10 Things Tomatoes Should Know
about Women's Hair Loss
How much do you love your hair? Let me rephrase that: How much do you love your hair at least 75% of the time, say when it isn't frizzy or misbehaving and sticking up on the right side in an unexplainable manner? Hair is a wonderful thing and is one of the first things we notice when we meet someone new. But what happens when one day, your hair starts to thin? To fall out? You think that stress is probably the cause, but your life is not going to get easier any time soon. You are now afraid that you are going to go bald. Should you start looking into hairpieces? You begin to wash your hair less often, but it seems to look even worse with less shampooing. Anxiety attacks happen sometimes when you see other women with noticeable hair loss. Why are there suddenly so many of them? Female pattern hair loss is a very real issue and is something you don't have to conquer alone. I've seen so many women fighting it in my own dermatology practice that I decided to write a book, Women's Hair Loss: The Hidden Epidemic to try to calm your fears and show you that female pattern hair loss doesn't have to be a death sentence for your once beautiful head of hair. Here are a few of the things you might be surprised to learn about lady hair loss and a few easy steps to get started on the road to recovery.
1. You are not alone. In just the United States, the Academy of
Dermatology estimates that there are over 30 million women who suffer from significant Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), the most common hair loss disorder for women.
2. Anyone can have it. Contrary to popular belief, hair loss doesn't just come from the maternal grandfather. Women can have hair loss without any family history of it.
3. Hair loss can start at any time after puberty. Female Pattern Hair Loss most commonly first appears in the 45-55 year-old peri-menopausal age group. But it could be earlier or later.
4. There are many kinds of hair loss. Even though most women with hair loss have Female Pattern Hair Loss, there are a large number of less common and rare disorders that may be present. This is why hair loss can be a complicated problem. It is not unusual to find two different kinds of hair loss in the same person.
5. Seek treatment from a hair loss expert. If you think you have hair loss, your local dermatologist may be able to help. All dermatologists have received some training in the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss disorders. However, note that most dermatologists do not specialize in treating hair loss. Those who are not specialists in this area do not usually prescribe or recommend the most useful available treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss. It's best to see a specialist especially one with significant experience in WOMEN'S hair loss.
6. Ideally, seek treatment when YOU know you have hair loss. Other people usually don't notice it until much later. Female Pattern Hair Loss typically begins as a combination of gradual hair thinning (e.g., widening of your part) and increased hair shedding (e.g., more hair in the shower drain or in your comb or brush). You will notice these things before others will.
7. Even if you did not catch it early, there is hope! A new, minimally invasive surgical hair replacement technique called follicular unit extraction is now available for women who started treatment too late for medical treatment. Again, see a specialist!
8. There are both lifestyle and medical treatments. Lifestyle
treatments (e.g., diet, exercise, vitamins, herbal supplements, etc.) may be helpful in slowing down hair loss, but they are less likely to be helpful in restoring lost hair. Medical treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss potentially consists of topical/local treatment (e.g., locally applied preparations, like lotions, creams, shampoos, etc.), oral/systemic treatment (e.g., prescription medication), and in some cases a combination of both.
9. Hair loss treatment takes time. Any treatment for Female Pattern
Hair Loss should be administered for at least a year to see the full effect.
10. Above all, know that there is treatment today that can slow down or stop common hair loss in most women. In my experience, Female Pattern Hair Loss can be stopped or significantly slowed down in 95% of patients and 60-70% of women may achieve noticeable improvement in hair volume with presently available medical treatments.