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What Can Cause Thinning Hair

Yes Women Experience Thinning Hair Too Heres Why And Possible Treatments

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At first, I blamed the hairstylists. For several years, my hair had been flat, the cowlick too pronounced, the texture different. I kept switching salons in search of the perfect cut, the miracle product or, ideally, both. Then, as I ticked off my complaints to a new stylist, he ran his fingers through my hair and shrugged. It happens, he said. We get older. The hair thins.

What?

Just a few months later, Ricki Lake, 51, revealed her own struggle with hair loss an irony for the actress who found fame as the star of Hairspray. My fixation kicked into high gear, and I started searching online for answers. I learned that its normal to shed 50 to 100 hairs a day, and that new ones should grow in their place. But a variety of factors, including genetics, illness and poor nutrition, can disrupt that growth cycle, not just in men, but also in women of all ages. The American Hair Loss Association reports that 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers are women.

Genetics is the leading cause of hair loss for both sexes, said Marc Avram, a New York dermatologist who specializes in the condition. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 30 million women in the United States suffer from hereditary hair loss, compared with 50 million men, though Avram suspects the numbers are much higher.

When To See A Doctor

In most cases, thinning hair is not linked with overall health problems. If a person is concerned about hair loss, or if it affects their mental well-being, they can see a doctor.

If a person loses a lot of hair with no known cause, they should see their doctor. This is especially important if they have recently made dietary changes or started taking supplements.

The doctor may recommend that a person sees a skin specialist, or dermatologist, to determine the best ways to treat thinning hair.

Dandruff Or Scalp Psoriasis

When the skin on the scalp is inflamed and itchy, its obviously tempting to scratch it. But that may cause your hair to shed more than usual.

Dandruff is the most easily treated cause of hair loss, Dr. Fusco says, because you can treat it with over-the-counter products, like a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or exfoliating ingredients such as the classic Head & Shoulders Classic or Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo . “Consistency is the trick,” Dr. Fusco says, so it’s important to find a shampoo and conditioner you like enough to use regularly.

But other conditions can also cause itchiness and scalp flaking, including seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis . Treating these issues may take more time and effort than dandruff, so its important to check in with a dermatologist if you think you may be dealing with one of these conditions.

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Is Hair Loss Normal

We all lose hair. Some hair loss is perfectly normal, as hair falls out after it completes the 2 to 6 year growth phase. You may notice loose hairs that have fallen out on your clothes or in your comb or hairbrush. The average person loses about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is normal. What is not normal? Excessive hair loss in women may be apparent by the following: If your hair starts to fall out in clumps, especially when you brush or comb it or are in the shower, you should see your doctor. If you notice that you can see larger areas of your scalp or that your hair is thinning, see your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment of your hair loss condition.

What About Pregnancy Hair Loss

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Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller. This may be related to change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown. Quite often, there may be a loss of hair after delivery or a few months later which will eventually normalize.

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Treatment For Hair Loss Is Out There

Most cases of increased shedding will gradually resolve on their own without treatment, Dr. Schlosser says. But if your hair doesn’t return to its normal fullness within nine months, see a doctor for an evaluation to find out whether something else is going on. And if you have other worrying symptoms, like itching, pain, burning, flaking, or redness, you should seek help sooner.

See your primary care provider or go directly to a dermatologist who specializes in treating hair loss. They can determine what type it is and what the right treatment approach is for you based on which therapies are currently available for your specific issue.

In addition to changes in products and hairstyling habits, your doctor may prescribe topical treatments to treat hair loss, like minoxidil, or direct you to an over-the-counter version, like Rogaine . They might also recommend treatments like platelet-rich plasma injections , which can be helpful for some patients, SELF explained previously. If youre curious about your options, check in with your doctor or dermatologist.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Beware Of Big Promises

There are numerous devices and products that are marketed as effective hair loss treatments, but many of them do not work. Beware of all of the false advertising associated with these products. If a cure for hair loss in women sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before-and-after pictures may have been doctored to be misleading. How do you know if a hair loss treatment really works? Ask your dermatologist about any treatment you are considering. Look on the FDA and Federal Trade Commission websites to search for approved medical devices and drugs.

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Cosmetic Options For Hair Loss

When medical treatments fall short, women can also consider cosmetic options to make up for lost hair, such as wearing a wig. At the other end of the spectrum is hair transplantation, a surgical procedure that moves active follicles from the back of the scalp to areas where the hair is thinning. Once transplanted, the hair grows normally.

Hair transplantation is typically performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. In appropriate patients, it can be extremely successful, but it wont work for everyone, says Dr. Scott. One drawback is the expense: it can cost thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance. The procedure also requires recovery time. And it may not be appropriate for women who have diffuse thinning across the whole scalp. Its more effective in treating smaller, more defined areas of balding.

Dont Rely On Shampoos

Can hair rollers cause hair loss and thinning hair?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that shampoo won’t help you grow your hair. This is due to the fact that it is not applied to the scalp long enough to have an effect. Drops that are left on the scalp and not rinsed away are required to reduce thinning and help regrowth of hair. Regular shampooing is crucial, though, because it keeps the scalp environment healthy, which is essential for good hair development.

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Fish With Mercury Can Cause Hair Loss

Fish with Mercury – Consuming fish is part of a healthy diet, but understand not all fish are created equal. King Mackerel, Albacore Tuna and Swordfish contain higher levels of Mercury. The mercury in these kinds of fish convert to methyl-mercury which is toxic to our bodies and one of the many side effects is hair loss.

Diffuse Thinning: A Treatable Condition

Diffuse thinning is a distressing condition that negatively impacts hair volume and density, resulting in thin and lackluster locks. It can be induced by various disorders responsible for disrupting the hair growth cycle.

Although with early diagnosis and intervention one can slow the progress and even reverse the hair loss in some cases, depending upon the underlying cause. Acute thinning usually resolves on its own, while plenty of medications and therapies are available to counter chronic diffuse thinning.

However, it is crucial to consult with a specialist who can diagnose the reason behind diffuse thinning and advise on the possible treatments tailored to oneâs personal needs. Make sure to call emergency in case of an allergic reaction from any of the above treatments mentioned.

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Playing In Your Hair Too Often

I am guilty! If I can just touch my hair, I will. I never want anyone else to touch my hair, but I will sit there and touch it all day if I can! However, playing in your hair too often can cause thinning and here is why. When your hair is out you will play in it more often. By you running your fingers through your hair or twirling it around your finger, you are causing your hair to lose its natural moisture and you may accidentally snap, snag or damage your hair with the friction from continued movements or from your skin, nails or jewelry.

I dont know why we do this, but we are putting our hair at risk for damage. I am now a pro at keeping my hair protected and you can be also.

The Relation Between Stress And The Hair Cycle

Common causes of thinning hair and hair lossand how you ...

There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the adult scalp . Each hair follicle is constantly cycling between growth and rest. The majority of these hair follicles are in the growth phase at any given time. When the hair follicle transitions to telogen, or the resting phase, the hair is shed. During an episode of telogen effluvium, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hairs into the telogen phase all at once. One possible trigger for this sudden shift? Significant emotional stress.

What qualifies as significant emotional stress? Think major, negative life event . While a single bad day at work shouldnt meet this threshold, severe and prolonged stress secondary to the Covid-19 pandemic, for instance, could certainly qualify.

To test the relationship between substantial stress and hair loss, researchers giving birth can also trigger an episode.

Diffuse thinning

Temporary in nature

The other good news? The hair loss is temporary, and should return to itspre-effluvium density, although this process is generally slow. It can take months before the shedding stops, and then months to years for lost hair to grow back at the sluggish rate of ~½ inch per month.

In some circumstances, hair does not fully return to its normal density. For one, telogen effluvium can uncover other types of long-standing hair loss . Additionally, overall hair density is expected to slowly decrease with age, and in few , telogen effluvium can be chronic and lasts for multiple years.

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Your Mom Lost Her Hair Too

“If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Dr. Glashofer. Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair. This is also known as femalepattern baldness.

Women may benefit from minoxidil to help grow hair, or at least, maintain the hair you have, Dr. Glashofer says. Rogaine is available over-the-counter and is approved for women with this type of hair loss.

What Are The Types Of Hair Loss

There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.

  • Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
  • Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
  • Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.

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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.

What Is Hair Loss

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The American Academy of Dermatology notes that 80 million men and women in America have hereditary hair loss .

It can affect just the hair on your scalp or your entire body. Although alopecia is more prevalent in older adults, excessive hair loss can occur in children as well.

Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. With about 100,000 hairs on your head, that small loss isnt noticeable.

New hair normally replaces the lost hair, but this doesnt always happen. Hair loss can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary.

Its impossible to count the amount of hair lost on a given day. You may be losing more hair than is normal if you notice a large amount of hair in the drain after washing your hair or clumps of hair in your brush. You might also notice thinning patches of hair or baldness.

If you notice that youre losing more hair than usual, you should discuss the problem with your doctor. They can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and suggest appropriate treatment plans.

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