What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
Consider These Useful Supplements For Healthy Hair
- A multivitamin and mineral to guard against deficiencies .
- Soy isoflavones . If you have a medical history of a hormone dependent condition check with your doctor before taking them although evidence suggests they are beneficial in these cases, too.
- A probiotic will supply beneficial digestive bacteria which may help to increase conversion of soy isoflavones to a stronger oestrogenic version called equol.
- Flaxseed oil is one of the richest dietary sources of lignans.
- Some nutritionists may recommend l-lysine amino acid supplements.
Medication And Surgery For Hair Loss
In severe cases of menopausal hair loss, a drastic treatment is necessary such as prescription medications or even surgery. Before considering any of these two options, a woman should consult her healthcare provider in order to choose the best treatment option possible.
Prescription medications are often too expensive and they carry negative effects at the same time. The most common prescription medication for the treatment of hair loss due to menopause is hormonal replacement therapy.
Scalp lifts, laser therapy, or hair transplant surgeries are options in severe cases of hair loss due to menopause. All these surgical procedures are quite expensive, require a certain amount of time and are related to many side effects and possible complications.
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Menopause Hair Loss Treatment
There is no way to prevent menopause as its a womans organic, natural response to the progression of age. However, there is good news! Once the hormones settle down and find balance within your new, post-menopausal self, hair will resume its natural growth patterns. Heres what you can do now to stave off the visible signs of hair loss from menopause and assist the body in managing these significant hormonal shifts:
Although there is no miracle menopause hair loss treatment, there are many things you can do to stave off the visible signs of hair loss from menopause and assist the body in managing these significant hormonal shifts:
How Estrogen Affects Hair And Skin
If youre seeing changes in your hair and skin post-menopause, you can usually blame rapidly declining levels of the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen promotes water retention and plumpness in the skin, Dr. Williams says. When estrogen drops, you lose some of the molecules that help keep the skin moisturized. Estrogen also contributes to hair growth and fullness. Without it, your hair may become thinner.
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What Causes Hair Loss During Menopause
Hair loss occurs due to hormonal imbalance, as the levels of estrogen and progesterone are lower than normal. In cases when the levels of these hormones drop, the hair gets thinner and it grows more slowly as well.
On the other hand, the production of male hormones, known as androgens is increased, as the female hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease. Androgens also play a role in the hair loss during menopause as they shrink the hair follicles, contributing even more to hair loss. Androgens, also cause more hair to grow in places where it normally should not grow, such as on the face.
Even though during menopause hair loss is related to hormonal imbalance, there are many other factors that contribute to this unpleasant occurrence. A lack of certain nutrients, the presence of other diseases and even constant stress play an important role when it comes to hair loss during menopause. A complete blood count, including examination tests for thyroid hormones, is also necessary in order to rule out other possible factors that can contribute to hair loss.
When to Seek Help
When dealing with hair loss during menopause, you should seek professional medical help from your healthcare provider in the following cases:
Alternative Remedies For Hair Loss
Alternative remedies can be quite successful when it comes to dealing with menopause- induced hair loss. Herbal remedies are commonly used. There are two types of herbal remedies: hormone-regulating herbal supplements and phytoestrogen herbal supplements.
- Hormone-regulating herbal supplements work by stimulating the production of hormones from the endocrine glands. As more hormones are produced naturally by these glands, the hormonal imbalance will get regulated. This is the safest way to treat menopausal hair loss naturally as it only increases the production of hormones from the bodys own glands.
- Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements such as black cohosh or ginseng, on the other hand, are packed with estrogen components produced by plants. They work by regulating the hormonal imbalance in the body. However, a negative side of these phytoestrogens herbal supplements is the fact that the human body can produce less estrogen now that the estrogen is supplied from the outside.
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How Can Thinning Hair Affect Me
While thinning hair itself doesnt usually affect your physical health directly, there are many ways hair loss can negatively impact your well-being. One study showed that 55% of women who were experiencing some form of hair loss also experienced symptoms of depression. In this same study, about 89% of those women noticed improvements in their depressive symptoms after receiving treatment for hair loss. Many women notice they have lower self-esteem, confidence, and negative body image after experiencing hair loss.
The problem with hair loss during menopause is that it doesnt just signal hormone imbalances or extra stress, it can also cause negative consequences for your mental, emotional, and social health. Many women notice that theyre less likely to engage in social activities if they experience menopausal hair loss. They may also feel anxiety and stress about their hair. Over time, this can also affect your overall well-being and quality of life. Therefore, if youre experiencing thinning hair, its important to talk to your doctor. If youre experiencing other symptoms as well, our provider may recommend hormone replacement treatment.
Why Does Hair Fall Out
The hair on your head goes through a life cycle that involves growth, resting, and shedding. Its common for people to lose around 100 hairs a day.
If you experience more sudden loss, loss in patches, or overall thinning, you may want to see your doctor.
Some shedding is temporary and may respond well to changes in diet, certain treatments, or lifestyle changes. Other loss may be more permanent or not stop until an underlying condition is treated.
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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 , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
How To Stop Thinning Hair: Hair Loss Treatment For Women
Medications are the most common treatment for hair loss;in women. They include the following:
Minoxidil . This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss; in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman’s hair loss.;;
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some not all women, it can’t restore the full density of the lost hair. It’s not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won’t see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you’ll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you’ll start to lose hair again.
Some women find that the minoxidil solution leaves a deposit that dries and irritates their scalp. This irritation, called contact dermatitis, is probably caused not by the minoxidil itself, but rather by the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Menopause How To Reverse It
All women undergo menopause at some point in their life. During this biological process, the female body undergoes a lot of changes due to a fluctuation of the hormone levels. Hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, and other symptoms are common during this period. These symptoms, unfortunately, are unpleasant, for some women more than for others, having a great effect on their daily life. Hair loss is a common problem for women during this process, as the hair gets thinner in the top of the head, on the sides or on the front. What can you do about it?
Consider Changing Your Hair Style
There are certain styles and cuts that are especially flattering for women with thinning hair.
Cuts: Long hair can weigh down fine hair. Stylists recommend that women with thinning hair get frequent trims and that they add layers for volume. One especially flattering cut to try is a choppy bob; another is a pixie. Uneven bangs can create depth and texture.
Color: Lowlights and highlights can add depth and dimension, which can make hair look more full. Lighter hair can make a visible part and scalp look less pronounced.
Styles: If you always part your hair on the right, try parting it on the left for added volume. A jagged part can hide a visible scalp, and can also make the top layers stick up, as if youve teased your hair. Blow drying creates volume as well. Loose waves, created with a diffuser and sea salt spray, can make hair appear thick and bouncy. So can curling your hair. A half-pony with the bottom half curled or left straight, and the top pulled up high, adds fullness and height. African-American women with thinning hair may want to try side bangs, twist outs, and updos with cascading hair and bangs, using the hair you have to cover the thinning spots.
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What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Cortisone Shots Or Acupuncture For Perimenopause Hair Loss
The data is inconclusive as to whether or not cortisone shots actually work at re-growing hair, but I do know one woman who gets them frequently and says they have really helped her. Cortisone shots are given at the scalp, and the Mayo Clinic suggests they should not be given more often than every six weeks.
While I know of some women who have had luck with acupuncture for hair loss, the British Acupuncture Society states that there is no evidence that acupuncture can treat hair loss as a specific symptom; however, it might help with the underlying problem.
And Introduction To Hair Loss And Menopause
Many women suffer from hair loss when going through the menopause. Every person naturally loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day. If you begin to lose more than this, you may notice areas of baldness on your scalp, clumps of hair coming out when you wash or brush your hair, or thinning of hair around the front and sides of your scalp.
Hair is made from keratin, the same material as nails. This is produced by cell structures known as hair follicles lying beneath the scalp and the hair that people wash, brush and style is actually the dead secretions from these follicles. Individual strands of hair can stay on the head for up to six years before falling out.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like 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.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
Why Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Although most people wouldnt automatically think of hair loss as a menopause symptom, the hormonal changes which the menopause causes can have all sorts of unexpected effects on the body.
The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.
However, there are other causes of hair loss. These include factors as simple as what you eat to more serious issues such as stress, certain illnesses and medication. It is important to get to the root of the problem in order to find the most effective treatment.
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What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss
Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:
- What kinds of hair products do you use?
- What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
- What types of food do you eat ?
- Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?
They might ask about your history:
- Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
- Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
- What medications and supplements do you take every day?
- Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
- What foods are in your diet?
And, they might ask about your observations:
- How long have you been losing hair?
- Have you been shedding more?
- Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
- Does anything worsen your hair loss?
- Does anything improve your hair loss?
- Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
- Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
- Has your hair been breaking more often?
Hair Loss During Menopausal Transition
Hair loss during the menopausal transition can be just as dramatic as menopausal hair loss. The two are both related to the same changes in hormone levels. The menopausal transition is the time leading up to menopause and can last several years. During the menopausal transition, fluctuating hormones can cause some of the same symptoms typically associated with menopause.
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