Hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Franchised diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion have become popular. Sometimes the client is told that vitamins are a necessary part of the program to prevent hair loss associated with dieting. From a dermatologists’s standpoint, however, the vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss. Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in vitamin A which can magnify the hair loss.
Because there are a number of different factors that can contribute to hair loss, it’s best to ask your doctor for a few different tests. I recommend checking: fasting glucose, iron levels and complete blood count (which can determine if you have anemia), as well as thyroid, estrogen and testosterone levels. These assessments should give you a better understanding of what hormonal issues may be at the root of your problem.
It is perfectly normal for people to shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. This generally doesn't cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time that hair is shedding. However, hair loss occurs when this hair growth cycle and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle becomes destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. Female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common form of hair loss in women. This occurs gradually and is caused by genetics (from either side of the family), age, and the action of a specific male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is found in lesser amounts in women and it preys on the hair follicles, preventing them from receiving vital nutrients for proper hair follicle growth, leading to the hairs shrinking, and resulting in a shorter lifespan. Interestingly, DHT does not need to be elevated to generate hair loss. Estrogen, when lowered as commonly seen in menopause, creates a change in the ratio of male to female hormones, giving an edge to these male hormones. Compounded with the sensitivity of DHT to the hair follicles, heredity can affect the age at which a woman begins to lose her hair, as well as the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness.
Male pattern hair loss has been established as androgen-dependent because it is associated with changes in the androgen receptor and responds to antiandrogen therapy (Ellis et al., 2002). With FPHL, genes that encode aromatase, which converts testosterone to estradiol, are also implicated (Yazdabadi et al., 2008, Yip et al., 2009). The process of androgen biosynthesis is depicted in Figure 1.
The WHI was a very large, very prominent long-term study which looked at the health effects of HRT. While the study did find a few benefits (women who used HRT had fewer hip or bone fractures and were less likely to develop colorectal cancer), it found a number of risks, including an increased chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and blood clots.
Traumas such as major surgery, poisoning and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning hair in men and women alike. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy. While targeting dividing cancer cells, this treatment also affects hair’s growth phase, with the result that almost 90% of hairs fall out soon after chemotherapy starts.
It’s not the amount of testosterone or DHT that causes baldness; it’s the sensitivity of your hair follicles. That sensitivity is determined by genetics. The AR gene makes the receptor on hair follicles that interact with testosterone and DHT. If your receptors are particularly sensitive, they are more easily triggered by even small amounts of DHT, and hair loss occurs more easily as a result. Other genes may also play a part.
Over Plucking: I know the temptation of tweezing your eyebrows when you don’t want to endure the pain of threading. But when you pluck your eyebrow hair, you’re pulling it out from the follicle and essentially damaging it. And repeatedly plucking your hair eyebrow hair can permanently damage your follicles over time and prevent them from producing new hair.
That's why I've designed a system I call The Gottfried Protocol, a step-by-step, integrative approach to natural hormone healing that emphasizes lifestyle design first and foremost. It's based on decades of research, my education at Harvard Medical School, my own experiences with hormonal imbalances, my belief in peer-reviewed, well-performed randomized trials to support my recommendations, and what I've learned from patients over the past 20-plus years of practicing medicine. The Gottfried Protocol engages only the top hierarchy of scientific evidence and has been proven in scores of women in my practice.
Women using oestrogen supplementation or taking birth control pills will also experience hair loss when they cease supplying their body with extra oestrogen. These forms of hair loss may be temporary but this, however, does not mean that there is no link between oestrogen and permanent hair loss. Scientists have noted up to 30 hormones that could play a role in female pattern hair loss – the genetic kind of hair loss – and oestrogen, whilst poorly explored, may be one of them. It’s alright if the excess hairs are the ones that are lost but when normal hair falls out, there’s a problem.
What she doesn’t mention is how to regrow your brows after chemo-related brow loss! If you have recently undergone chemotherapy, your brows may be a bit wonky in the beginning, but you still want them, right? They are the frame for your beautiful face. Every October we host a “Buy One Give One for the Cure” campaign, where for every bottle of WINK sold, we donate one to a cancer survivor. If that’s you, shoot us an email so we can get you hooked up.
Thallium poisoning should be suspected in any patient manifesting nervous system and gastrointestinal symptoms along with alopecia. The hair loss affects the scalp, periocular hair, limbs, and sometimes the axillae. Examination of the hair roots under a microscope using polarized light shows distorted anagen roots and several black zones in continued poisoning.
Eyebrows frame your face and play an important role in your facial appearance and expressions. If the hair in your eyebrows starts falling out, you are sure to see a difference in your appearance, which you may want to rectify. Many conditions can cause eyebrow loss. However, you can usually take steps to reverse the effects, such as eating a healthy diet and adjusting your beauty routine or lifestyle to account for the natural aging process.
During pregnancy, high concentration of estrogen levels in women result in the development of thicker, stronger, longer and healthier looking hair. Following pregnancy however, women tend to fret and think that they’re losing their hair when in fact they’re merely shedding the excess hair that the excess oestrogen created. The hair that was in a prolonged anagen stage are now all shifting into telogen (resting phase) to make way for new hair growth. This type of hair loss is comes under the condition known as telogen effluvium but the good news is that when oestrogen levels have returned to normal, your hair will too.
Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly.
Contact dermatitis causes skin inflammation and when severe it can affect the hair follicles as well. It can either be due to some irritant making contact with the skin of the eyebrows or due to a substance to which a person has an allergy. This gives rise to the two types of contact dermatitis – irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Substances that could cause contact dermatitis at the eyebrow includes eye makeup including eyebrow pencils, hair removal creams and waxes, other cosmetics, hair dyes and scalp hair styling products.
Estrogen describes a number of female sex hormones primarily made in the ovaries. Estrogen responsible for your female physical traits and characteristics, having the opposite role of the male hormone testosterone. Although men do have some estrogen and women have some testosterone, for the most part, the primary hormone’s levels block out the effects of the opposite sex hormones.
In an article on menopause, the University of Maryland Medical Center states, “Estrogen loss can contribute to slackness and dryness in the skin and wrinkles. Many women experience thinning of their hair and some have temporary hair loss.” Meanwhile, this study reports, “It has long been known that estrogens also profoundly alter hair follicle growth … the time has come to pay estrogen-mediated signaling the full attention it deserves in future endocrinological therapy of common hair growth disorders.”
The study in question, which was first published in the journal PLOS Genetics earlier this year, analyzed the hair growth of 52,000 men between the ages of 40 and 69 in the UK. The numbers: 32% of the men said they did not experience any hair loss at all. 23% said they experienced a little bit. 27% had moderate hair loss, and the last 18% said they were suffering from severe hair loss.
The real culprit appears to be dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of testosterone. DHT is made from testosterone by a specific enzyme in the body, and while both testosterone and DHT are known to have a weakening effect on hair follicles, there appears to be something unique about the conversion process of testosterone to DHT that relates to thinning hair. This is why some drugs that are marketed for hair loss block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. (It’s important to note, however, that these drugs tend to be less effective in women than men, and that one of them—finasteride—is only approved for hormonal hair loss in men, not women. What’s more, the drug has been associated with increased risk of sexual side effects, depression, nausea, hot flashes, and increased estrogen levels—and too much estrogen is its own risk factor for thinning hair; more on that below.)
The term “common baldness” usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head.
Every child deserves the opportunity to just be a kid—to fit in and feel normal. Kids experiencing hair loss don’t get that chance. That’s why we offer the Hair Club For Kids® program. Hair Club For Kids provides non-surgical hair replacement services, completely free of charge, to children ages 6-17 who are suffering from hair loss. These services are available at all Hair Club locations throughout North America to help reach as many kids as possible. Call 800-269-7384 for details.