How Do Dermatologists Find Out Whats Causing Hair Loss
To pinpoint the cause of your hair loss, a dermatologist begins by gathering information. Your dermatologist will:
Ask questions. Its important to know how long youve had hair loss and whether it came on quickly.
Look closely at your scalp, nails, any other area with hair loss. This exam provides vital clues about whats happening.
Test the health of your hair. Gently pulling on your hair tells your dermatologist a lot about how your hair is growing and whether its prone to breaking.
If your dermatologist suspects that the cause of your hair loss could be a disease, vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, or infection, you may need a blood test or scalp biopsy. These tests can be done in your dermatologists office.
Once your dermatologist has this information, its often possible to tell you whats causing your hair loss.
Sometimes, your dermatologist needs more information. This might be the case if someone has more than one cause. For example, a woman may have had a baby a few months ago, and this may be causing obvious hair shedding. She may also have early hereditary loss, which isnt so obvious.
No one hair loss treatment works for everyone
Once your dermatologist finds the cause, your dermatologist will tell you whether treatment is recommended. Sometimes, your hair will regrow on its own, making treatment unnecessary.
Tips For Maximizing Your Hair Loss Results
In addition to using finasteride and minoxidil together, there are several other steps that you can take to better protect your hair and stimulate hair growth:
Use a hair loss shampoo. These contain active ingredients such as saw palmetto and ketoconazole, which may help to block DHT on your scalp. Our Thickening Shampoo is designed to reduce scalp buildup while promoting volume and moisture.
Consider taking a biotin supplement. Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a vitamin that plays an important role in the hair growth process. Although it wont stop male pattern baldness, its important for healthy growth of your hair, skin and nails. Our Biotin Gummy Vitamins contain biotin and other important vitamins for optimal hair growth.
If you smoke, quit. Research shows that smoking can damage your hair and contribute to hair loss. Our guide to quitting smoking lists tactics that you can use to kick the habit for good and improve both your hair and your overall health.
Take steps to minimize stress. While stress doesnt cause male pattern baldness, it is linked to a form of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Try to reduce your stress levels by avoiding sources of stress and practicing stress management techniques.
Our full guide to lifestyle changes for improved hair growth goes into more detail about the steps that you can take to promote healthy hair growth naturally.
Are There Complications/side Effects Of Treatment
Minoxidil may irritate your scalp and cause dryness, scaling, itching and/or redness. See your dermatologist if this happens.
With Minoxidil you might also see hair growing in other places other than your scalp . Wash your face after you apply Minoxidil and make sure you avoid other areas when you apply it.
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Conventional Treatment For Thinning Hair
Conventional treatments for thinning hair include medications and surgery.
When hair is caused by an underlying disease, conventional medicine likely includes drugs like prednisone to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Common side effects of prednisone include confusion, headache, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, thinning skin, acne, sleep problems and weight gain.
There are also two drugs on the market today that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat pattern baldness or thinning. The first one is minoxidil, commonly known commercially as Rogaine, and it can be used by both men and women. You may experience hair regrowth or a decreased rate of hair loss, but the growth is not permanent and will stop if you stop using it. Some common side effects may include severe scalp irritation, undesirable growth of facial hair, chest pain, rapid heart rate and more.
Another conventional option in pill form is called finasteride. Again, you need to keep taking it to retain benefits. Additionally, women who are or may be pregnant need to avoid touching crushed or broken tablets. Side effects may include impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, abnormal ejaculation, swelling in your hands or feet, feeling faint,headache, runny nose, and skin rash.
Precautions Regarding Natural Treatments for Thinning Hair
How Thinning Hair Occurs In Women Vs Men
A healthy scalp has around 80 percent of its hair follicles in the growing stage while the other 20 percent is in the resting stage. Hair thinning and loss occur when that vital growing state either slows down considerably or stops.
What causes hair to thin out for women? Just like our bodies change with age, most women notice some hair thinning as they get older. This is quite natural. Its said that by the age of 50, half of women will complain of hair loss. If a womans thinning hair is related to female-patterned hair loss, then the thinning is believed to be 90 percent genetic and 10 percent hormonal. Youll probably be surprised to learn that female-pattern baldness affects about 30 million American women. You cant change your genetics, but thankfully, you can work on the hormonal aspect .
Thinning hair in women typically occurs slowly all over the entire scalp without a recession of the hair line . If a woman has female-pattern hair loss, it can lead to extreme hair thinning but rarely leads to baldness.
What about thinning hair in men? For men, hair thinning can start as early as puberty and progress for many years to come after that. The thinning usually begins above the temples and travels around the perimeter and top of the head. Ultimately, this can result in a ring of hair often referred to as a horseshoe remaining along the bottom of the scalp. For a lot of men, hair thinning continues until there is no hair left resulting in a completely bald scalp.
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Remedies And Treatments For Hair Loss
When new hair doesnât grow fast enough to replace the amount of your hair that falls out daily, alopecia occurs. Hair loss can be a temporary reaction to certain conditions, but it can also be permanent.
If youâre experiencing rapid hair loss and want to remedy the situation, there are several ways to encourage new hair growth or make your hair strands stronger and healthier.
One preliminary study showed that receiving a scalp massage for four minutes every day for six months improved hair loss symptoms. At the end of the test period, the test subjects had greater hair thickness.
Another survey of men experiencing hair loss supported these results. More than 65% of those who tried daily scalp massage reported hair regrowth or at least a slowing down or halting of hair loss.
To enhance your scalp massage, you can use lavender or peppermint essential oils. Early studies done on mice show that peppermint oil may enhance hair growth with few negative side effects. The same can be said for lavender oil. Further research with human subjects is needed to prove the viability of these oils as hair loss remedies.
Giving up Smoking
Supplements For Supple Hair
You can make sure youre getting your nutrients in with a whole-food diet of colorful fruits and veggies . But, you can also consider taking a multivitamin specially designed for hair, skin, and nail health.
Getting your vitamins and minerals is crucial for healthy hair. The most important nutrients for hair growth include:
- vitamin A
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Why Is My Hair Suddenly Thinning
Suddenly thinning hair could be caused by a variety of reasons, such as a period of extreme stress, pregnancy, discontinuing birth control pill use, hormonal changes, a high fever, or pulling at your hair.
Sudden hair thinning thats persistent or hair falling out in clumps could be the sign of an underlying medical condition. Talk with your doctor if this occurs.
Try An Essential Oil Treatment
Scalp massages can help stimulate hair follicles and increase blood flow, both of which can help stop hair loss and promote hair growth. Its also easy to incorporate essential oils like lavender, rosemary, and thyme to your scalp massages, which, according to a 1998 study, can be a safe and effective treatment for hair loss due to alopecia areata
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Additionally, a 2018 review found that coconut oil may be useful in preventing hair damage from grooming and exposure to UV rays. Combining a scalp massage with coconut oil and one of the essential oils listed above is a great way to make take advantage of all these hair benefits at once!
Just add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or thyme essential oil to a small handful of coconut oil, then gently massage the oils into your scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it for 1 hour, then shampoo your hair as usual. Use this relaxing remedy once a week for healthy hair.
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Best Overall Product To Prevent Hair Loss
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Advanced Remedies For Female Hair Loss
Laser therapy, hair transplantation, and platelet-rich plasma therapy are more advanced options available to men and women suffering from severe hair loss.
Laser therapy irradiates photons into scalp tissues to stimulate hair growth and is the least invasive of the three treatments. You can undergo clinical laser treatment or buy one of the various products, like brushes, bands and caps, for low-level laser therapy available in the market.
Although the therapy is proven to be safe and tolerable, it is quite expensive. The is scientific research suggesting that the treatment results are promising, yet inconsistent, meaning that it provides good results for some people and little to no result for other.
When choosing a hair loss treatment, remember that not the price, but the ability to address the cause of thinning makes it effective. If your hair loss is due to hormone imbalance, supplements wont work. And if your hair loss is due to nutritional deficiency, hormone therapy will do more harm than good.
In some cases, regrowth can be achieved by managing stress, refusing from harmful hair routines, and stimulating hair growth with DIY remedies. In some cases, it might be better to invest in minoxidil treatment and laser therapy in the initial stages of hair loss rather than waste precious time hoping home remedies can help. Ally with an expert trichologist to help you find the best route to take.
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Hair Loss In Black Women: Tips From An Expert
Almost half of black women experience some form of hair loss. However, few doctors are familiar with black hairstyling practices, leaving many women to sort through unhelpful or even harmful advice on their own.
Dermatologist Crystal Aguh, one of just a small group of dermatologists across the country specializing in hair loss, offers these tips to help women protect their hair and recognize common warning signs of hair loss.
How Long Does Finasteride Take To Work
Finasteride is effective, but theres one catch: it doesnt work overnight. To get consistent results from finasteride, youll need to have a long-term outlook and take it consistently over the course of several months.
On average, it takes three to four months before youll usually be able to see any improvements from finasteride.
This isnt because the medication isnt working. In fact, finasteride starts reducing DHT levels as soon as its absorbed by your body.
However, your hair takes time to grow, meaning youll need to be patient before the effects from finasteride become visible.
Data from clinical trials shows that most guys experience improvements from finasteride after a year of consistent use.
In short, once you start using finasteride, you can expect to see some change in your hair after a few months.
After one year of continuous use, you should be able to see more final results from finasteride.
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Where To Buy Hair Loss Medication
The most accessible hair loss treatments are those made with minoxidil. Brands like Rogaine are widely available over the counter at pharmacies and online retailers.
Prescription drugs used to treat hair loss finasteride, spironolactone, and dutasteride are more accessible with subscription-based telehealth platforms like Hims, Keeps, and Roman.
Hims is a telemedicine company that offers treatments for a variety of health conditions, including hair loss for men.
Over-the-counter products, such as minoxidil foams and solutions, are available for anyone to purchase.
If youre interested in prescription-strength products, such as oral finasteride, Hims can connect you with a healthcare professional from your own home.
The cost of Hims varies considerably. A 3-month supply of some of their most popular hair loss products is priced at $195.
Style Your Hair Gently
Depending on the cause, stopping hair loss can take some time. But in the meantime, you can help reduce hair fall by being smart about how you handle and style your hair.
Here are a few things you can do to be gentle with your hair care and help prevent hair loss:
- Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons.
- Dont dye your hair more than one or two shades lighter or darker than its normal color to minimize damage from chemical treatments.
- If you use hair gel or hair spray, dont wait for it to dry before you comb through itif you do, the hardened hair is more likely to break.
- When your hair is wet, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, and comb it lightly to avoid any pulling and tugging.
- Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing, curling or straightening. Excessive use of these tools and techniques will weaken the hair at the root level.
- Avoid taking hot showers, which can sap your hair and scalp of their natural oils and make your hair dry and brittle.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo, as harsher formulas may cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Look for words like gentle or soothing on the label.
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Surgical And Physical Treatments
Medications and supplements also boost your bodily functions to grow hair and should take some time to actually produce results.
And these results might vary, as they promise a certain amount of success, unlike some surgical and physical treatments.
So lets take a look at these direct treatments that most consider as last resort, but experts and dermatologists agree should be considered as effective primary solutions:
What Are The Warning Signs Of Hair Loss
It can be hard to tell if youre losing hair especially if your hair loss happens gradually.
Instead, you may notice that your ponytails dont feel as thick, or that your scalp is more visible.
If youre unsure, ask your stylist if they have noticed any differences. This is especially important for women who are experiencing hair loss in areas that are difficult to see without someone elses help, such as the top of the scalp.
If you or your stylist suspect hair loss, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Generally, the sooner you act, the more hair you can save.
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What Would A Dermatologist Prescribe For Hair Loss
A dermatologist may recommend topical minoxidil, which is also available over the counter. A doctor might also prescribe oral finasteride for men. These medications are FDA-approved for certain conditions that cause hair loss. Other prescription medications may be available as an off-label use for hair loss.
Hair Loss Medications: Where To Get Effectiveness And Side Effects
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No matter your age or gender, dealing with hair loss can be frustrating. There are many hair loss products available on the market, which can add to the overwhelm. Additionally, visiting a dermatologist or hair loss specialist can be expensive.
Thankfully, there are different types of hair loss, and treatment options may vary accordingly.
Medications are available to treat male and female pattern hair loss. Many are designed to slow hair loss, stimulate new hair growth, or both.
To simplify your options, well do a deep dive into the best medications for hair loss, their effectiveness, and their side effects.
Youll notice that the language used to share stats and other data points is pretty binary, fluctuating between the use of male and female or men and women.
Although we typically avoid language like this, specificity is key when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.
Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didnt report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.
Hair loss medications consist of oral pills and topical formulas. They include prescription and over-the-counter options.
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