Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.
Giorgos Tsetis: When you want to solve an issue, you must first thoroughly understand the problem. A lot of times, especially in the pharma world, everybody is trying to identify the magic pill that targets a single trigger. But, that's the exact reason there hasn't been a drug that holistically and indefinitely ends the problem. You can't zero in on one specific trait or symptom, you really have to solve for the many causes. When it comes to hair loss for men and women, there are several causes that disrupt the natural hair growth cycle. Basic vitamins and minerals only act as a temporary bandaid for hair health deficiencies, which is simply not enough. Hair loss and thinning hair means your body is imbalanced and there's something off, because hair follicles are mini organs.
It is an impulse-controlled disorder characterized by compulsive plucking or breakage of hair. The most frequent site of hair pulling is the scalp, but the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair may also be involved. Trichotillomania manifests in eyelashes and eyebrows as irregular patches of alopecia containing hairs of varying lengths. Inflammation, scarring, and atrophy are conspicuous by their absence. Patients often attempt to conceal their alopecia by cosmetological camouflage. In case of a diagnostic dilemma, histological features such as increased numbers of catagen hairs, pigment casts, and traumatized hair bulbs provide a clue.
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.
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The complex actions of genetics, DHT, shifting of hormone ratios and age-related volume loss can commonly occur in women in their 40’s and 50’s. However, just like in men, genetic hair loss can appear at all ages after puberty. In fact, hair loss occurs with relatively high frequency even in women in their 20’s and 30’s. The majority of women with female pattern hair loss initially develop diffuse thinning over the front and top of the scalp, while maintaining the frontal hairline. This thinning may present with a widening through the central part line while others may present initially with either episodic or continuous hair shedding, prior to any noticeable decrease in hair volume. In addition, thinning may also be seen throughout the scalp, including the temple areas as well as the back and sides.
Androgenetic alopecia, a type of hair loss commonly called male or female pattern baldness, was only partially understood until the last few decades. For many years, scientists thought that androgenetic alopecia was caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts under normal conditions. But while testosterone is at the core of the balding process, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is now thought to be the main culprit.
Skin Conditions: There are tons of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or an infection in the hair follicle that can cause itching, redness, and inflammation around your eyebrows. Scratching the skin around that area can cause your hair to fall out. However, since you’re not damaging your hair follicle in this case, your eyebrow hair can grow back in a few weeks’ time.
Mistakenly thought to be an exclusively male disease, women make up a significant percentage of hair loss sufferers all around the world. Forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they are age 40. After menopause, that number increases even more. Hair loss in women can be absolutely devastating for self-confidence, self-image and emotional well-being. Although it is not a life threatening disease and sometimes underestimated by physicians, hair loss can take an emotional toll that directly affects physical health. Hair is an important part of woman’s face and beauty, therefore it is not easy for any woman to face changes that affect the quality and especially the quantity of her hair. Hair loss in women is a serious life-altering condition that shouldn’t be ignored and has to be diagnosed and treated in the best possible way.
In this section, our Houston Hair Transplant Team discusses current trends in hair loss and restoration research with published experts. We choose our interviewees based on those who have had NIH or Medline indexed published medical research that is peer-reviewed. The list will be organized by country and then alphabetically by physician last name. Click on the name to read about the latest research in thinning hair and hair restoration from around world. We thank our specialists below for giving us the valuable time and sharing of insight. We are deeply grateful and honored to have had the privilege to get the insight provided by these world renown specialists
Dozens of other causes of eyebrow loss are also possible including a variety of infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Consultation with a dermatologist or hair transplant surgeon is recommended. I strongly advise consulting a dermatologist before proceeding to hair transplantation for women over 40 with new onset eyebrow hair loss after age 40.
Everyone’s hair loss is different. Which is why, at Hair Club, we don’t provide a one-size-fits-all solution to restore your hair. Instead, we consult one-on-one with you to understand what’s needed to fit your taste and lifestyle. Only then will we custom tailor a solution that works best for you, so you can get the results you want. It’s what we’ve done for 600,000+ satisfied clients. It’s what we’ll proudly do for you.
The startup recently closed its Series A round of funding, with Unilever Ventures, the investment and private-equity vertical of the consumer goods company, stepping in as the lead investor. Unilever was introduced to Nutrafol through investment platform, CircleUp. The investment from Unilever Ventures, along with other strategic partners, will be used to advance research efforts, product development and expand within the medical, salon and e-commerce channels. With continued investment in research and clinical studies, Nutrafol is poised to take the lead in the fragmented multibillion-dollar global hair loss industry.
The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 6 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter (less than half an inch) per month during this phase. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase. After 2 to 3 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.
During and after pregnancy, estrogen levels may frequently rise and then dip back down quickly. This sudden dip is what leads to hair loss after giving birth, which can be normal and should stop as hormone levels balance again. If hair loss is accompanied by a myriad of other symptoms post pregnancy, there may be a deeper issue beyond normal hormone fluctuations, such as thyroid function. “But exhaustion, feeling down, difficulty losing weight, intense struggle to produce enough breast milk, and hair loss aren’t always just a normal part of having had a baby,” says Dr. Aviva Romm. If you are experiencing any of these issues post pregnancy, do talk to your doctor about what you are going through.
An unhealthy gut is also a common source of inflammation and that alone can contribute to hair loss. But lack of robust digestion and a healthy gut bacterial environment will not only lead to nutrient deficiencies that impact hair health but an imbalanced impacting all other hormones related to hair loss such as low thyroid, poor estrogen metabolism and elevated cortisol.
Taking estrogen supplements as part of a hormone replacement therapy regime has its effects on your hair as well. Women can treat a type of hair loss called androgenic alopecia, associated with low estrogen and progesterone, by replacing these hormones artificially. Dosages of synthetic estrogen should be monitored regularly -- abnormal hair growth is a possible side effect of one kind of hormone replacement therapy, called esterified estrogens.
A number of skin and hair disorders can lead to eyebrow hair loss and sometimes it may be linked to systemic diseases like lupus. Specific skin and hair disorders that are most likely to lead to eyebrow thinning and hair loss have been discussed below but other conditions like psoriasis may also be involved if it occurs on the eyebrow or forehead. Eyebrow hair loss may occur in people on chemotherapy (cancer medication) and with radiation therapy to the head.
Eyebrow thinning that manifests in irregular patches, especially accompanied by red and itchy skin, may indicate atopic dermatitis. This condition—commonly called eczema—can occur just about anywhere on the body and is usually hereditary. People with atopic dermatitis may be more sensitive to topical irritants, but eczema just from topical irritants is called allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis. While you wait on the appointment with your dermatologist, you can help ease eczema around the eyebrows by switching to mild soaps or a soap-free facial cleanser, and applying an intensive facial moisturizer within three minutes after bathing.
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.
No one wants to lose their hair, but for women it is especially traumatic. Men can shave their heads and look hip, even sexy. Most women don’t want to be bald. Though it is more common — and visible — in men, many women lose their hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 30 million women in this country have hereditary hair loss, compared with 50 million men. But many additional women experience thinning hair that results from menopause or health problems.
MICHAEL REED, MD: Over-the-counter minoxidil, which is the brand Rogaine, is FDA approved. It's been shown to be effective in scientific studies. Propecia is the new drug on the block, and that probably is more effective. It's a pill that you take once a day, and that has been shown to slow down hair loss and grow hair in a significant number of individuals. Most of the other preparations that are heavily advertised or marketed are not proven to be effective.
A small study published in 2002 found that applying topical onion juice to the scalp increased hair growth. Two groups of participants were asked to use topical treatments on their scalps twice each day for two months: one group was given onion juice to apply to their scalp. The other was given tap water. After six weeks, hair growth was observed in close to 90 percent of the participants who used onion juice (though the researchers noted that more men in the group than women experienced hair growth). In the tap water group, only 13 percent of the participants experienced hair growth (with no difference between the sexes.) The benefit from onion juice is thought to come from its high sulfur content. Sulfur is found in amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, which are needed for robust hair growth. Onion juice may also stimulate collagen production, which in turn stimulates hair growth.
Hair loss in women isn't always as straightforward as it is in most men. In men, about 95 percent of all cases are caused by male pattern baldness. In women, however, hair loss can be triggered by a multitude of conditions and circumstances. During the consultation, Dr. Yaker utilizes specialized hair and scalp scanning technology to assess the distribution of hair loss, hair thickness, and how much hair is present in a particular area. It is important to note, that for women, a proper diagnosis begins with a process of elimination. More than one cause for the hair loss may coexist and need to be recognized or excluded. A comprehensive medical history, which includes a list of all medications, history of hair loss, a thorough scalp exam, a discussion of medical and skin disorders, and a complete nutritional evaluation will be needed. Blood work analysis may be required, and a scalp biopsy may also be performed if the cause of hair loss is uncertain or there is a concern for scarring alopecia.
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.
The first step in treatment is to identify the cause of the hair loss. Then, treat it appropriately. If an internal cause is the culprit, it should be addressed — for example, thyroid medication for thyroid disease or supplements for a nutritional deficiency. External skin conditions are often treated with topical medications, and, once treated, the hair loss usually recovers. I often recommend Latisse as an adjunctive treatment. Though frequently associated with eyelash lengthening, it is a great option for thickening brows. In fact, people with brows that thin with aging (I typically don't see this in women under 50) may want to opt for Latisse.
There can be any number of different factors contributing to your hair loss. If you’re reading this and thinking, “well I have that and that, and am going through that,” then you may already have an idea of what is a contributing cause for you. You may already be doing much of what is suggested here and may learn of additional ideas to consider trying.