The Thyroid Disease Connection
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that rests in the front base of the neck. It secretes thyroid hormones that are used by every cell in the body. There’s a connection between hair loss in women and thyroid disease. Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels are a common reason for hair loss in women. Too much thyroid hormone and too little thyroid hormone may both trigger hair loss. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heart rate, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, and anxiety. In addition to hair loss, hypothyroidism may be associated with weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, slow heart rate, and constipation. Luckily, thyroid hormone imbalances are easily detectable with blood tests. Treatment helps alleviate symptoms, including hair loss.
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Ringworm And Hair Loss
Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that causes patches of hair loss. The official medical name for ringworm on the scalp is tinea capitis. The infection starts out as a small pimple that grows larger. Affected areas are itchy, red, inflamed, scaly patches with temporary baldness. The skin may ooze. People may have one or more bald spots. Ringworm is more common in children, but adults can get it, too.
The fungus triggers hair loss by causing hair to become brittle and to break off. The skin often appears most red around the edge of the lesion, with a more normal appearing skin tone in the center. That is one of the reasons the condition is called ringworm. The condition is contagious with skin-to-skin contact. It is also transmissible by infected combs, hairbrushes, unwashed clothing, and surfaces in gyms, showers, and pool areas. Your doctor can treat ringworm with oral antifungal medication. Ringworm on the scalp is one potential cause of hair loss in women that is reversible.
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Take Care Of Your Hair
In addition to changes to your diet, it’s imperative to take care of your hair properly. First, you should throw out any harsh shampoos. Instead, replace harsh shampoos with a mild option. If you aren’t sure what type of shampoo you have, ask the person that cuts your hair.
Hair dressers understand hair loss and balding in men and women and can help you choose the shampoo that is best for your situation. If you color your hair or undergo other style treatments that use harsh chemicals, you may want to discuss other options while your hair recovers.
If your hair is breaking and your beginning to see signs of baldness, you may want to consider the way you style your hair. Instead, of using products like mousse, gel, and hairspray that use alcohol and can dry your hair out, you should consider gentler hair products that won’t damage your hair and still maintain your style.
While you’re at the salon, you should see if your stylist offers scalp massages. Hair stylists are taught how to massage the scalp as part of their training. Not only does a scalp massage feel incredibly good, but it can help stimulate blood circulation. Good blood circulation at the scalp is vital to healthy hair.
If you’re hair is breaking at the root or further down the strand, you should consider massaging your hair with coconut or olive oil. Both of these oils can be found in a grocery aisle, or you may already have them at home.
Why Hair Falls Out
Hair grows and eventually falls out as part of its normal cycle. It can build up on hair brushes, pillows, or shower drains.
Most people will not notice the natural hair loss that occurs daily. Hair thickness and the hairline usually remain the same.
People are more likely to notice excessive hair loss. This is a good time to take action as it may be due to an underlying condition. Symptoms of excessive hair loss include:
- sudden loss of hair
- noticeable thinning
There are several possible reasons for excessive hair loss.
One of the most common causes is due to genetics. According to a 2019 review, pattern baldness affects up to 50% of men and women.
Commercial products could help to slow and treat this type of balding. One example of these products is Rogaine.
Pattern baldness occurs slowly with aging. Some more immediate causes of hair loss include:
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Is It Possible To Prevent Hair Loss
This depends on the type of hair loss, said Dr. Daniel Grabell, a board-certified dermatologist with Princeton Dermatology Associates.
Hair loss and thinning hair happen for many different reasons, some of which cause permanent hair loss that could be difficult or impossible to prevent. Still, others may cause temporary hair loss that can be completely resolved and even completely prevented.
Ultimately, it comes down to whats happening to the hair follicles and why. Some forms of hair loss are linked to genetics, while others are caused by an underlying medical condition. Hair loss can even have behavioral underpinnings.
Here’s a look at a few of the most common causes of hair loss and whether they can be prevented.
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Use Quality Hair Care Products
Do you read the ingredients in your hair care products before you buy them? Or do you grab the cheapest items on the shelves and use them without checking what youre putting onto your scalp?
If you answered yes to the second question, its time to start researching your hair care products.
Here are a few ingredients to watch out for:
- Sulfates: These attach to sebum on the scalp and can damage the follicles, strip away the hairs natural oils, and leave the hair dry. Sulfates may also make eczema worse and irritate the skin.
- Formaldehyde: This is a known carcinogen and can be absorbed into the body via the skin. You can find this in certain shampoos, so if you see it listed on a label, put the bottle back on the shelf.
- Alcohol: Brands add alcohol to hair care products to help retain moisture, but it can dry and damage the hair.
- Polyethylene glycol: This ingredient is often added to hair care products as a thickening agent, but can strip natural moisture from the hair.
Anything that dries the hair out and potentially harms strands could exacerbate your hair loss. Try to use products that contain natural ingredients to reduce the amount of synthetic substances coming into contact with your scalp and hair.
Consider asking other people with a bald spot to recommend products that are kind to the skin and hair.
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Women And Hair Loss: Coping Tips
Losing your crowning glory can be particularly difficult for women. But there are ways to cope.
Losing your hair as a woman, especially if you’re young or at a vulnerable time in your life, can badly affect your confidence.
Hair loss, known medically as alopecia, is fairly common. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 40% of women aged 70 years or over experience female-pattern baldness the most common type of hair loss, which is thought to be inherited.
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.
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How To Prevent Hair Loss In Men
Hair loss in men is more common than in women. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85 percent of men have thinning hair by the time they reach 50. Hair loss in men is typically caused by genetic male pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, aging, or low testosterone levels. If youre concerned about hair loss, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
to promote hair growth. By promoting circulation in the area of growth, your hair may grow more quickly if you gently massage your scalp every time you wash your hair.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Hair Loss
It can be hard to tell if youre losing hair especially if your hair loss happens gradually.
Instead, you may notice that your ponytails dont feel as thick, or that your scalp is more visible.
If youre unsure, ask your stylist if they have noticed any differences. This is especially important for women who are experiencing hair loss in areas that are difficult to see without someone elses help, such as the top of the scalp.
If you or your stylist suspect hair loss, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Generally, the sooner you act, the more hair you can save.
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More Than A Bad Hair Day
For many women, our hair is something we control we cut it, style it and choose how to wear it. It is an expression of ourselves, our personality and our image. If we lose a lot of hair, we may feel less feminine, less in control and it can affect our self-esteem.
The average age of the menopause is around fifty and in the months or years leading up to this, some women notice a change in hair pattern. Very commonly, the volume and condition of the hair appears to worsen, with some women noticing that hair does not grow as much as previously. More hair seems to come out in the basin when washing and hair brushes soon fill up as loose hairs are brushed away. Some women will go on to experience a more profound hair loss, with thinning at the crown of the head, the sides or more general hair thinning all over the head. This is described as Female pattern hair loss . A complete loss of hair, as seen in men who sometimes go bald, is much rarer in women and is usually caused by a medical condition or by medical treatment such as chemotherapy.
Hormonal Changes Or Medical Conditions
Various medical conditions can cause temporary or permanent hairloss. These include the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy ormenopause, and different thyroid issues
Additionally, there are conditions that are specific to hair loss. Alopecia areata is the medical term for a condition that causes patchy baldness anywhere on the body. It can affect the head, beard, eyebrows or anywhere else that hair is present. Alopecia totalis causes hair loss over the entire body. This is the alopecia most people are most familiar with.
Scalp infections like ringworm can also cause temporary hairloss, but hair returns once the infection is cleared.
There are even mental disorders that can cause us to loseour hair. Trichotillomania is a disorder thatleads a person to compulsively pull their own hair out. Obviously, this leadsto hair loss pretty quickly.
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Avoid Certain Hair Styles
Some hairstyles that require you to tie your hair back tightly or pull significantly on the hair can cause damage in the long-term. Frequently styling can pull the hair away from the scalp and weaken the bond between your scalp and hair. This phenomenon is known as traction alopecia.
Hairstyles such as the following should not be worn often:
- tight ponytails, braids or buns
- hair weaves or extensions
Make sure to change your hairstyles up regularly or loosen up your current up-do.
If you wear a weave or hair extensions, do not wear them long-term and make sure to check your scalp every month so if you notice hair loss, you can start treating it as soon as possible. Opting for sewn-in weaves rather than bonding glue may also help maintain your hair.
You should also regularly see your hairstylist so they can monitor your hair.
Pcos Can Be A Trigger
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women in which the body manufactures more androgens, or male hormones, than it normally should. It is a potential cause of hormonal hair loss in women. Women who suffer from this condition may grow facial hair and extra body hair. One of the other symptoms of this condition is thinning of hair on the head. Women affected with PCOS may also experience weight gain, acne, menstrual irregularities, ovulation problems, depression, and infertility. Hair thinning may be the only outward sign that a woman is suffering from this condition.
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Find The Hair Loss Treatment That Is Right For You
If youve noticed hair loss and want to stop it, one of the most effective ways is to block the androgen dihydrotestosterone the hormone that causes hair loss using a combination of finasteride, minoxidil and a hair thickening shampoo.
The most effective hair loss treatments, such as 5-reductase inhibitor finasteride, are designed to stop further hair loss. This means that the earlier you start taking them, the more of your hair youll be able to preserve.
In some cases, drugs like finasteride and minoxidil can cause you to regrow some of your lost hair, although theres no guarantee that this will happen.
Our guide to DHT and hair loss explains more about how hair loss treatments like finasteride work, and the potential effects you can expect from starting the treatment.
If you are worried about whether or not you can grow your hair back, a hair transplant may be the option for you.
You can also complete an online consultation with our healthcare providers to learn more about whats causing your hair loss and how you can encourage hair growth.
What Causes Hair Loss In Women
Women lose up to 50 – 100 hairs a day. This is normal, however some women do experience hair loss as they age in a similar way to men.
Female pattern hair loss or female pattern baldness is also a relatively common phenomenon, particularly after menopause, but is notably less understood. Its not known if androgens play a role in hair loss in women as the majority of women suffering from it have normal hormone levels. However, it is believed to be hereditary.
Women can also experience hair loss from stress, poor hair habits, certain medical conditions and as a side effect of certain medicines. However, there are different treatment options for women and its important to consult your doctor if youre unsure of the cause of your hair loss.
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