Alopecia and Hair Loss

You may be lead to believe that finding the correct hair loss information about a hair loss cure is easy but there are so many different forms of treatment for hair loss that finding correct information relating to products that suit your individual requirements can prove to be quite overwhelming. For those that are seeking a quick solution to a minor problem, just looking at the many different websites or forums that promote products for treating symptoms of hair loss can be fairly daunting, and you don’t have the advantage of getting advice from a personal Doctor, which makes the job of finding something that will work a mammoth task and one that should be undertaken with great caution.

Finding correct hair loss information need not be daunting

Medical information available to the public for all kinds of products is now greater than it ever has been and lots of information about hair loss and hair loss solutions can be found. Not always are those websites objective but rather want to sell you something or are pure scams. The Hair Loss Advisor aims to be your one stop shop when it comes to neutral information and solutions for hair loss. We aim to showcase lots of information and products that you can trust. Conduct your own research and make your own decisions which the hair loss products and treatments are right for you. Being sufferers from hair loss ourselves, we also offer free consultation for those planning to undergo a hair transplant. In that case, feel free to send us message via the contact form or directly on WhatsApp.

Hair Loss Causes

Searching the internet you find lots of medications available that are recommended only for men. As far as womens hair loss treatment goes, it seemed hard to find a solution to hair loss in women where solutions for men were almost in their hundreds. I set out writing this article to outline, in brief, the reasons for this massive gap in the market when it comes to hair loss solutions for both genders.

Hair Loss and Todays Vain Views

Men are more likely to gain the balding gene than women and it has long been the case that hair loss in men has been an accepted part of life as it is far more common to see a man with drastically thinning hair than it is to see a woman with the same. Women and hair loss have not been such a big part of the media and it has even been frowned upon in the past. The images portrayed in everyday media, such as glossy magazines and television adverts, has a huge impact on the way the public think. If a person does not have shiny flowing and full hair, it is the first thing that people notice and having healthy hair is important as hair shows the first signs of illness.

Hair Loss and Its Causes

Alopecia, the name given to hair loss, is more likely to be caused by a dominant gene passed down from the mother or father. It is normally sex-influenced and is inherited from the parent carrying the dominant gene although not all children of balding men and women will suffer hair loss or balding themselves.

Where women are suffering from female pattern baldness, the cause is due to the excess amounts of the male hormone (testosterone) in their bodies, usually inherited. Men producing too much testosterone will suffer from male pattern baldness, which occurs when testosterone reacts with other chemicals in the body and produces ‘dihydrotestosterone’ which again is hereditary.

Other causes of balding or hair loss can include stress, pregnancy, ageing, chemotherapy (radiation), hormone imbalance, psoriasis and other forms of illness and disease. It is wise to know why you are suffering from certain illnesses before seeking treatment for symptoms.

Hair loss can be treated using one of the many readily available medications, herbal and organic hair loss remedies are becoming more widely available as a drug free option, and diet plays and important part in curing or treating hair loss in both men and women.

To Use or Not To Use

These options are straight forward, although when selecting prescription medications, your Doctor will do his research into whether the hair loss medication is suitable for a man or a woman. Propecia, for instance, is only indicated for use as a male pattern hair loss treatment because it contains an ingredient known as Finasteride which can be harmful to women and their unborn children, or women who are breastfeeding.

One website I visited to find more out about Propecia had correct precautionary information, although one site I visited did not. There are many hair loss solutions that contain Finasteride, but whose suppliers do not spell out any precautions on their website, so in this case my advice is to ensure you visit a good number of websites supplying the same treatment in order to get a good overview of what it claims to do, and whether or not you should be taking the medication or not.

Another good point to mention is that if you are taking medication already then certain hair loss treatments may be ruled out if they are known to interfere with your existing medication. Even herbal remedies need to be avoided so seek help from the most appropriate source.

Alopecia and Hair Loss Explained

Alopecia is a medical term to describe hair loss. Alopecia can be classified according to the characteristics that it displays, the types of alopecia include:

  • androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss and female pattern baldness),
  • alopecia areata
  • alopecia capitis totalis,
  • cicatricial alopecia or scarring alopecia,
  • alopecia liminaris,
  • telogen effluvium
  • and many more varieties of alopecia exist.

The most common form of alopecia for both men and women would be androgenetic alopecia. Definitions on the various forms of alopecia can be found below.

Types of Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia is an inherited or genetic form of hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia is best described as:

  • Genetic or Hereditary Condition from either the Mother and/or the Father’s side of the family.
  • Impacts hair on the front, midscalp and crown regions of the head.
  • The hair on the back and sides are rarely impacted by androgenetic alopecia.
  • There is no permanent hair loss treatment to prevent further hair loss.
  • Hair Transplantation can replace hair that has been lost, these new hairs are permanent as they are resistant to the effects of androgenetic alopecia.
  • It can impact both men and women.
  • The norwood scale can be used to assess and review the degree and/or rate of hair loss for men.
  • The ludwig scale can be used to assess and review the degree and/or rate of hair loss for women.
  • There are no “crystal balls” to predict the pattern, rate of loss or even when the hair loss will start or stop.

Many hair transplant clinics are specialising in providing men and women targeted and medically proven hair loss treatments caused by androgenetic alopecia also known as:

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is categorised as having a loss of hair in a certain area which grows back or sometimes the loss of hair all over the head that does not lead to regrowth of hair. It is a disease resulting in hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body in which a person’s own immune system attacks hair follicles causing hair to fall out even in patches all over the body. There is sudden hair loss in one area that later grows back after several months. For this type of hair loss, regrowth may not occur if all body hair is suddenly lost. Scientists today continue to work on finding the specific cause of alopecia areata.

Hair transplant clinics are unable to offer treatments to those suffering from Alopecia Areata. We recommending contacting your local GP or Dermatologist for creation of a hair treatment plan.

Alopecia Capitis Totalis

With the various medical descriptions, clinical manifestations and varying causes come the different sub types of hair loss. Another form of alopecia is Alopecia Capitis Totalis which results in the total loss of hair on the scalp. Hair everywhere else in the body remains. The main cause of this type of hair loss is still unclear. However, it is associated with autoimmune disorder making it somehow a subtype of alopecia areata.

Stress is a contributing factor but even those who live a stress-free life can have this kind of hair loss. Even with poor prognosis treatment in some cases allow for regrowth of hair and is usually seen within 4-6 weeks in responsive patients (Bolduc, 2013). Treatment can include corticosteroids, immunotherapy, Minoxidil (little benefit in those with alopecia totalis), Methotrexate, and nonpharmacologic methods using hairpieces and counseling.

Hair transplant clinics are unable to offer treatments to those suffering from Alopecia Capitis Totalis. We recommending contacting your local GP or Dermatologist for creation of a hair treatment plan.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Another subtype is Cicatricial Alopecia which is commonly referred to as scarring alopecia. In this type of hair loss, the hair follicles get destroyed by certain disorders. The two forms of cicatricial alopecia are the primary and secondary forms. The primary form involves hair follicles as the target in the destructive process where immune cells cause inflammation and destroy the hair follicles.

On the other hand, the secondary form involves hair follicles getting destroyed as consequence of a severe burn, an infection, radiation or a tumor. Scarring alopecia is hair loss associated with scarred areas which prevent the hair from growing. Scarring alopecia may result from diseases of the immune system such as Lupus Erythematosus, and from bacterial or fungal skin infections or even skin cancer. Scarred areas may be due to burns, injury, and radiation therapy.

Hair transplant clinics are unable to offer treatments to those suffering from Cicatricial Alopecia. We recommending contacting your local GP or Dermatologist for creation of a hair treatment plan.

Traction Alopecia

Alopecia Liminaris or otherwise known as alopecia marginalis is a type of hair loss that involves the hairline primarily. It is hair loss at the hair line. Most common in women who pull their hair back tight, or men wearing cultural head wear such as turbans , this is also known as traction alopecia and is a pervasive condition. Cultural, social, and cosmetic factors contribute to this condition as it involves unintentional hair loss secondary to grooming styles. People who wear tight braids that cause tension and breakage of outermost hairs can have this type of hair loss. Female athletes who often pull their hair in ponytails can have this kind of hair loss. Change of hairstyle technique can minimize the damage.

Symptomatic Alopecia

Symptomatic Alopecia is a type of hair loss that results from systemic disorders such as general ill health, skin or scalp infection, or psychogenic factors associated with nervousness, stress and anxiety. Other diseases that can lead to this type of hair loss are typhoid fever, anemia, liver and kidney disease, malnutrition, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, acanthosis nigricans, pneumonia, meningitis, influenza, and others. Sparse hair falls out in patches, resulting in diffuse hair loss in an area.

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is the temporary loss of hair due to an illness, some medications like those given for cancer treatment, high vitamin A, retinoids and even giving birth! Telogen effluvium involves thinning of scalp hair but hair line can still be seen.When there is a change in the number of hair follicles allowing hair to grow, Telogen effluvium happens with resulting shedding of hair. These shed hairs are telogen hairs which are identified with a small bulb of keratin on the root of the hair. Scalp hair is not completely lost but there is severe thinning that is noticeable. Telogen effluvium does not only affect the scalp but also the eyebrows or the pubic region.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania causes hair loss since this is a habit of hair pulling. This is a disorder in which the affected person pulls out the hair from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, underarms, beard, chest, legs, or other parts of the body. Bald patches become noticeable with this condition. The urge of hair pulling can become so severe that it makes so hard not to do. The affected person may be unaware of the habit but if they are made aware of it, they find it so hard to stop. It is therefore considered an impulse control disorder that resembles a habit, an addiction or even an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Congenital Alopecia

Congenital Alopecia is hair loss that is associated with developmental defect. At birth, the baby is born with a defective skin at the back of the scalp affecting pattern of hair growth. Small skin defect can become a scab and develop into a scar.

Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis is the loss of hair on the entire scalp and other areas of the body. It is a subtype of alopecia areata. Alopecia universalis is associated with autoimmune disease, in which the hair follicles get attacked by the person’s own immune system. The hair follicles in this type of hair loss remain alive which makes it possible for hair regrowth to occur even without treatment of the condition. Alopecia Universalis is the loss of hair on the entire scalp and other areas of the body.

It is a subtype of alopecia areata. Alopecia universalis is associated with autoimmune disease, in which the hair follicles get attacked by the person’s own immune system. The hair follicles in this type of hair loss remain alive which makes it possible for hair regrowth to occur even without treatment of the condition.

Non-hereditary Causes of Hair Loss

All kinds of different symptoms of hair loss have been found and recorded over the years, each of which can have a different cause and therefore requiring totally different drugs and remedies to treat symptoms and overcome the illness, here are just a few examples:

Demodex

A mite which can occur in both humans and pets sometimes resulting in a skin irritation or inflammation, although the mite (whose Latin name is Demodex spp) can infest certain areas of the skin with hair follicles (inside the ear, on the cheeks or around eyelashes) without the human showing any symptoms.

Stress and Anxiety;

Commonly known as a cause of hair loss, the known remedies may not be drug-based (although drugs may be used to treat other illnesses caused by long-term stress) and a person can often detect the cause of stress themselves. Symptoms of short-term stress normally do not evolve although long-term symptoms shown can range from hair loss to shortness of breath and sometimes heart-attack.

Psoriasis

This is a skin complaint which can vary between people. Some forms only occur on the scalp whereas more severe cases can be seen on many other parts of the body. Due to the severity of some forms of psoriasis, hair loss may be a symptom of the itchiness and dryness of the scalp although treatments are readily available and can differ in strength.

Menopause

Hair loss can occur in women who entered the menopause. Depending on the overall severeness of the hair loss, it can be treated with supplements such as Biotin or Minoxidil along with PRP treatments or in severe cases a hair transplant or scalp micro pigmentation might be an option.

Other causes of hair loss

  • Temporary hair loss after a surgery such as gastric sleeve,
  • thyroid diseases,
  • hair loss after pregnancy,
  • hair loss from chemotherapy,
  • hair loss after stopping birth control
  • etc.

Preventing Hair Loss

Here is a quick overview of the different choices you have of stopping hair loss, or preventing balding or thinning.

Be Aware of the False Claims

You must be a little wary about so called hair loss solutions and remedies where the suppliers or manufacturers claim that it provides ‘hair loss restoration‘ or ‘hair loss treatment’ as there are still many products that are not regulated by any association, although it is not nice to think of a cowboy company selling products for their own gains the reality is that these companies will make any claims about a product and many people still believe miracles can happen. What I am trying to say here is do your research, visit your Doctor for genuine advice and medication – or for a referral to a specialist that can help.

Read the Precautionary Labels – Always

You must be able to define between a cosmetic hair treatment product and a drug treatment for hair loss and scalp problems. It is said that there is a clear line between cosmetic and drug products. For instance, a treatment that claims to ‘clear dandruff’ is actually a drug and not a cosmetic product, so you need to ensure that all the product labels are clear and understood by you before use, and preferably before you buy them at all.

What is Left to Treat Baldness and Hair Loss?

Despite the hundreds of products that just will not work, there are many genuine products available both on prescription and over the counter that will help to improve the appearance of the scalp and hair, and in some cases can drastically improve the chance of growing more hair in thinning areas. In both America and the United Kingdom, Minoxidil and Propecia* (containing Finasteride) have been approved by two sources and this is a great piece of recognition for those in the hair loss industry.

The product has the approval of both the American Food and Drug Administration and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency which usually means you can trust this product to actually do what it claims. The two hair treatments mentioned are both drugs but are available over the counter. Some companies will add other things to the actual solutions so check that you have no allergies before use.

Prevent Hair Loss in the Early Stages

Some forms of hair loss are hereditary and you will not be able to stop the hair loss forever, although you can improve the chances of preventing some other forms of hair loss in man or woman, by simply ensuring that you eat a health full and balanced diet containing the nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Exclude the high sugar and high fat foods that contain no nutritional basis – for instance soda, chips and fried foods – and add fruit, vegetables and fish to your diet. You will instantly see results in your hair and skin so if your symptoms are purely cosmetic then this should help improve them dramatically.

If you do need medication (drugs or natural and organic remedies) then they are best caught at the early stages. If you do believe that you are suffering any excess hair loss either on your head or elsewhere on your body then don’t suffer and see your General Practitioner or Dermatologist about your condition and they will refer you to the right place.

*Propecia is not intended, and could be dangerous, for use in women

Supplements and Extra Vitamins – A Hair Loss Miracle?

Supplements for all kind of conditions have been around for hundreds of years. Many contain just what we need if we are in search of an alternative solution to the many drugs that are on offer to us both over the counter and on prescription from our Doctors. Supplements today can aid hair loss as it becomes more common in women, and with lack of nutrition also fast becoming a genuine concern they are definitely worth considering as hair loss solutions.

Due to the condition being rather uncommon over the past years, hair loss solutions for women have been few and far between. Over the past ten years, with nutrition and diet being targeted as a direct cause of many conditions, numerous treatments for hair loss have been developed and taking supplements to aid the re-growth of hair has become a great idea for those wanting to avoid taking prescription medications and over the counter drugs.

Which Supplements Help Hair Re-growth?

As a general rule, if your diet is poor then most supplements containing the every day vitamins and minerals that our bodies need in order to function are fine. However, if you feel you are lacking in one, or a couple, of nutrients then visit a health store that specialize in herbal nutritional supplements. They can then advise on how to best combine two or more supplements that can best serve your requirements. Some supplements are available in the form of a tablet or liquid so, again, specify your needs to get the best advice possible from the professionals. Some supplements combine all of the daily vitamins and minerals that you need, but please be sensible and do not ever mistake the use of any kind of supplements as a meal replacement.

The huge amounts of supplements available can be confusing to somebody who has never taken them before. However, taking extra nutrition when you are struggling to lead a healthy lifestyle and follow a balanced diet cannot be frowned upon under any circumstances. Bear in mind, though, that some medications can be affected by certain supplements – they are able to counteract the main aim of the drug and reduce its overall effectiveness – so seek advice when considering alternative hair loss remedies, no matter how minor you think the effect will be.

Simple Advice

The best overall thing that you can do to help yourself and your hair loss or balding situation, is to eat a healthy diet by introducing a balance of fruit, vegetables, fish and meats into your daily diet. By reducing sugars and salts, and introducing correct amounts of protein, carbohydrates, essential fats and nutrients you will be well on your way to preventing or improving hair loss before it becomes more serious.

If you have tried various remedies and treatments for female hair loss, or believe that your condition is worsening, then please seek help from your Doctor who can rule out any underlying causes and offer further help.

Hair Loss Solutions

As with most illnesses, treatment of hair loss can be extremely effective when caught early and the correct products are used. Solutions will include products which prevent further loss of hair and the balding which can follow in rare cases, and some of the best products claim to stop the hair loss and create the re-growth of hair.

Doctors and health professionals may provide you with information on certain hair loss products that can be used, as can the many sites found on the internet and the many drugstores and pharmacies available in local communities. Over the counter solutions must be researched properly as some treatments can be very expensive and ineffective (check our article base and read our reviews).

Finding the correct treatment for your own needs is highly important as everybody is different and not all people will react to the same medicines equally. Some forms of hair loss can follow skin complaints, some may be down to infestations, and some down to stresses of everyday life so you must remember to choose products very carefully and seek professional help where possible, especially in a more severe cases.

Help IS Out There

Treatment for hair loss in women and men is easily found. The first point of contact should always be your personal or family Doctor or General Practitioner. They can rule out underlying causes of your hair loss, which in most cases are not permanent, and can refer you to a specialist depending or offer you prescription drugs to combat hair loss.

If you decide to find hair loss treatments yourself, compare products first before buying and always consult a professional. The Hair Loss Advisor is aiming to help you with your mission to battle hair loss by providing you up to date information, product reviews and real experiences from other hair loss sufferers about hair transplants, PRP etc.

Always be cautious before purchasing a product, and ensure that you research hair loss treatments properly so that you know they are suitable for your personal use.

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