Natural And Alternative Therapies
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , alternative therapies may not help hair regrow and many are not supported by medical research. However, other treatments that reportedly improve alopecia areata include Chinese herbs, acupuncture, zinc and vitamin supplements, evening primrose oil and aroma therapy.
Viviscal, a natural supplement, has also shown more hair growth in men compared to those who took fish extract in clinical trials, Day said.
The NIAMSD recommends discussing any alternative treatments with physicians before use.
Causes Of Temporary Hair Loss
You can avoid hair loss and promote regrowth when hair loss is temporarily caused by:
Tight hairstyles. Tight ponytails, braids and cornrows can all cause hair loss and damage the follicles, which regulate hair growth. Changing hairstyles can help prevent thinning. But beware: When the follicles sustain too much damage, hair loss can be permanent.
Extreme physical shock/stress. Dramatic changes in the body can cause temporary hair loss. Giving birth, rapid weight loss, surgery and certain illnesses may cause more hair loss than usual, typically in the resting phase. But hair should grow back over time.
Medical therapies and toxic substances. Chemotherapy, certain other drugs and radiation treatments can prompt hair loss, mainly in the growth phase. Hair loss can strike suddenly, anywhere in the body. It is typically temporary .
Nutritional deficiencies. Not getting enough iron, protein or vitamin B12 in your diet can also cause your hair to thin. If this happens to you, talk to your doctor about supplements.
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Theres a big fallout from the pandemic.
Hair loss brought on by the COVID-induced stress and anxiety of the past 18 months is plaguing women, but theyre finding help with a range of innovative though often costly treatments.
About 30 percent of my patients were e-mailing about hair loss, said Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill. It was frightening. Some had sheets of hair falling out.
Last spring, Erica Sperling, 37, noticed her curly locks thinning around the crown. She was working two jobs in media and real estate and tending to her toddler, after losing child care to coronavirus concerns.
It was a really stressful time, said the Westchester resident.
She initially tried to conceal her thinning mane on Zoom calls with headbands and ponytails, but in October she sought medical help. She turned to Bruce Katz, a dermatologist at Juva Skin and Laser Center in Midtown East, whos also seen an uptick in patients complaining about hair loss. He recommended Platelet-rich Plasma treatments, which involve taking blood from the patient, spinning the blood, and then injecting it back into the scalp at a cost of $700 to $900 per session. After two or three monthly cycles, Katz said hair will grow back 25 or 30 percent faster than usual.
It worked for Sperling, who noticed a thick improvement after four treatments. I feel great. I saw results the hair around my temples and forehead grew in, she said. Its one less thing to worry about.
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How Is Hair Loss In Women Treated What Medicines Or Supplements May Help
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss.
- In cases where the loss is due to stress or hormone changes like pregnancy, there might be no treatment needed. The hair loss will stop after a period of time.
- In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices, like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals, treatment means not doing the things that caused the damage.
- In cases due to nutritional deficiencies, you might be told to take supplements. For instance, you might be told to take a multivitamin and three to five milligrams of biotin daily.
- Minoxidil is approved for treating FPHL. The 2% or 5% solution can be purchased in stores. However, you have to follow directions exactly and use the product indefinitely. Dont use this product if youre pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant, or if youre breastfeeding.
- The HairMax Lasercomb® low light laser is approved by the US FDA to treat FPHL. Another FDA-approved laser product is the Theradome LH80 PRO® helmet and low light laser helmets and caps.
Other medications that have been studied, but not approved, for hair loss in women include:
- Spironolactone and other anti-androgens.
- Other light treatments.
It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception. Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.
Rosemary Oil For Treating Hair Loss The Research
A randomized controlled trial tested 100 men with androgenetic alopecia male pattern baldness. In the trial, 50 of the men were treated with 2% topical minoxidil which is a synthetic drug used to stimulate hair growth. The other 50 men were treated with rosemary oil.
The men in both groups were tested with hair count analysis which is the most objective measure of treatment for baldness.
After three months, neither of the groups showed any significant increase in hair counts.
But when tested at six months, the researchers found that both treatments significantly increased the overall hair counts among the men.
This means that rosemary oil is as effective as minoxidil but safer. The researchers found adverse effects such as scalp itching significantly more frequent among the minoxidil group. But its important to mention that scalp itching was found among the rosemary group as well.
If you have sensitive skin you may not tolerate rosemary oil as well as others but this may be resolved by simply diluting the oil with a carrier oil.
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Pandemic Hair Loss The Best New Treatments For Growing Luscious Locks
She also advises patients not to get their hair colored or wear it in braids anything that adds stress to tresses. And, Green said, I tell them not to get a haircut because it might feel like you have less hair.
As for special shampoos and conditioners that claim to curb hair loss, Green said shes skeptical.
Im not convinced a shampoo or conditioner can grow back hair. Its not something you leave on your scalp long enough to make a difference, said Green, adding that serums, including Pureauty biotin hair serum could be more effective because theyre designed to stay on longer.
When it comes to more stubborn cases, she might suggests investing in a scalp-stimulating LaserCap, which uses Food and Drug Administration-cleared Low-Level-Laser Therapy, starts at about $1,000, and can be ordered through a physician.
If none of these treatments do the trick, Green will call in blood work to rule out hormonal changes. Shell also ask patients to collect strands of their hair over 24 hours, which shell send to a lab to test for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
But, Green said, patients need to be patient. It takes three months for a hair follicle to grow back, so you wont notice a difference for four to five months.
Some are looking beyond the dermatologist office for help. Sarah, a 38-year-old mother of two living in New York City, was losing her locks in large clumps. My cleaning lady even commented on all the hair she found on the bathroom floor, she recalled.
Causes And Symptoms Of Alopecia
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes you to lose hair and often leaves little bald spots on your head. Our hair is made up of mostly protein. When our body does not have enough protein, the hairs enter the resting phase. This causes us to lose hair and hair to become brittle and fall out. Alopecia is both hereditary and hormonal. It affects both males and females and can happen at any age. There are many causes related to alopecia. Causes include severe or chronic illness, thyroid disease, low-protein diets, low iron levels and improper hair care. It is also common after childbirth. If hair loss occurs, the hairs may enter a resting phase and are lost without immediate replacement. It could last up to nine months but should resolve itself without treatment. This also may be the case if you have a chronic illness.
Alopecia occurs when hair follicles are attacked by your own body, causing clumps of hair to fall out. While rare, there is a potential to lose all the hair on your head and/or on your entire body. Males are more likely to lose all their hair while women mostly experience thinning. Sometimes the hair grows back for good and other times it grows back and then falls out again shortly after. Unfortunately, alopecia is not curable, but can and should be treated by a dermatologist. During diagnosis, a skin biopsy may be performed and examined to properly diagnose the alopecia.
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How To Prevent Hair Loss In Men
Hair loss in men is more common than in women. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85 percent of men have thinning hair by the time they reach 50. Hair loss in men is typically caused by genetic male pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, aging, or low testosterone levels. If youre concerned about hair loss, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
to promote hair growth. By promoting circulation in the area of growth, your hair may grow more quickly if you gently massage your scalp every time you wash your hair.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Hair Loss
Because so many things can cause hair loss, a dermatologist acts like a detective and begins by asking questions. The dermatologist will want to know whether your hair loss happened suddenly or gradually. Knowing this helps to determine the cause.
A dermatologist also will ask what medicines you take, what allergies you have, and whether you have been dieting. It is important to give the dermatologist accurate information. Like a murder mystery, the slightest clue can solve the case. Women may be asked about their menstrual cycles, pregnancies, and menopause.
The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.
Sometimes the evidence lies in your scalp. The dermatologist may remove a small piece of the scalp. This is called a scalp biopsy. A dermatologist can quickly and safely perform a scalp biopsy during an office visit. A scalp biopsy can be essential to solving the case. Sometimes, a blood test is necessary.
Because so many things can cause hair loss, it can take time to find the cause.
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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.
How To Prevent Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss in women is typically caused by genetic female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, thyroid disease, aging, or other hormonal conditions. About one-third of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime. If you are losing your hair, your doctor may recommend some of the following treatments to prevent further hair loss.
- Aldactone or other anti-androgen medications
- oral contraceptives
- iron supplements, especially if your hair loss is connected to anemia or heavy menstrual cycles
Women who have reached menopause may also consider hormone replacement therapy as a way to treat their hair loss and other symptoms.
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How Do Dermatologists Treat Hair Loss
Just as there are many causes, there are many treatments for hair loss. Dermatologists recommend treating hair loss early, before you lose a lot of hair. Hair loss is harder to treat when a person has already lost an extreme amount of hair.
One or more of the following treatments may be part of your treatment plan.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
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Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It’s called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.