Lichen planopilaris and frontal fibrosing alopecia inflammatory conditions, in which the inflammation destroys the hair follicle, can cause a scar or permanent hair loss (usually present as red patches with redness and scale around each hair follicle). In the very advanced stages, they may appear as smooth, bald patches where the hair follicles have been destroyed. Androgenetic hair loss is another non-scarring type. The most common type of hair loss, it is due to the complex interplay of genes, hormones, and age.

The role of estrogen and progestogen drugs in the treatment of hair loss and growth is also unclear. Estrogen is made when androstenedione or testosterone are modified by the enzyme aromatase. It is synthesized in the ovary and other peripheral tissues and then travels to its receptors, some of which are located in scalp hair follicles (Thornton et al., 2003a, Thornton et al., 2003b). At the scalp follicle, estradiol has been reported to induce aromatase activity (Hoffmann et al., 2002). Estrogen has been hypothesized to have a protective role against hair loss on the basis of the observation that patients with lower estrogen levels during menopause, postpartum, or treatment with aromatase inhibitors or selective estrogen receptor modulators are more likely to develop FPHL (Atanaskova Mesinkovska and Bergfeld, 2013, Park et al., 2014). Another supporting observation is that in the frontal hairline of women, which tends to be spared with FPHL, there is a higher level of aromatase enzyme when compared with the rest of the scalp (Levy and Emer, 2013). This variation in hair loss could be the result of locally increased levels of estradiol or decreased levels of testosterone and DHT that is secondary to greater amounts of conversion.
Optimal levels of estrogen help to grow full thick hair, while low estrogen levels lead to thin and stalled hair growth, which eventually leads to hair loss. Through the years, a women will go through various cycles of highs and lows in estrogen levels. Puberty is typically associated with high estrogen levels as a woman starts to cycle through menstruation. Pregnancy typically increases hormone production, but once the baby has been delivered the mother can experience a drop in estrogen levels, which can result in thinning and loss of hair. Typically, this corrects itself as the woman's body heals and hormonal regulation returns to normal.  The largest decline in estrogen levels is during menopause. Estrogen is secreted through the ovaries and adrenal glands. When a woman hits menopause, the ovaries’ estrogen production is significantly diminished, which puts an excess burden on the adrenals to produce it. However, as the adrenals are typically overburdened due to stress, symptoms of menopauses like hair loss and hot flashes occur prematurely and excessively for some. Nourishing the body and balancing stress levels will support gentle and graceful transitions.  

This is a diverse group of rare disorders that destroy the hair follicle, replace it with scar tissue and cause permanent hair loss. The hair loss may be accompanied by severe itching, pain and burning, and may progress rapidly. In other cases, the hair loss is gradual, has no symptoms and is unnoticed for long periods. It is also sometimes known as scarring alopecia and can occur in otherwise healthy men and women of all ages.

Inflammation can play into thyroid related hair loss as can increased oxidative stress when the cause of the low thyroid is Hashimoto’s or autoimmunity. Immune activation in Hashimoto’s increases both of these additional causes of hair loss. As well it’s not uncommon to have multiple nutrient deficiencies when you have a low thyroid ranging from iron to B12 to a host of minerals including zinc and selenium. 


Infestation with the mite D. folliculorum which inhabits the eyelashes is well known. Two species are known to inhabit human beings—D. folliculorum and Demodex brevis.[29] It might either be asymptomatic or may cause symptoms of blepharitis. Kemal et al. report an overall prevalence of 27.4% in their study group.[88] Gao et al. have reported a 100% prevalence of the mite when there is cylindrical dandruff.[29] Patients with demodicosis can develop madarosis.[29]
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.[9]
Blepharitis is a chronic primary eyelid inflammation. It is fairly common in occurrence and being a condition with remissions and relapses, results in a decreased quality of life if adequate measures are not taken. Chronic blepharitis is the most common condition associated with madarosis.[10] Though there are various ways of classifying blepharitis, the most useful is the one proposed by Wilhelm,[24] wherein blepharitis can be classified based on whether there is a predominant involvement of the part of the eyelid anterior to the gray line (anterior blepharitis), or posterior to the gray line (posterior blepharitis). The gray line is an imaginary line dividing the eyelid into an anterior part consisting of the skin and muscle, and a posterior part consisting of the tarsus and conjunctiva.
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.
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