Women Reveal What It’s Like To Experience Hair Loss
Androgenetic alopecia is a slow and progressive reduction in hair volume, Kingsley said. It occurs when you have a genetic predisposition that causes hair follicles on your scalp to be sensitive to normal levels of circulating androgens .
In other words, your hair follicles gradually shrink and produce hairs that are slightly finer and shorter with each passing hair growth cycle. Even though this type of hair loss is mostly reliant on genes, Kingsley said other factors can influence it as well. For instance, certain contraceptives and hormone-replacement therapies that effect hormone levels can aggravate the problem if there’s already a genetic predisposition to follicle sensitivity.
Telogen effluvium, on the other hand, is characterized by excessive daily hair fall with more hairs falling out when women shampoo or brush/style their hair. It can take 8-12 weeks for hair to fall out after a triggering event. It is a reactive alopecia, triggered by an internal disruption, Kingsley said. As hair is non-essential tissue, it is very sensitive to fluctuations to general health.
Certain vitamin deficiencies like Vitamin D, iron and ferritin , for instance and other factors like crash dieting, thyroid issues and pregnancy can also trigger telogen effluvium.
Early Signs Of Balding And How To Stop Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
One of the keys to stopping hair loss is learning about the common signs of baldness and taking action as early as possible. Simply put, the earlier you take action to prevent hair loss, the more hair youll be able to save.
Unfortunately, identifying hair loss isnt always easy. With many myths about balding circling the internet, it is easy to mistake normal hair loss for male pattern baldness.
Luckily, there are some real signs of male pattern baldness that you can use to identify and deal with hair loss. Learn about hair loss treatments from Hims.
Potential Causes For Hair Thinning
From daily habits to genetics, theres a myriad of reasons why we suddenly lose hair. This is why prioritizing your hair and scalp health is so important, as hair loss can affect virtually anyone. However, there are four main types of hair loss:
- Androgenetic Alopecia: the most common form of hair loss in women, androgenetic alopecia is characterized by thinning on the scalp. As its name would suggest, this type of hair loss is genetic and can be passed on from mother or father.
- Telogen Effluvium: this kind of hair loss happens during periods of great stress. Youll see handfuls of hair on brush, bathroom floor, or pillowcase.
- Traction Alopecia: youll see slight balding or a receding hairline where hair is normally pulled, twisted, or excessively styled.
- Alopecia Areata: characterized by hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This is caused by an autoimmune skin disease.
If youre still unsure about why youre suddenly experiencing hair loss, here are some other reasons:
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How To Protect Manage And Treat Thinning Hair:
You likely dont need to wash your hair every day. In fact, Samantha DelaFuente, a stylist at Marie Robinson Salons in New York and Miami, tells SELF that she recommends washing only two or three times a week. Dont be afraid of dirty hair, she says.
And dermatologists agree: Washing too often strips your hair of necessary oils, and washing infrequently can leave hair dull and limp, especially if you overuse dry shampoo, Dr. Bridges says. If you have natural hair, which tends to be drier and more prone to breakage, clean it even less frequently, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Moisturizing shampoos formulated without sulfateschemicals in shampoos that help clean but can also be drying on sensitive or dry scalpsare a safe bet for everyone. In particular, celebrity stylist Tym Wallace tells SELF he recommends Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo .
Conditioner gives your hair shine and reduces static electricity, the AAD explains, which is why it improves the look and feel of dull or damaged hair. Apply to the ends of the hair and work your way up, DelaFuente says. A little goes a long way the more conditioner you use, the flatter your hair will be.
Remove tangles with a wide-tooth comb and rinse with cool water, which closes the cuticle and makes the hair shiny, Dr. Bridges explains.
After shampooing and conditioning, try using a leave-in product, like a conditioner or detangler, which will boost moisture and provide heat protection before styling.
What Else Can I Do To Keep My Hair Healthy
Try making changes to your hair care routine:
- Use gentle hair products, like baby shampoo
- Avoid using curlers, hot combs, or chemical treatments that can damage your hair
- Make sure braids, buns, and other hairstyles arent too tight pulling on the scalp can cause more hair loss
Making these changes wont make hair grow back, but they can help keep your hair as healthy as possible.
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Where Is The Hair Loss
If you are noticing a receding hairline or loss specifically in the crown area, these can be signs of balding. A more random pattern or evenly spread loss of hair is usually an indicator of hair thinning.
If your hair seems to be falling out in patches, you could have alopecia, a condition that causes a person to lose patches of hair. Consult a doctor if you think this to be the case.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
Every guy wants to know how to prevent hair loss. Or, every guy wants to cling to the idea that it might be possibleeven if he isn’t particularly worried about losing his hair. It’s reassuring to know that there’s some recourse out there if it ever gets bad up there.
But while there are a lot of gimmicky devices and procedures and supplements out thereeach of them promising to be the revolutionthere are really only a few things that actually work.
So, we’re going to lay that all out for you in the clearest possible terms. We sought expertise from Dr. Michele Green, one of NYCs most in-demand dermatologists. Heres what Dr. Green tells her patients to do, if they want to keep and strengthen the hair they already have . Follow her plan at any age, with the help of your own board-certified dermatologist, and you should see long-lasting results within a few months.
Dr. Green says that, if you want to fight hair loss, you need to visit your board-certified dermatologist at the first sign of thinning or shedding. Getting treatment for hair loss in its early stages can help minimize overall hair loss and increase the odds of a treatments efficacy, she says. Hair loss can seem overwhelming which is why it is necessary to consult with a dermatologist who will assess your condition and explain all of your treatment options.
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Why Does Hair Fall Out
The hair on your head goes through a life cycle that involves growth, resting, and shedding. Its common for people to lose around 100 hairs a day.
If you experience more sudden loss, loss in patches, or overall thinning, you may want to see your doctor.
Some shedding is temporary and may respond well to changes in diet, certain treatments, or lifestyle changes. Other loss may be more permanent or not stop until an underlying condition is treated.
Solution: Speak To A Doctor
It is worth consulting your doctor for guidance if you are struggling to identify the reason for hair thinning or if your hair loss is becoming substantial. That way you can not only discuss your general health and identify your stress and hormone levels, but also receive expert advice on whether something more serious is to blame.
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Solution: Get To Know Your Hair
Educate yourself on your own hair so you have a better idea of its limits, advises Smart. Get a good grasp of its physical characteristics such as density and diameter . As well as how it behaves, for example, its porosity levels and elasticity. By learning more about your hair, you can learn to avoid doing things that it doesn’t like.
Then, be mindful of how you handle your hair, which means once it’s in that ponytail, loosen it just one last time to ensure it isn’t too tight and avoid doing any intricate styling when you are in a rush,” continues Smart. “Insist that braids, extensions and weaves are installed loosely and if they prove too tight, remove them without hesitation. Resist the urge to constantly ‘slick’ hair tightly into a style and finally, change it up. One of the key issues with traction is the repetitive tension so attempt to avoid this by varying styles.
Consider Using A Caffeinated Shampoo
If you dont already use a caffeinated shampoo, consider switching to one. Caffeine applied directly to the scalp has two beneficial effects. It relaxes smooth muscle fibres surrounding the hair to improve blood flow. More importantly, it also inhibits the enzyme, 5–reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone within scalp hair follicles and which is associated with male and female pattern hair loss.
A growing body of evidence supports the effects of caffeinated shampoos in stimulating hair follicles, and Ive certainly noticed a dramatic improvement in hair thickness since starting to use one. Just two minutes contact with the scalp during shampooing allows the caffeine to penetrate into hair follicles, where it remains for up to 48 hours after washing.
Plantur 39 combo Shampoo, conditioner, and scalp tonic.
Leave-on caffeine solutions are also available and have been shown to increase the cross-sectional area of scalp hairs by 10%.
Drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea or coffee does not have the same effect, as the caffeine must penetrate into the hair follicles itself to inhibit 5- -reductase.
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Dermatologists Recommendations For Swimmers
Pool chemicals can be hard on your hair. The following can help protect your hair:
Wear a swim cap
Rinse hair immediately after swimming
After rinsing your hair, wash your hair with a specially formulated swimmers shampoo and follow with a deep conditioner
3. Drying your hair by rubbing it with a towel
Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Wrap your hair in a towel to absorb the water.
Let your hair air dry.
4. Brushing your hair while it is wet
Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Do you have straight hair? Let your hair dry a bit before you gently comb it with a wide-tooth comb.
Do you have textured hair or tight curls? Always comb your hair while it is damp, using a wide-tooth comb.
5. Using a blow dryer, hot comb, or curling iron
Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Let your hair air dry when possible.
Use the lowest heat setting.
Limit the time a hot comb or curling iron touches your hair.
Use these tools less frequently, aiming for once a week or even less often.
6. Applying styling products that offer long-lasting hold
Change that can help prevent hair damage:
Try a hairstyle that does not require this product.
7. Pulling your hair back tightly, such as in a ponytail, bun, or cornrows
Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Wear hair loosely pulled back.
Use covered rubber bands made especially for styling hair.
Try a different hairstyle that does not pull on your hair.
8. Wearing a weave or hair extensions
When To See A Doctor For Thinning Hair
Although its common to lose hair throughout the day, its a good idea to speak with your doctor if youre losing more than 100 hairs per day.
You should also talk with your doctor if youre worried about persistent hair loss or a receding hairline, or if you notice sudden patchy hair loss. Patches of hair loss could signify an underlying medical condition.
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Tips About How To Wash Thinning Hair To Prevent Hair Loss
Even if it sounds basic, there are a few mistakes that many women make when washing their hair, actions that lead to losing hair. Maybe you consider it would take too much time, and you want to keep it quick, but, in reality, taking extra time to cleanse your hair will pay in the long run.
To stop thinning hair from falling, and keep it looking its best, consider how you wash your hair using our tips. Consequently, this list will help you learn about the most impactful factors that make your hair fall and break.
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Try A Scalp Treatment
One of the best preventative measures you can take against hair shedding is incorporating scalp care into your regular haircare routine. Hill explains, “Using weekly pre-shampoo scalp treatments that stimulate follicular health goes a long way to help retain the strength and vitality of the hair follicle.” She recommends René Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate , which detoxes the scalp using essential oils like orange and lavender to clarify and purify without removing any of the good oils. It also comes with a bonus scalp massager so you can really get into those roots.
Hill also recommends using additional topical scalp treatments, like creams, masks, and shampoos. Some are available over the counter, while others may require a doctor’s prescription, in the case of treating scalp psoriasis or other skin ailments. Groh Scalp Hair Rejuvenating Serum is designed to promote healthy hair growth and is meant to be massaged into the scalp daily to help thinning hair. Also by René Furterer, TRIPHASIC Reactional Concentrated Serum is one of the best hair growth serums on the marketit’s designed to be used once a week for three months. Fans have been loyal to this product for decades, and for good reason.
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Get A Hormone Boost To Reduce Hair Loss
Hair loss increases after menopause when estrogen levels fall. This also increases the relative influence of the small amount of testosterone hormone that is made in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
Testosterone is converted into a stronger hormone in hair follicles which increases male and female-pattern hair loss which is genetically determined.
If you are willing to take estrogen hormone replacement therapy, this will help to boost hair quality. Once again, this is something that you can discuss with your doctor.
An alternative approach is to consume more plant estrogens, especially isoflavones and lignans. Although these are between 500 and a thousand times less active than human estrogen, they can provide a useful hormone boost. Isoflavones are found in edamame beans, tofu, miso, and other soy products, sweet potato, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
As well as having an oestrogen-like action, lignans provide an additional benefit by inhibiting the enzyme , which converts testosterone to the stronger dihydrotestosterone in hair follicles. Research shows that increasing your intake of lignans are associated with a reduced rate of hair loss and hair regeneration.