How To Prevent Hair Loss In Women Plus Best Products To Help According To Experts
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At some point in all of our lives, our hair starts to get a bit thinner. If your once-thick mane looks a tad sparse these days, youre likely wondering whats behind the hair loss and what you can do to fix it.
On our quest to understand what causes hair loss, the Shop TODAY team consulted top dermatologists for their expertise. While you should always consult a doctor for more intensive treatments tailored to your unique situation, there are a few ways to treat thinning hair at home.
We asked the derms to share a few of their go-to products that can help encourage hair growth and restore fullness, as well as got to the bottom of what causes hair loss in women and how to prevent it from happening in the first place. From shampoos and supplements to leave-in treatments, these are some of the solutions they suggested.
Dr. Angela J. Lamb, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, is a fan of this three-step hair-thickening system that includes shampoo, conditioner and a hair treatment that is designed to strengthen strands and volumize your locks.
Underlying Causes For Hair Loss
Numerous problems can trigger female hair loss. Some are external, such as taking certain medications, frequently wearing hairstyles that pull the hair too tight, or even a stressful event such as surgery. In other cases, thinning hair is triggered by something going on inside the body for instance, a thyroid problem, a shift in hormones, a recent pregnancy, or an inflammatory condition.
Hair loss may also be genetic. The most common genetic condition is known as female-pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia. Women with this condition might notice a widening of the part at the top of the head, often beginning when a woman is in her 40s or 50s. You might experience this if you inherit certain genes from one or both parents. Hormonal shifts that occur during menopause may also spur it.
Another trigger for hair loss in women is an inflammatory condition affecting the scalp. That might be eczema, psoriasis, or a condition called frontal fibrosing alopecia, which typically causes scarring and hair loss sometimes permanent at the front of the scalp above the forehead.
Other common causes of hair loss include overuse of damaging hair products, or tools such as dryers and other devices that heat the hair. Underlying illness, autoimmune conditions such as lupus, nutritional deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances may also cause hair to shed.
How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.
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Shampoos For Hair Loss
Shampoos that moisturize the scalp can create a healthy environment for hair regrowth. Anti-dandruff shampoos like Head & Shoulders and Dove Dermacare Scalp contain zinc pyrithione , an ingredient that removes dead skin cells that could be preventing growth. Plus, all of that itching and scratching from a dry scalp can lead to excess shedding.
Whats more, hair thinning can also stem from a hormone called DHT . DHT signals hairs to shrink and become vellus hairs , says Caroling Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Rhode Island Hospital and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board. It does this by changing the hair cycles and causing a shortening of the growth phase and increase in the resting phase, she explains. In this case, consider a DHT-blocking shampoo like Alterna Haircare.
Is There A Way To Slow Or Prevent Baldness Once You Notice Hair Loss
Whether or not hair loss can be stopped depends on the diagnosis. In certain conditions, such as hormonal or familial hair loss, treatments can be expected to halt progression of the shedding or regrow some but not usually all of the lost hair.
When hair loss is due to an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disease, iron deficiency or anemia, the hair will regrow when the condition is treated.
In cases like telogen effluvium, a sudden type of hair loss that happens typically three months after a stressful event or illness, the hair loss is completely reversible without any treatment.
Unfortunately, there are some types of hair loss in which the follicle becomes scarred or closes off, and hair can no longer regrow in those areas. In these cases, the goal of treatment is to prevent further scarring and preserve the hair that is left.
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Use A Topical Treatment
The only topical treatment that has been approved by the FDA for hair loss in women is minoxidil, better known by the brand name Women’s Rogaine . “Topical minoxidil is the gold standard standard of treatment,” Dr. Zeichner says. “It helps lengthen the active growing stage of hairs and promotes healthy delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle.”
Make Sure You Have Enough Protein In Your Diet
Hair mostly consists of keratin protein, which is produced using amino acid building blocks obtained from your diet.
To maintain a constant protein supply for your follicles, eat some with every meal, whether its poultry, lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts or beans. If you eat a plant-based diet, you may be more prone to thinning hair as some amino acids essential for healthy hair and micronutrients are often difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities without taking a vegetarian-friendly supplement.
Do not skip meals, as this puts your body into survival mode so that the supply of protein and nutrients to hair follicles is reduced.
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Check Medications With Your Doctor
Some medicines for conditions like heart disease or those used to lower lipids can affect your hair. Talk to your doctor about if any of the medications you take interfere with hair growth or loss, and ask for advice on how to help counteract negative effects. Some of these medicines can cause shedding of finer fibers, Dr. Bergfeld says. Also, when women stop hormone replacement medication, they should expect a fair amount of hair loss.
Theres no one who has the hair at 60 or 70 that they had at 15, Dr. Bergfeld says. Thats why its important to take care of your hair as you age.
How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
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Why Your Hair Is Falling Out
You might start seeing more hair loss than normal thanks to the following:
- Hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause.
- Certain hairstyles.
- Damaging haircare like perms or bleaching.
- Medications like chemotherapy.
- Medical conditions like fungal infections or thyroid disease.
Working with a dermatologist, you can begin identifying what might be causing your hair loss. Your doctor will ask about your health, your medications and your family history.
I tell the patients to keep track of events that are unusual for them, for instance, a heavy menstrual period, says Dr. Bergfeld. So when we go back to look for triggers, well have some hint at what it could be.
Your doctor will also look at other areas on your body like your eyebrows, lashes, underarms, pubic area, legs and arms to assess if theres hair loss.
Many times, hair loss is an indicator that something more serious is going on.
Hair loss, particularly shedding, is just a sign that something has happened to the body, says Dr. Bergfeld. The hair follicle is one of the three fastest turning over cell lines in your body. Anything that affects your body and throws it out of balance will affect those systems. So shedding hair is an indicator that somethings wrong.
Don’t Rely Solely Shampoo
‘It is important to note that shampoo will not grow your hair. This is because it is not left on the scalp for long enough to have an effect. You must use drops or tonics that are left on the scalp and not rinsed away,’ explains Kingsley.
However, regular shampooing is important as it keeps the scalp environment healthy and this is key to healthy hair growth.
‘Shampoos, conditioners and styling products can certainly give the appearance of more body and volume. To add immediate body to fine hair, or hair that lacks volume, use a body building shampoo. Containing proteins, these temporarily plump the hair shaft,’ advises Kingsley.
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Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
When To See A Doctor
See your doctor if you dont see any progress with the use of home or over-the-counter treatments for thinning hair, especially if your hair loss is causing you stress or disrupting your daily life.
Seek medical help as soon as possible if you notice any of the following along with thinning hair:
- losing large amounts of hair elsewhere on your body
- losing hair in large patches or chunks
- losing or gaining an abnormal amount of weight without any major diet or lifestyle changes
- unusual symptoms like fever, chills, or fatigue
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How Can You Tell If Your Hair Is Thinning And What Are The Symptoms
Thinning hair is a common problem that can affect both men and women. There are many possible causes of thinning hair, including medical conditions, genetic factors, and certain medications. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help improve the health and appearance of your hair.
If youre concerned about thinning hair, its important to first understand what causes it and then takes steps to address the underlying issue. If youre not sure whats causing your thinning hair, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist.
They can help determine if there is an underlying medical condition or if your medications may be causing your hair loss. Once you know whats causing your thinning hair, you can take steps to treat the underlying issue and improve the health of your hair.
There are also several things you can do to take care of your hair and scalp that may help improve the appearance of thinning hair. These include:
using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo
avoiding harsh chemicals and heat styling
using a soft brush or comb
protecting your hair from the sun
eating a healthy diet with plenty of protein and omega-3 fatty acids
If youre concerned about thinning hair, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They can help determine the cause of your hair loss and recommend treatment options.
Ways To Hide Thinning Hair In Women
When was the first time you noticed you were losing your hair? Was it a wider-than-normal hair part? A space at the crown? Or just a general lack of fullness youve noticed over time? No matter how you noticed your thinning hair, the realization was probably pretty nerve-wracking. You start to wonder what you can do to get those lush locks back. Before you start Googling hair transplants, weve rallied up several A++ tips to help you hide any thinning areas, along with some reasons behind why hair loss occurs.
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Things You Should Do If Your Hair Is Thinning
When it comes to addressing the challenges of thinning hair, it can be difficult to know where to start. From prescription drugs to folk cures, there are infinite options but which ones are safe, effective and will work for you?
To help, weve put together this handy list of our top tips. Plus, what products you should use to combat thinning hair ASAP.
What Are Some Of The Best Products
There are a number of different products that can be effective for thinning hair in women. Some of the best options include:
Minoxidil: This is a medication that is applied directly to the scalp. It can be effective at promoting hair growth and reversing hair loss.
Biotin Supplements: Biotin is a nutrient that is important for healthy keranique hair regrowth treatment. Taking biotin supplements can help to ensure that your body has enough of this nutrient, which can promote hair growth.
Laser Therapy: Laser therapy involves using low-level lasers to stimulate blood flow to the scalp. This can promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
PRP Therapy: PRP therapy involves injecting platelet-rich plasma into the scalp. This can help to stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
If you are concerned about thinning hair, speak to your doctor or a dermatologist. They can help to diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend the best course of treatment.
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B Update Your Hair Care Routine
1. Do Your Homework On The Ideal Method For Hair Thinning
Most stylists use thinning shears to achieve a thin look. However, some use razors, which can make your hair-ends look dry, uneven, and frizzy. So always use high-quality thinning scissors to avoid any hair disasters.
2. Switch To Hydrating Shampoos And Conditioners
Frizzy hair is every thick-haired persons biggest pet peeve. Pick up a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to smoothen out your hair. You can also load up on intensive hair masks and deep conditioners that nourish your hair, making it more manageable.
3. Say Goodbye To Heat Styling
Heat styling makes your hair dry and brittle. Let your hair air-dry to retain its natural texture and boost hair growth. You can also invest in leave-in products to apply after a shower or heat protectants if you blow-dry your hair. All of these products smoothen your hair and make it look less thick.
4. Brush Your Hair From The Tips To The Roots
Believe it or not, your hair-brushing technique says a lot about your hair loss. To tackle the same, use a boar-bristled brush and detangle your hair from your ends and work your way up to your roots. Make sure to be extra gentle on your ends.
5. Focus On Areas With Good Hair Growth
Typically, the hair near the face does not require trimming. Instead, start by trimming from the back and side sections of the head. Whatever you do, avoid working too closely to the scalp as it can create a bald spot.
6. Cut Your Hair When It Is Dry
Tip : Try Some Hair Extensions Or A Topper
Need volume ASAP? Consider investing in some hair extensions! Clip-in hair extensions are perfect for adding a boost in just the right areas to hide any sparseness and add volume. While other extensions can be more long-term, clip-in extensions are quick to add and not as heavy as other extensions.
Another option is hair toppers. A hair topper attaches to your biological locks with pressure clips and is designed to easily fit specific areas of the scalp, including the crown, top, and part. This is a good option if you are experiencing visible hair loss on top of the head.
Also Check: Does Dht Cause Hair Loss In Women
When In Doubt Consider Expert Help
Let us set the record straight: thinning your hair at home is tricky business. If you think the job will go awry, play it safe and leave the hair thinning to a professional.
There is a simpler way of reducing your hair thickness, especially for those who wish to avoid using scissors altogether. If you are wondering how to make thick hair thin without cutting, check out the next section!
Thinning Hair In Women: Why It Happens And What Helps
- By Kelly Bilodeau, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Many people think of hair loss as a male problem, but it also affects at least a third of women. But unlike men, women typically experience thinning hair without going bald, and there can be a number of different underlying causes for the problem.
Some are associated with inflammation in the body. Some are female-pattern hair loss, says Dr. Deborah Scott, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Hair Loss Clinic at Brigham and Womens Hospital. But the good news is that in many cases this hair loss can be stabilized with treatment, and it may be reversible. When its not, there are a number of new cosmetic approaches that can help.
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