What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
Is Heat Trained Hair Damaged
Does Heat Training Damage Natural Hair? Too much of it can damage the hair shaft, permanently disturb your authentic curl, and possibly make it vulnerable to damage, says McField. However, Atlanta-based hairstylist Keka Heron says everything you do leading up to heat styling is the key to healthy heat trained hair.
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.
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Your Mom Lost Her Hair Too
“If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Dr. Glashofer. Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair. This is also known as femalepattern baldness.
Women may benefit from minoxidil to help grow hair, or at least, maintain the hair you have, Dr. Glashofer says. Rogaine is available over-the-counter and is approved for women with this type of hair loss.
What Causes Alopecia Areata
There is no known cause for alopecia areata. It is an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system attacks part of your body by mistake. Scientists think the cause of the disease may be related to a persons genes. In that case, they believe a virus or something in your environment may trigger the disease.
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It Could Be A Sign Of Pcos
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, and affects nearly 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, according to the U.S. Office on Womens Health .
That can cause issues in your ovaries, which produce the egg thats released each month as part of your menstrual cycle. With PCOS, this egg might have developmental problems or not be released during your period as it normally would.
That can spur a slew of symptoms, like irregular periods, adult acne, thinning hair, or too much hair on the face, chin, or other parts of your body. This happens due to increased production of testosterone in your body, Dr. Goldenberg explains, which stimulates excessive body hair growth.
What Specific Treatments Are There For Hair Loss In Women
Female hair loss treatments include
- minoxidil ,
- hair extensions, and
- Minoxidil is available over the counter and available in 2%, 4%, and 5% concentrations. It may be something of a nuisance to apply twice daily, but it has been shown to help conserve hair and may even grow some.
- Minoxidil tends to grow very fine small hairs wherever it is applied. It is important to avoid running the liquid onto the face or neck where it can also grow hair.
- It is marketed for women at the 2% concentration but may be used in higher strengths as directed by a doctor.
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Your Estrogen Levels Recently Changed
The amount of estrogen in your body can also impact your hair. When estrogen levels are high, hair tends to be thicker than usual When theyre low, it can cause hair loss, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. A sudden change in your estrogen levelsafter pregnancy or stopping birth control pills, for examplecan also lead to temporary hair shedding.
What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss
Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:
- What kinds of hair products do you use?
- What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
- What types of food do you eat ?
- Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?
They might ask about your history:
- Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
- Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
- What medications and supplements do you take every day?
- Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
- What foods are in your diet?
And, they might ask about your observations:
- How long have you been losing hair?
- Have you been shedding more?
- Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
- Does anything worsen your hair loss?
- Does anything improve your hair loss?
- Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
- Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
- Has your hair been breaking more often?
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Dandruff Or Scalp Psoriasis
When the skin on the scalp is inflamed and itchy, its obviously tempting to scratch it. But that may cause your hair to shed more than usual.
Dandruff is the most easily treated cause of hair loss, Dr. Fusco says, because you can treat it with over-the-counter products, like a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or exfoliating ingredients such as the classic Head & Shoulders Classic or Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo . “Consistency is the trick,” Dr. Fusco says, so it’s important to find a shampoo and conditioner you like enough to use regularly.
But other conditions can also cause itchiness and scalp flaking, including seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis . Treating these issues may take more time and effort than dandruff, so its important to check in with a dermatologist if you think you may be dealing with one of these conditions.
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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Physical Trauma: A Shock To Hair Follicles
When your body is under serious physical stress, the natural cycle of hair growth and resting can be disrupted, resulting in hair loss, often in the form of thinning hair strands may come out in clumps. Any shock to the system, such as being in a severe accident, undergoing surgery, experiencing burns, or becoming very ill, can also shock the hair follicles, resulting in up to 75 percent of your hair falling out, sometimes months after the fact.
Some Shedding Is Normal
Hair goes through cycles, where it grows and then falls out, explains Ob/Gyn Lynn Simpson, MD. So you should expect some shedding. You can expect to lose between 50 and 150 hairs daily.
Hair naturally cycles through three phases:
- The growth phase can last two to seven years.
- The transition phase lasts about two weeks.
- The resting phase lasts about three months, and ends in shedding.
If you feel like youre losing an excessive amount of hair, talk to your doctor. Youll need an evaluation, she says. More than half of all women experience noticeable hair loss over time.
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A Receding Hairline In Boys
As we age, our hairline changes. There are two types of hairlines to be aware of: a maturing hairline, and a receding one. A maturing hairline is a natural process that takes place during late adolescence. It is normal and will happen in all boys, much like a deeper voice and hairy torso.
On the other hand, a receding hairline is problematic and signals a deeper issue. This is usually male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia . Unless treated in time, a receding hairline will keep on getting worse with time.
The main way to discern between a maturing and receding hairline is by looking at the pattern.
An even hairline one that keeps a consistent line from temple to temple is the main sign of a maturing hairline. An uneven hairline that is more recessed at the temples is a sign of a receding hairline, unless you have a natural widows peak, which further complicates the issue .
Losing your hair?
You’ve Been Super Stressed Or Ill
Stress or illness can cause hair lossit’s a process known as telogen effluvium, or the excessive shedding of hair induced by stress, Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, previously told Health.
“Our bodies perceive mental stress the same way it perceives physical stress, and any dramatic stressor on the body can cause hair growth to become arrested,” Dr. Henry said. “And when hair growth is arrested, it sheds.” Specifically, when the body is stressed it released the hormone cortisol, which can then affect the hair follicle and result in shedding or hair loss. That shedding typically occurs at least three months following a stressful event, Angelo Landriscina, MD, a Washington, DC-based dermatologist, previously told Health.
Of course, preventing stress is the easiest way to help prevent stress-induced hair lossbut that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you experience hair loss of any kind, it’s wise to check in with your dermatologist. Should they determine that your hair loss is stress-related, your derm may recommend a treatment called minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, to help grow hair back that you’ve lost. Also important: having patience and allowing time for hair growth.
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Can Alopecia Areata Be Prevented Or Avoided
The condition cannot be prevented or avoided. The cause is unknown and varies by person. Alopecia areata is not tied to stress, as some people believe. Some people have a family history of alopecia areata. Having a family member with alopecia areata and another immune system disease can raise your risk of having it. Other immune system diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, lupus, Addisons disease, and atopic dermatitis. It is rare for a parent to pass the condition onto a child.
What Are The Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata mostly affects hair, but in sometimes it can cause changes to the nails. People with the disease are usually healthy and have no other symptoms.
Alopecia areata typically begins with sudden loss of round or oval patches of hair on the scalp, but any part of the body may be affected, such as the beard area in men, or the eyebrows or eyelashes.
After a bare patch develops, several possible things may happen:
- The hair grows back within a few months. It may look white or gray at first but may regain its natural color over time.
- More bare patches develop. Sometimes hair grows back in the first patch while new bare patches form.
- Small patches join to form larger ones.
- In rare cases, all body hair is lost.
In most cases, the hair regrows, but more hair loss may follow.
Nail changes such as ridges and pits occur in some people, especially those who have hair loss over more parts of their body.
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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.
Causes Of Hair Loss On Legs
Hair loss occurs when individual hairs break away from the follicles and the follicles fail to produce new hairs.
As you age, your leg hair may become thinner and start to fall out. This is especially true if hair loss runs in your family.
Alopecia areata, a type of hair loss disorder, is also hereditary. With alopecia areata, your immune system attacks its own cells that contribute to hair growth. Alopecia areata more commonly affects the scalp in patches. Body-wide hair loss is called alopecia universalis. Anterolateral leg alopecia refers to hair loss on your legs thats primarily located on the front and outer sides.
Leg hair loss may also be related to the following symptoms and conditions:
- poor circulation
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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.