Archive for the ‘Hair Loss’ Category

Hair Loss in Women

In both men and women, 5-a reductase reacts with testosterone to produce DHT, the hormone responsible for the miniaturization (shrinking) and gradual disappearance of affected hair follicles. This explains why both men and women lose their hair. One of the reasons why women seldom have the conspicuous bald areas that men do is because women naturally have only half the amount of 5-a reductase compared to men.

Women’s hair seems to be particularly sensitive to underlying medical conditions. Since systemic medical conditions often cause a diffuse type of hair loss pattern that can be confused with genetic balding, it is important that women with undiagnosed alopecia be properly evaluated by a doctor specializing in hair loss (i.e., a dermatologist).

In women who are genetically predisposed to hair loss, both diffuse and patterned distributions are caused by the actions of two enzymes: aromatase (which is found predominantly in women) and 5-a reductase (which is found in both women and men). Diffuse hair loss is most often hereditary, but it can also be caused by underlying medical conditions, medications, and other factors; therefore, a thorough medical evaluation is an important part of the management.

Common baldness in women, also called female pattern alopecia, is genetically inherited and can come from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family. Female alopecia most commonly presents in a diffuse pattern, where hair loss occurs over the entire scalp. Less commonly, women exhibit a patterned distribution where most of the thinning occurs on the front and top of the scalp with relative sparing of the back and sides.

In the next sections, we will take a closer look at both the mechanisms of genetically induced female hair loss as well as the medical conditions and drugs that can cause diffuse hair loss in women.
Mechanism of Genetic Hair Loss in Women

It is this presence of aromatase which may help explain why hair loss in women looks so different than in men, particularly with respect to the preservation of the frontal hairline. It may also explain why women have a poor response to the drug finasteride (Propecia), a medication widely used to treat hair loss in men that works by blocking the formation of DHT.

The type of hair loss, diffuse or patterned, has important implications for treatment. Women with diffuse hair loss are generally best treated medically, whereas women with patterned hair loss may be good candidates for hair transplant surgery. Interestingly, patterned hair loss is the most common type seen in men and accounts for why a greater proportion of men are candidates for surgery compared to women.

As with hair loss in men, female genetic hair loss largely stems from a complex stew of genes, hormones and age. In addition to 5-a reductase, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT); which are also found in men’s hair loss; also present in women are the enzyme aromatase and the female hormones estrone and estradiol.

Below is a list of medical conditions that can lead to a diffuse pattern of hair loss:

Causes of Telogen Effluvium.

Localized Hair Loss.

A host of dermatologic conditions can cause localized hair loss in women. The pattern that they produce is usually quite different from the diffuse pattern of female genetic hair loss and is easily differentiated from it by an experienced dermatologist. Occasionally, the diagnosis is difficult to make and tests, such as a scalp biopsy are necessary.

Obstetric and gynecologic conditions; such as post-partum and post-menopausal states or ovarian tumors
Anemia (iron deficiency).
Thyroid disease.
Connective tissue diseases, such as Lupus.
Nutritional causes including crash diets, bulimia, protein/calorie deficiency, essential fatty acid or zinc deficiency, malabsorbtion, and hypervitaminosis A.
Stress from surgical procedures, general anesthesia, or severe emotional problems.

Non-Scarring Alopecias.

Blood thinners (anti-coagulants) such as warfarin and heparin.
Seizure medication (most commonly dilantin).
Medication for gout, colchicines, and alopurinol (Xyloprim).
Blood pressure medication, particularly the b-blockers (such as Inderal) or diuretics.
Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as prednisone).
Medications that lower cholesterol and other lipids.
Mood altering drugs such as lithium, tri-cyclics, Elavil, Prozac.
Thyroid medications.
Oral contraceptive agents, particularly those high in progestins.
Miscellaneous medications, such as diet pills, high doses of Vitamin A, street drugs (cocaine).

Localized hair loss in women may be sub-divided into scarring and non-scarring types.

Localized hair loss can be also be caused by constant pulling on scalp hair, either through braiding, tight clips or hair systems. The most common presentation is thinning, or complete hair loss, at the frontal hairline and in the temples of women who wear their hair pulled tightly back.

Scarring hair loss can be caused by a variety of medical or dermatologic conditions such as Discoid Lupus, Lichen Planus, and infections. Localized hair loss from injury or from medical problems are often amenable to hair transplantation.
Hair Loss in Women & Aging.

Chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy.

Alopecia Areata is a genetic, auto-immune disease that typifies the non-scarring type. It manifests with the sudden onset of discrete, round patches of hair loss associated with normal underlying skin. It usually responds quite well to local injections of cortico-steroids.

Many of the factors that cause the rate of loss to speed up or slow down are unknown, but we do know that with age, a person’s total hair volume will decrease. Even when there is no predisposition to genetic balding, hair across the entire scalp will thin over time resulting in the appearance of less density.

Causes of Anagen Effluvium.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause a diffuse type of hair loss called “anagen effluvium” that can be very extensive. This hair loss is also reversible when the therapy is over, but the hair does not always return to its pre-treatment thickness.

Scarring Alopecias.

Drugs That Can Cause Diffuse Hair Loss in Women.

Choosing the Right Wigs When Experiencing Hair Loss

When I was pregnant with my third kid, I lost my hair. Over the duration of a month, I observed large amounts of it falling out till almost all was gone; my obstetrician and skin doctor did a battery of tests and eventually I was identified with serious alopecia areata, an immune phenomenon where your body incorrectly attacks your very own hair roots.

” Alopecia” in itself means “loss of hair” and can take place for a variety of reasons consisting of hereditary issues, autoimmune processes, systemic diseases like anemia or thyroid conditions, hormone modifications, tension, serious health problem, or as a side effect to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Sometimes, the hair will grow back and in other cases, regrettably it might not.

Whatever the reason for the alopecia though, it can change the method you view yourself due to the fact that the person you look at in the mirror doesn’t rather appear like the person you keep in mind seeing in the past. This can affect your self-confidence and self-confidence, and cause issues such as social anxiety as well as depression. Thankfully nowadays there are choices to help cover your alopecia and make you feel a little bit more like yourself, and one that I have actually found most valuable is a great wig.

Wigs are made from natural hair or synthetic product. Generally wigs made from genuine hair are longer and more pricey. They look really natural and can be styled in different methods. If cared for effectively, they can last upwards of a year. The major benefit to synthetic wigs is expense. The other benefit is they can be used right out of the box if you so desire; the product has built-in memory so will normally look styled even if you haven’t done anything to it. The life-span of an artificial wig is shorter– someplace around 4-6 months.

Whichever kind of wig you select, here are a few pointers:

Pick a size that fits your head comfortably.
Make certain the material feels comfortable on your head; wigs can be itchy.
Think about the alternatives for wig caps, a layer of thin material that can go under your wig for comfort and to assist with itching. Simply be aware that this can make it relatively hot under your wig.
Make sure to take your wig to your hair stylist to get it cut to fit your face perfectly. Very hardly ever does one come out of the box fitting you precisely right.
Buy a wig-stand to hold your wig and keep its shape.
Make sure you care for your wig routinely to preserve its life-span.
Lastly, use it happily. You are gorgeous!

Leading Hair Physicians and Hair Loss Prevention

If you’ve ever caught one of those infomercials on at 3a. Before you hand over the combination to the safe, make sure you read these helpful, informative tips on hair loss.

Make sure to wash your hair of any gels before you go to sleep. If you go to bed with gel in your hair, the pillow will often push the gel into the pores on your scalp. This prevents hair growth, and it also can damage already present hair follicles, making you lose hair more quickly.

Stress can cause and also exacerbate hair loss. If you can minimize the amount of stress in your life, you should see improvements in the quality of your hair.

Do not make the mistake of shaving your head if you are losing your hair. Hair stays stronger at its root when your hair is longer and taken care of.

Hair and nails are made of keratin, which derives from protein. Make sure that you have enough protein in your diet. The best way to get a lot of protein in your diet is from meats and poultry, but if you are a vegetarian you should consider taking a supplement.

You want to consider using an electric vibrator in order to help prevent hair from coming out. One of the biggest keys to prevent hair loss is to make sure that there is sufficient blood flow to the scalp. An electric vibrator will help to promote blood flow to the scalp.

Sometimes, hormones can play a major role in hair loss. This is especially true for women, who may experience changes in their hormones due to child birth. Having a well balanced diet and a normal hair care routine can help combat these hormone changes that are caused by pregnancy.

Avoid using heat excessively on your hair. Using a curling iron, blow dryer or flat iron on your hair can pull your hair out or make it weak.

It is crucial that you have enough monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats in your diet in order to prevent hair loss. Unlike unhealthy fats, these provide your body and scalp with the nutrition you need in order for hair to stay healthy and stay in place. Foods high in these fats include peanut butter, vegetable oil, and avocados.

The truth of the matter is that people will spend a small fortune if they think a product would produce results. They’ll work if you employ them correctly.

7 Common Causes of Female Hair Loss

Let’s face it, hair loss for anyone can be a very distressing problem but women’s hair loss can be especially distressing …

Although the causes of women’s hair loss vary from person to person, by understanding the common causes of female hair loss, this can help you find the right potential treatment or solution.

1) Hereditary thinning, or androgenetic alopecia to give its medical name, is the most common cause of women’s hair loss. The tendency to develop female pattern hair loss can be inherited from either side of the family.

Generally this leads to thinning of the hair in women rather than baldness and can start in the teens, thirties or twenties.

There are no cures for hereditary female hair loss. There are treatments which may help some people such as minoxidil, which is a lotion applied twice daily to your scalp.

An alternative solution which women with thinning hair may consider is female hair transplantation. This procedure involves moving hair from areas of your head with normal hair growth to thinning areas.

As with all surgical procedures, you should only undertake this after taking advice from a specialist.

2) Improper hair cosmetic use is another common cause of women’s hair loss. Treatments such as bleaches, tints, hair straighteners, dyes or perms rarely damage your hair if done properly. Overuse can cause the hair to become weak or break.

It is recommended you stop the treatments until the damaged hair has grown out if chemical treatments cause your hair to become brittle and leads to hair loss.

3) Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss which can affect women of any age. This usually results in hair falling out and leaving round coin sized smooth patches on the head. In rare cases there may be a total loss of hair.

The cause of alopecia areata in women is not clear, in time the hair usually grows back by itself. Female hair loss caused by alopecia areata can also be successfully treated by dermatologists.

4) Thyroid disease can also lead to female hair loss. Where an under or over-active thyroid condition has been diagnosed, any associated hair loss can be usually be successfully treated by your physician.

5) Severe infection, flu or a high fever can be a cause of women’s hair loss. After a bout of illness, even as much as four weeks to three months afterwards, you may be taken aback by seeing a lot of hair falling out.

This is caused by your hair going into a resting phase to redirect energy at healing. Any hair loss usually corrects itself.

6) Some medications can also lead to women’s hair loss. Prescription drugs used for arthritis, blood thinning, depression, gout, heart problems or high blood pressure may cause hair loss. High doses of vitamin A have also been associated with female hair loss.

7) Inadequate protein in a women’s diet can be a cause of female hair loss. Then you may develop protein malnutrition, if you go on a crash diet or have extreme irregular dietary habits.

As with severe illness, the body will put hair into the resting phase to conserve protein. Significant hair loss can occur two to three months later and be easily pulled out by the roots.

Hair loss can be easily reversed by ensuring you eat the correct levels of protein in your diet.

In conclusion, we have looked at several common causes of women’s hair loss and suggested some solutions for treating the problem. Because there are so many different causes of female hair loss you should always consult your physician or dermatologist to correctly diagnose your problem and the best course of action to treat it.

Hair Loss and Women

hairloss

The fact is that as many as two-thirds of all women experience hair loss at some point. Fortunately, hair loss in women typically does not result in complete baldness, as is often the case with men.

The magazine VeryWell has an excellent article about this problem.

Alopecia areata is an immune disease that affects almost 2% of the population in the United States. This type of hair loss appears in various degrees of severity — from small, round patches of hair loss that regrow without medical treatment, to chronic, extensive hair loss that can involve the loss of all hair on the scalp or body. If you would like to read more about the myths and facts about hair loss in women then visit the article.