Saw Palmetto For Hair Loss: Myth Or Miracle
Androgenetic alopecia: Male and female hair loss
Hair loss in both men and women is called androgenetic alopecia, and its common as everyone ages. Its caused by the hormone testosterone, and its conversion into a molecule called DHT. This alteration causes hair follicles to shrink, resulting in hair loss. Men have more testosterone than women do, so balding is more common in men.
Men typically experience an M-shaped pattern of thinning hair, known as male pattern baldness. Thinning usually occurs all over the scalp in women and rarely results in complete baldness. Because hair loss is so common, its no wonder people turn to herbal remedies. Saw palmetto is one of the most popular that people use to try to slow down hair loss or to regrow hair.
What Is Healthy Hair
Healthy hair is thick, voluminous, lustrous and resilient. Its naturally full, with minimal breakage and few split ends. But with our modern hair habits, healthy hair feels almost out of reach. And from our genes to lifestyles and haircare routines, theres a range of factors that influence the strength, length and thickness of our hair.
Male Vs Female Hair Loss
The cause of hair loss in men is due to the hair follicles sensitivity to DHT . DHT is a male androgen hormone that causes follicles to shrink, resulting in a shorter life span and decrease hair production. Normally after hairs fall out another hair starts to grow from this same follicle, but if DHT is high hair growth decreases. Male pattern baldness follows a pattern of a receding hairline that progresses to an M shape and then continues to the familiar U shape.
Female pattern baldness is characterized by thinning on the top or the center of the head. Female hair loss is generally due to high levels of stress, hormone imbalance, thyroid conditions or toxic exposure. Women are actually most likely to suffer from hair loss due to hormones. Think pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills and other hormonal changes that women so commonly go through. Having polycystic ovary syndrome is another hormonally related health problem that can contribute to hair loss from the scalp but unwanted hair growth in undesirable places.
Research also shows that there might be a male equivalent of PCOS related to male hair loss. One study found that men with premature male pattern baldness had hormonal profiles similar to women with PCOS and they also had significantly higher insulin resistance. This shows how proper hormone balance in men is also important to health, specifically hair health.
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Conventional Hair Loss Treatment
There are several options when it comes to conventional treatment of hair loss, all of which come with significant side effects unless you opt for a wig or hair piece. The most common conventional hair loss remedies include topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, topical or oral hormones and steroids, hair transplants, and hair restoration surgery.
An example of very commonly used and conventional topical treatment is minoxidil. One of the most well-known versions is Rogaine. Conventional hair growth products like Rogaine are available without a prescription and can be used by both men and women. Finasteride is an oral medication for hair loss in men only and requires a prescription. Both minoxidil and finasteride do not get to the root of hair loss and only work to regrow hair as long as you use these medications. Once you stop using them, the hair growth, if any, will stop.
Surgery is another conventional option thats more costly and invasive. First there is hair transplantation surgery, which takes hair from another area of the scalp where hair is growing well and moves it to a balding or thinning area. This surgery is most commonly performed for male pattern baldness. Only around 5 percent of female hair loss sufferers are said to be good candidates for hair transplant surgery. This is due to the fact that unlike men who tend to lose hair in concentrated areas, women typically experience hair loss all over their scalps.
Precautions Regarding Hair Loss Remedies
Derma Rollers: Another Approach To Fighting Hair Loss
What began as a tool for skin care became a method for fighting hair loss. Thats the story of the derma roller, which is a plastic roller with needles on it that you roll over your skin and scalp.
The needles make small incisions in the skin which dont cause bleeding .
The theory is that the minor skin damage caused by the derma roller will soon start to heal and regenerate, which leads to increased collagen production and increased nutrient absorption.
The same theory holds true for the skin on your scalp, or is expected to, at least. And the StimuROLLER Hair our pick of the litter in this category, is said to kick-start hair growth while cutting down on hair loss particularly when used in conjunction to Minoxidil.
While many people say that derma rollers in general produce excellent results for promoting hair growth, theres also a lot of people who say it has no effect at all.
In other words, the jury remains in the deliberation room and could be there a while.
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Procedures Used To Treat Male
Depending on the location and extent of your hair loss, your dermatologist may recommend one of these procedures:
Hair transplant: If youre looking for a permanent solution, you may want to consider a hair transplant. This procedure no longer involves moving plugs of hair from one part of your scalp to another. Today, a hair transplant can give you permanent, natural-looking results.
Platelet-rich plasma : While PRP is not a permanent solution, maintenance treatments can help you maintain results.
PRP can be used alone or given before a hair transplant to improve results.
If your dermatologist recommends PRP for you, heres what you can expect. A small amount of your blood would be drawn and placed into a machine that separates your red blood cells from the plasma.
Your plasma is then injected into your scalp. This takes about 10 minutes.
You will need to return for more injections. For the first three months, you return once a month. Then you return once every three to six months.
Within a few months, PRP can help lessen hair loss. Soon after, some patients see thickening of their hair or regrowth.
Do Hot Showers Cause Hair Loss
No, hot showers do not cause hair loss. But extremely hot water can damage keratin, the protein that makes up hair strands. It may also strip away the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair healthy.
If your hair is already dry or damaged, washing it in hot water can make it more likely to break.
To avoid damage, use lukewarm water instead of hot, avoid brushing and stretching your hair while wet, and use a deep, moisturizing conditioner regularly.
What Are The Symptoms Of Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness usually starts after puberty and develops gradually.
You may notice your hair gradually thinning at your temples and your hairline slowly receding. The hair on your crown may also get thinner and you may eventually develop a bald patch on the top of your head, which gets bigger over time. If hair loss continues, you may develop a horseshoe pattern of hair growth around the back and sides of your head.
Male pattern baldness doesnt usually cause your eyebrows, eyelashes or the hair at the sides and back of your hair to fall out. Hair loss in these areas is usually caused by other medical conditions. If you arent sure, or youre concerned about hair loss, see your doctor for information and advice.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss
Your hair goes through a predictable pattern of growth, shedding, and resting. Most people lose approximately 100 hairs per day. Sudden loss, especially in patches or thinning overall may require medical attention from your doctor to diagnose the underlying condition causing the excessive hair shedding. Some types of temporary shedding respond well to dietary changes while others are more permanent and do not stop until an underlying condition is treated.
Hereditary hair loss, including androgenic alopecia , affects nearly 50 percent of men and 15% of women.
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Effective Ways To Stop Hair Loss In Men
Below is the list of 20 effective solutions to help reduce or prevent hair loss:
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How Long Does Hair Loss After Covid
Telogen effluvium, whether its caused by COVID-19 or another trigger, usually isnt permanent. Shedding can occur, however, for three to six months before it stops, Dr. Kuhn says. With telogen effluvium the hair growth cycle eventually normalizes and, because there is no damage to the scalp or hair follicles, all of the hair should grow back.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your hair will likely regain normal fullness after telogen effluvium within six to nine months. Although Dr. Kuhn says, in her experience, it often takes even longeranywhere from one to two yearsfor someones hair to reach its pre-shed status.
Signs Of Balding: How To Stop Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
If youre wondering how to avoid hair loss, one of the keys 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 hair loss that you can use to identify and deal with hair loss.
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Pills To Prevent Hair Loss
Finasteride blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone , a hormone considered the major culprit in male pattern baldness. DHT thins the hair of men who have inherited a baldness gene because it shrinks genetically sensitive hair follicles until those follicles can no longer grow hair. Finasteride slows hair loss in as many as 90% of men, and most men who take it regrow some hair.
You can use minoxidil and finasteride together, often for better results. Whether you use one or both, Penstein says, you must stick to that treatment.
“You’re not curing the problem. You’re just keeping it at bay, and that takes commitment,” Penstein says. “The moment you stop, you start losing hair again, sometimes faster than before.” Learn more about what you can do to help prevent a receding hairline.
Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of “WebMD the Magazine.”
Maintaining Good Hair And Scalp Care
Taking proper care of the hair and scalp can help prevent hair loss. It may also improve hair growth. Keeping the scalp and hair clean may also prevent hair damage and loss.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends gently massaging the shampoo into the scalp but not into the hair. The Association also recommends using conditioner after every shampoo.
The AAD states that wearing tight hairstyles such as ponytails, buns, or cornrows can damage hair and recommends loose hairstyles that do not pull on the hair.
According to a
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Use A Shampoo Thats Mild And Suited For Your Hair
The purpose of shampoo is to cleanse your hair of dirt and excess oil. Overwashing with shampoo can potentially harm your hair. Sulfates and some other ingredients have been linked to frizz, scalp dryness, and fragile hair.
Theres no evidence that any specific ingredients in shampoo cause hair loss, but they might contribute to less than ideal hair health. If you notice your hair is overly dry or frizzy, try a shampoo thats as close to all-natural as possible.
Most shampoos for hair loss cost less than about $30 and arent covered by insurance.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Hair Loss Supplements
Another thing to keep in mind: some hair loss supplements are formulated better than others. Besides making sure that your hair loss pills include the best vitamins for hair loss, check the ingredient label to make sure that nothing else is included.
For example, is your hair loss supplement formulated with synthetic flavor, gluten, or other potentially toxic ingredients? Was it tested on animals? The best hair loss supplements are cruelty-free and formulated with natural ingredients that are better for your body.
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Best Foods To Stop Hair Loss
If youre older than fifteen, the era of your thickest hair has come and gone. From now on, the name of the game is to keep as much of that stuff on your head.
Although the causes of hair loss are many including genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, medications, and autoimmunity changing your diet can, in many cases, be helpful. Proper diet and supplements can slow or reverse hair loss, and make the hair thicker and healthier, says nutritionist Joseph Debé, DC, CDN, CCSP.
Below are 17 nutrient-rich foods that have been shown to keep hair healthy and full. And while were on the subject of aging, you wont want to miss our exclusive report: 30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30.
Transplants For Creating A Fuller Head Of Hair
Hair transplants have been around for quite a while now and represent another option albeit an expensive one for dealing with hair loss.
The hair transplant process involves relocating plugs of skin from part of the scalp that contains active hair follicles to areas where hair growth has ceased.
Interestingly, the newly-transplanted hair often falls out within a few weeks of the transplant procedure but grows back from the relocated follicles over a span of several months.
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What Is Hair Loss
The fact is that everyone loses hair. In fact, its normal to lose up to 50-100 hairs a day. But losing hair is different than hair loss. When youre just losing hair, youre unlikely to notice because new hairs are constantly growing.
However, when the hairs youre losing are not being replaced, you do start to notice signs of hair loss.
This type of hair loss is called male pattern baldness.
Q: Is Vitamin D Good For Hair Growth
A: Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for hair growth. It may assist in building new hair follicles, which can promote new growth. In addition, theres evidence that a deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to greater shedding .
According to Sapna Palep, M.D., founder of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City, Vitamin D is the number one vitamin thats not respected enough as a serious cause of hair not growing back .
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What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Or Slow Hair Loss
Unfortunately, certain types of hair loss are genetic, and very little can be done to prevent them. Genetic types of hair loss include alopecia areata and female pattern hair loss.
But other types of hair loss can be brought on by stress and a poor diet. Do your best to eat a balanced diet, and find ways to take care of your mental health.
For added benefit, stay up to date with your routine checkups. Anemia, low levels of vitamin D and abnormal thyroid hormones can all affect the health of your hair. Simple bloodwork from your primary care physician can determine if these conditions are contributing to your hair loss.
Black women in particular are prone to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia, which is caused by heat, chemicals and tight styles that pull at the hair root, including some braids, dreadlocks, extensions and weaves.