- Diagnosing and Treating Hair Loss
- Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
- Hair Loss in Women: Causes, Types, Diagnosis & Treatments
- How common is hair loss in women?
- Who is affected by hair loss in women?
- What causes hair loss in women?
- What is the relationship between hair loss in women and menopause?
- What are the symptoms or signs of hair loss in women?
- Types of Hair Loss
- Androgenetic Alopecia
- Male Pattern Hair Loss
- Female Pattern Hair Loss
- Telogen Effluvium
- Anagen Effluvium
- Alopecia Areata
- Tinea Capitis
- Cicatricial Alopecia
- Lichen Planopilaris
- Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
- Folliculitis Decalvans
- Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp
- Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
- Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
- Hair Shaft Abnormalities
- Loose Anagen Syndrome
- Traction Alopecia
- Symptoms of Hair Loss
- Some other reasons for hair loss:
- Specific Medications
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Additional causes of hair loss
Diagnosing and Treating Hair Loss
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18. Berger RS, Fu JL, Smiles KA, et al. The effects of minoxidil, 1% pyrithione zinc and a combination of both on hair density: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2003;149(2):354–362.
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39. Diani AR, Mulholland MJ, Shull KL, et al. Hair growth effects of oral administration of finasteride, a steroid 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, alone and in combination with topical minoxidil in the balding stumptail macaque. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992;74(2):345–350.
40. Olsen EA, Weiner MS. Topical minoxidil in male pattern baldness: effects of discontinuation of treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987;17(1):97–101.
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Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
Hair loss is extremely common, affecting about 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. About 50% of men will have some hair loss by the time they turn 50. Hair loss is not life-threatening, though it can have devastating psychological effects, particularly in women.
Hair loss is often caused by genetics, that is, it runs in families. In general it is not a symptom of disease, however, thyroid disease, anemia, ringworm of the scalp, and anorexia can cause hair loss.
In addition, some medications such as cancer chemotherapy may cause temporary hair loss. Hair growth usually returns to normal when the medications are stopped.
In some cases, hormones after giving birth or during menopause can cause thinning hair.
There are several types of hair loss, often classified by whether the loss is localized, or if it affects large areas, or if the hair loss is patchy or affects the entire scalp. Some of the more common hair loss causes are discussed on the following slides.
Alopecia areata (AA) is a common form of hair loss. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition where circular bald patches appear on the scalp and other hair-bearing areas. The hair loss may occur spontaneously, and the hair may regrow if the inflammation subsides.
If the alopecia covers the entire scalp it is called alopecia totalis. If it spreads to the rest of the body including eyebrows, lashes, beard, and pubic hair it is called alopecia universalis.
In men, if the alopecia appears only in the area of the beard it is called alopecia barbae.
Alopecia areata is often mistakenly attributed to stress, though there is no evidence that shows this to be the case.
Traction alopecia is caused over time by constant pulling on hair roots. Hairstyles that cause tension on the hair follicles such as tight braids, or “corn rows,” often cause this condition. It may also be caused by chemical straightening or weaving.
The sooner this condition is diagnosed the easier it is to treat, and if left untreated over a long period of time the hair loss may become permanent.
Wearing hair in styles that are looser and do not pull on the roots is often the best way to prevent this type of hair loss.
A medical disorder that causes people to pull out their own hair is called trichotillomania. Often a person feels compelled to pull out hairs on their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other hairs on the body. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medications can help treat the condition.
Tinea capitis, or ringworm of the scalp, is a fungal infection that tends to attack hair shafts and follicles leading to hair loss. It appears as bald spots with black dots where the hair has broken off. It most commonly affects children, but can affect adults as well. Treatment usually includes antifungal antibiotics.
Telogen effluvium (TE) is a thinning of the hair on the scalp, not necessarily evenly. Hair growth involves several phases. Hair grows for a few years, rests (the telogen phase), sheds, and then regrows. When hair roots prematurely reach the resting phase, this is called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is often caused by a “shock to the system,” with the hair loss occurring weeks to months after the initial shock. Some causes of TE include:
- high fever
- severe infection
- chronic or severe illness
- severe psychological stress
- major surgery
- over or underactive thyroid
- crash diets
- medications, such as retinoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
Because the stage following the resting (telogen) phase is regrowth, there is no treatment needed. Hair will usually resume normal growth. It is important to first determine that there is no other underlying medical condition that is causing the hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, also sometimes referred to as “male pattern baldness,” accounts for the majority of hair loss in men, but it can also affect women. It is usually caused by a combination of hormones and genetics.
Some men may start to notice thinning hair as early as their 20s, and by age 50, 50% of men see some hair loss. Hair is usually lost in a pattern, starting at the temples, revealing the classic “M” shaped hairline seen as men age.
There are many myths about male-pattern baldness.
- MYTH: Baldness is inherited through the mother's side of the family. If your maternal grandfather was bald, you will be too.
- FACT: Genes for baldness can come from either parent.
- MYTH: Wearing hats strains hair follicles and causes hair loss.
- FACT: Unless your hat is so tight it cuts off circulation to hair follicles, it will not cause hair loss.
- MYTH: Using a blow dryer causes hair loss.
- FACT: Use of a blow dryer does not cause hair to fall out. However, frequent over-use of a hot dryer can cause hair to become brittle, damaged, and break, which may cause hair to appear thinner.
- MYTH: Washing hair too frequently or using certain styling products can cause hair to fall out.
- FACT: Shampoo and hair care products do not cause hair loss.
- MYTH: Massaging the scalp will help hair regrow by stimulating circulation around the follicles.
- FACT: It may make you feel good, but no studies have shown scalp massage helps regrow hair.
It's not just men who lose their hair. While men tend to start losing hair on their forehead hairline, women tend to notice hair loss appearing on the top and crown of the scalp.
As in men, it may be related to genetics (family history), and it is more commonly seen after menopause.
Un men, the hair loss does not tend to be total and the front hairline is not usually affected any more than it is in women without hair loss.
There are myths about female-pattern baldness just as there are with male-pattern baldness.
- Long hair does not strain the roots, causing hair to fall out.
- Shampooing, hair coloring, and other chemical processes usually do not cause hair loss.
- Brushing hair too much does not cause hair loss – hair that comes out from brushing or combing was ready to fall out anyway.
- While some hairstyles that pull hair tightly such as braids (“corn rows”) or tight ponytails can cause traction alopecia, a type of hair loss, styling hair in general will not cause hair to fall out.
- Use of hair dryers or curling and flat irons does not cause hair to fall out. The heat from these appliances may damage hair, causing it to become brittle and break, giving the appearance of thinner hair, but they do not cause hair to fall out.
First, it is important to determine that hair loss is not caused by an underlying medical condition. If that is the case, the medical condition needs to be addressed.
If there is no medical problem causing the hair loss, treatment options include medications, surgery, grooming techniques, wigs, and hairpieces.
There is no shampoo, conditioner, or other product that will help hair to grow. There are, however, products that can slow down hair loss, including:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Finasteride (Propecia)
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical medication available over-the-counter (OTC), without a prescription. In men, it is used to treat male-pattern baldness. In women it is used to treat thinning hair.
It is applied directly to the scalp twice-daily, and there are few side effects. Once treatment with minoxidil is started, it must be continued.
Once it's stopped the hair will start to fall out again.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription medication that is taken orally.
It can help grow and thicken hair, but it is mainly used to retain hair that is still on the scalp so it works best for men who have more hair already.
A side effect of Propecia is impotence, which goes away when the drug is stopped. This drug is not considered safe for women of childbearing age, though it is probably safe for postmenopausal women.
Permanent hair loss can be treated with surgery. There are three common types of hair replacement surgery:
- Hair transplants – also called hair grafting – hair is taken from the back of the head and replaced in the front
- Scalp reduction – bald areas are surgically removed and the hair-bearing areas of the scalp are stitched together
- Scalp expansion – devices are inserted under the scalp to stretch the skin. This may be used before scalp reduction to help make the scalp more lax, or on hair-bearing areas, which can reduce balding.
These procedures are best for men with male-pattern baldness, and some women with female-pattern baldness. It is not recommended for people who do not have sufficient hair in “donor” sites (the parts of their scalp where hair will be taken), and people who tend to form keloid scars.
When hair loss is mild, styling hair to cover areas of thinning hair can often be effective. Many volumizing shampoos and conditioners can help give volume to hair and make it appear thicker. Consult your hair stylist about the best haircut to help your hair appear thicker.
Other options include wigs or hairpieces for more severe or widespread hair loss. Hair weaves can also be attached to existing hair to fill in thinning areas.
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- “Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology”; Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond; Copyright 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.
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- American Academy of Dermatology (AAD): “Hair Loss.”
- American Academy of Dermatology (AAD): “Hair Loss: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome.”
- American Academy of Dermatology (AAD): “Hair Loss: Who Gets and Causes.”
- American Osteopathic Association: “Shatter the Myths of Male Pattern Baldness.”
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD): “Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss.”
- American Hair Loss Association “Alopecia Areata.”
- Trichotillomania Learning Center
- UpToDate: “Androgenetic Alopecia in Men: Pathogenesis, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis.”
- UpToDate: “Dermatophyte (Tinea) Infections.”
- UpToDate: “Evaluation and Diagnosis of Hair Loss.”
- UpToDate: “Patient Information: Hair Loss in Men and Women (Androgenetic Alopecia) (Beyond the Basics).”
Hair Loss in Women: Causes, Types, Diagnosis & Treatments
Any girl or woman can be affected by hair loss, but it is more common in certain groups. Normal hair loss amounts to about 50-100 hairs per day. Causes of excessive loss of hair range from heredity to medical conditions to styling issues.
Hair loss in women is just that—when a woman experiences unexpected heavy loss of hair. Generally, people shed from 50 to 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance—some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted—when hair falls out and less hair grows in—hair loss happens.
Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical name for hair loss is alopecia.
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase (growing phase) can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase (transition phase) is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase (resting phase) takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
How common is hair loss in women?
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), which affects some 30 million women in the United States.
Who is affected by hair loss in women?
Any girl or woman can be affected by hair loss. However, it is usually more common in:
- Women older than 40
- Women who have just had babies
- Women who have had chemotherapy and those who have been affected by other medications
- Women who often have hairstyles that pull on the hair ( tight ponytails or tight braids) or use harsh chemicals on their hair.
What causes hair loss in women?
- Family history (heredity): Causes thinning of hair along the top of the head. This type of hair loss is female-pattern hair loss. (FPHL is also called androgenetic alopecia or androgenic alopecia.) This type of hair often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
- Hair style: Causes hair loss when hair is styled in ways that pull on roots, tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Extreme stress or shock to the body: Causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events losing a lot of weight, surgeries, illness, and having a baby. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. It happens to hair in the resting stage.
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and some medications: Cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on the body. This type of hair loss is called anagen effluvium. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if the hair follicles are damaged.
- Other medical conditions:
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that causes patchy hair loss on the head and possibly other places on the body. It is usually not permanent.
What is the relationship between hair loss in women and menopause?
During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you did not have it before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin.
One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.
Other factors, such as stress, your diet, and heredity, may contribute to hair loss.
The aging process may mean that some women experience female-pattern hair loss (FPHL). This is also called androgenetic alopecia or androgenic alopecia. This type of hair loss may get worse due to hormone changes.
During and after menopause, hair might become finer (thinner) because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases. FPHL often means that thinning hair is centered at the crown and top of the head.
Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.
Antiandrogens might be prescribed for either excess hair (hirsutism) or for hair loss, but the studies on usage are not clear.
For hair loss, minoxidil lotion or shampoo combined with antiandrogen drugs spironolactone is one approach. Another is to use antidandruff shampoos with ingredients ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione.
You might also be told to try things that do not actually repair hair loss but do allow you to hide it.
If you are already taking hormone therapy (HT) for menopausal symptoms, you might see an improvement in the condition of your hair. However, HT is not recommended solely to treat hair loss.
What are the symptoms or signs of hair loss in women?
- Seeing more hair fall out daily either on your brush, on the floor, in showers, on your pillows, or on the sink
- Seeing noticeable patches of thinner or missing hair, including a part on the top of your head that gets wider
- Having smaller ponytails
- Seeing hair break off
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/17/2018.
Types of Hair Loss
Hair loss, also called alopecia, is a disorder caused by an interruption in the body’s cycle of hair production. Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly affects the scalp. On average, the scalp has 100,000 hairs that cycle through periods of growing, resting, falling out, and regenerating.
A hair growth cycle consists of three phases. During the anagen phase, hair grows actively. This phase may last for years. During the catagen phase, hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, which is the structure beneath the skin that holds the hair in place.
The catagen phase lasts about 10 days. During the telogen phase, the follicle rests for two or three months, and then the hair falls out. The next anagen phase begins as a new hair grows in the same follicle.
Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle.
If this cycle is disrupted, or if a hair follicle is damaged, hair may begin to fall out more quickly than it is regenerated, leading to symptoms such as a receding hairline, hair falling out in patches, or overall thinning.
Hair loss may be linked to a person’s genetics, although many medical and behavioral conditions may interrupt the growth cycle and cause hair loss. At NYU Langone, dermatologists specialize in hair and scalp disorders and can identify the type of hair loss, as well as its cause.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss, affecting more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. Commonly known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is hereditary but can be managed with medication or surgery.
Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
In women, hair slowly thins all over the scalp, but the hairline usually doesn’t recede. Many women experience this type of hair loss as a natural part of aging, although hair loss may begin any time after puberty. Female pattern hair loss can cause hair to thin dramatically, but only rarely does it lead to baldness.
Telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss, occurs when large numbers of follicles on the scalp enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, called telogen, but the next growth phase doesn’t begin. This causes hair to fall out all over the scalp without new hair growth.
Telogen effluvium does not generally lead to complete baldness, although you may lose 300 to 500 hairs per day, and hair may appear thin, especially at the crown and temples.
A medical event or condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, childbirth, surgery, or a fever, typically triggers this type of hair loss.
Telogen effluvium may also occur as a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency—iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women—or the use of certain medications, such as isotretinoin, prescribed for acne, or warfarin, a blood thinner.
Starting or stopping oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may also cause this type of hair loss.
Telogen effluvium usually begins three months after a medical event. If the triggering event is temporary—for example, if you recover from an illness or stop taking the medication causing the hair loss—your hair may grow back after six months. Telogen effluvium is considered chronic if hair loss lasts longer than six months.
For reasons that are unclear to doctors, this type of hair loss may last for years in some people. If hair doesn’t regrow on its own, our dermatologists can offer medication that can help.
Anagen effluvium is rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. These potent and fast-acting medications kill cancer cells, but they may also shut down hair follicle production in the scalp and other parts of the body. After chemotherapy ends, hair usually grows back on its own. Dermatologists can offer medication to help hair grow back more quickly.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which means the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues, including the hair follicles. This causes hair to fall out and prevents new hair from growing.
This condition can affect adults and children, and hair loss can begin suddenly and without warning. Hair from the scalp typically falls out in small patches and is not painful. Hair in other parts of the body, including the eyebrows and eyelashes, may also fall out. Over time, this disease may lead to alopecia totalis, or complete hair loss.
Dermatologists treat alopecia areata with medication that may help hair regrow. If you are interested in talking with other people who have alopecia areata, NYU Langone hosts a monthly support group for people with this condition.
Tinea capitis, also called scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection of the scalp that’s a common cause of hair loss in children. This condition causes hair to fall out in patches, sometimes circular, leading to bald spots that may get bigger over time.
The affected areas often look red or scaly, and the scalp may be itchy. Sores or blisters that ooze pus can also develop on the scalp. A child with the condition may have swollen glands in the back of the neck or a low-grade fever as a result of the immune system fighting the infection.
Dermatologists can prescribe an antifungal medication taken by mouth to eliminate the fungus. If tinea capitis is diagnosed and treated early, most children have excellent hair regrowth.
Cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia, is a rare type of hair loss in which inflammation destroys hair follicles and causes scar tissue to form in their place. After scar tissue forms, hair doesn’t regrow.
Hair loss may begin so slowly that symptoms aren’t noticeable, or hair may start to fall out all at once. Other symptoms include severe itching, swelling, and red or white lesions on the scalp that may resemble a rash. This type of hair loss can occur at any age and affects men and women.
Treatment depends on the type of cicatricial alopecia causing your symptoms. Our doctors have years of experience treating people with cicatricial alopecia and can recommend a variety of treatments to help you. Types of cicatricial alopecia include:
Lichen planopilaris, a type of alopecia, occurs when a common skin condition, called lichen planus, affects the scalp. Lichen planopilaris may cause a dry, flaky rash to appear on the skin that causes hair on the scalp to fall out in clumps. The scalp may also become red, irritated, and covered in small white or red itchy, painful, or burning bumps.
Lichen planopilaris is not common and affects more women than men. A doctor may prescribe medication to stop the hair loss.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Discoid lupus erythematosus is a type of cutaneous lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It can lead to inflamed sores and scarring on the ears, face, and scalp. Hair loss is one symptom of the disease. When scar tissue forms on the scalp, hair can no longer grow in that area.
Hair loss caused by folliculitis decalvans, an inflammatory disorder that leads to the destruction of hair follicles, is often accompanied by redness, swelling, and lesions on the scalp that may be itchy or contain pus, known as pustules. This type of hair loss is not reversible, but dermatologists can offer medication to control symptoms and, in some instances, stop the progression of hair loss.
Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp
Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp, a rare condition, causes pustules or lumps to form on the scalp. This condition may also cause scar tissue to develop, destroying hair follicles and causing hair loss. Medications may help control symptoms.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Frontal fibrosing alopecia typically occurs in a receding hairline pattern and may also result in hair loss in the eyebrows and underarms. Frontal fibrosing alopecia most commonly affects postmenopausal women. Certain medications can manage symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. The cause is unknown.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may occur as a result of hair products or styling techniques that damage hair follicles. The use of hair relaxers, blow dryers, curling irons, and hair extensions can cause central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, as can the process of creating a permanent wave, or a “perm.”
The frequent application of oils, gels, or pomades can also cause this condition, which may be reversible if you stop using these hair products or styling techniques. Our dermatologists may recommend taking medication to help hair grow back.
Hair Shaft Abnormalities
Several types of hair shaft abnormalities can lead to hair loss. These conditions cause strands of hair to thin and weaken, making them vulnerable to breaking. The hair loss doesn’t occur in the follicle but as a result of a break somewhere along the hair shaft, which is the visible part of a hair strand. This can result in overall thinning, as well as in many small, brittle hairs.
Making simple changes to the way you style and treat your hair can reverse some hair shaft abnormalities. Other conditions may require medical intervention. Types of hair shaft abnormalities include:
Loose Anagen Syndrome
Loose anagen syndrome, which most commonly presents in young children, occurs when hair that is not firmly rooted in the follicle can be pulled out easily.
Most of the time, hair falls out after it has reached an arbitrary maximum length. Children with loose anagen syndrome often cannot grow hair beyond a relatively short length.
The condition more commonly affects girls with blond or brown hair.
In people who have loose anagen syndrome, hair can fall out easily—even when it’s growing. For example, hair loss may accelerate overnight because of the friction of a pillow. The cause of loose anagen syndrome is unknown, though it may be related to a disorder in the hair growth cycle that prevents hair from staying in the follicle.
There are few reliable treatments, but the condition tends to improve greatly with puberty, and some medications may result in fuller hair.
People with trichotillomania pull their hair out and find it difficult to stop. This results in hair loss on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Hair often returns if the behavior is stopped, but hair loss can be permanent if the pulling continues for many years.
The best treatment for this condition may be psychotherapy, which might include talking with a counselor about causes of stress and why you feel the urge to pull your hair. Our doctors can refer you to a psychotherapist who specializes in this condition.
Some hairstyles, including tight ponytails and braids, pull hair away from the scalp with such force that hair strands are damaged and fall out. Unless the hairstyle is changed, traction alopecia may lead to thinning hair or bald spots. Most of the time, hair regrows after you alter the hairstyle.
Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic condition in which very little hair grows on the scalp and body. Babies born with this condition may have typical hair growth at first; however, their hair falls out a few months later and is replaced with sparse hair.
Many people with hypotrichosis are bald by age 25. There are few treatment options for this condition, but some medications may help to thicken or regrow hair.
While there are many environmental factors that can contribute to hair loss, the most common cause of hair loss is a person’s genetic predisposition. It will often play a key role in determining the pattern and the predictability of a patient’s hair loss.
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is the most common diagnosis given to hair loss sufferers. It is also known as “Androgenetic Alopecia” and is the cause of 95% of all hair loss in men. By the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have visibly thinning hair.
Many will be surprised to learn that MPB is not a condition that affects men only, in fact, hair loss affects an estimated 40% of women over the age of forty.
Other reasons for hair loss include heredity, which can also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair. It can also affect the rate at which hair is lost. Male Pattern baldness can begin while going through puberty and can include symptoms such as the miniaturization of hair, or thinning hair.
Symptoms of Hair Loss
• Thinning or loss of hair on the scalp
• Hairline showing signs of recession
• A U-shaped pattern on the crown of the head
Some other reasons for hair loss:
Changes in Hormone Levels. A hormonal imbalance may cause hair loss on a temporary basis. Changes due to pregnancy, giving birth to a child, or the perimenopause may also cause temporary hair loss. The thyroid gland can also be a reason that hair loss will occur.
Hair loss in Patches. Another type of hair loss is called alopecia areata which can occurs when the immune system goes after hair follicles — this will cause very sudden hair loss that will cause smooth bald patches on the scalp.
Infections. Infections on the scalp caused by parasites ringworm will often attack the hair and skin. This can leave dry scaly patches on the scalp which also tend to be bald. Fortunately, if the infection is treated with medication, the hair will usually return.
Scarring skin disorders. Specific diseases can affect also people by causing scarring alopecia. This can be a cause for permanent hair loss.
Trichotillomania. Also called Hair Pulling syndrome, this condition can give people the irresistible urge to pull the hair their own scalp, eyebrows, or other regions of the body.
A condition known as Telogen Effluvium can cause hair loss. This condition is triggered through nutritional deficiencies and medication. It is usually not permanent, and can be reversed by adjusting diet and or medications.
Loss of hair can also be triggered by certain types of drugs that used to treat arthritis, cancer, depression, heart arrhythmia or failure, as well as high blood pressure. In addition, female patients who take birth control drugs may also be affected.
Vitamins and Minerals
Specific vitamins and minerals which will normally help to preserve and promote hair growth can actually have the opposite effect when taken in excess. T
Biotin: Too much biotin can cause several unintended side effects, such as skin rash, have very high blood sugar levels, and even hair loss.
Selenium: Selenium, a naturally occurring mineral found in high doses in Brazil nuts, can also cause hair loss. Selenium is also found in yellowfin tuna, sardines, and turkey.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is found in carrots, spinach, and beef liver, but also in certain acne medications. Having an excess of vitamin A can cause blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.
Zinc: A common mineral found in oysters, shellfish, or cold remedies or cough drops, an excess of zinc may also cause thinning or hair loss.
Additional causes of hair loss
Shock loss event: Some people can undergo a loss of hair even weeks or months after a severe physical or emotional trigger. Fortunately, this type of hair loss is usually temporary. Examples of these can include rapid, excessive drop in weight, stressful surgery, traumatic injury, or death to a family member.
Traumatic Hairstyling: Specific types of hairstyles that tend to tug or put stress on the hair though pulling will cause a condition known as traction alopecia. Harsh hot oil treatments or perms can cause the hair follicles to become aggravated causing the hair to fall out. In addition, scarring can sometimes happen, in which case the loss of hair could become permanent.