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.


Telogen effluvium is the second most common type of hair loss. It is predominantly seen in women between the ages of 40-70, but may occur at any age. Its symptoms include excessive thinning, shedding, and balding and it may happen abruptly. Common causes of sudden hair loss include changes in hormone levels such as with child birth, menopause, poor nutrition, medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia and hypothyroidism, medications, severe illness or infection, major surgery, and even extreme levels of stress.
Protein: When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to shut down hair growth. About 2 to 3 months after a person does not eat enough protein, you can see the hair loss. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Meats, eggs, and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet.
Madarosis is a terminology that refers to loss of eyebrows or eyelashes. This clinical sign occurs in various diseases ranging from local dermatological disorders to complex systemic diseases. Madarosis can be scarring or non-scarring depending upon the etiology. Appropriate diagnosis is essential for management. Follicular unit transplantation has been found to be a useful method of treating scarring madarosis and the procedure relevant to eyebrow and eyelash reconstruction has been discussed. A useful clinical approach to madarosis has also been included for bedside diagnosis. The literature search was conducted with Pubmed, Medline, and Google scholar using the keywords madarosis, eyebrow loss, and eyelash loss for articles from 1960 to September 2011. Relevant material was also searched in textbooks and used wherever appropriate.
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. 

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.
Hair loss in women is not easy to diagnose because it is very often multifactorial in etiology and thus requires well-designed specific steps so that the patient is evaluated properly. The best way to do this is to evaluate the patient in person (rather than sending photos via email or Skype) because the patient gets a chance to meet her doctor to permit the development of a trusting relationship- critical because very often the treatment of hair loss is an involved process that requires a strong doctor-patient relationship.
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.
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.
Like with low thyroid, there can be a myriad of imbalances at play with PCOS related hair loss making it a complex issue that’s often written off as merely high testosterone. While androgen excess and hypersensitivity of the hair follicles to these hormones are part of the issue, these are other contributing factors to PCOS related hair loss as well:
There’s a reason why we’re the leading provider of hair loss solutions in North America. Trust. Many of our 1,100+ licensed cosmetologists and hair loss experts started where you are—as a client themselves. So we truly understand what hair loss feels like and what it takes to get your hair back. It’s why you can trust that we’ll walk you through every step of your hair restoration journey, from consultation and analysis to solution and maintenance. We’ll listen to you and make sure your Hair Club experience is everything you want it to be. We’re here for you, and that makes all the difference.

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


"Dr. Yaker and his staff are friendly, welcoming and professional. Everyone greets you with a smile and remembers your name. His offices and procedure rooms are always clean. Dr. Yaker is extremely knowledgable and willing to spend as much time answering questions and discussing options with his patients as they desire. I use Dr. Yaker's hair vitamins and shampoo and conditioner and have definitely seen positive results. So far, I have had two PRP treatments done by Dr. Yaker and he and his staff always take care of me and make me feel comfortable. I have recommended him to many of my friends and family. He's the best!"
Some cancer chemotherapy drugs cause temporary hair loss, which affects all body hair. Along with the loss of scalp hair, people undergoing chemotherapy also commonly lose their eyebrows and eyelashes. Chemotherapy drugs that frequently cause hair loss include paclitaxel, 5-fluorouracil, carboplatin, cisplatin, actinomycin-D, bleomycin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, altretamine, etoposide, docetaxel and doxorubicin. Hair loss typically begins 2 to 3 weeks after the start of chemotherapy. Lost eyebrow hair regrows in the weeks to months following completion of treatment.

Yes. Hyperandrogenism, a medical condition characterized by excessive production of male hormones called androgens, can cause hair loss in affected women. The most common cause of hyperandrogenism in women is functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition to hair loss, other signs include obesity, acne, and irregular menstruation, and it is one of the most common causes of infertility.
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.
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.
Giorgos Tsetis: In the beginning, we left three factories because we didn't feel confident that they could do the job at our standard. These type of factories are sourcing the ingredients for you, but you have no clue where these ingredients are coming from. You don't know the efficacy, if they're clinically tested, and what about absorption? As a company, we decided to identify these root triggers that play a role in disrupting the hair growth cycle, then rigorously tested how we can target them and what specific ingredients solve for each trigger. Then, we developed individual partnerships with top suppliers all over the world that specialized in single ingredients that actually have that efficacy. We decided to source our own ingredients because we wanted to control the entire process. At least nine of the ten companies we consulted with said we couldn't do that, because the ingredients we chose to use were incredibly expensive. That's one main reason others can't do the work we do. For example, we purchase our primary ingredient for $600 per kilo, and you can buy the standard version of that ingredient in China for $30 per kilo. Same ingredients, but ours is clinically tested and proven to be effective. We only use patented ingredients, which made others think we're crazy, but creating the absolute best product is our top priority.
Cut the fast-food diet and start getting some whole food in your life. The less processed the better; as my mom says “as close to nature as possible.” Healthy skin and hair start with a healthy diet. Aim for a diet rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, lean protein and Essential Fatty Acids. EFAs can be found in walnuts, salmon, flax seed, and most seeds. EFAs have been shown to increase prostaglandin production in those with a deficiency; prostaglandin is what prompts your lashes and brows to grow. 

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.
Reproductive hormone changes can also play a part, and dermatologists believe the same factors that cause hair loss from the scalp, a common problem for women as they age, may contribute to thinning brows. Nanette Santoro, M.D., ob/gyn and professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Colorado at Denver, says, “Abrupt hormone changes can cause sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium) that recovers over about six months' time. It happens postpartum to many women and can happen at menopause.”

If you’re experiencing hair loss, topical treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine) and others tend to only be partially effective, if they are effective at all; they don’t address the root causes of hair loss; they target androgenic alopecia (which only accounts for some cases of hair loss); and they come with a host of unpleasant side effects—side effects that can worsen the aesthetic problem you were hoping to fix. Rogaine can cause hair to grow in different colors and textures than the surrounding hair and can cause unwanted hair to grow on your cheeks and forehead.


In extreme cases, such as disordered eating and anemia, an iron deficiency may be to blame for thinning brows. “Even if you don’t have anemia, and you have low levels of stored iron, that could contribute to hair loss,” says Rajani Katta, M.D., a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies the link between nutrition and hair loss. Iron is found in meat, fish, and other animal products, plus beans and legumes, so vegans and vegetarians might be more likely to be low in iron. Your derm can do a ferritin blood test to check your iron levels. But don’t start an iron supplement without medical recommendation. Too much iron can also have negative effects, says Dr. Katta.


Thinning hair, noticeable bald spots, receding hair line, large clumps of hair showing up in your hair brush or shower drain, these are typically things you hear about from men, not women. More and more though, we are contacted by women who are experiencing hair loss who want to know if this is a sign of something wrong with their hormones and how they can fix the problem. Fortunately, hair loss is not a sign of infertility, but is a side effect of hormonal imbalance which can impact your fertility.

Giorgos Tsetis: Another reason Unilever was inspired to partner with us is that we really target three channels. Direct-to-consumer is one, then we target physician channels and salon channels; which are the hardest to convince. There's liability involved, so there's no doctor in the world who is going to recommend or endorse a product they don't believe in. We have about 350-400 physicians currently selling the product. A large amount of these doctors are thought-leaders or experts in the space, so they are known to speak about this issue on a world stage when it comes to new innovations. We also have each of the top 20 hair salons in the country carrying the product. There's a ton of celebrities who use the product as well. It is a premium product, but we've still made it affordable for people. When you look at other products on the market, our price point is comparable. We're also working on special programs for people in need who can't normally afford the product. If somebody is motivated, serious and really needs it -- we work to make sure they can get the product, and seek to serve as many people as possible.
Hypoproteinemia[71] causes loss of hair due to premature onset of telogen. Loss of eyebrow hair has been reported due to chronic zinc deficiency in a patient receiving only parenteral nutrition for 2 months.[26] Acrodermatitis enteropathica is an inherited disorder of zinc deficiency which shows loss of eyebrows and lashes in addition to cutaneous manifestations.[72,73] Biotin deficiency can result in encephalopathy, neurological disorders, skin desquamation, and loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.[74] Iron deficiency may be a possible cause for diffuse telogen hair loss; its exact role however is subject to speculation.[75]

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.[100] Propranolol can cause diffuse alopecia along with loss of eyebrows due to telogen effluvium,[101] usually after three months of therapy.[44] Loss of medial aspect of eyebrows can be seen in fetuses exposed to valproic acid.[102] 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.[103] Levodopa has been noted to cause severe diffuse alopecia within three months of daily use.[104] 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).[98] 

Low estrogen levels are most common during menopause, but it can happen to women at any age. As estrogen levels decline, the greater influence of testosterone shortens the growth phase, and the subsequent hair loss is usually gradual but can become noticeable over time. Hair loss caused by changing estrogen levels tends to be visible all over the scalp or evident in a widening part, rather than missing patches of hair or a horseshoe pattern as with male pattern baldness.
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.
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.
Women using oestrogen supplementation or taking birth control pills will also experience hair loss when they cease supplying their body with extra oestrogen. These forms of hair loss may be temporary but this, however, does not mean that there is no link between oestrogen and permanent hair loss. Scientists have noted up to 30 hormones that could play a role in female pattern hair loss – the genetic kind of hair loss – and oestrogen, whilst poorly explored, may be one of them. It’s alright if the excess hairs are the ones that are lost but when normal hair falls out, there’s a problem.
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.
Anagen effluvium occurs after any insult to the hair follicle that impairs its mitotic or metabolic activity. This hair loss is commonly associated with chemotherapy. Since chemotherapy targets your body’s rapidly dividing cancer cells, your body’s other rapidly dividing cells such as hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase, are also greatly affected. Soon after chemotherapy begins approximately 90 percent or more of the hairs can fall out while still in the anagen phase.
Ever since Cara Delevingne set the trend for thick eyebrows (although women on the eastern side of the Prime Meridian have been keeping their eyebrows luscious and strong since the dawn of time), the quest to keep your eyebrow hair supremely groomed and in shape has become the primary beauty concern of all women. So now that eyebrows have come into the razor sharp focus of beauty standards that women (again) need to adhere to, it can come as quite a shock for some when they start losing their eyebrow hair. One day you’re lovingly brushing out your thick luscious eyebrows and the next moment you find yourself desperately filling them in with every eyebrow pencil you can get your hands on. You’re confused. You’re anxious. You don’t know what’s going on. And you’re trying out every random hack that the internet spews at you to stop losing your eyebrow hair. Lady, you need to calm down for a second. First, figure out why you’re losing your eyebrow hair in the first place. Let’s look at a few possible causes of your eyebrow hair loss.

Several skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, don't directly lead to hair loss, but cause inflammation (a symptom of these conditions) near the brow that may be to blame. The urge to scratch and rub the inflamed area can indirectly cause eyebrow hairs to fall out. Loss that occurs in this manner is usually patchy, but as it is generally non-scarring (the hair follicle is intact), eyebrows can and often do grow back.
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.
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.
Testosterone replacement is becoming popular for men. Cotsarelis warns that this may accelerate hair loss. Propecia might help -- but because it prevents testosterone breakdown, it might affect the dose of male hormone replacement therapy. Cotsarelis warns men taking both Propecia and testosterone replacement to make sure their doctor carefully monitors their testosterone levels.
Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. You’ll feel stronger and happier once you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. It also helps prevent some of the other symptoms of menopause, including mood swings, weight gain, and insomnia. All of these factors are important for maintaining hormonal balance, which promotes healthy hair growth.
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