When To See A Doctor For Thinning Hair
Although its common to lose hair throughout the day, its a good idea to speak with your doctor if youre losing more than 100 hairs per day.
You should also talk with your doctor if youre worried about persistent hair loss or a receding hairline, or if you notice sudden patchy hair loss. Patches of hair loss could signify an underlying medical condition.
Thinning Hair In Women: Why It Happens And What Helps
Many people think of hair loss as a male problem, but it also affects at least a third of women. But unlike men, women typically experience thinning hair without going bald, and there can be a number of different underlying causes for the problem.
Some are associated with inflammation in the body. Some are female-pattern hair loss, says Dr. Deborah Scott, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Hair Loss Clinic at Brigham and Womens Hospital. But the good news is that in many cases this hair loss can be stabilized with treatment, and it may be reversible. When its not, there are a number of new cosmetic approaches that can help.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Haircut For Fine Thin Hair
You Have Low Iron Levels
The American Academy of Dermatology also says that not getting enough iron into your diet can lead to unwanted hair loss, too.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you don’t have enough iron in your bodythe symptoms of which include fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. To help remedy this, your doctor might suggest iron supplements or other healthy lifestyle choices, like increasing your intake of both iron- and vitamin-C rich foods.
Be Mindful Of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a form of contraception that works by suppressing ovulation and/or making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant into the lining of the uterus. Hormonal hair loss in women may occur when women start or stop taking certain kinds of contraceptives. The hormones that make birth control pills effective may also cause hair thinning in women who use them. You are more likely to experience this side effect from birth control pills if you have a family history of hair loss. Stopping the pill is also a cause of hair loss in women. Hormones are not the only medication that may be associated with hair loss. Blood thinners and blood pressure medications may do it, too. So can drugs used to treat depression, heart disease, and arthritis.
Dont Miss: Does Hypothyroidism Cause Hair Loss
Also Check: Which Shampoo Is Best For Hair Loss And Dandruff
Managing Your Hair Loss
Losing your hair can cause more than a change in your physical appearance. It can be an emotional challenge that affects your self-image and quality of life. It is important to be kind to yourself during this stressful time.
People cope with hair loss in different ways. Thinking about how you feel most comfortable in managing hair loss before, during, and after treatment may help. And, your choices may change over time.
Cold cap therapy
Wearing a cap that cools the scalp can help prevent hair loss from drugs given through a vein. This treatment is called scalp cryotherapy. You wear the cap before, during, and after chemotherapy.
The cold makes the blood vessels in the skin of your head narrower. Less blood and less of the chemotherapy drug reaches your hair follicles through the blood vessels. Keeping your scalp very cold also helps prevent damage to the hair follicles. Talk with your health care team to learn if cold cap therapy is available and might work for you.
An over-the-counter medication called minoxidil may help thinning hair from hormonal therapy or targeted therapy. It may also help if your hair does not grow back completely after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a stem cell/bone marrow transplant.
There are also other medications you can take by mouth. These include spironolactone and finasteride .
Try These Seven Ways To Stave Off Hair Loss And Keep Your Do Looking Young And Healthy For Longer By Youbeauty Editors For Youbeautycom
As much as 30 percent of women will experience some sort of hair thinning, usually first noticed with age as a skinnier ponytail or a little more visible scalp peeking out. Thick hair screams youth, which makes thinning a tough pill to swallow. But there are many ways you can help slow down thinning and hair loss, from eating the right foods to cutting back on stress, even strategically styling your locks. Here, seven ways to stave off hair loss and keep your do looking young and healthy for longer.
Recommended Reading: What Doctor To See For Hair Loss
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
Cancer Treatment Is A Trigger
Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer are some of the common causes of hair loss in women. Both therapies harm hair follicles in addition to killing cancer cells. People undergoing cancer treatment often experience dramatic hair loss as a result of these therapies. They may wake up with clumps of hair on their pillow or they may lose large amounts of hair in the shower. Rapid hair loss in women often starts within 2 weeks of beginning treatment. It may be worst between 1 to 2 months into therapy. The scalp may be extra sensitive during this time. It may be irritating to wash, brush, and comb hair. The good news is that once cancer treatment is over, hair tends to grow back.
Read Also: Does Brilinta Cause 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.
Why Hair Falls Out
Hair grows and eventually falls out as part of its normal cycle. It can build up on hair brushes, pillows, or shower drains.
Most people will not notice the natural hair loss that occurs daily. Hair thickness and the hairline usually remain the same.
People are more likely to notice excessive hair loss. This is a good time to take action as it may be due to an underlying condition. Symptoms of excessive hair loss include:
- sudden loss of hair
- noticeable thinning
There are several possible reasons for excessive hair loss.
One of the most common causes is due to genetics. According to a 2019 review, pattern baldness affects up to 50% of men and women.
Commercial products could help to slow and treat this type of balding. One example of these products is Rogaine.
Pattern baldness occurs slowly with aging. Some more immediate causes of hair loss include:
You May Like: Can Rogaine Cause Hair Loss
Menopause And Hair Loss: Whats The Connection
When entering the years of menopausal transition, it is a good idea to check the bodys hormone levels. This can help explain symptoms such as hair loss.
When a person experiences hair loss and other symptoms of menopause, it is predominantly due to hormonal changes. With age, the ovaries begin to decrease the amount of sex hormones that are normally produced. As the body responds to the fluctuations in hormones, numerous physical changes occur. Menopausal hair loss is directly related to the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone.
As these hormone levels drop, hair may begin to grow more slowly and become thinner. Over time, the decrease in estrogen and progesterone causes an increase in the activity of male hormones that the body makes. Androgens cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink, which leads to hair loss. These are the same hormones that are responsible for increased facial hair growth in menopausal people.
Among other factors that contribute to hair loss are lack of nutrients, stress, and illness. A health care provider may suggest tests for basic blood count, thyroid function, or hormone levels to identify the cause of hair loss.
Shampoo For Thinning Hair
Today, there are many fantastic shampoos available for men with thinning hair. Designed to nourish hair and encourage growth, these products can be highly beneficial for those with sparse strands. In particular, shampoos that contain blockers for DHT can be highly useful for preventing the thinning of hair. Additionally, selecting products that are as natural as possible is also ideal.
Read Also: Can I Take Finasteride 5mg For Hair Loss
Read Also: What Helps Thinning Hair In Women
What Vitamin Are You Lacking If Youre Losing Hair
In the absence of Vitamin D in your body, you may experience various effects, including hair loss. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to a wide range of health conditions, including alopecia, also called spot baldness. Softening of the bones, poor bone density, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer can be found in these conditions.
Hair Loss Due To Hormones: Will It Grow Back
Hair loss due to hormones is a reality for many people after menopause as well as during pregnancy. But will it grow back? The answer is yes, but there are also things that can help the body along.
Wash hair regularly with a mild shampoo. Treat hair gently. Dont comb or brush hair when its wet. Using the fingers to detangle is a gentler option. Putting hair up in a tight bun or ponytail can cause added stress on the hair and its follicles.
Finally, try to limit the use of hair dryers or irons on hair, as they can dry and damage it.
Here are five tips to prevent hair loss during the menopausal transition and after menopause:
Don’t Miss: Can Too Much Calcium Cause Hair Loss
Cosmetic Options For Hair Loss
When medical treatments fall short, women can also consider cosmetic options to make up for lost hair, such as wearing a wig. At the other end of the spectrum is hair transplantation, a surgical procedure that moves active follicles from the back of the scalp to areas where the hair is thinning. Once transplanted, the hair grows normally.
Hair transplantation is typically performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. In appropriate patients, it can be extremely successful, but it wont work for everyone, says Dr. Scott. One drawback is the expense: it can cost thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance. The procedure also requires recovery time. And it may not be appropriate for women who have diffuse thinning across the whole scalp. Its more effective in treating smaller, more defined areas of balding.
Is Menopausal Hair Loss Permanent
While some men might be able to get away with a bald look, the case may not be the same for women. Menopausal hair loss doesnt have to be permanent. There are many solutions, ranging from cosmetic and easy enough for every day, like wearing wigs and taking supplements, to medical options like hair transplants, platelet-rich plasma treatments and scalp micropigmentation.
Nutrafol Women, which received Allure magazines 2018 Breakthrough Award, is a nutraceutical supplement that has been clinically shown to improve hair growth and hair quality. Nutrafol Womens Balance is formulated specifically for women facing hair issues related to perimenopause and menopause and can help return hair to its former glory with only natural ingredients. The supplements contain clinically tested, patented ingredients that address the root causes of thinning hair and boost hair growth, including Saw Palmetto, Maca, Ashwagandha, astaxanthin and other nourishing herbs and vitamins.
Recommended Reading: Can You Go Bald From Postpartum Hair Loss
Tips For Possible Complete Hair Loss
- Ask about a wig before you start treatment, so you can match the colour and texture of your real hair.
- If you are feeling adventurous, choose a wig for a whole new look why not try the colour and style you’ve always wanted!
- Think about having your hair gradually cut short before your treatment starts – this might help you get used to seeing yourself with less hair.
- Some people shave their hair off completely to avoid the distress of seeing their hair fall out.
- Wear a hair net at night so you won’t wake up with hair all over your pillow, which can be upsetting.
- Keep your head warm in cooler weather – some people wear a soft hat in bed.
- Rub in oil or moisturiser if your scalp feels dry and itchy, try unperfumed products such as Epaderm, Hydromol or Doublebase.
- Try a moisturising liquid instead of soap if your scalp is dry, for example aqueous cream, Oilatum or Diprobase.
- Protect your scalp by covering your head in the sun – your scalp is particularly sensitive to the sun.