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.
Is Male Pattern Baldness Common
Yes. About 16% of boys ages 15-17 have male pattern baldness. A research study showed that 30% of Caucasian males showed signs of male pattern baldness by age 30, 50% by age 50, and about 80% of males have hair loss by the time they are 70. Male pattern baldness is less common among Asian and African American men than Caucasian men.
What Are Causes And Risk Factors For Hair Loss
Because there are many types of hair loss, finding the cause can be challenging. This review will cover the most common causes of hair loss occurring on normal unscarred scalp skin. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
- Most hair loss is not associated with systemic or internal disease, nor is poor diet a frequent factor. Hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall aging process.
- Many men and women may notice mild physiologic thinning of hair starting in their 30s and 40s.
- Life vicissitudes may cause hair loss, including
- hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
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What Is Traction Alopecia
This is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or traction on hair roots.
- Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out. If this happens, it’s best to choose hairstyles that put less tension on the hair.
- Doing this sooner helps to avoid permanent damage.
Medicines For Hereditary Hair Loss
Finasteride and minoxidil are the main medicines currently available to treat hair loss. However, they are not subsidised in New Zealand, so you need to pay for them yourselves.
Medicines that are used to treat hair loss provide different results for different people. It’s also not possible to predict who may or may not benefit from treatment.
This is a prescription-only treatment for hereditary hair loss in men. It is available as a tablet. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The hair follicles then are not affected by this hormone and will not shrink. Treatment needs to be continued for at least 6 months once started. If successful, the treatment is continued to maintain the effect.
Talk to your doctor to find out whether finasteride is suitable for you. Women should not take finasteride as a treatment for hair loss.
Hair clinics may arrange prescriptions for both local and oral treatments. Read more about finasteride.
Minoxidil topical lotion
Minoxidil is a rub-on treatment that can be bought from your local pharmacy. It can be used by both men and women. It needs to be applied twice daily to the scalp while it is dry. Minoxidil is more effective in the earlier stages of hair loss. Treatment needs to be continued for at least 6 months once started. If successful, treatment is continued to maintain the effect. Sometimes, a low-dose minoxidil tablet can also be prescribed for hair loss.
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Can Hair Grow Back After Thinning
That totally depends on what’s causing your thinning in the first place . And, like, not to sound like a broken record here, but this is just another reason why you should always, always see a professional to diagnose your hair loss before you make any decisions. At the end of the day, early prevention is key with any form of hair loss, so book an appointment if you’ve noticed thinning and want to get ahead of it.
Possible Reasons For Hair Loss In Men Under 25
About 85 percent of men will experience hair loss or alopecia by age 70. A fourth of these men could experience hair loss before the age of 21, says the American Hair Loss Association. There are several reasons why men under 25 experience may experience hair loss that are not all related to genetics.
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Science Behind Hair Loss Simplified
Hair is made of keratin, a structural protein that is also found in your skin and nails too.
Produced in the hair follicles right at the outside layers of your skin, a hair strand is a product of hair follicles lifecycle.
A hair follicle is produced, then it grows for a while, then it slowly dies and new hair replaces it.
So around 50-100 hair follicles in your scalp die every day and are replaced with new ones. That much loss is unnoticeable since the average person has 100,000 hairs on the head.
When a hair follicle on your head dies, it falls out, which is what you see when you comb through your hair. Your hair falling out is the most natural thing in the world, and as long as the new hair grows to replace the lost ones, youre OK.
You only go bald if one of these two situations are present:
1 Youre losing more hair than you can reproduce
2 Youre reproducing less hair than you lose
I know these two sound like the same thing, but theyre not.
You can either be losing hair fast or producing new hair slowly, which both result in a number of hair follicles permanently reduced.
And all the reasons behind hair loss cause either of these two situations. Identifying what it is is up to you or your dermatologist.
Now lets see all the reasons that might be causing the gap between dead and born hair follicles:
Other Possible Causes Of Hair Loss
Although most hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness, several other factors may cause you to shed hair during your teens:
Nutritional deficiencies.Several nutritional deficiencies, including iron deficiency and others, can cause shedding and temporary hair loss. Some vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin D, are also important for healthy hair growth.
Stress, anxiety and other psychological factors. Stress, traumatic experiences and other events can cause a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium a topic weve talked about more in our guide to stress-related hair loss.
Medical conditions and infections. Some medical conditions, such as thyroid disease and hormonal health issues, may cause hair loss. Infections that affect your scalp may also cause you to lose hair on certain parts of your head.
Damage to your hair. Some types of damage, such as tension from certain hairstyles, scarring or follicular damage from autoimmune diseases, can affect your hair and result in temporary or permanent hair loss.
Medications. Some medications, including acne medications, ADHD medications and some medications used to treat psychological disorders, may cause hair loss as a side effect.
Our guide to the causes of hair loss explains more about the numerous factors that may lead to hair loss during your teens, 20s and later in life.
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Signs Of Early Hair Loss In Men And Women
Being aware of your hairs health and its growth pattern is the first step to getting ahead of hair loss.
Ask yourself: Are there more strands of hair falling out in your hair brush than normal? Is there a large amount of hair on your pillow when you wake up in the morning?
Visual cues are a great way to determine if youre beginning to lose more hair than normal.
For men, thinning hair usually starts with either a receding hairline or thinning at the crown of the head.
Women on the other hand begin to notice thinning hair around their part, as it gradually becomes wider. They may also notice that when their hair is pulled back they are able to see more of the scalp than before.
If you notice scalp irritation like dry or flaky skin, discoloration like red skin, or you begin to see small bald patches appear on your scalp, you should go to the doctor immediately so that he or she can assess the situation. This type of hair loss can be a reaction to something else going on with your body.
Seeing any of these signs can cause serious concern, especially at a young age. Stressing yourself out however, isnt going to do your hair any good.
While we understand the emotional toll hair loss can cause, there are still plenty of options available to you. Again, be sure to look for early signs so you can potentially reverse what is happening to your hair.
How Can I Stop My Hair Loss
Eliminating the variables that cause your hair loss is the first step to stopping your hair loss. Be aware that there is not a magical solution. You may start with lifestyle changes and dietary updates. You can reduce alcohol consumption and smoking, and start taking supplementary and pharmacological medications. Most importantly, consult with a dermatologist whose specialty is scalp and hair loss to understand the root cause.
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Medications For Male Pattern Baldness
Currently, the most effective medications for treating and preventing hair loss from male pattern baldness are finasteride and minoxidil.
Finasteride is a prescription medication. It comes in tablet form and needs to be taken on a daily basis.
Although finasteride doesnt cure hair loss, it can prevent it from worsening and may even help you to regrow some of your lost hair.
Finasteride works by stopping your body from converting testosterone into DHT. A typical dose of finasteride has been shown to reduce DHT levels by upwards of 70 percent.
Research shows that finasteride is highly effective at treating hair loss. In a 10-year study, about 99 percent of men who used finasteride experienced no further hair loss. Around 91 percent of the men experienced improvements in hair growth after starting treatment with finasteride.
We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a physician who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
You can also learn more about how finasteride works in our full guide to using finasteride to treat hair loss.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical medication that stimulates hair growth. Like finasteride, it doesnt cure male pattern baldness. However, it may improve the growth, thickness and general appearance of your hair.
Minoxidil is available as a liquid solution or foam. Its easy to apply and is designed for use twice daily.
How To Treat Hair Loss In Your 20s
Hair loss is almost always treatable. Today, several FDA-approved medications are available to prevent and treat hair loss.
There are also safe, effective cosmetic procedures that can improve your hair if youve already lost a significant amount.
If youre starting to lose your hair and youre under 25, its important to take action as quickly as possible to prevent it from worsening.
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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.
Im Losing My Hair Should I See My Health Care Provider
Yes. If youre losing your hair, its a good idea to make an appointment with your health care provider to get checked out. Sometimes hair loss can happen as a result of medical conditions such as low thyroid levels. It can also happen as a side effect of using certain medications such as anabolic steroids. Your health care provider may order lab tests or even refer you to a skin/hair specialist, a dermatologist.
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Common Signs Of Hair Loss
Its very uncommon to go completely bald as a teenager. However, you may start to notice some of the early signs of male pattern baldness during your teens. These include:
Changes in your hairline. You may notice some hair thinning or hair loss around your temples, or along the hairline between your scalp and face. Your hairline may begin to develop an M or V-like shape as hair thins around your temples.
Thinning and/or hair loss on your scalp. You may notice that the hair on top of your head looks thinner than it did before. This may affect your entire scalp or the area near the crown of your head.
Hair loss after showering or brushing. You may find more hairs than normal on your hairbrush, comb or around the drain in your shower. Its normal to lose about 100 hairs every day as part of your hairs growth cycle. If you notice an abnormal amount of shedding, it could be an early sign that youre starting to lose your hair.
Female Hereditary Hair Loss
Female hereditary hair loss is known as female pattern baldness. Its cause is not clearly understood. It can affect women in any age but occurs more commonly after menopause. It usually begins about the age of 30, becomes noticeable about the age of 40, and more noticeable after menopause. By the age of 50 at least a quarter of women experience some degree of hair thinning.
It is also thought that female hereditary hair loss is influenced by genetics and the androgen hormones, although the link is not as strong as in male hereditary hair loss.
In female hereditary hair loss, finer hairs with less colour are produced, and hairs in the resting phase fall out more easily.
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