
DO treat hair with gentle care, and avoid over-brushing, washing, and processing, all of which can further damage already fragile strands.
DO snag yourself a quality wide-tooth comb if you have curly or wavy hair, or a brush with soft, rounded bristle tips for straight hair, and make these your new grooming go-tos to prevent further disruption of thinning hair.
DO toss out any fine-tooth combs and brushes with sharp bristles. These tools can increase breakage in hair that needs extra TLC.
DO turn your head upside down to blow-dry when you are in a pinch and dont have time to air or pat-dry it. This is an easy way to give your thin hair a powerful boost, making it appear more voluminous.
DO nudge your hair to new heights by indulging in a nourishing bedtime hair-care routine. Tenderly comb out breakage-causing tangles and gently gather your mane into a low, loose bun, braid, or ponytail before nodding off to sleep.
DO massage your scalp using the pads of your fingers before hopping in the shower, beyond just feeling amazing, this increases blood flow and helps exfoliate pores for a healthier scalp.
DON’T sleep on a wet head. Fine hair just doesnt bounce back the same way thicker hair does.
Does Minoxidil Work On A Receding Hairline
This is not as well understood. Minoxidil is FDA-approved for use on the vertex, or the top of the scalp, because that is what the original trials evaluated. It hasnt necessarily been shown to be effective for a receding hairline because there have not been as many studies looking at that part of the scalp.
It turns out that the scalp hair follicles from the top of your head are molecularly different from those at the front edge of your hairline . Despite this, one small study showed that minoxidil helped improve receding hairlines just as much as vertex thinning. However, more data is needed before definitively saying that minoxidil improves hairline recession .
What are researchers waiting for? Your guess is as good as ours. But for now, dont count on seeing results from using minoxidil on your receding hairline. However, finasteride has been shown to be somewhat effective thereanother good reason to use the two medications together .
Recommended Reading: When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen
How Should I Take Finasteride
- Take finasteride exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
- You may take finasteride with or without food.
- If you forget to take finasteride, do not take an extra tablet. Just take the next tablet as usual.
- Finasteride will not work faster or better if you take it more than once a day.
How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
Prevention without the knowledge of what is causing it, if its already happening, can be frustrating.
We suggest the most sensible thing is to go to a doctor and have some tests.
These tests may include a biopsy of the scalp in extreme cases and or a complete blood workup, including iron level, vitamin screening, and a thyroid function test.
Other things that may help to prevent hair loss are thorough cleansing of the scalp, shampooing regularly, but not too much so as not to dry out the scalp and with a higher-quality shampoo.
Maybe you can find a natural shampoo without harsh chemicals.
Go the same route with conditioners, especially, because there are waxes used in conditioners.
One valuable thing to know about conditioners is that wax is left on the hair afterwards which gives it a silky feel.
They dont penetrate the actual hair to make it softer and healthier.
Thats an advertising gimmick.
Maybe there are expensive or natural brands that can do that, but you should do the actual research on the product.
What does that have to do with baldness and hair thinning prevention?
A lot, because a lot of things can cause baldness and hair thinning, and one of them is chemicals clogging the follicle.
Read Also: Can Breastfeeding Cause Hair Loss
How Soon Can I Expect Results
Since normal hair usually grows only 1/2 to 1 inch per month, hair regrowth with Womens ROGAINE® products also takes time. At first, hair regrowth shows up usually as soft, downy, colorless hair. After further use, new hair should develop having the same color and thickness as other hairs on your scalp. It takes time to regrow hair. Results with once-daily use of Womens ROGAINE® Foam may be seen as early as 3 months, and for some women, it may take at least 6 months for results to be seen. You may need to use Womens ROGAINE® Solution 2 times a day for at least 4 months before you see results. If you do not see any results after 6 months of once-daily use of the foam or 4 months of twice daily use of the solution, stop using Womens ROGAINE® products and seek the advice of your doctor. Your results and success may depend on proper application and dosage remember to apply Womens ROGAINE® 5% Minoxidil Foam once-a-day or Womens ROGAINE® 2% Minoxidil Solution twice-a-day, every day, directly to the scalp.The images below demonstrate effects of continued use of Womens ROGAINE® 5% Minoxidil Foam for 6 months in a clinical study. With continued once daily use of Womens ROGAINE®5% Minoxidil Foam for 24 weeks, 81% of women had hair regrowth.**Results based on a 6-month clinical study of once daily use of Womens ROGAINE®5% Minoxidil Foam vs. Placebo. Use as directed.
Nanoxidil Treatment And Side Effects
Like minoxidil, nanoxidil also treats hair loss. However, its use isnt limited only to the vertex area. Instead, it can be used to treat male and female baldness across the entire scalp. When applied topically, nanoxidil may prolong the anagen phase of hair growth by opening ion channels and stimulating hair follicles. Nanoxidil looks similar to minoxidil in molecular structure, but it has one less carbon chain. As a result, nanoxidil has a larger molecular weight than its smaller counterpart and has excellent absorption capacity.
Another stark difference between nanoxidil and minoxidil is that the former has no known side effects. That means you can use it with confidence, knowing that it wont cause your scalp to itch, flush or become otherwise irritated. It also wont put you at risk of daytime drowsiness or dizziness.
Since nanoxidil is a water-based formula, it goes on without leaving a greasy residue behind. The same cant be said for minoxidil, which is greasy and can make it look like you dont wash your hair regularly.
Read Also: How To Stop Hair Loss And Itchy Scalp
Why Minoxidil Shedding Is A Good Sign
If youâve started using Minoxidil and have begun experiencing hair shedding, you might be panicking. But donât!
If youâve started using Minoxidil and have begun experiencing hair shedding, you might be panicking. But donât! We understand that hair shedding is just about the last thing you want when you begin a hair loss treatment, but rest assured, this shedding can actually be a good sign!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they begin using a hair loss product is not giving the product enough time to actually begin helping. Donât let this common temporary phase discourage you. In this article weâll breakdown why this shedding is happening, what to expect, and when this normal shedding process will stop.
How Long Does This Minoxidil Shedding Last
Everything weve discussed so far probably has you wondering if minoxidil is worth the trouble. The good news is that minoxidil shedding does end for most men. It typically only occurs at the beginning of your treatment. To be more specific, research shows that it generally starts two to eight weeks after beginning the treatment.
After that, the shedding should subside. Continue to apply minoxidil as directed and remain patient. Most men start to see results in 4-6 months, with some men needing up to a year to see the real impact of the treatment.
Read Also: Is My Hair Thinning Or Am I Paranoid
Side Effects Of Minoxidil
As mentioned, shedding hair in the first few weeks after treatment is a normal response to using minoxidil. Given that less than 2% of minoxidil is absorbed by the body when applied topically, serious side effects are rare. Side effects of minoxidil include :
- Scalp irritation
- Allergic contact dermatitis at the site of drug application
- Hair growth in untreated places
Side effects, especially hypertrichosis, are more common with the higher 5% dose than the 2% formulation .
Accutane Hair Loss: Is It Chronic Telogen Effluvium
Dermatologists label severe Accutane-induced hair loss as telogen effluvium , a condition that is triggered by a shock to the body. This shock can be anything from illness, to extreme weight loss, to a harsh medication such as Accutane. One thing these triggers all have in common is that they alter the body’s energy expenditure, resulting in a period of acute hair loss. See, in the grand scheme of things, hair is a relatively unimportant mass of keratin. If the body is under intense systemic stress , the endocrine system releases hormones shift the body towards prioritising necessary bodily features, while shutting the rest down.
This results in heavy hair loss that should be temporary and resolve in a matter of months after the trigger has ended. However, many Accutane hair loss sufferers find that their hair loss doesn’t seem to stop, even when they have long stopped taking the medication. They may experience some regrowth but lose all new hairs within a few weeks, seeming to be stuck in perpetual growth-shed cycles. A dermatologist may issue them a new diagnosis of chronic telogen effluvium and send them on their travels.
Don’t Miss: Does Ms Cause Hair Loss