What Is Hair Loss
Hair loss is the phenomenon of hair falling out. The hair that normally falls out is the hair in the degenerative and telogen phase. Since the hair entering the degenerative phase and the newly entering the growing phase are constantly in a dynamic balance, it can maintain a normal number of hairs. Pathological alopecia refers to abnormal or excessive hair loss.
Different Types Of Hair Loss
There are lots of different types of hair loss. It can take the form of “thinning” or involve a total loss of hair. It can be gradual or sudden it can affect the old and the young.
Hair loss can be genetic, or as a result of extreme stress, a medical condition or treatment.
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of chemotherapy. It’s also common for women to lose more hair than usual up to 3 months after they’ve given birth.
Reasons For Sudden Hair Loss And How You Can Get Help
Everyone experiences hair shedding, and it happens to each of us every day. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle, more on days you wash your hair. But what if you check your pillow, shower drain, or comb and it looks like youâre suddenly losing much more than that?
The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Theyâll get to the bottom of why youâre losing hair, and theyâll make sure you get the right treatment in case a medical condition is to blame.
Here are just some of the reasons you could have sudden hair loss.
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And 5 Ways To Save Your Strands
by Cheryl Bond-Nelms, AARP, September 27, 2017
You can take steps to prevent further hair loss or damage.
En español | Visible hair loss can be deeply distressing and affects both men and women of all ages. While this condition is more common in men, women can experience thinning or complete hair loss, as well.
For women, pattern hair loss occurs mostly when they are in their 50s and 60s. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, Female pattern hair loss is the commonest cause of hair loss in women, and prevalence increases with advancing age. Affected women may experience psychological distress and impaired social functioning.
According to a posting by Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Hair loss often has a greater impact on women than on men because it’s less socially acceptable for them. The organization notes that as many as two-thirds of postmenopausal women have thinning hair or bald spots.
Hair loss in men, the Harvard article explains, “usually begins above the temples,” with the receding hairline forming the shape of an M. In women, thinning hair appears gradually, usually at the part line, and increasing hair loss spreading from the top of the head.
There are several causes of hair loss in women, including medical conditions, certain medications, and physical or emotional stress. Here are five categories of hair loss affecting 50-plus women.
- Family history of pattern baldness
- Diet i.e., poor nutrition
Female Pattern Hair Loss
In women, hair slowly thins all over the scalp, but the hairline usually doesnt recede. Many women experience this type of hair loss as a natural part of aging, although hair loss may begin any time after puberty. Female pattern hair loss can cause hair to thin dramatically, but only rarely does it lead to baldness.
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What Are The Best Products For Healthy Hair
Apple vinegar. It even helps restore and balance the pH of the skin, which is very important for healthy skin. Apple cider vinegar also contributes to the softness and shine of the hair due to its cleansing properties. It prevents the build-up of harmful products in the hair and scalp and helps to restore the scalp’s natural pH.
Hair Loss In Older Women: Causes And Treatment Options
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Aging gracefully is everyones goal. Often, the things we worry about skin, gray hair, heart and mental health get the most attention.
But for women, one of the less talked about aging concerns is something traditionally associated with men: hair loss.
Hair loss is not something normally associated with women, and yet for many older women it becomes a growing reality as they lose more through their later years.
But its not the only reason a woman out of her younger years might be losing hair.
Before we discuss reasons women might lose hair as we age, its important to understand some basics about how hair grows, and why it may stop growing.
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Medication For Hair Loss
Minoxidil, or Rogaine, is a topical medication that is used to treat female pattern hair loss and male-pattern baldness. It was initially developed as a blood pressure medication and was used off-label to treat hair loss until it became FDA-approved for that purpose. Minoxidil can slow the progression of hair loss. Most women who use the medication experience regrowth of hair. The medication needs to be used continuously to maintain results. Other types of treatment work for different kinds of hair loss. Corticosteroids help suppress the immune response that damages hair follicles in people who have alopecia areata. Once the follicles recover, hair can grow back. If nutritional deficiencies underlie hair loss, eating a healthy diet with adequate and protein and nutrients can help you regrow hair. Certain medical problems may trigger hair loss. Adequately treating these conditions may help restore hair growth.
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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Other Factors For Hair Loss In Both Men And Women Are:
1. Disease or illness – Losing hair could be a sign of being unhealthy. Illnesses such as systemic lupus erythematosis and syphilis, or thyroid disorder show hair loss as a symptom. Chronic kidney dysfunction may also cause lots of hair to fall as it makes them unhealthy, dry, and breakable.
2. Side effects of medications – Drugs that contain lithium, beta-blockers, warfarin, heparin, amphetamines, and levodopa can cause numerous hair to fall off. In addition, some medications being used in treating cancer like doxorubicin can cause rapid but temporary hair loss.
3. Hormones – Different kinds of hormones compromise the human system and an imbalanced production of those could affect the normal growth of hair. An example of this is women’s menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes take place in the ovulation period that could cause some hair to lose, so as thyroid and pituitary disorders.
4. Zinc deficiency – Along with diarrhea and eczema, hair loss appears to be a symptom if one has inadequate intake or if the body poorly absorbs zinc.
6. Giving birth – About a month after a woman gives birth, some of her hair strands have the tendency to fall off easily. Hair strands that fall off are usually from one portion of the head, leaving moon crater-like hair. The falling off of hair in this instance actually does not lead to baldness and it is not permanent, though the recovery period will take up to a year.
Are Your Hormones To Blame
Hormones help regulate hair growth so hormonal disorders of one form or another are a relatively common cause of hair loss, including loss of body hair.
Hypothyroidism a condition where the thyroid hormone in the body is low can cause general body hair loss. So too can hyperthyroidism . Usually, treatment for the condition can help alleviate the hair loss problem .
But if you continue to lose body hair in spite of the fact that your thyroid problem is being treated, there may be another issue coming into play.
Research has shown that in patients with thyroid problems the conversion of testosterone in the body to DHT seems to be accelerated. DHT causes hair loss by attacking the hair follicle and shrinking it. In some cases, DHT can make the hair follicle disappear altogether.
Experts speculate that this rapid conversion of testosterone to DHT may be what causes continued hair loss in patients whose thyroid problems are otherwise controlled by medication. If this sounds like you, then discuss this research with your doctor.
Other points you may like to address with your doctor are whether or not your thyroid medication may be causing your loss of body hair , or whether there is a separate issue BESIDES your thyroid problems that may be causing your hair loss.
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Finding The Root Cause Of Hair Loss Is Important
If youre bothered by your thinning hair or hair loss, a visit to your primary care doctor is a great place to start, says Bruce. Its likely that female pattern hair loss is probably the cause, but a clinical examination can confirm this, she says.
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If the hair loss doesnt follow the typical appearance of female pattern hair loss, your doctor will likely perform a few tests to explore potential causes.
- A complete blood count test is used to evaluate overall health and can detect many conditions, including anemia, which can cause hair loss.
- Thyroid function tests can reveal thyroid issues that may be related to thinning hair.
- A dietary assessment, or a discussion of what you eat, can determine whether you have a normal healthy diet and any vitamin deficiencies.
- Autoimmune inflammation Your doctor may investigate conditions related to inflammation in the scalp, including autoimmune diseases, which can be associated with hair loss, says Bruce.
- A hormone test may be performed, though a hormone imbalance is rarely the culprit in hair loss, says Faubion.
Medications To Treat Hair Loss
Treatment depends on the underlying cause, says Dr. Scott. Sometimes simply addressing a medical condition prompting hair loss will be enough for the hair to regrow. In other instances, a woman might consider a medication like minoxidil , which helps with certain types of hair loss, or another treatment to replace or regrow lost hair.
A newer option being used to treat hair loss is platelet-rich plasma injections. For this treatment, the doctor draws your blood, divides it into its separate components, recombines the blood fluid with a high concentration of platelets , and introduces the resulting preparation back into the scalp.
The science on this isnt totally worked out. We still dont completely understand the mechanism behind PRP, but growth factors contained in platelets can stimulate regeneration of hair follicles and other tissues as well, says Dr. Scott.
In addition, low-level LED laser lights have been found to be helpful in regrowing hair in some cases. Its likely that even more treatments will be developed in the near future.
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Does Provillus Really Work
First of all, the answer to the question whether Provillus really works is of course yes. Your hair will most likely grow thicker and stronger and the hair loss will slow down. However, the bald spots will not disappear in a day or two. Some will take time to work, some may take relatively longer than others.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies For Thinning Hair
If you feel self-conscious about thinning hair, there are options beyond treatments and procedures that may make hair loss less noticeable, says Bruce.
- Wear a wig, extension, or hairpiece. Some women find this to be a suitable option.
- Style your hair differently. This can make a widening part less noticeable.
- Try hair powders. These contain tiny fibers you sprinkle the powder in your hair and the fibers cling to the hair shaft, giving the appearance of fuller hair and hiding where the scalp is visible.
- Consult a hair stylist. Some stylists specialize in thinning hair.
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Why You Lose Your Hair
As you might suspect, hair loss is completely normal at every age when it happens within certain parameters. Children lose hair every day after all, and the same is true for normal adults.
You can shed about 100 hairs a day as an adult without falling outside normal parameters. The average human head has about 100,000 hairs, and 100 is just a small fraction compared to what growing every day.
In fact, every one of your hair follicles can be in a slightly different position on the circle that represents your hairs three life cycle phases the anagen phase, catagen phase and telogen phase.
Hair grows in the anagen phase, rests in the catagen phase and falls out in the telogen phase before the whole cycle starts again.
Up to 10 percent of your hair is typically in the telogen phase at one time, with about 90 percent of your hair growing in the anagen phase.
What we understand as hair loss is really excessive hair loss the shift from normal percentages to an imbalance of follicles that are remaining in the telogen phase and not regrowing.
Hair might end up stuck in the telogen phase for a variety of reasons autoimmune diseases, stress, trauma to the scalp or body generally.
It may also be due to genetics or hormones. Depending on the cause, hair loss will be characterized as a different condition or disorder.
Alopecia Doesnt Just Affect The Scalp
In fact, alopecia areata can cause patchy hair loss on the body and can, in rare cases, progress to alopecia universalis, an autoimmune condition that results in total loss of body hair .
A condition called frontal fibrosing alopecia, which usually causes loss of hair along the frontal hairline, can also trigger loss of body hair.
Alopecia can only be diagnosed by a doctor, so do discuss your concerns with a medical professional if you feel you may be affected.
Unfortunately, experts are unclear about what actually causes alopecia and there is no cure available.
However, encouraging news is that researchers from Columbia University may have discovered the genetic cause, linking alopecia to 8 genes. This came after they found that the 8 genes associated with alopecia were the same genes associated with autoimmune diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. This discovery may lead to new treatments for alopecia in the future.
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