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.
Hair loss in women can be related to genetics, hormones and age. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss, is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. Hair loss in women may be caused by a serious medical condition that needs proper attention and treatment as early as possible. The hair loss patterns in women usually differ from those in men. Find out more about hair loss in women.
NEIL SADICK, MD: Dermatologists are experts in the field of hair disorders. All dermatologists are trained in the general knowledge and treatment of hair loss disorders, but not all dermatologists choose to do this. A dermatologist will often refer to a specialist. Most dermatologists who are trained and have some expertise in this area usually deal both with men and women.
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.
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.
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia (say: al-oh-pee-sha). If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in permanents (also called “perms”) may cause inflammation (swelling) of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.
It takes more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away; if your diet lacks the key vitamins A, B, D and E or nutrients such as iron, calcium or the amino acid L-lysine, your hair may suffer. Nutrient deficiency doesn’t just affect the eyebrows—it may lead to hair loss on the scalp, feelings of fatigue and physical weakness, lightheadedness or inhibited concentration, heart palpitations and pale skin, among other serious symptoms.
Androgenetic alopecia, 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. While testosterone is at the core of the balding process, DHT is thought to be the main culprit.
Skin infections can cause hair loss at the affected area. One of the more common causes is a fungal infection of the skin, also sometimes referred to as a ringworm. Eyebrow fungus is more likely to be related to a scalp fungus (tinea capitis) and both areas are often affected at the same time. A bacterial infection is another possible cause. Folliculitis for example is a condition where the hair follicle becomes infected usually with bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus. Eventually this can lead to loss of the hair in the infected follicle.
I can't tell you how many women come into my office fretting about the fact that they've over-plucked. While this is certainly a possibility (plucking the eyebrows damages the hair follicle, and with repeated plucking, the follicle can get damaged to the point that it can no longer produce a hair), there are actually a number of both external and internal causes and conditions that can lead to temporary or permanent loss of eyebrows.
Various techniques have been described over the years. Nylon implants were used by some people. Now, they are banned in many countries because of sequelae-like scarring and infection. Follicular unit transplantation has been found to give very good results and is now the procedure of choice for most types of hair transplantation. The details of the procedure with respect to eyebrow and eyelash reconstruction will be discussed here.
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.
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That's where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don't divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.
A. It certainly is an option for women, although it's very expensive and not covered by insurance. I'd make sure the surgeon does women patients, because … their thinning pattern is a little different so a different strategy is needed and familiarity with how women thin is important. Again, if you're going to pursue this, don't wait until you're hair loss is really bad.
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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.
There are a couple of other reasons why soy is a great choice too. For one, it is really good for you, protecting your cardiovascular health by reducing your LDL cholesterol levels. For another, soy is an easy, cost-effective choice. Instead of searching everywhere for quality herbal supplements you are unfamiliar with, you can simply add some soy milk to your diet or eat some tofu.
The Hair Wellness Group’s mission is to provide each client with a personal experience that will leave them “Uplifted” and “ Inspired”. Our unique approach integrates wellness, relaxation, and beauty into one’s lifestyle at all levels. We call this the “Total Approach”. The Hair Wellness Group educates, empowers, and enriches the lifestyle of all seeking optimum results in hair restoration, hair replacement, and scalp rejuvenation.
Tames and Goldenring described a case of bilateral loss of eyebrows and eyelashes in a patient with AIDS-related complex who had smoked crack cocaine. This has been attributed to hot vapors during the process of smoking, and which therefore caused singeing of the brows and lashes. There was a complete reversal once the patient abstained from cocaine.
Topical estrogen and progesterone creams and oral medications are generally the forms prescribed for post-menopausal women with androgenetic alopecia. But HRT will rarely, if ever, be prescribed for treatment of hair loss alone.] If you have other bothersome symptoms which might warrant HRT, in addition to hair loss, you'll first need to undergo a thorough gynecologic and physical exam, and will likely have blood tests done to measure hormone levels before these drugs are prescribed.
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.
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.
Try to include 'hair friendly' foods in your diet, such as Omega 3 rich salmon and walnuts; beat-carotene rich sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin and spinach (yes, dark green veggies are a good source of beta-carotene too); and foods like eggs (rich in biotin, B6, B12, selenium, zinc and copper), lentils (which are loaded with hair-healthy vitamins and minerals), chicken or turkey (which contain lots of protein, B vitamins and minerals), plus vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and tomatoes.
These important micronutrients, which are all essential for hair health, are part of my Balance Supplements. And even if you eat a healthy, phytonutrient rich diet, you might not have optimal levels of the vitamins and minerals you need to promote hair health. Environmental factors beyond our control, from the mineral-depleted soil in which most of our food is now grown to shifts in growing practices that have reduced the amount of vitamins and minerals in various foods, can leave us eating a picture-perfect diet and still deficient in certain micronutrients.
Giorgos Tsetis: There are really two industries at work here that have to be separated. First, there's the drugs, the pharma, which is the FDA world. Then, you have the naturals, the formulas, and the actual supplements industry. The supplement industry is really not properly regulated in this country. More surprisingly, starting a supplement company is very easy. That's why you see all of these supplements popping up, and the FDA doesn't even have the capacity to monitor them all and make sure people are able to substantiate proper claims. As a supplement manufacturer, all you have to do is create your products in a FDA approved facility, and there thousands of them in the United States. That means anyone can put a formula together and get away with claims until they get challenged by consumers or competitors. When you step into these factories, you see it's messy. You're not talking about state-of-the-art factories where people are doing the work. It's really scary.
Around 30 million U.S. women will experience hereditary hair loss, or female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), while others will struggle with situational hair loss, brought on by medical conditions, medications, poor health and nutrition, environmental factors such as smoking and sun damage, or even from adverse reactions to hair care products or treatments.
Trichotillomania is a hair pulling disorder associated with anxiety, stress, depression, boredom and frustration. It is where a person manually removes hairs with their finger, either a few strands throughout the day or sometimes many strands at one time during an emotional outburst. This behavior is usually a means of coping with stress or emotional turmoil. However, it can sometimes become a habit that is difficult to break. The eyebrows is a commonly targeted area as is the scalp.
Big and bold brows can give great shape to your face. The last thing you want is to see your eyebrow hairs start falling out. Unfortunately, you can experience eyebrow loss just like you experience hair loss. It’s important to understand what is causing your eyebrows to shed so that you can work on stopping the hair loss and promoting hair growth. Here are the most common causes of eyebrow loss.