Hair Loss Trigger: Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in big patches. The culprit is your own immune system, which attacks healthy hair follicles by mistake. In most cases, the damage isnât permanent. The missing locks should grow back in 6 months to a year. Some people lose all the hair on their scalp and body, but thatâs rare.
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.
The Thyroid Disease Connection
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that rests in the front base of the neck. It secretes thyroid hormones that are used by every cell in the body. There’s a connection between hair loss in women and thyroid disease. Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels are a common reason for hair loss in women. Too much thyroid hormone and too little thyroid hormone may both trigger hair loss. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heart rate, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, and anxiety. In addition to hair loss, hypothyroidism may be associated with weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, slow heart rate, and constipation. Luckily, thyroid hormone imbalances are easily detectable with blood tests. Treatment helps alleviate symptoms, including hair loss.
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A Darker Root Gives The Appearance Of A Denser Scalp
An effective way to create the perception of thickness is to add color at the root. A slightly deeper root color will create the illusion of depth and can camouflage thinner hair.
“Its similar to darkening eyebrows to make them appear thicker,” said Norris. While it wont provide the appearance of volume necessarily, it does make hair look denser.
One caveat: The deeper root color, also known as a shadow root, can reflect less light and make some hairstyles appear smoother and flatter. Her suggestion is to take a test drive first with colored dry shampoo. “They provide volume and actually make the scalp appear a bit darker as well,” she said. Plus, its temporary so you can experiment before committing!
Heres How The Hair Growth Cycle Works:
Ok, its science-y but very cool, basically each hair follicle on our scalp undergoes three stages of a life cycle, explains Dr Wong.
AnagenThis is the active growing phase, which can last between 2-7 years during which the hair becomes longer and thicker.
CatagenAfter anagen, the hair follicle moves into the short transitional phase called catagen when the hair fibre stops growing, followed by the resting phase telogen which lasts around 3 months.
TelogenDuring telogen the old hair is gradually pushed up towards the skin surface before it is then shed naturally and replaced with a new emerging anagen hair.
On a typical head of hair each follicle is at a different stage at different times so you probably wont notice it happening. Very cool. This cycle continues repeatedly throughout our lifetime and each hair follicle is cycling independently of neighbouring follicles meaning that human hair growth is asynchronised, says Dr Wong.
Its important to note that hair loss is a very common problem for women much more so that people realise. “Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women will suffer from hair loss or reduced hair volume at some point in their lifetime,” says Anabel Kingsley. So, if you are losing strands, it’s important not to freak out, your mane willrecover. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know…
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Give Your Hair The Nutrition It Needs To Thrive
Diet should always come first, so, select whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to nourish your hair roots.
Meats and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron. If your hair is thinning, however, then a multivitamin and mineral supplement is also a good idea to guard against nutrient deficiencies.
Before taking supplements, see your doctor to rule out related problems such as iron-deficiency anemia, malabsorption of nutrients, and hormone imbalances, including type 2 diabetes and thyroid problems which may need further investigation.
Garlic has beneficial effects on circulation by dilating small blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the peripheries such as the scalp and nail folds by as much as 55 percent. Platelet clumping is significantly decreased after a dose equivalent to half a clove of garlic and lasts for three hours. Some of the ingredients in garlic are as potent as aspirin in this respect.
You can also stimulate circulation and increase the flow of nutrients to hair follicles by massaging your scalp regularly with your fingers, at least once a day. Concentrate on areas where your scalp seems tightly bound down to the underlying bone, to help improve any constriction to blood flow.
How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
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Physical And Emotional Stress
Extreme physical or emotional stress may trigger sudden hair loss in women. Hair loss due to physical or emotional stress is called telogen effluvium. Circumstances that may precipitate this pattern of hair loss include serious illness or injury, surgery, severe emotional upset, blood loss, and weight loss. Sometimes a reaction to medication may trigger this kind of hair loss. Telogen effluvium may last for 6 to 8 months before resolving.
Hair Loss Trigger: Pcos
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome , your hormones are always out of whack. Your body makes more male hormones, or androgen, than it should. This can cause extra hair to sprout on your face and body while the hair on your head thins out. PCOS can also lead to ovulation problems, acne, and weight gain. But sometimes thinning hair is the only obvious sign.
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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.
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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You’ve Changed Your Contraception
Seeing as pregnancy hormones cause changes in your hair, it kinda makes perfect sense that changing or stopping your contraceptive pill can have a similar effect, no? Women who are susceptible to hormonal hair loss often see that their hair is thinning when taking a variety of pill with high progesterone levels, or in the weeks after they decide to come off the Pill altogether. The good news is that contraceptive-related hair usually reverses itself once your body has become used to the make-up of the new tablets , but see your sexual health nurse or other prescriber if you’re worried for any reason that your birth control might not be right for you.
Female Hair Loss: Causes And Treatment
Far from being my crowning glory, my hair has been the bane of my life. But one question has always plagued me: is my problem on my head, or in my head? While I’ve suspected my hair has been thinning for decades, few people ever believed me and at times I even doubted it myself.
There were years when my hair seemed fuller, when I’d scrunch it into ringlets and delight at its apparent thickness. At other times, particularly in my 30s, I’d fret over the wispy strands at the front of my head or when I saw too much scalp in the mirror.
My friends always reassured me I had a good head of hair. Most of the GPs I saw reacted the same, despite my tears and protestations. I had no bald patches or visible gaps so they’d put it down to stress or would test my iron and thyroid levels, which appeared normal.
Some of my hair loss over the years is easily explained. I developed an eating disorder and recall gathering clumps of hair off my pink bedroom carpet when I was under-eating in my teens.
Weight loss, low iron levels, poor diet and stress, along with thyroid and hormonal imbalances, can all cause hair to fall, trichologists say. Hair needs a healthy diet and a well-functioning endocrine system to flourish.
“Genetic hair loss is the only hair loss in which the follicle gradually gets smaller and finer and producers smaller and finer hair until it stops altogether and then you get the thinning,” says Lyons.
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Can Hair Turn Grey Overnight
Stress can cause the life cycles of different hair follicles to synchronize and enter their shedding phase together. This results in hundreds of older, more pigmented hairs falling out at the same time, to produce a rapid, noticeable thinning.
What remains are the finer, less pigmented hairs in the earlier stages of their current life cycle which suddenly become more noticeable.
This phenomenon, known as telogen effluvium, can cause someone to look noticeably greyer within a short period of time the source of tales about someone turning grey from shock overnight.
Here are 10 tips for improving your thinning or graying hair.
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.
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Aging Changes In Hair And Nails
Your hair and nails help protect your body. They also keep the temperature of your body steady. As you age, your hair and nails begin to change.
HAIR CHANGES AND THEIR EFFECTS
Hair color change. This is one of the clearest signs of aging. Hair color is due to a pigment called melanin, which hair follicles produce. Hair follicles are structures in the skin that make and grow hair. With aging, the follicles make less melanin, and this causes gray hair. Graying often begins in the 30s.
Scalp hair often starts graying at the temples and extends to the top of the scalp. Hair color becomes lighter, eventually turning white.
Body and facial hair also turn gray, but most often, this happens later than scalp hair. Hair in the armpit, chest, and pubic area may gray less or not at all.
Graying is largely determined by your genes. Gray hair tends to occur earlier in white people and later in Asians. Nutritional supplements, vitamins, and other products will not stop or decrease the rate of graying.
Hair thickness change. Hair is made of many protein strands. A single hair has a normal life between 2 and 7 years. That hair then falls out and is replaced with a new hair. How much hair you have on your body and head is also determined by your genes.
Nearly everyone has some hair loss with aging. The rate of hair growth also slows.
Women can develop a similar type of baldness as they age. This is called female-pattern baldness. Hair becomes less dense and the scalp may become visible.
What Does Thinning Hair Look Like
Hair loss can affect men of all ages. As such, its important to know the signs of thinning hair so that you can tackle the problem as it develops. Hair loss in men typically begins around the forehead and on top of the head. Therefore, many men experience a receding hairline as part of the early stages of their hair loss. To determine whether your hairline is receding, try comparing your current hair to a photo from two years ago. Thinning hair on top of the head, on the other hand, can be identified by regularly parting your hair down the middle and seeing how much scalp is revealed.
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