When you see more hair in the shower drain, in your hair brush or your ponytail holder goes around an extra time all of a sudden this is typically low thyroid, high stress or low estrogen. It can also be the increased inflammation or oxidative stress or as a result of nutrient deficiencies especially anemias (low iron, B12, etc.). Let’s dig into each of these.
Hormones are cyclical. Testosterone levels in some men drop by 10% each decade after age 30. Women's hormone levels decline as menopause approaches and drop sharply during menopause and beyond. The cyclic nature of both our hair and hormones is one reason hair loss can increase in the short term even when you are having a long-term slowdown of hair loss (and a long-term increase in hair growth) while on a treatment that controls hair loss.
Inflammation can play into thyroid related hair loss as can increased oxidative stress when the cause of the low thyroid is Hashimoto’s or autoimmunity. Immune activation in Hashimoto’s increases both of these additional causes of hair loss. As well it’s not uncommon to have multiple nutrient deficiencies when you have a low thyroid ranging from iron to B12 to a host of minerals including zinc and selenium.
The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern alopecia or baldness. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and sides of the head. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty. Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. Genetically, hair loss can come from either parents side of the family.
Hair loss is something that everyone experiences sooner or later, but some get it earlier than others. Losing hair prematurely can be traumatic. Because of that, there is an infinite number of products that claim to cure and reverse the problem. But what if you could find out the likelihood that you will experience hair loss so that you could prevent it before the symptoms even showed? Researchers in the United Kingdom have reportedly found a way to predict who is at risk.
For women going through menopause, the cause of hair loss is almost always related to hormonal changes. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to hair loss during menopause. These include extremely high levels of stress, illness, or a lack of certain nutrients. Diagnostic blood tests that can help rule out other causes of hair loss include thyroid tests, and/or a complete blood count.
Hormones don’t just affect your mood, they are also common culprits of hair loss. A hormone imbalance caused by thyroid disease, pregnancy, menopause, or hormone medication (like birth control pills) can lead to eyebrow loss. Thankfully, once you identify the source of the hormone imbalance and address the problem, your hair will likely grow back naturally.
Additionally, two other considerations are important for a patient who receives treatment for FPHL. First, there is a set of reasonable expectations in patients. Maintaining the current hair density can be considered a successful treatment because women tend to have further thinning as they age (Harfmann and Bechtel, 2015). Second, it is important to ensure that patients understand that progress is slow, and months or years can be required to see a significant improvement (Boersma et al., 2014, Yeon et al., 2011). In our practice, we wait at least 6 months to assess treatment efficacy.
Prevention is better than cure, so they. Can you really prevent or stop losing your brows? Is there a way to prevent eyebrow hair loss? Depending on the cause, it is possible to prevent them. You need to stop the causative reason. For instance, if you have been over plucking, tweezing or threading, you need to stop it until your eyebrows have grown again. If your eyebrow loss is caused by some medications you are using, whenever possible, stop using them. However, if you are attending chemotherapy session for instance, it is not practical to stop your sessions as a ways of preventing this loss.
Well, maybe that’s a new adage from instagram, but it’s true all the same: eyebrows are the essential defining feature of every woman’s face. That’s exactly why eyebrow loss can feel like a death sentence to the beauty-conscious woman. With thick, lush eyebrows in style, eyebrow loss can feel more traumatizing than ever. Hair one day, gone the next!
Another cause of eyebrow hair loss is genetic predisposition. Many patients naturally have thinner eyebrows that run in their family. This is one of the biggest reasons patients seek our services. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, eczema, and alopecia areata (spot baldness) can also lead to brow hair falling out. It’s important to determine the cause of your condition to find an effective treatment.
But there’s load of hope! Just know it takes time and first and foremost it takes knowing the cause of the hair loss. That’s the only way to get on top of the issue. The type of hair loss you have (all over, patchy, thinning, losing only at temples, lack of new hair growth after shedding, etc.) points to the underlying cause of your shedding locks. So always start there.
Surgeries, severe illnesses and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. In many cases there is a three month delay between the actual event and the onset of hair loss. Furthermore, there may be another three month delay prior to the return of noticeable hair regrowth. This then means that the total hair loss and regrowth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss. These include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.
FPHL or androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women and one of the most common chronic problems seen by dermatologists worldwide (Varothai and Bergfeld, 2014). FPHL is a nonscarring form of alopecia in which the frontal hairline is maintained, but there is progressive hair thinning at the vertex of the scalp. Thinning of the hair is secondary to alteration of the hair cycle with shortening of the anagen phase and simultaneous lengthening of telogen. This increase in the resting phase and decrease in the growth phase of the hair cycle results in the miniaturization of hair because long terminal hairs are gradually replaced by short vellus hairs (Messenger and Sinclair, 2006, Sinclair et al., 2011).