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.
Why Consulting A Dermatologist Is Crucial For Hair Loss
For both women and men, its important to see adermatologist for many reasons if youre experiencing hair thinning:
- Dermatologists can offer expert advice and help you get to the root of the problem more quickly than if you try to self-diagnose the issue on your own.
- You can be prescribed medications, and get a biopsy if necessary.
- Sometimes, your dermatologist will identify a more serious underlying medical issue that is causing your hair to fall out.
The only way to treat hair loss effectively is to identify the cause, said Dr. Kevin DeHart. We look at each patients total health history in order to diagnose them. There are a lot of reasons for hair loss, and its everything from a thyroid issue to a new medication to a recent trauma.
The best course of action is determined in part by the type of thinning you have. A scalp biopsy may be done in order to see hairs under the skin. Working alongside Dr. Kevin DeHart and Dr. Kelly DeHart, ParisersDr. Ashley Reed performs biopsies for us and helps determine the diagnosis. However, scalp biopsy is not common and only 10 percent of patients who come to Pariser Dermatology for thinning hair need a scalp biopsy.
Under the microscope youre going to see different things, for example the follicle size of the hair. This can show us, for example, whether testosterone has influenced the hair loss or if broken hairs indicate trichotillomania, which is pulling out hairs.
What Are The Different Types Of Female Hair Loss
Engelman explains how the hair cycle is a four phase process: Anagen , Catagen , Telogen , and Exogen . Each hair follicle goes through this process at different times, otherwise we would lose all of our hair at the same time before it started to grow again. There is no exact normal number of hairs shed per dayit depends on the individual. But if your normal seems to have changed, and youre finding extra hairs on your pillows, clothing, and even falling into your food, it could mean your hair growth cycle has been disrupted.
According to Joshua Zeichner MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, female pattern hair loss, or FPHL, is polygenic, meaning that its likely caused by a combination of genetic factors from both your mom and your dad, though other factors can contribute to hair loss. It is important to understand whether hair loss is caused by genetics alone or whether there are contributing medical factors involved, Zeichner adds. Medical factors might include hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause, menopause and post-partum, as well as stress, illness, weight loss, and even gut health.
Stress can play a big role in female hair thinning and loss. The Mayo clinic describes
Recommended Reading: Does Lenalidomide Cause Hair Loss
Potential Causes For Hair Thinning
From daily habits to genetics, theres a myriad of reasons why we suddenly lose hair. This is why prioritizing your hair and scalp health is so important, as hair loss can affect virtually anyone. However, there are four main types of hair loss:
- Androgenetic Alopecia: the most common form of hair loss in women, androgenetic alopecia is characterized by thinning on the scalp. As its name would suggest, this type of hair loss is genetic and can be passed on from mother or father.
- Telogen Effluvium: this kind of hair loss happens during periods of great stress. Youll see handfuls of hair on brush, bathroom floor, or pillowcase.
- Traction Alopecia: youll see slight balding or a receding hairline where hair is normally pulled, twisted, or excessively styled.
- Alopecia Areata: characterized by hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This is caused by an autoimmune skin disease.
If youre still unsure about why youre suddenly experiencing hair loss, here are some other reasons:
Nutrients And Supplements For Hair Loss
Eating a nutrient-rich diet can keep your hair healthy, too. And whilehair supplements wont cause hair growth, they can help your strands grow stronger. The combination of fish protein, vitamin C, zinc, biotin, and niacin in Viviscal supplements encourages the body to produce healthier, thicker strands, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Nutrafol is another hair supplement to consider, according to Dendy Engelman, MD, board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. This uses highly concentrated botanicals to address every stage of the growth cycle. It has excellent clinical studies to support its efficacy. I recommend it daily to my patients,she recently told Prevention.
OLLY Hair, Skin & Nails supplements also contain a blend of biotin, vitamin C, E, and keratin protein to help you fight free radicals that damage hair follicles. You can also take a biotin supplement alone, which helps the body break down fats and carbohydrates to grow stronger strands.
Read Also: Why Is My Hair Thinning
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Hair Loss
When you notice signs of hair loss, what type of doctor should you see? Its a common first question for nearly every man or woman who first notices signs of thinning, balding, or shedding. Hair loss treatment is a multi-million dollar business, and it seems theres no end to the number of different specialists, shampoos, and pills that promise to restore areas of balding scalp. Selecting the right physician will make it easier to get an accurate hair loss diagnosis from the start, which will provide the framework for an efficient treatment regimen.
Before taking a closer look at the different types of doctors who are capable of telling you more about your hair loss, it helps to explore a few of the most common reasons why men and women lose their hair. With the following causes in mind, it becomes easier to see why certain specialists are more capable of providing an expert diagnosis than others.
A few reasons for hair loss include:
- A skin condition
- Prescription medications
At our Institute, we assess each of these factors with comprehensive methodology. Our surgeons implement the most advanced technologies available to get to the root of your hair loss and develop a personalized treatment plan.
The results speak for themselves. Click the following link to view images of real patients, before and after hair transplant procedures.
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.
Recommended Reading: Will Too Much Magnesium Cause Hair Loss
My Hair Is Thinning What Can I Do
Noticing more hair in your comb or shower drain lately? Maybe your part seems a bit wider than it used to be. Thinning hair or hair loss, also called alopecia, can occur anywhere on your body, is common among men and women, and is estimated to affect as many as 95% of adult men and more than 50% of adult women each year.
Hair loss occurs for many reasons, in women and men of all ages, but is most common among middle aged and older people. You can lose the hair on your scalp or your entire body. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary. It can also be traumatic. Our hair is often a big part of our identity. Losing our hair is not physically harmful in most cases but the psychological damage can include anxiety, depression and social apprehension. People who have experienced hair loss have reported lower self-esteem, poorer quality of life and body image.
A certain amount of hair loss is normal. Most of us lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, with new hairs taking their place quickly enough that we overlook the ones we’ve shed. The problems start when new hair doesn’t replace the hair that has fallen out.
If your hair is visibly thinning, either in patches or all over, or if you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s essential to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
How To Thicken Hair
When it comes to making thin hair thicker, combating the issue at the source is often the best option. As such, lifestyle changes can be incredibly useful for preventing and treating hair loss. In particular, your diet can have a significant effect on your hair, so be sure to watch what you eat and drink. Adding more protein, Omega 3, iron, and vitamin C to your diet as well as drinking more water and less alcohol can seriously improve the health and growth of your hair. Alternatively, speak to your doctor about taking supplements or hair growth vitamins if you arent getting enough nutrients naturally. Due to its power to increase circulation, regular exercise is another factor that can help thicken your hair.
As for your hair itself, be sure to treat it carefully to maintain its health and ability to grow. Not only does this mean that you should use specialized products, but it also requires limiting your use of hairdryers and hot styling tools. As high heat can damage your hair and cause breakage and hair loss, allowing your hair to dry naturally is ideal if youre looking to thicken your locks. If you must use a dryer, be sure to put it on a low setting and use a heat protectant spray. If, after making these changes, your hair still requires an extra boost, consider trialing natural hair remedies, regrowth treatments, and volumizing products.
Read Also: How To Stop Hereditary Hair Loss Naturally
Stress And Your Tresses
We might think our hair is essential, but in evolutionary terms its the first thing that the body deprioritises when were in crisis. Crash diets, illness, divorce or the loss of a loved one can lead to diffuse hair shedding called telogen effluvium. Dr Wade explained: “Stress shocks the hair prematurely out of the growth phase and into the resting phase.” You might notice less hair overall or wonder why your hair just wont grow as long as it did. “If the stress is acute, typically the shedding lasts for three months and then turns itself off,” Dr Wade said.
If stress is ongoing, then its another story. “There is absolute association between chronic telogen effluvium and stress,” confirmed Dr Justine Hextall of the Tarrant Street Clinic in Arundel. “Addressing the causes of your stress is imperative. Often when were stressed we also dont eat well, so looking at diet and supplements as well as whether you might be pulling at your hair due to stress can all help.”
Even the type of exercise you do can add to your stress load. Consider choosing yoga over HIIT.
In the meantime, there are a range of cover-up solutions. Try hair fibres such as Nanogen Hair Thickening Fibres or Toppik Hair Building Fibres, or hair makeup such as the Bumble and Bumble Color Stick.
Shop cover up solutions
Ready To Get Your Hair Back
Youre a special, unique individual, and the underlying factors that are contributing to your hair thinning are unlike anyone elses. In order to suggest treatments that may work, our provider performs a thorough evaluation and talks to you in-depth about your health, your life, and your goals.
If youre ready to find out how we might help, book an appointment at our office in Rockville, Maryland.
You Might Also Enjoy…
You May Like: What Can I Do For Hair Loss
What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Or Slow Hair Loss
Unfortunately, certain types of hair loss are genetic, and very little can be done to prevent them. Genetic types of hair loss include alopecia areata and female pattern hair loss.
But other types of hair loss can be brought on by stress and a poor diet. Do your best to eat a balanced diet, and find ways to take care of your mental health.
For added benefit, stay up to date with your routine checkups. Anemia, low levels of vitamin D and abnormal thyroid hormones can all affect the health of your hair. Simple bloodwork from your primary care physician can determine if these conditions are contributing to your hair loss.
Black women in particular are prone to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia, which is caused by heat, chemicals and tight styles that pull at the hair root, including some braids, dreadlocks, extensions and weaves.
You Lost A Lot Of Weight Very Quickly
Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you. It’s possible that the weight loss itself put unnecessary stress your body, or that not eating right can resulted in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Loss of hair along with noticeable weight loss may also be a sign of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
This type of hair loss, too, will correct itself once after a while. “Sudden weight loss seems to shock the system and you’ll have a six-month period of hair loss and then it corrects itself,” says Dr. Hammonds.
Also Check: Do Shampoos For Thinning Hair Work
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.