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.
Preventing Hair Loss: Over
The simplest solution is to start using 5 percent minoxidil, which is available without a prescription, says Bruce. The trade name is Rogaine, but there are also generic versions available. This treatment is effective in about two out of three people who use it, she says.
Compliance can be an issue, because you have to use it every day to retain the benefits, she says. There are medications marketed to both men and women, but women can use the mens formulation and it is often less expensive.
Oral prescription drugs have been shown to help with female pattern hair loss. These drugs have been approved for use in other conditions, but are used by doctors off-label for FPHL, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association .
Spironolactone, a blood pressure medication that is a diuretic can prevent hair loss from worsening and restore hair growth, according to the AAD. Other drugs block the effects of circulating androgens or lower androgen levels.
These oral medications should not be used by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, according to the AAD.
What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
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Avoid These Foods To Keep Your Hair Healthy After 60
Excess salt is your hairs number one enemy. Consuming too much has an adverse effect on hair follicles and trichologists have found that cutting back on salt intake can lessen hair loss by as much as 60 percent.
Steer clear of nutrient-poor sugary and fatty treats too such as donuts, cakes, biscuits and pastries which do nothing to nourish your hair follicles.
Midlife Hormonal Changes May Contribute To Thinning Hair
Hair loss might also be related to a shift in hormones, says Faubion. Androgens, a group of hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione, dont increase during the menopause transition, but the ratio between estrogen and androgen changes, so you have less estrogen and relatively more androgen, she explains.
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What’s A Good Shampoo For Aging Hair
- Best SLS-Free: Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo. …
- Best Color-Safe: RevitaLash Cosmetics Thickening Shampoo. …
- Best Vegan: Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo with Centaury. …
- Best Sulfate-Free: ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo. …
- Best Non-GMO: Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Shampoo.
What Women In Midlife Need To Know About Hair Loss
Nearly 80 percent will lose locks or experience thinning by age 60, but there are ways to minimize the damage
Baldness and its ramifications have been in the news quite a bit lately: Just this month, new research found that male pattern baldness is associated with a 30 to 40 percent increased risk for heart disease and, for African-American men, an apparent 69 percent increase in prostate cancer risk.
But women also experience hair loss, clinically known as alopecia. They make up 40 percent of hair loss sufferers, according to the American Hair Loss Association and nearly 80 percent of all women will experience some thinning or loss by age 60. With those numbers in mind, what follows is a guide to what women need to know about hair loss in midlife and beyond.
What Causes Hair Loss?
It is normal for healthy women in midlife to lose as many as 50 to 100 hairs per day, but if you think your comb is pulling out more strands than usual or that your hair has thinned, one of a variety of health concerns could be disrupting that natural cycle.
“Our age, hormone changes and heredity all can lead to hair loss,” says dermatologist Marcy Street of Okemos, Mich. “These are things we can’t change.”
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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.
How To Make Hair Grow Thicker Again
Avoid getting sucked into claims of miracle cures and instead follow our trichologist-approved advice for growing thicker, stronger hair. Remember your lifestyle plays a bigger factor than your hair products. However, it’s worth considering the products that you use and making thoughtful switches, for instance, make sure your shampoo is geared towards finer hair.
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How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
Get A Hormone Boost To Reduce Hair Loss
Hair loss increases after menopause when estrogen levels fall. This also increases the relative influence of the small amount of testosterone hormone that is made in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
Testosterone is converted into a stronger hormone in hair follicles which increases male and female-pattern hair loss which is genetically determined.
If you are willing to take estrogen hormone replacement therapy, this will help to boost hair quality. Once again, this is something that you can discuss with your doctor.
An alternative approach is to consume more plant estrogens, especially isoflavones and lignans. Although these are between 500 and a thousand times less active than human estrogen, they can provide a useful hormone boost. Isoflavones are found in edamame beans, tofu, miso, and other soy products, sweet potato, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
As well as having an oestrogen-like action, lignans provide an additional benefit by inhibiting the enzyme , which converts testosterone to the stronger dihydrotestosterone in hair follicles. Research shows that increasing your intake of lignans are associated with a reduced rate of hair loss and hair regeneration.
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If Your Hairs Suddenly Feeling Thinner Heres What Could Be Going On
While it’s odd to think of yourself shedding hair in the summertime, it’s a reality for many of usespecially those who live in a place that experiences big temperature swings this time of year.
What’s going on? “When you have a major environmental change, so like right now when the temperature’s going from the 50s to the 90s in a day, that sudden change can shift more of your hair into what’s called the telogen phase,” says Adam Friedman, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University.
Friedman explains that this telogen hair phase is also known as the “death” phase, and it’s completely normal. In fact, around 20% of your hair is in this death phase at any given time. That means it has stopped growing, and will soon fall out. “A healthy woman loses 150 to 175 hairs a day, while men lose a little less,” Friedman says. Meanwhile, you’re always making new hair.
But when the seasons transition and the weather goes through violent temperature swings, those shifts can place mild stress on your body. “That stress can force some of your hair from the growth or anagen phase into that telogen phase,” Friedman explains.
First of all, your hair won’t fall out immediately or all at once. It will take a couple months for the phase shift to result in hair loss. So while your body may have felt the temperature-induced stress in April and May, you may not notice your increased rate of hair loss until July or August, Friedman says.
What Are The Different Types Of Female Hair Loss
Engelman explains how the hair cycle is a four phase process: Anagen , Catagen , Telogen , and Exogen . Each hair follicle goes through this process at different times, otherwise we would lose all of our hair at the same time before it started to grow again. There is no exact normal number of hairs shed per dayit depends on the individual. But if your normal seems to have changed, and youre finding extra hairs on your pillows, clothing, and even falling into your food, it could mean your hair growth cycle has been disrupted.
According to Joshua Zeichner MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, female pattern hair loss, or FPHL, is polygenic, meaning that its likely caused by a combination of genetic factors from both your mom and your dad, though other factors can contribute to hair loss. It is important to understand whether hair loss is caused by genetics alone or whether there are contributing medical factors involved, Zeichner adds. Medical factors might include hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause, menopause and post-partum, as well as stress, illness, weight loss, and even gut health.
Stress can play a big role in female hair thinning and loss. The Mayo clinic describes
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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.
Where Do I Start
You just learned a lot of information about what could be causing your unexplained hair lossso where the heck does a gal start?
My inclination is always to start with the low-hanging fruit, trust your intuition and go from there.
For example, if you know youre stressed out most of the time it would be a good idea to start practicing some regular self-care.
Or, perhaps your hair loss coupled with low energy, insomnia, weight gain, digestive issues, etc. could be a clue that you need to get some lab work done to check for thyroid, hormonal, or nutrient imbalances.
The point is that thinning hair is usually a sign of a deeper issueand thats not something to be afraid of! Instead, Id invite you to see it as an opportunity to take back control of your whole health and enhance your happiness.
Youre worth it!
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