Elizabeth Willett is the Senior Herbalist and Lead Educator at NaturalFertilityInfo.com. She holds a BS in Mass Communications (2000) from Minnesota State University, and a Master of Arts degree (MA, 2010) in Holistic Health Studies with a specialization is herbalism from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. Liz has written over 200 articles on women’s fertility and brings a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise in holistic health and healing to Natural Fertility Info.com
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.
There are numerous diseases that can affect the hair and scalp. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of conditions. Diseases such as alopecia areata, anemia, male/female pattern baldness, and infections of the scalp can all cause significant difficulty and loss of daily well-being. Stanford Dermatology has established a special clinic focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders of the hair.
Eyebrows protect the eyes from sweat that trickles down the forehead. They also protect the bony ridges above the eyes. In addition to the above, the eyebrows play a very important function in facial expression and body language. Eyelashes protect the eyeball from small foreign bodies and irritants and stimulate the closing reflex. Both eyebrows and eyelashes play a very important cosmetic function, and thus contribute greatly to the self esteem of an individual.
Menopause is a natural biological process that all women experience at some point in their lives. During this time, the body goes through numerous physical changes as it adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. Many women have unpleasant symptoms during menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Hair loss is another common occurrence.
Unlike other companies, we’ve provided one-on-one guidance, professional advice and custom-tailored solutions for our clients’ hair loss needs from the beginning. This personal touch is what made Hair Club successful then. And it’s still the secret to our success today. We continue to grow every year and have expanded to nearly 120 locations across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Toxic alopecia occurs when there is a disruption of hair growth in the anagen phase. This usually occurs following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy for various types of ocular tumors, eyelid and choroidal tumors have been reported to produce madarosis.[95–97] Hair loss due to radiation is usually reversible, but may be permanent when the dose of radiation is in the range of 50 to 60 Gy.
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.
The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Under normal conditions, women have a minute fraction of the level of testosterone that men have, but even a lower level can cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women. And certainly when those levels rise, DHT is even more of a problem. Those levels can rise and still be within what doctors consider "normal" on a blood test, even though they are high enough to cause a problem. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if you have the kind of body chemistry that is overly sensitive to even its regular levels of chemicals, including hormones.
Other hair loss conditions that may be of an autoimmune nature that can involve the loss of eyebrows such as an underactive thyroid or vitiligo are termed “markers of underlying conditions”. It would be a trichologist’s responsibility to highlight these to the GP for further testing, these can also be investigated privately. In addition, there are conditions such as nutritional deficiencies like pernicious anaemia (unable to store B12) and of course anxiety and stress hair loss which can cause an overall reduction in the hair density. Patients attending with this concern often report that their general density is less dense.
Alopecia areata is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system erroneously attacks the hair follicles, causing inflammation and temporary hair loss. Any hair-bearing skin site can be affected by alopecia areata, including the eyebrows. Treatment commonly involves corticosteroid injections into the site of eyebrow loss. Eyebrow hairs usually grow back, but may be a different color or texture than the lost hairs.
If you’ve overplucked your brows too many times, you may have caused trauma to the follicles in the meantime, signalling not only those hairs you plucked to stop growing back, but also the hairs in surrounding areas. The good news: If the hair follicles aren’t dead, they can possibly be shaken from their resting state with a good brow enhancer. (like WINK yes of course, we have to say it). There’s no sure bets, but it’s worth a try–plus Wink has a money-back guarantee!
Reduce stress. When you are stressed, your body starts shutting down processes that aren’t necessary for survival. This shutdown can occur with physical stressors, like surgery or an illness, and emotional stress, which often manifests as physical symptoms. Loss may occur up to three months after the stressful event and may take another three to grow again.
If you’ve gotten through this list and still don’t know what’s going on, it’s time to talk to your doc. Unfortunately, madarosis–typically used to mean the loss of eyelashes, but also referring to the loss of brows–may be due to many, many things, including a number of vision and life-threatening conditions, like herpes zoster, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, trachoma, malignant eyelid tumors, discoid lupus, scleroderma, and hypothyroidism (Khong, Casson, Huilgal, Selva; Survey of Opthamology, 2006). Brow and lash loss are both indicators of underlying diseases, so yes get to your doc stat.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
Also called “chastetree,” Vitex is an herb which is typically prescribed to treat estrogen dominance. It seems to be recommended as a remedy for especially low levels of estrogen as well however, and does seem to have a general balancing effect on the overall ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Vitex’s balancing effect is thought to result from the stimulation of dopamine production.
If you have any more concerns about licorice, just remember that licorice candies are a Dutch treat, and overseas, plenty of Dutch people are consuming the stuff on a regular basis with no ill effects. In moderation, this may be an effective (and tasty) way to raise your estrogen levels. While you are at it, you can reduce any heartburn problems you happen to have.
Insulin, that helper hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar levels, also affects a number of different body processes, including fat storage, heart health and, you guessed it, hair growth. One study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Risk found that women with some markers of insulin resistance have a greater risk for androgenic alopecia (AGA), or female pattern baldness.
When men have hereditary hair loss, they often get a receding hairline. Many men see bald patches, especially on the top of the head. Women, on the other hand, tend to keep their hairline. They see noticeably thinning hair. The first sign of hair loss for many women is a widening part. In rare cases, men see noticeably thinning hair. And in rare cases, women can see a receding hairline or bald patches. The reasons for this are unknown.
Male pattern baldness (MPB) has a distinctive shape. The front hairline recedes, especially at the sides, forming an M shape. This is frontal baldness. The crown of the head, also known as the vertex, becomes bald as well. Eventually the two areas join into a “U” shape. MPB can even extend to chest hair, which can thin as you age. Oddly enough, hair in different locations on the body can react differently to hormonal changes. For instance, facial hair growth can improve while other areas become bald.
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.
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.
Contrary to popular belief, hair does not grow continuously but actually grows in cycles. It starts at the follicles which are embedded in the skin and the visible part, the shaft, is a consequence of active growth at the follicles over time. The living part of the hair in the skin has blood and nerve supply while the hair shaft is made up of dead cells and protein and does not have a blood or nerve supply. Therefore it can be easily cut without any bleeding or pain.
In men, finasteride (originally marketed as Proscar) is approved for hair loss associated with androgens. In one study, 62% of women also taking oral contraceptives containing the synthetic progestin drospirenone reported improvement. So it may be effective for female hair loss in the setting of increased androgen. But studies are limited and it is harmful to the male fetus so should not be used by women thinking about becoming pregnant or who are pregnant.
It is known that during pregnancy, because of an increased level of estrogen, there is a tremendous growth of new hair. However, during menopause it is noticeable that the reduced level of estrogen hormone tends to cause hair loss. When the estrogen hormone levels tend to drop, the hair follicles fall under the influence of the male sex hormone or the testosterone, which cause the shortening of the growth phase of hair. Subsequently there is a noticeable hair loss. This hair loss caused due to the drop down of estrogen levels may cause patchy hair loss or complete baldness.
Both benign and malignant tumors such as seborrhoeic keratosis, molluscum contagiosum, basal cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, sebaceous cell carcinoma, and sclerosing sweat duct carcinoma have been shown to be associated with loss of eyelashes.[1,111–113,119,120] A sebaceous cell carcinoma very often presents as a recurrent chalazion. An associated madarosis (due to lid infiltration and follicle destruction) would help to differentiate the two.[121,122] Tsuji et al. reported a rare case of primary epithelioid hemangioendothelioma of the eyelid associated with madarosis. Primary leiomyoma of the eyelid has been reported with madarosis. Kuan described a case of lacrimal gland tumor masquerading as blepharitis with madarosis.
In your quest for perfectly maintained brows, you probably keep regular maintenance appointments on your calendar. Instead, you might want to embrace a more natural, hands-off approach. “The trauma inflicted on hair follicles during waxing, tweezing, and threading can lead to permanent follicular damage,” explains Dr. Umar. “Women who grew up in the height of the ’90s overplucked, pencil-thin brow trend have begun to notice the difficulty in growing thicker eyebrows after years of this habit.”
Estrogen dominance is an extremely common imbalance and it can fuel thinning hair as well as an arms-length list of annoying symptoms, from bloating and PMS to irregular periods and infertility. Your first, best step in clearing excess estrogen from the body is doing a liver supportive detox. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing foods for three meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry or deprived and, most importantly, you will help kickstart hormonal healing. A hormone detox is one of the best first steps you can take to reverse thinning hair.