You may have thought you were one up on men in the biological war but not only testosterone-strong males experience hair loss. In fact (and unfairly), up to 50% of women will experience some form of hair loss in their lifetime. You might have heard that pregnancy, the contraceptive pill and menopause are possible causes of hair loss, but are they really? Well, yes and no. An understanding of why female hair loss happens and what role estrogen plays in hair growth may help to make this answer clearer.
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.
Before you start hormone replacement therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor about the possible risks and negative effects versus the benefits of HRT. If you're already at an increased risk for health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and blood clots, HRT may not be the best hair loss treatment for you. If you are prescribed HRT, it important to take the lowest doses that are effective, and to only take the drugs for the shortest amount of time needed to control symptoms.
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Balancing your hormones is not an easy process, whether you are in perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause. You may find that just one of these herbs is sufficient to do the trick, but in many cases you will achieve the best results by taking a combination of herbs. Start gradually and track your results carefully to make sure you are choosing the right products to balance and adjust your particular hormone profile.
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.
DLE is an autoimmune condition and is the most common form of chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Clinically, the lesions start as discoid erythematous patches which then develop into plaques with follicular plugging and scaling. Eyelid findings include blepharitis, lid scarring, entropion, and ectropion. Scaly plaques on the eyelids with loss of hair follicles results in madarosis [Figure 3]. Numerous studies have reported the mimicking of a chronic blepharitis by DLE.[35,61–63] A high index of suspicion is necessary in such cases, where the diagnosis is very often delayed by months to years. Biopsy with histopathological examination should be done to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment with hydroxychloroquine results in a regrowth of the eyelashes.
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.
Other drugs commonly attributed to causing madarosis are miotics, anticoagulants, anti-cholesterol drugs, antithyroid drugs, propranolol, valproic acid, boric acid, and bromocriptine.[21,99] Anticoagulants in high doses have been found to produce loss of scalp, pubic, axillary, and facial hair with loss of eyebrows after a latent period of a few weeks of treatment with dextran and heparin. Propranolol can cause diffuse alopecia along with loss of eyebrows due to telogen effluvium, usually after three months of therapy. Loss of medial aspect of eyebrows can be seen in fetuses exposed to valproic acid. Diffuse alopecia including that of eyebrows has been described due to chronic ingestion of mouthwashes containing boric acid. There was complete reversal following stopping the practice. Levodopa has been noted to cause severe diffuse alopecia within three months of daily use. Hair loss can occur soon after starting topical minoxidil therapy (due to detachment of club hairs following resting hairs reentering anagen), and after cessation of therapy (due to telogen effluvium).
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.
Scurf refers to the scales and greasy crusts that accumulate along the hair shaft and indicates the presence of seborrhea.[26,27] Collarettes are composed of hard fibrinous scales[25,28] surrounding each individual eyelash. They travel upward along with the growth of the lashes and are indicative of staphylococcal infection. Sleeves or cylindrical dandruff comprise scales that form a cuff around the lash root and are connected with it, in contrast to greasy scales which are not connected to the lash root. Sleeves indicate infestation with Demodex folliculorum.
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, since 2004, the number of female surgical hair restoration patients worldwide increased 24 percent. Modern surgical hair restoration procedures such as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) allow surgeons to take hair from the back of the head (genetically permanent hair zone) and transplant it to the areas where balding has occurred. The reason why the hair does not fall out once transplanted in its new location is because those hair follicles take on the same characteristics as the hair in the area where it originated, the genetically permanent zone. Both approaches result in lasting outcomes. In order to know if you are a candidate, Dr. Yaker will go over your medical history and examine your hair and scalp. He will determine if you have ample, good quality hair in the permanent hair zone in order to be able to relocate those hair follicles to the areas of hair loss.
Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull is a University-trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies and specializes in gynecologic diseases such as menstrual disorders, infertility diagnosis and treatment especially pertaining to tubal blockage and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Langdon is the inventor of 6 patent pending medical devices, and attended Ohio State University from 1987-1995 receiving her Medical Doctorate Degree (M.D.) with Honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Visit your doctor. First and foremost, you need to understand the cause of your thinning brows in order to know how to address them. Your doctor can check for underlying conditions like hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalance and vitamin deficiency. Your doctor can also point you in the right direction for products that can help regrow or mask thinning hair. Visit a dermatologist for targeted advice and cosmetic options that are available to you.
Certainly when those testosterone levels rise, DHT is even more of a problem. DHT levels can be elevated and be within what doctors consider "normal range" on a blood test, but they may be 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 regular levels of chemicals, including hormones.
The eyebrows are two-arched eminences of skin situated above the orbital regions.[3,4] The hairs of the eyebrows are short, thick. and stiff and are set obliquely. The diameter of eyebrow hair is normally thinner than scalp hair in Asians, and the scalp hair in thinner in Caucasians. The eyebrows can be roughly divided into three parts. The medial third is usually below the orbital margin with the hairs in this region oriented vertically. The middle third lies along the orbital margin with hairs oriented obliquely or horizontally. The lateral third usually lies above the orbital margin. Eyebrow hair normally tends to be less dense laterally than medially; thus, hair loss from any cause is apt to be more obvious in the lateral portion.
Some medications have side effects that include hair loss. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing significant hair loss and you think that your medication might be the cause. Your doctor might be able to switch you over to another type of medicine without any reported side effects. Don’t stop taking your medications until you’ve spoken with your doctor, as this could be dangerous for your health.
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.
Thyroid hormone receptors were detected in both dermal and epithelial compartments of the human pilosebaceous unit. T4 and T3 decrease the apoptosis of hair follicles and T4 prolongs the duration of anagen in vitro. Thyroidectomy delays initiation of anagen. Administration of thyroxine advances anagen, initiation of which is however delayed once toxic doses are given. Therefore, ratio of telogen to anagen hairs is increased in hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism. Thus, the hair follicles are affected in thyroid disorders, and madarosis is caused due to disturbances in hair cell kinetics. Hypothyroidism is associated with generalized hair loss probably due to coarse, dull, and brittle hair with reduced diameter. The eyebrows and eyelashes may also be lost. Loss of lateral one-third of eyebrows known as Hertoghe sign is a characteristic sign of hypothyroidism. Some people also refer to it as Queen Anne's sign, after Anne of Denmark whose portrait with shortened eyebrows has been interpreted by some as indicative of the presence of goiter, even though such a fact has not been proved by any known sources of information. Madarosis may even be the presenting sign in hyperthyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, there is thinning with breaking off and shortening of hair. Madarosis can also occur in hypopituitarism, hypoparathyroidism, and hyperparathyroidism.