You Have Low Iron Levels
The American Academy of Dermatology also says that not getting enough iron into your diet can lead to unwanted hair loss, too.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you don’t have enough iron in your bodythe symptoms of which include fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. To help remedy this, your doctor might suggest iron supplements or other healthy lifestyle choices, like increasing your intake of both iron- and vitamin-C rich foods.
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?
You Have A Thyroid Condition
Thyroid conditionslike hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidismcan cause a range of hair issues, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Those include: thinning or missing eyebrows , soft and fine hair with lots of shedding, thinning hair, and less hair on other body parts.
Of course, if you have experienced hair loss with a thyroid issue, the best bet is to speak with your doctor about treatment possibilitiesbut usually, treating the underlying cause first is essential to treating any other associated issues.
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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.
How To Stop Thinning Hair: Hair Loss Treatment For Women
Medications are the most common treatment for hair loss in women. They include the following:
Minoxidil . This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman’s hair loss.
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some not all women, it can’t restore the full density of the lost hair. It’s not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won’t see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you’ll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you’ll start to lose hair again.
Some women find that the minoxidil solution leaves a deposit that dries and irritates their scalp. This irritation, called contact dermatitis, is probably caused not by the minoxidil itself, but rather by the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying.
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A Dermatologists Diagnosis Is Best Before Treating Hair Loss
If you think you have FPHL, its important to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis. Women develop hair loss for many reasons. Other common causes of hair loss in women can look a lot like FPHL. Each of these causes requires different treatment. Without the right treatment, hair loss often continues.
You can find a dermatologist in your area by going to Find a Dermatologist.
What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
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Crash Diets Are Dangerous
Crash diets and fad diets promise quick weight loss, but most do not work and can be dangerous. If you lose 15 pounds or more very quickly, you may lose a significant amount of hair within a matter of months. Inadequate protein and nutrients is one of the potential reasons for hair loss in women. Stick to a healthy, balanced eating plan. Fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbs give your body the fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals you need to maintain a healthy body, including a full head of hair. Other dietary risk factors for hair loss? Excess vitamin A may set the stage for your luscious locks to fall out.
Consider These Useful Supplements For Healthy Hair
- A multivitamin and mineral to guard against deficiencies .
- Soy isoflavones . If you have a medical history of a hormone dependent condition check with your doctor before taking them although evidence suggests they are beneficial in these cases, too.
- A probiotic will supply beneficial digestive bacteria which may help to increase conversion of soy isoflavones to a stronger oestrogenic version called equol.
- Flaxseed oil is one of the richest dietary sources of lignans.
- Some nutritionists may recommend l-lysine amino acid supplements.
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What’s The Difference Between Hair Thinning And Receding
If your hair is thinning primarily on your frontal scalp versus the entire head, you may be dealing with a receding hairline. With a thinning hairline, its a reduction of hair fibers in each hair follicle, which creates the appearance of less density, Florida-based trichologist Bridgette Hill has told Cosmo. But with receding, its a reduction of actual hair follicles that become dormant and die off, leading to a higher hairline and the forehead becoming more obvious.
Just like hair loss and thinning, there are a number of factors that can contribute to a receding hairline , which is why it’s so important to meet with a dermatologist or trichologist who can assess your scalp and hair and give you a clear plan of action before you do an-y-thing.
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.
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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Lack Of B Vitamins Can Cause Hair Loss
Lacking certain vitamins and minerals may also lead to thinning hair or hair loss in women. Some dermatologists believe that not eating enough red meat or following a vegetarian diet may affect hair loss.
Red meat and other animal foods are rich in iron, a mineral that supports hair and body growth. Women are already prone to iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation, so not taking in enough iron in the diet may lead to deficiency.
Eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, may also lead to vitamin deficiencies and thinning hair. In particular, deficiencies thought to affect hair include those in zinc, amino acid L-lysine, B-6, and B-12.
Is Hair Loss In Women Different Than Men
Women lose hair on an inherited basis, too, but female pattern hair loss tends to be more diffuse, with less likelihood of the crown and frontal hairline being lost. Although some women may notice hair thinning as early as their 20s, the pace of hair loss tends to be gradual, often taking years to become obvious to others. There seems to be a normal physiologic thinning that comes with age and occurs in many women in their early to mid-30s. More women have underlying causes of hair loss than men. These include treatable conditions like anemia and thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome . These conditions are diagnosed by blood tests along with a historical and physical evidence. Although a few studies have suggested that baldness may be inherited through the mother’s family genes, these theories require further testing. Current studies are inconclusive. Although not indicated for female pattern balding, spironolactone has had some success in treating this condition.
While stories about hats choking off follicles or long hair pulling on the roots may be more folklore, repeat hair trauma like tightly woven hair pulled back and consistent friction can potentially worsen or cause localized hair loss in some individuals. Individuals who pull their hair tightly back in a rubber band can develop a localized hair loss at the front of the scalp.
Hair loss “myths” of special concern to women
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Give Your Hair The Nutrition It Needs To Thrive
Diet should always come first, so, select whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to nourish your hair roots.
Meats and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron. If your hair is thinning, however, then a multivitamin and mineral supplement is also a good idea to guard against nutrient deficiencies.
Before taking supplements, see your doctor to rule out related problems such as iron-deficiency anemia, malabsorption of nutrients, and hormone imbalances, including type 2 diabetes and thyroid problems which may need further investigation.
Garlic has beneficial effects on circulation by dilating small blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the peripheries such as the scalp and nail folds by as much as 55 percent. Platelet clumping is significantly decreased after a dose equivalent to half a clove of garlic and lasts for three hours. Some of the ingredients in garlic are as potent as aspirin in this respect.
You can also stimulate circulation and increase the flow of nutrients to hair follicles by massaging your scalp regularly with your fingers, at least once a day. Concentrate on areas where your scalp seems tightly bound down to the underlying bone, to help improve any constriction to blood flow.
How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
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Causes Of Sudden And Rapid Hair Loss
Now that you understand how hair grows and what happens when it falls out, lets explore some of the possible causes of sudden and rapid hair loss:
1. Medical Conditions
If you suddenly go from a full head of hair to rapid thinning, its possible that theres a medical condition to blame. For example, an overactive or underactive thyroid can lead to hair loss. Likewise, chronic or inflammatory disorders, chronic infections, and/or autoimmune diseases can cause diffuse telogen hair loss.
In other situations, certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss. This is especially common when people go on crash diets and dont consume adequate amounts of protein, zinc, iron, fatty acids, or vitamin D.
Certain medications can cause sudden hair loss. This is most commonly seen in anticancer drugs and/or chemotherapy treatments. Hair loss is typically noticeable within a week and becomes total and widespread by month number two.
In addition to chemotherapeutic drugs, medications that can sometimes cause hair loss include warfarin, steroids, birth control pills, lithium, amphetamines and vitamin A supplements, though hair will most often grow back when the offending medication is stopped, The New York Times explains. If youve recently started on a new medication and you notice hair loss during this period, consult with your doctor to see if there is an alternative option available.
Thinning Hair And Hair Loss: Could It Be Female Pattern Hair Loss
For most women, FPHL begins in midlife, when a woman is in her 40s, 50s, or 60s. It can begin earlier for some women.
FPHL is a progressive condition. This means women tend to continue losing hair. But women do not lose all of their hair, as do some men. Instead, your part often gets wider. Hair near your temples may recede. Without treatment, some women eventually develop widespread thinning.
Treatment can prevent hair loss from worsening and help women regrow their hair. Treatment delivers the best results when started at the first sign of hair loss.
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