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.
No one wants to lose their hair, but for a woman it is particularly distressing. While men can look perfectly presentable — even sexy — with their exposed scalp, no such options exist for the 30 million American women who grapple with thinning tresses. Dr. Maria Colavincenzo, a dermatologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has a practice that specializes in preserving those precious strands — especially in cases of androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary condition that causes hair loss, mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. Without an appointment, she answered some of our questions:
It’s important to keep your stress levels in check to prevent a hormonal imbalance. Reduced estrogen production can affect your brain chemistry and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. However, doing yoga and other breathing relaxation methods are especially effective in fighting menopausal symptoms. Exercising regularly can also help reduce stress.
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Reduce stress. When you are stressed, your body starts shutting down processes that aren’t necessary for survival. This shutdown can occur with physical stressors, like surgery or an illness, and emotional stress, which often manifests as physical symptoms. Loss may occur up to three months after the stressful event and may take another three to grow again.
Last week, we schooled you on the foods and vitamins for long, healthy hair. Today, Kristin Dahl, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist and women’s wellness educator, is back again to talk about all things hormones and hair loss. Keep reading for Dahl's guide to maintaining optimum hormonal balance, how stress can mess with your mane, lock-block hair growth, and more. As the founder of The Women’s Wellness Collective and the holistic lifestyle hub, Dahl House Nutrition, Dahl knows what she's talking about so we'd take notes if we were you.
Stress: Emotional and physiological stress can trigger a few hair loss conditions that can affect your eyebrows. Telogen effluvium, for instance, can cause your hair to shed. Then there’s trichotillomania, which is a psychiatric condition caused by stress that is characterized by the urge to pull out your own hair (which could be from your eyebrows, eyelashes or scalp).
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.
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.
Postpartum hair loss is related to the drop in estrogen experienced after giving birth. During pregnancy, the body has higher levels of estrogen (and progesterone) and estrogen increases hair’s “resting phase,” or the time hair stays on your head before naturally falling out (which is what accounts for the 100 or so hairs that healthy heads shed every day). When estrogen drops after pregnancy, all the hair that had been “resting” starts to shed. Post-pregnancy hair loss is usually temporary, lasting for several months.
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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
Estrogen dominance is an extremely common imbalance and it can fuel thinning hair as well as an arms-length list of annoying symptoms, from bloating and PMS to irregular periods and infertility. Your first, best step in clearing excess estrogen from the body is doing a liver supportive detox. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing foods for three meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry or deprived and, most importantly, you will help kickstart hormonal healing. A hormone detox is one of the best first steps you can take to reverse thinning hair.
Toxic alopecia occurs when there is a disruption of hair growth in the anagen phase. This usually occurs following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy for various types of ocular tumors, eyelid and choroidal tumors have been reported to produce madarosis.[95–97] Hair loss due to radiation is usually reversible, but may be permanent when the dose of radiation is in the range of 50 to 60 Gy.
Distress can also come from more than a change in body image. Dlova et al. (2016) found that in a group of black South African women, 52% reported serious worry that others would mistakenly assume that their hair loss was secondary to HIV infection or AIDS. It is critical that clinicians who care for such patients be compassionate and understanding but also have a solid understanding of hair loss so that reasonable expectations can be established and a therapeutic relationship can develop.
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.
Certain medical issues can also impair hair growth. An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can cause hair loss. So can iron deficiency. When women go through menopause and their estrogen levels fall, their hair often begins to thin. Many women also lose some hair a few months after giving birth because of the hormonal changes the body experiences.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Scalp hair loss may be a common complaint among men and women, but in my practice, loss of eyebrow hair is a major concern among my female patients. Because eyebrows frame the face, hair loss in this area can dramatically change one's appearance, and since eyebrow hair loss is not easily concealed, it can be, for some women, an even more devastating loss than scalp hair loss.
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.
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.
Hair loss on the eyebrows can be partial where the hair falls off in patches or the eyebrow thins and shortens abnormally. It may occur on one side or both sides. It can also be complete where all the hair on one or both eyebrows are lost. These patterns of eyebrow hair loss can give some indication of the underlying cause even when there are no other symptoms. Some of these conditions may be specific to the eyebrows (the hair follicles and skin in that region) or can be an extension of problems affecting surrounding skin like the face, forehead or scalp.
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.