Nonsurgical Hair Replacement With Medicine
Finasteride. Finasteride treats male pattern baldness. It is available in pill form by prescription only. It works by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme changes the male hormone testosterone into a stronger form called DHT . It’s believed that DHT is a key factor in male pattern hair loss. Finasteride lowers DHT levels in a man’s scalp. This slows hair loss and promotes hair growth.
Dutasteride. Dutasteride is another medicine that blocks the formation of DHT and may also help hair growth.
Minoxidil. Minoxidil is available as an over-the-counter medicine. It is approved for both men and women. It is a topical solution that must be applied by applicator or fingers to the balding area twice a day, every day. Reducing the dosage to once a day results in some hair loss. Stopping the medicine causes you to go back to your pretreatment baldness. Minoxidil is available in a women’s strength and a men’s strength.
Always see your healthcare provider for more information.
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.
You’re Getting Too Much Vitamin A
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Just FYI: The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units per day for adults and kids over age 4 supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU. So any more than that and you could risk some strands falling out.
The good news: This is also a reversible cause of hair loss, and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should start growing normally again.
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What Are The Signs Of Hair Loss
The signs of hair loss and hair conditions in men may include:
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- A receding hairline
- A horseshoe-shaped pattern that leaves the crown of the head exposed
Signs of hair loss and hair conditions in women may include:
- General hair thinning, especially at the crown of the head
Signs of hair loss and hair conditions in children and young adults may include:
- Sudden loss of patches of hair
- Complete loss of all hair on the body
- Patches of broken hairs and incomplete hair loss on the scalp and/or eyebrows
- Excessive shedding of hair, but not complete baldness, after various illnesses and drug treatments, rapid weight loss, anemia, or stress
Learn more about how to spot the early signs of alopecia.
Key Points About Temporary Or Abnormal Hair Loss
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Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
What Is Telogen Effluvium
âAll stressors, whether emotional or physical, can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium,â Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD, a double-board certified dermatologist and ambassador for Viviscal, tells WebMD Connect to Care. âThe good news is the hair will come back once the stressor is resolved.â
Luckily, telogen effluvium is usually a temporary condition and will resolve on its own. According to Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard Medical School, âTelogen effluvium usually resolves completely without any treatment over several months. The normal duration of telogen is approximately 100 days after which period the hair starts growing again.â
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What Is Androgenetic Or Androgenic Alopecia
This type of alopecia is often attributed to genetic predisposition and family history. Androgenic alopecia appears in both men and women. The hair loss in men is often faster, earlier onset, and is more extensive.
Doctors refer to common baldness as “androgenetic alopecia” or “androgenic alopecia,” which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity is necessary to develop the condition. The exact cause of this pattern is unknown.
Even men who never “go bald” thin out somewhat over the years. Unlike those with reversible telogen shedding, those with common male-pattern hair loss don’t notice much hair coming out they just see that it’s not there anymore. Adolescent boys notice some receding near the temples as their hairlines change from the straight-across boys’ pattern to the more “M-shaped” pattern of adult men. This normal development does not mean they are losing hair.
Some “myths” about male-pattern baldness
There are few scientifically proven and FDA-approved treatments for hair loss. There are thousands of unproven claims and products to help with hair regrowth.
Hair Farms Could Expand Availability Of Hair Restoration
Though the method needs to be optimized, engineered human hair follicles created in this way could generate an unlimited source of new hair follicles for patients undergoing robotic hair restoration surgery.
Hair restoration surgery requires the transfer of approximately 2,000 hair follicles from the back of the head to the front and top. It is usually reserved for male patients whose hair loss has stabilized and who have enough hair to donate.
What we’ve shown is that we can basically create a hair farm: a grid of hairs that are patterned correctly and engineered so they can be transplanted back into that same patient’s scalp, Christiano says.
That expands the availability of hair restoration to all patientsincluding the 30 million women in the United States who experience hair thinning and young men whose hairlines are still receding. Hair restoration surgery would no longer be limited by the number of donor hairs.
The engineered follicles also could be used by the pharmaceutical industry to screen for new hair growth drugs. Currently, high throughput screening for new hair drugs has been hampered by the inability to grow human hair follicles in a lab dish. No drugs have been found by screening the only two approved for the treatment of pattern hair lossfinasteride and minoxidilwere initially investigated as treatments for other conditions.
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Who Gets Hair Loss
As all our hair follicles are formed during fetal growth, it is inevitable that we will notice hair loss of some kind in later life.
Hair loss occurs in:
- Children and adults
- People with any colour or type of hair.
Hair loss can be an isolated problem or associated with another disease or condition. It can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.
What Causes Telogen Effluvium
If youâve suddenly started losing hair, you may be wondering what the underlying cause is. You may be experiencing telogen effluvium. This type of hair loss is related to stress, certain medications, and trauma.
âTelogen effluvium describes the rapid temporary loss of scalp hairs as a result of a stressful event,â Robert Haber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon tells WebMD Connect to Care.
âAnything that stresses the body, stresses the hair, including childbirth, surgery, illness, emotional stress, weight loss, new medications and more. The hair reacts by converting large numbers of anagen hairs to telogen hairs, and the patient will then notice large amounts of shedding, particularly with styling,â Haber says.
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Chemotherapy And Hair Loss
Certain chemotherapy medicines used to treat breast cancer can cause the hair on your head to become thin or to fall out completely. Some chemotherapy medicines can also cause hair loss on other parts of your body, such as your eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms.
Whether you lose your hair and how much you lose depends on a variety of factors. This includes the type, combination, and dose of chemotherapy medicines you get, as well as other medical conditions , nutrition status, and stress. The timing of chemotherapy treatments also affects hair loss. Some types of chemotherapy are given weekly and in small doses, which may minimize hair loss. Other types of chemotherapy are scheduled every 3 to 4 weeks in higher doses and may be more likely to cause more hair loss.
Talk with your doctors before chemotherapy begins so you know what to expect in your individual situation. If you find out that you will be receiving chemotherapy medicines that are likely to cause hair loss, you may want to look into the possibility of using a scalp cooling system or manual cold caps during your infusion sessions to help limit the amount of hair you lose. Read more about preventing hair loss with Cold Caps and Scalp Cooling Systems.
Some of the chemotherapy medicines used to treat breast cancer that can cause hair loss are:
12 months: 46 inches of hair
Noticeable Loss On Pillow And In Drain
Regardless of the pattern, one of the first sings of hair loss is increased shedding. We all lose between 50-100 hairs per day. In abnormal hair loss, however, this figure is much higher.
For this reason, boys and girls with hair loss will often notice a high number of strands of hair:
- on their pillow when they wake up
- in the drain after showering
- on their comb when they brush their hair
- they might also notice strands of hair coming off when they simply run their hands through their head
As mentioned above, everyone loses hair every day, even if they dont notice it. The difference is in the extent of the shedding. In instances of teenage hair loss, this will usually be very evident.
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Reawakening Dormant Hair Follicles With New Drugs
Our previous studies implicated JAK-STAT signaling as one potential new therapeutic pathway for hair loss disorders by targeting hair follicle stem cells with JAK inhibitors, Christiano says. Here, we show that blocking the source of the JAK activating signal outside the hair follicle is another way to target this mechanism.
Most drug development has focused on treatments for male pattern hair loss, and the majority of clinical trials are conducted exclusively in men.
These new pathways may lead to new treatments for both men and women suffering from hair loss, since they appear to be acting independently of male hormone pathways, Christiano says. Especially if treatments are used topically, that could avoid the related side effects seen with finasteride and minoxidil.
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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Treatment Of Hair Loss
The appropriate treatment for your cats hair loss will depend on its underlying cause.
Treatment depends on addressing the underlying cause.
Treating Fleas and Mites
Because fleas and mites are such common causes of hair loss in cats, effective treatment for these parasites is an important part of treatment for many cats with hair loss. However, not all flea preventatives are equally effective and not all are also effective against mites. Your vet can help you find the safest and most effective options for your cat.
If a food allergy is suspected your vet may recommend a diet trial to eliminate common allergens like chicken. For environmental allergens, there are treatments to reduce the allergic reaction.
Treatment For Hair Loss
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and it’ll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you’ve recovered.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100% effective.
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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.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Hair Loss
As a first diagnostic step, your vet will do a thorough physical exam, focusing on the skin and coat and looking for evidence of pain or any fleas.
Your vet will also ask about any other symptoms you might be seeing, like any scratching, head shaking, behavioral changes, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or urinary issues.
Mites, bacteria, yeast, and fungi like ringworm, can only be seen with a microscope so your vet will probably recommend checking for these with testing like skin scrapes, cytology, and fungal cultures.
Allergy testing can be done with a blood test or a skin test. Your vet may recommend blood and urine tests as well. Some unusual cases may need additional testing like a skin biopsy or may be referred to a specialist veterinary dermatologist.
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