What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
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.
What’s The Most Common Form Of Female Hair Loss
Female-pattern hair loss, which usually has a strong genetic component that can be inherited from either the mother or father. Also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, this type of hair loss can start as early as the late teens — and the earlier it starts, the more severe the hair loss tends to be.
Most women with pattern hair loss don’t get a receding hairline or bald spot on top of the scalp as is common in men. Instead, there is visible thinning over the crown. In men and women, hairs are miniaturized because of a shortened growth cycle where the hair stays on the head for a shorter period of time. These wispy hairs, which resemble forearm hairs, do not achieve their usual length.
The first sign of hair loss that most women notice is often widening of their part or that their ponytail is smaller. Read more about what causes androgenic alopecia.
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Can Thinning Hair Grow Back
Thinning hair can grow back depending on what caused it to thin in the first place. Individuals who experience thinning hair due to nutrient deficiencies, stress, pregnancy, and other non-genetic reasons could experience regrowth.
If youre experiencing new hair loss or hair thinning, its best to consult your doctor. Some medical conditions can be associated with thinning hair.
What Women Can Do About Hair Loss
Lifestyle changes and certain treatments may help.
You look in the mirror one day and notice a widening part or a patch of scalp showing through your once-thick mane. Maybe you spot an alarming clump circling the shower drain.
Such moments are especially frightening for women, says Shani Francis, MD, director of the Hair Disorders Center of Excellence at NorthShore University Health System.
Some reasons for hair loss:
- Excess styling
- A thyroid imbalance
- Low iron and low vitamin D: Have your doctor check your levels supplement if necessary. Learn more about how vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss.
- Medication: Going on birth control, blood pressure medication, steroids, or antidepressants can all prompt hair to shed temporarily.
- Significant weight loss
- Hormone changes after pregnancy or during menopause
- A traumatic event, like an illness, surgery, or death in the family
By middle age, 40% of women show signs of pattern hair loss , a genetically-based condition in which hair follicles gradually shrink and become less active, prompting budding strands to become wispy and stubby, shed more, and grow less. Declining estrogen levels, due to menopause, may also play a role in hair loss.
Many other women go through telogen effluvium, a temporary shedding sparked by stress, illness, nutritional deficiencies, or hormonal changes. For this type of hair loss, in which hair tends to fall out in clumps, better nutrition, rest, and time may be all you need.
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What Can I Do
- The appearance of menopausal hair loss can sometimes be improved by cosmetic practices, e.g. reducing the use of straighteners, hair dryers and other heat damaging tools. This along with the use of thickening shampoos and conditioners may improve hair appearance.
- A healthy, varied diet is a contributing factor to a healthy body, so a nutritional review may be helpful.
- Topical solutions to increase hair growth can be purchased. These take several months to take effect and must be used on an ongoing basis, or hair loss will return.
- Laser devices that emit low-energy laser light may stimulate hair growth to help fight thinning hair. Laser therapy is best carried out by a hairdresser or therapist with experience and training on these devices. The long-term safety and effectiveness are unknown.
- Some medications have side effects that could include hair loss. Make sure to talk to your doctor if youve noticed significant hair loss and you think that your medicine might be the cause.
- An important function of hair is to protect the scalp from sunlight it is therefore important to protect any bald areas of your scalp from the sun to prevent sunburn and to reduce the chances of developing long-term sun damage.
- Be reassured. Most menopause related hair loss does slow down with time.
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.
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What Types Of Health Conditions Can Lead To Hair Loss
Hair loss itself is sometimes treated as a diagnosis, but it is often asymptom of something bigger. “Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue and act as an early warning system,” says Richard Firshein, an expert in integrative and precision-based medicine and founder of the Firshein Center. “The health of hair follicles is directly related to health and the functioning of our endocrine system.”
For conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome , which is often difficult to diagnose, hair thinning is often one of the first tell-tale signs along with acne and body hair caused by the increased levels of testosterone. “Patients with PCOS can have overall elevated testosterone leading to androgenetic alopecia,” explains Henry. Talking about it openly with your dermatologist, OB-GYN, or general health provider can help get you to a diagnosis and treatment plan earlier.
What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
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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.
Why Do We Need The Best Hair Loss Supplements
Hair loss can be a natural part of life, and for some, it can even look great. It is distinguished, courageous, rugged, maybe. But for the millions upon millions of men and women who don’t, in any way, want to lose their hair, it can be a very different story. Hair is, and always has been, linked to youthfulness and strength, and losing can affect your feeling of self-worth. In those who suffer most, it symbolizes aging and infirmity and leads to depression and social anxiety. The Best Hair Loss Supplements are designed to help those most uncomfortable with the process and make them feel better out themselves again.
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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.
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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What Causes Female Pattern Hair Loss
FPHL has a strong geneticpredisposition. The mode of inheritance is polygenic, indicating that there are many genes that contribute to FPHL, and these genes could be inherited from either parent or both. Genetic testing to assess the risk of balding is currently not recommended, as it is unreliable.
Currently, it is not clear if androgens play a role in FPHL, although androgens have a clear role in male pattern baldness. The majority of women with FPHL have normal levels of androgens in their bloodstream. Due to this uncertain relationship, the term FPHL is preferred to female androgenetic alopecia.
The role of oestrogen is uncertain. FPHL is more common after the menopause suggesting oestrogens may be stimulatory for hair growth. But laboratory experiments have also suggested oestrogens may suppress hair growth.
What Are Some Effective Types Of Treatment For Thinning Hair
If you find yourself hyperventilating in the aisles of Whole Foods and buying $70 worth of biotin, take a step back. Though its use as a hair- and nail-growth supplement is prevalent, research demonstrating the efficacy of biotin is limited and most has focused on nails. “We don’t really have great data supporting its use,” says Henry. “The original studies on biotin and hair were actually quite small because of this, I don’t recommend very high doses of biotin. Further, high doses of biotin can interfere with some blood tests, especially in older patients and patients with a history of heart disease.”
Many women may have had these supplements recommended to them at some point, but unless there is a severe natural deficiency , it’s typically preferable to incorporate proven lifestyle changes, like a nutrient-filled diet and decreased stress.
There are a few treatments, like platelet-rich plasma injections, that do work. “PRP contains a number of compounds that are unique to platelets that stimulate growth and reduce inflammation,” explains Firshein. “Platelets work similarly to how they do in other parts of the body by repairing damaged areas and helping them to regrow.”
Hair loss is incredibly common, and women should not have to suffer in silence or try to hide their hair loss for fear of being seen as unattractive or old. Aging is a natural and beautiful process, and whether it’s going gray or thinning out, it is time we normalize beauty at every age.
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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.
Avoid These Harmful Ingredients:
This “flow agent” may seem harmless, but in reality, it can be very dangerous in high doses. Unfortunately, most sources for magnesium stearate are genetically modified, and treated with high amounts of pesticides, due to its origins as a cottonseed oil base.
Widely relied upon in vitamin manufacturing as a coloring agent and binding mineral, titanium dioxide is known to cause health issues in the immune system in large amounts. Low-quality hair vitamin blends typically include this filler.
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A Dermatologists Diagnosis Is Best Before Treating Hair Loss
If you think you have FPHL, its important to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis. Women develop hair loss for many reasons. Other common causes of hair loss in women can look a lot like FPHL. Each of these causes requires different treatment. Without the right treatment, hair loss often continues.
You can find a dermatologist in your area by going to Find a Dermatologist.